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Legislative Powers

Governmental Structure

During the short period of governance under the Articles of Confederation the United States learned a valuable lesson. In order for a democratic government to function there must be a central governing body and that body must be granted a minimum amount of authority. After the Revolutionary War there was justifiable concern regarding the structure of government and, in particular, how much power would be allocated to the central government. Under the Articles the founders satisfied their fear of tyrannical government by denying the central government rudimentary authorities such as the power to raise or collect taxes, the power to coin money, and the power to provide for the common peace and defense of the nation. The weakness of the federal government became manifest in Shay's Rebellion in which the federal government proved incapable of quelling a small uprising of farmers seeking compensation for war debts.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationGreat American Court CasesLegislative Powers - Governmental Structure, Congressional Powers, Legislative Powers And The States, Legislative Powers And The President