The Constitution of the United States consists of seven original articles, twenty-seven
amendments, and a paragraph certifying its enactment by the constitutional convention. A weak
central government was formed by the thirteen states under the Articles of Confederation after
the Revolutionary War. The government lacked any power to impose taxes and had no method
of enforcing payment. The government was also unable to control commerce between the
states, which lead to a series of conflicting tax laws and tariffs between the states. Article four
section two of the Constitution deals with the obligation of the states.
The Articles of Confederation also required unanimous consent from all the states before
any changes could take effect. States took it so lightly that their representatives were often
absent, and the national legislature was very frequently blocked from doing anything (Beard
As a result of these problems, a convention was called due to a border dispute between
Virginia and Maryland, to look into the possibility of amending the articles and strengthening
the federal government. The original Constitution included only amendments to the articles, but
the committee ignored its limitations. The convention met in Philadelphia, during the summer
of 1787, and decided to draft a new fundamental government design, which eventually
predetermined that only nine of the thirteen states would have to sign for the new government
to go into effect (Beard 91). The paralysis of the Articles of Confederation government was
evident and it agreed to submit the proposal to the states despite the exceeded terms of
reference. On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was completed in Philadelphia, and the
new government that was prescribed came into existence on March 4, 1789, after many
arguments over ratification in many of the states (92).
The United States Constitution consisted of seven...