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The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation were passed by the Continental Congress in 1777, but were not ratified by the states until 1781. This first governing document of America put the new country in good stead, but it had some shortcomings, including the creation of a weak central government. It was replaced by the U.S. Constitution in 1789.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Applewood Books
(first published November 15th 1777)
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Articles of Confederation, penned by Benjamin Franklin, was the prototype for the United States Constitution, and served as an infrastructure for the activities of the nation following the end of the War of Independence. As a prototype, the Articles were brilliant, but could not unify the fragmented states into a single nation as Franklin and the other founding fathers had hoped, and they eventually worked to provide a more suitable replacement, that was consummated in the Constitution of the Un ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Jackson Cyril rated it it was amazing
In school we are all told that the Articles of Confederation failed because they failed to establish a strong central government, placing too much power in the hands of the states. We are never told how this was so; how was it that the men of 1778, many of whom possessed great political skill and brilliance, failed to anticipate the failure of a state whose central authority possessed very little power? I contend that the AoC was too vague (did not specify the rules of taxation, the role of the ...more
I read this as background preparation for a read-along for the Federalist Papers. Short, sweet, to the point, and clearly written, even for non-lawyers. Should be required reading for all American citizens and students of American history.
Contains absolutely none of the brilliance that the Founders placed into the Constitution they would ratify but six years up the road. I think that the Founders were so hardened by the War for Independence and the strains of excessive, unrepresentative taxation and big government alienated from the people that they wrote an entire ode to states' rights that proved inefficient in the end because it failed to balance power effectively. It would take a rebellion of Massachusetts farmers led by Dani ...more
Ipso loquitur. Of note: provision was made for Canada to join if it so chose -- all other new states by a vote of 9 states -- very little power for the federal government to do anything -- mostly concentrated on military rights of US and states -- eg. states could raise an army immediately if invaded or threatened, otherwise Congress would decide first; states would have supplies and be ready to raise a militia; states could maintain a naval force if "infested by pirates." -- the judicial proces ...more
A first draft, if you will, of what would eventually morph into the Constitution of the United States, this document can at times be a bit difficult to read. It's got its fair share of dense legal jargon but it is blissfully short. It is also interesting to see some of the articles that were heavily changed in the Constitution such as the number of congressmen per state and the open invitation to Canada.