- from Constitution
What if there was no such thing as a president of the country? What if the government had no money to pay soldiers? What if every state had a different kind of money and you had to change money when you crossed a state border?
All of this was true during the country’s first years. The 13 states had loose ties under a document called the Articles of Confederation, but, in general, each state did as it pleased. There was a Congress, where each state had one vote. But there was no president to enforce decisions made by Congress. And there were no national courts. Congress could ask the states for money to pay national debts, but it could not force the states to pay. And many states did not pay.
By 1787, many leaders feared that the new country would fall apart without a stronger central government. They called for a meeting of delegates from all of the states. The goal was to make changes in the Articles of Confederation, but once the delegates had gathered, they realized that a bigger change was needed. They wrote a brand-new document called the Constitution. It’s the supreme law of the land.