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What if we Still Lived Under the Articles of Confederation?

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Kelsey Kaufman

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of What if we Still Lived Under the Articles of Confederation?

What if we Still Lived Under the Articles of Confederation?
Main Weaknesses:
It did not have the power to tax
It did not have the power to enforce laws
Congress lacked strong and steady leadership
There was no national army or navy
There was no system of national courts
Each state could issue its own paper money
Each state could put tariffs on trade between states. (A tariff is a tax on goods coming in from another state or country.)
No executive with power. President of U.S. merely presided over Congress

My Alternative History Timeline
Taxes and Social Security:
24% of the national government's tax revenue pays for Social Security. It secures monthly retirement benefits to roughly $1,294 to 37.9 million retired workers. Social Security also provides benefits to 2.9 million partners and children of retired workers, 6.2 million children and spouses of deceased workers, and 11 million disabled workers and their eligible dependents. Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government did not have the power to collect taxes. Therefore, we would not be able to provide this safety net service to all those who depend on it. The economy as a whole would suffer for many years and poverty among retirees would surge greatly. Current citizens in the workforce would see an immediate benefit, through a 6.2 percent increase in income. This is because the tax that funds Social Security would disappear.
Effect on Taxes and Social Security
Ramifications on the Executive Branch
The executive branch is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. As the chief executive he appoints his cabinet members, signs and vetoes bills, makes treaties, and appoints Supreme Court Justices. He also serves as the Commander-in-Chief for the military. In the Articles of Confederation, there was no true executive branch. The president merely presided over congress. If there was no executive branch, our country would be completely chaotic. All of the characteristics and responsibilities of the president would be nonexistent and the people of the United States would be corrupt. There would be nobody to oversee the citizens' actions. Additionally, our country would be severely unprotected. There would be nobody to appoint ambassadors and make treaties, in addition to the fact that there was no military under the Articles.
If we did not have a national court system, the country would be in total chaos. People would go about their lives in a way that was only beneficial to themselves. Therefore, all of society would suffer for it. If something were to happen to a family member, there would be no justice.
No Court System
Without a military, life would essentially be feudalism and a gradual decline of society back to the dark ages. The power of the US military has secured our freedom since the origination of our nation, and the world's safety for over a century. It is key to remember that the absence of a military does not result in the absence of war. Indeed, there is a surplus of proof to support this plead of an opposite affirmation. Because our military is present, many wars have not occurred, such as a second war of independence to the cold war never heating up. Our whole way of life, including the strength of our economy is ultimately based upon our military.

Some specific changes in the history of our country may include the following:
Russia may have taken over Georgia, and potentially most of the other countries that were once considered part of the USSR and Warsaw Pact.
Iran could have installed a puppet regime in Iraq and Syria would probably take over Lebanon.
North Korea may have invaded and conquered South Korea.

Life Without a Military
The Articles of Confederation was an extremely weak government system. If it was still in use to this date, life would be negatively affected due to the many unfavorable aspects and government procedures we would have to live and abide by.
By Kelsey Kaufman
pd. 3
Effect on Executive and Judicial Branch
Effect on Military
Full transcript