After winning their independence in 1781, the Continental Congress established the Articles of Confederation. These articles stated that each colony was to act as an independent state, and that each state had the right to pass laws within their territories. These articles established a weak central government to oversee interactions between the states.
This central government had very little authority. It could not pass taxes, and it could not raise an army to defend the new nation. As a result, the nation amassed massive amounts of debt which it could not pay off.
The opportunities of man are limited only by his imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer.
Charles F. Kettering
In the great fire of London in 1666 half of London was burnt down but only 6 people were injured.