The struggle between the government and the states
has been happening ever since both existed,
even between states themselves.
And this goes back to revolutionary times,
when the fastest way to travel was by horse.
It made sense when people cared little about
the opinions of somebody hundreds of miles away.
This crafted culture of self-determination
was in each colony.
Each of the thirteen colonies
had its own government, culture, and laws.
The British crown cared so little for centuries,
colonies saw ruling themselves as the only way.
The concerns of their neighbors didn’t really matter.
It took the threat of losing that self-determination,
the British interfering which forced them to band together.
A war really to maintain the status quo,
not the US to be a nation to rule itself,
but for the states to continue doing their own thing,
with limited interference from
both outsiders and each other.
And this was deeply reflected
in the first constitution crafted:
the Articles of Confederation,
a system that imagined the United States.
Not as a single large nation,
but as a friendly alliance.
Sounds nice huh, the federal government had no authority,
no way to collect taxes, and everything fell apart quickly,
so it had to be scrapped,
eventually leading to the Constitution
we know and love to take its place.
But, failure or not
this was the original blueprint for the US,
thirteen loosely friendly States doing their own thing.
What if it didn’t fail?
No matter how unrealistic,
the young US just kept the Articles of Confederation,
never ratifying the Constitution.
How much could that possibly change the course of the nation?
What might happen in this possible alternate scenario?
For context, what did the Articles of Confederation actually do?
“The said States hereby severally
enter into a firm league of friendship
with each other, for their common defense,
the security of their liberties,
and their mutual and general welfare.”
This was what the articles were meant for,
it purposely designed itself to have
as little influence as possible over the 13 states.
The idea of the states to be united,
was for protection from the outside
as a fence pact, to ban together
since each state was too small to fight for themselves.
The federal government was
only 13 congressmen, that was it no court, no president
every law and implementation
had to be ratified by all 13 colonies unanimously.
And even when they did agree,
Congress couldn’t enforce legislation,
they had no power to tax,
which made sense at the time after, fighting over taxes,
so they had to ask the states for money,
but the states never contributed.
The states could determine their own trade policy
but it wasn’t like it mattered much
since pirates kept attacking those shipping routes.
The economy plummeted, shipping was at risk,
rebellions sprang up.
The United States was merely a suggestion,
with a broke government who had limited power,
barely holding together thirteen divided regions.
It couldn’t enforce anything.
In our timeline, this rapid downward spiral
forced a radical change.
But what could have happened
if in an alternate timeline?
The United States didn’t go down that path,
no matter how unrealistic.
In this alternate 1790s,
the United States is in desperate shape.
There needs to be a change.
But how do you amend the Articles?
Well, you can’t.
The Articles required all thirteen states to agree on an issue,
making compromise was practically impossible.
So without choosing a different constitution,
the US is stuck to continue down an unstable path.
If it kept doing this,
the whole idea of United Confederacy becomes pretty unpopular.
As a whole new generation grows up,
the Confederacy with political instability loses its appeal.
Independence from Britain was good,
but unity was a bit too much of a fable dream.
The American Revolution might
just become seen as a fluke,
when the states had to work together,
like the world fighting against aliens.
The best comparison is Gran Colombia,
born from the Latin American revolutions,
much like his American counterpart,
it was envisioned by Simone Bolivar,
much like how the founders saw the United States.
However, after only a decade, the divisions
between the different regions were too much,
and it split into three different countries.
The US could easily follow the same path.
Had the articles continued,
if unrealistically nobody did anything,
congress gradually loses more influence.
The states compete amongst themselves
and begin to do their own policies,
entirely ignoring federal power.
Patriotism of the war
fades as states go off to rule themselves,
becoming basically tiny nations.
The nations would have a lot to compete over:
trading routes, manufacturing,
most importantly, lots of unexplored land,
when they happen to all have claims to.
大点的州 比如纽约 弗吉尼亚州 人口众多
Big states like New York and Virginia with a higher population,
他们很容易就相信 他们更小的邻居 像马里兰和新泽西
can easily believe their smaller neighbors like Maryland or New Jersey,
growing themselves even further.
在这个环境下 面积较小的州不得不联合起来 争夺资源
Smaller states might have to band together to compete in this environment.
It’s not crazy in imagining it could happen.
In our timeline, New Hampshire once threatened war against New York,
and Ohio and Michigan fought over land,
militias could be sent to fight skirmishes over land prospects.
Instead of the United States moving as a single entity out west,
it could just be a race between states,
as they just expand their borders horizontally further.
Each state with a complex web of alliances with other states,
and maybe even foreign European powers.
It’s really just a powder keg waiting to happen.
Europe has a far greater role in the new world without the Monroe Doctrine.
And Europe could even have influenced within the North American states themselves,
creating alliances with separate nations.
This may seem unrealistic, and it might be.
The point of this video is really that it’s not likely at all.
The articles ever would have been kept.
They were such a weakening force that
it harmed the young country at a crucial time.
Had it continued, there is only one thing
that would have came from it: complete, collapse.
The nation couldn’t regulate its own taxes,
条约 贸易 财政或是军事
it’s own treaties, trade, money or military.
It was if anything, setting up for this type of scenario,
where the states only look out for themselves and themselves only.
-Excuse me Cody, that was some interesting context
but I think this topic is a bit too fascinating to just summarize in a few minutes.
Then just because I barge it in your video,
it doesn’t mean you can.
啊 科迪 科迪 科迪 嘘安静一点 科迪 安静一点 科迪
-Ah, Cody, Cody, Cody Shh Cody shhhh Cody
Just like the tough luck that was the legacy of the articles,
which is exactly what my channel, extra credits
just covered in our four-part series on the Articles of Confederation.
and extensive overview of their history.
哦 你知道 我会走的
-Oh, well you know, I might check that out.
-You should. Anyway,
I’m gonna go back to my channel now.
Thanks for letting me just waltz onto your channel
and interrupt your nice little recording session.
So this is how that feels.