George Washington’s Influential Role in the Creation and Ratification Process of the American Constitution
Honor Code: I affirm that I have upheld the highest principles of honesty and integrity in my academic work and have not witnessed a violation of the Honor Code.
America’s first attempt at national government arose during the Revolutionary War, which lasted from 1775 until 1783. Initially, in 1775, the colonies sent representatives to the Second Continental Congress in order to present the British with their grievances and demand better treatment as British subjects. However, by mid-1776, the Second Continental Congress decided to fight for full independence, and drafted the Declaration of Independence. Then, to help achieve the goal of independence, the Second Continental Congress wrote a constitution called the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation created a national government by establishing a single legislative body called Congress, in which each state received one vote. The Articles of Confederation actually allowed each state to maintain a significant degree of sovereignty and autonomy, because they did not establish a federal judicial system or executive branch. In addition, Congress did not have the power to collect taxes, compel the states to fund the war, contribute troops, or enforce cooperation.
Once the Revolutionary War concluded, there was uncertainty as to whether the Articles could create a government with sufficient authority to govern. For instance, in 1785, the Federal Government needed to raise approximately three million dollars to pay off the interest from the national debt incurred during the war. If states refused to contribute, Congress did not have the authority to force them to contribute. In addition, the Articles of Confederation did not establish a national money system or banks. Consequently, each individual state separately had to issue legal...