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Description de l’éditeur

Even as the young United States successfully secured its independence, the new nation was beset by problems. The drafters of the Articles of Confederation had deliberately avoided giving the national legislature the power to tax, because Parliament had so abused that authority against the colonies, but this proved to be a severe limitation on the national government. Besides hampering the Continental Army, the inability of the national government to raise revenue made foreign policy difficult. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress was also completely unable to pay any of the debts it incurred to foreign powers during the Revolutionary War. Though allied powers had lent to the American government on favorable terms and no repayment was expected until the end of hostilities, the hope of ever paying national debts without a national government that could tax was slim. In particular, the prospect of the new nation defaulting on its loans from France led to the end of the Articles of Confederation. To top it all off, the Articles of Confederation also had no judiciary or executive branch. Therefore, laws passed by the Congress could not be enforced by the national government: the enforcement of laws was left to the mercy of the states. Likewise, there was no national judiciary to decide disputes over national law.

The series of riots known collectively as Shays’ Rebellion began during the earliest years of American independence and were led by men who were, by their very nature, rebels. Unlike most countries in the world, 18th century America was made up of people who believed in change, and who were willing to leave their homelands and strike out for the unknown to find it. The men who had just years earlier participated in the American Revolution were not afraid to break down a government they did not like; indeed, many of them reveled in it.

Scott Clem
h min
15 mars
Charles River Editors