A Limited Federal Government By caroline naylor

The British weren’t treating the colonists equally; they taxed things without asking the states for their input. The British forced the colonists to house their troops, the colonists didn’t even have their own official military. The colonists couldn’t even trade with other countries, the british did all of the trading for them. And they made ridiculous laws that upset the colonists; which they couldn’t stop, because they didn’t have a say. Once the Revolutionary War had ended they realized they needed a government, so the Articles of Confederation were written. Their purpose was to make it so that the states had more power than the federal government; so incase someone was elected into the presidency that was similar to king George III they wouldn’t have to much power. Everyone could have a say in what was going to happen. The founders wanted to limit the federal government for many reasons.

One reason the founders wanted a limited federal government was so that they wouldn’t have control over the military. First, the federal government couldn’t create militias, or anything military related, they relied on the states. Also the states were the only ones that could create militias. Finally, if the government needed men for some reason, they would have to ask the states, but the states didn’t actually have to give the federal government any men. But, the only thing that the government could do, involving the military, was that they were able to appoint military officers. The founders wanted to limit the federal government’s control of the military because the king forced troops to live with the colonists.

Not wanting the federal government to have control over money and taxes is another reason the founders wanted a limited federal government. First, the government had a disadvantage while the states had an advantage; all costs - war, general welfare, common defense - is paid by the treasury, which is supplied by the states. But, the government could make money. Also, the states had the advantage, for they could tax their citizens, which the government couldn’t do. Since the federal government couldn’t tax people, they had to ask the states for money. The reason the founders wanted to limit money is because the king had taxed things without asking any of the colonists; taxation without representation.

The final reason that the founders wanted a limited federal government, is because they didn’t want the federal government to have full control over the laws. First, each state in congress gets one vote so each state has a voice in the federal government. Also, if it isn’t a law yet, it’s a bill, then nine or more out of the thirteen states have to agree to turn the bill into a law. Finally,in order to change a law that already exists, then all of the states had to approve the change. The reasons the founders wanted this limitation on laws is because the king passed several laws called the Coercive Acts, and what the colonists called the Intolerable Acts.

For many reason the founders of our country wanted a limited federal government. And although they were headed in the right direction some changes needed to be made; a few years later they would replace the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution. Things like laws, money and taxes, and military are some things that the founders didn’t want the federal government to have full control over.


Marsh, Carole. Common core lessons & activities: Declaration of Independence. Peachtree City, GA: Gallopade International, 2013. Print.

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