Compare the powers of the federal government under the Articles of Confederation to the powers of the federal government under the United States Constitution. Powers of federal government under Articles of Confederation to those under Constitution The Articles of Confederation is first constitution of the United States. It was in effect from March 1, 1781, when Maryland ratified it. However, it had crucial flaws as the central government had a minimized effectiveness to levy taxes and regulate commerce. The creation of the Articles was because of the wartime urgency and therefore it lacked the most important component of federal government that meant that it could not enforce legislation. This prompted the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to allow for the creation of new federal laws. The Constitution therefore replaced the Articles of Confederation when New Hampshire ratified it on June 21, 1788 (Spencer 125). The US constitution gave powers to the federal government over issues of the national concern while the state government handled the issues of domestic concern. Regardless of that the Articles are not widely used, it is still a part of the United States constitution and still used from time to time to complement the United States Constitution.
Although the Articles were the perfect constitution drafted, it still has some similarities with the U.S. constitution. First, both of them are federal U.S. documents. The central government is still the one in charge of the value of money and not the states. Both constitutions have defined term limits for the different offices in the government and they can borrow coins and set up a federal post office. The documents have a provision that can allow the government to establish an army and declare war on other countries and does not allow one state to enter into war by itself (Vile 34).
However, as stated earlier, Article of Confederation had its flaws but the constitution came along and ratified the problems. As provided by the Articles, the federal government had very little power to make or enforce laws. Nine out of thirteen states needed in order to pass the laws. Only the states could have the privilege to create and operate courts. However, under the Constitution, the federal government is able to enforce and interpret the laws. Only fifty percent plus one vote and the signature from the president is required to pass laws. The executive branch headed by the president chooses the cabinet that checks on power of judiciary and legislature. The Article of Confederation allowed the federal government to borrow and spend funds, but it had not power to raise or level taxes of any kind (Vile 55). It also had no power to control trade agreements among the states or internationally. Each state entered into its own trade agreements. Under the constitution, the government has the right to collect taxes. Congress is obligated with the task of regulating trade between states and control commerce between the states. When it came to raising an army as provided by the Articles, Congress could not draft troops as it was up to the states to contribute forces. The Constitution allows Congress to raise an army to deal with any military situation.
The U.S. Constitution resulted in giving the central government more power that allowed it to have a strong hold on running the country. It allows for the representation of all states in the government.
Spencer, Tucker C H. The Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Early American Republic 1783-1812: A Political, Social and Military History. CA: ABC-CLIO, 2014.
Vile, John R. A Companion to the United States Constitution and its Amendments. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.