Why did the Articles of Confederation fail?
There were several reasons why the government created by the Articles of Confederation failed. This plan of government was designed to create a weak federal government. This caused many problems.
There were financial problems. Because the federal government did not have the power to tax, it had trouble raising money. As a result, the US had difficulty repaying its debts. When too much paper money was printed, inflation occurred.
The US also had difficulty dealing with the aggressive actions of other countries toward it. Great Britain would not leave the western lands. Additionally, countries such as Spain and Great Britain interfered with trade. Since the government could not force people to join the military, the military was very small. With little money available for supplies, the military was poorly equipped. As a result, the US was in no position to fight against these countries that were causing problems for it.
The government created by the Articles of Confederation had other issues. Because there were no federal courts, the states had no place where they could resolve disputes. Additionally, it took nine of the thirteen states to pass a law and thirteen of the thirteen states to change the Articles of Confederation. Finally, Shays’ Rebellion showed that, at times, the federal government had trouble keeping order.
Eventually, a decision was made to attempt to write a new plan of government. The Constitution was eventually created and adopted.
They failed because they did not manage to convince the elites of society that their interests would be protected by the sorts of governments that sprang up under the Articles.
During the time that the US was under the Articles, there were various kinds of economic problems. The state governments’ responses to the problems (spurred by the demands of the common people who were being hurt most by the problems) hurt the interests of the elites. They also convinced the elites that the nation would not be able to prosper economically under the sorts of governments that would take those steps.
So, the Articles failed because the elites who took the most interest in government felt that the governments were acting in ways that were bad for a) the interests of the elites and b) the long-term interests of the country as a whole.