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With the passage of time, weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation became apparent; Congress commanded little respect and no support from state governments anxious to maintain their power.
Congress appointed a committee, chaired by Monroe, to investigate the problem.
On February 16, 1785, the committee recommended amending the Articles of Confederation so that Congress would have power over commerce.
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A quorum of nine states had to be present for Congress to ratify the treaty, yet throughout December, scarcely that number was present.
Weeks passed, the treaty sat, and Congress remained unable to act upon it.
No chief executive could make real decisions, and no national court could settle disputes among states.
And perhaps most importantly, they could not efficiently conduct a war nor pay the debts incurred once the war was over.
(1775-1776.) On July 4, 1776, the delegates approved the Declaration of Independence, the event that marks the birth of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson, a delegate from Virginia, drafted the document primarily as a list of grievances against the king.