Articles of Confederation


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Articles of Confederation

pl n
(Historical Terms) the agreement made by the original 13 states in 1777 establishing a confederacy to be known as the United States of America; replaced by the Constitution of 1788

Articles of Confederation

The constitution which created the United States of America by a meeting of Congress in 1777. Effective 1781.
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Noun1.Articles of Confederation - a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original statesArticles of Confederation - a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
References in classic literature ?
That committee reported on the twelfth of July, eight days after the Declaration of Independence had been issued, a draft of articles of confederation between the colonies.
There was thus no congeniality of principle between the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
Where, then, did each State get the sovereignty, freedom, and independence, which the Articles of Confederation declare it retains?
In the Articles of Confederation, this order of agency is inverted.
The incompetency of the Articles of Confederation for the management of the affairs of the Union at home and abroad was demonstrated to them by the painful and mortifying experience of every day.
At his residence at Mount Vernon, in March, 1785, the first idea was started of a revisal of the Articles of Confederation, by the organization, of means differing from that of a compact between the State Legislatures and their own delegates in Congress.
But they had the Articles of Confederation before them, and they saw and felt the wretched condition into which they had brought the whole people, and that the Union itself was in the agonies of death.
It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778.
Under the Articles of Confederation -- as in the EU today -- all politics was truly local.
Indeed, the text of the Articles of Confederation suggested a broad treaty power--one that extended beyond the obviously limited reach of the Continental Congress's legislative power and touched matters ordinarily within the purview of the states.
But, no intention was demonstrated for the States to surrender in any degree the jurisdiction so possessed by the States at that time, and indeed the Constitution as finally drafted continued the same territorial jurisdiction of the States as existed under the Articles of Confederation.
For example, a different reading of Adam Smith might point us back further in time to the Articles of Confederation, as I have argued above.