Under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the United States became a strong, independent country, however, before the implementation of the Constitution, the government was weak under the rule of the Articles of the Confederation. The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States. It created a loose confederation of sovereign states, with a weak central government. It was not long before government leaders realized that a weak central government would not be good enough to build a strong nation that they had fought for through the American Revolution.
There were many problems with the Articles of Confederation, which seems to have been evident with the amount of time it took for all thirteen states to ratify the document. The document emerged from congress in 1777 but would not be ratified by all thirteen states until 1781. Under the Articles of Confederation there was no national power of taxation, no standard currency and, the government was severely limited when it came to the affairs of states.
Congress could request taxes, for example, from states, but there was no guarantee that states would adhere to the request. This lack of power, and the flaws within the Articles of Confederation ultimately led to the documents ineffectiveness.
By 1786, plans to revise the Articles of Confederation were in motion. Most of these plans revolved around George Washington. Continental Congress delegate, John Jay wrote to Washington, asking Washington to consider holding a convention to revise the articles of Confederation. It was James Madison, however, who sketched plans for a new federal government.
Madison pushed for proportional representation, and a national legislative veto over state laws, among many other proposals.
The Annapolis Meeting was held in September of 1786. This meeting was a meeting of delegates from only five states. This meeting was held to discuss barriers to trade, under the Articles of Confederation. This meeting failed, mostly due to lack of support of the other colonies, but it led to many delegates, including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to push forward with recommendations to address the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. The Annapolis convention was one of many conventions and meetings that pushed for changes to the Articles of Confederation. In 1787, another convention was held, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the East Room of the Pennsylvania State House, which became known as Independence Hall. This convention, the Federal Constitutional Convention, was a meeting of delegates. At this convention, George Washington was elected president of the convention. This convention was one of the main stepping stones to the implementation of the new United States Constitution. Under the new, stronger constitution, Congress had the right to levy taxes on individuals, regardless of state power.