The central failure of the Congress was related to its limited fiscal power. Because it could not impose taxes on the states, the national government's authority and effectiveness was severely limited. Given this major encumbrance, the accomplishments of the Congress were quite impressive. First of all, it raised the Continental Army, kept it in the field, and managed to finance the war effort.
Diplomatic efforts helped the war effort too. Military and financial support from France secured by Congress helped the Americans immeasurably. The diplomatic success of the treaty of alliance with France in 1778 was unquestionably a major turning point in the war. Similarly, the success of Congress' diplomatic envoys to the peace treaty ending the war also secured major — and largely unexpected — concessions from the British in 1783. The treaty won Americans' fishing rights in rich Atlantic waters that the British navy could have controlled. Most importantly, Britain granted all its western lands south of the Great Lakes to the new United States.
While granted the western lands from the British, actual ownership of this land and how to best settle it was enormously controversial. Although states had ceded their own claim to western land to the national government as part of their ratification of the Articles of Confederation, this threatened to reemerge as a postwar problem. Many Americans had ignored legal restrictions on western settlement and simply struck out for new land that they claimed as their own by right of occupation. How could a national Congress with limited financial resources and no coercive power deal with this complex problem?
The Congressional solution was a remarkable act of statesmanship that tackled several problems and did so in a fair manner. The Congress succeeded in asserting its ownership of the western lands and used the profits from their sale to pay the enormous expenses associated with settlement (construction of roads, military protection, etc.). Second, the Congress established a process for future states in this new area to join the Confederation on terms fully equal to the original thirteen members. The new states would be sovereign香蕉成人视频app and not suffer secondary colonial status.
The actual process by which Congress took control of the area of western lands north of the Ohio River indicated some of its most impressive actions. Three laws regarding the settlement of this Northwest Territory established an admission policy to the United States based on population, organized the settlement of the territory on an orderly rectangular grid pattern that helped make legal title香蕉成人视频app more secure, and prohibited the expansion of slavery to this large region which would eventually include the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The resolution of a potentially crisis-filled western land policy was perhaps the most outstanding accomplishment of the first national government. A political process for adding new states as equals was created. A partial solution to the national revenue crisis was found. Together these policies fashioned a mechanism for the United States to be a dynamic and expanding society. Most remarkably of all, Congressional western policy put into practice some of the highest Revolutionary ideals that often went unheeded. By forbidding slavery in the Northwest as an inappropriate institution for the future of the United States, the Congress' achievements should be considered quite honorable. At the same time, however, there were people whose rights were infringed upon by this same western policy. The control of land settlement by the central government favored wealthy large-scale land developers over small-scale family farmers of ordinary means. Furthermore, Native Americans' claim to a western region still largely unsettled by whites was largely ignored.
香蕉成人视频appLike the contradictory elements of the Revolution, the record of first national government includes achievements and failures, and these two qualities often could be found intertwined within the very same issue.