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Articles of Confederation

congress united constitution constitutional

Articles of Confederation, first written constitutional structure for the United States, drafted in 1776–77, but ratified by 13 states only in 1781. The Articles established a weak national government based on a Congress, dependent on the states for funds and for executive functions. “Sovereignty, freedom, and independence” remained vested with the separate states, and there were no federal courts. The shortcomings of the Articles were recognized when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 abandoned them in favor of the present United States Constitution, which was ratified in 1789.

See also: Congress of the Confederation; Constitution of the United States; Continental Congress.

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