February 3, 1787
Dear Members of Congress,
I ,George Washington, am writing this letter to inform you that the Articles of Confederation are not working. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress has no control over America, America has no money, and each state has a different currency. No one agrees with the Articles of Confederation, therefore people are starting to rebel! I want to convince you to change our government by stating the problems the Articles of Confederation have caused and some solutions. Please read carefully.
Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress has no control and power over America. Each state is free to do what they want, and technically have their own government and set of laws. An example of this is that Congress cannot collect the taxes they need to support itself and America. Therefore, America does not have the money it needs. For instance, Congress cannot even pass laws, or enforce them! Congress needs nine out of thirteen votes to create a law, therefore can hardly create laws. People may break the law, and get away with it because there is no court system or group of people to enforce laws. But a solution to these problems is that we can create a law passing and enforcing group of people, or court system and collect taxes once a month from each state.
Under the Articles of Confederation, America has no money, and each state has a different currency. We have no money because we cannot collect taxes, stated earlier in this letter. Each state has a different currency, therefore making trade between states very difficult. Farmers and traders only want their own state’s currency, not another state’s, because it would be worthless in their own state. Since we have no money, we cannot pay debts to soldiers and veterans who risked their lives in the war, for our freedom, therefore we must pay them. Also, we cannot repay foreign countries who gave us money, weapons, and soldiers to help us fight for our freedom against Britain. Another big problem is that we cannot even support Congress, or build road systems and American flags without money. We cannot start running our nation without being able to collect taxes.
Under the Articles of Confederation, we are being unfair to our citizens, therefore they are rebelling. Farmers that cannot pay the high taxes, who owe Congress money, and do not have it, are being unrightfully thrown in jail. The rebellions are going to get stronger, bigger and a whole lot worse if we continue under the Articles of Confederation. Look at Daniel Shays’ rebellion of angry farmers, it might have been a small rebellion that failed, but it was a sign of what our citizens are capable of. This could unfortunately create a whole new American Revolution, if these rebellions continue. After fighting so hard in the first place, no citizen will want to go through that again, but they will if the Articles of Confederation get out of control. Since citizens and farmers are rebelling, we are a broken and not united country. We cannot pass laws together and create peace for our posterity. When we try to set up trade agreements, other countries laugh at us and ask us if we represent one nation or thirteen. But if we form a better way of government and more laws that are fair to citizens, we will form one nation together in peace, and will be able to make trade with Europe.
If we don’t change our way of government soon, this nation will fall and break and soon America won’t be one nation, but a little gathering of thirteen. Trade will be almost impossible, and countries won’t want to trade with such a broken, poor, rebellious country. America will be vulnerable to attack. But, if we change our way of government, we will be a strong, united, and peaceful country that Europe will be eager to trade with. Please take this letter into consideration.
General George Washington
Created by Terry Hongell, Pocantico Hills School, November, 2010