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Decentralization under Articles of Confederation

The constitution adressed the problems of decentralization powers under the Articles of Confederation. Three problems that existest were no national currency, unicameral legislature, and cogress had no ability to tax. The tension between decentralized and centralized power are argued to still exist through environmental policy, gun control, and disability access.

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These tensions are illustrated in deforestation, no “national police” to control firearm distribution, and the Americans with DIsabilities Act. One major problem of decentralized powers under the Articles of Confederation is that there was no national currency.

Each state had a different type of currency that could only be used in that state. For example, money in maryland could not be used in virginia and sometimes even had a different value. The Constitution created a national standard and a National Bank to solve this problem. Another problem of decentralized powers is that the Aticles of Confederation had a unicameral legislature, which meant no power check. The three branches of government could not hold any sort of power over the other so it opporated more like three separate functions rather than one government for the people.

The newly created bicameral legislature took care of this problem in the Constitution. A third problem was that congress had no ability to tax. After the Constitution was passed, congress could tax and therefore could have money to fund things like job creation and war. There are ongoing tensions between state governments and the federal government when it comes to power and its control over citizens. An environmental policy example is that some states find it more difficult to abide by federal guidelines for deforestation because they have big populations that are growing even larger.

A gun control example is that since there is no “national police” to control the distribution of firearms (both legal and illegal) it will have to be handled by the state police which costs states money. State buildings and private buildings are required to be built to accommodate people with disabilities because these people are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since their civil rights can not be violated, they have to have equal access. This, again, costs states money to bring buildings, streets, etc, up to standard.

In central governments the national government has a national policy, in decentralized government states have to meet the guidelines created by the law or face fines/removal of federal funds. The Constitutions was an attempt to address the problems of decentralized goverment which were no national currency, unicameral legislature, and cogress had no ability to tax. The tensions between decentralized and centralized power are still agrued to exist today in environmental policy (deforestation), gun control (no “national police” for firearm distrabution), and disability access (Americans with Disabilities Act).