A Peek into History: The Articles of Confederation

Before the United States Constitution was breathed into life, America had another founding document that we tried to live under, The Articles of Confederation.

On July 9th, 1778 The Articles of Confederation were completed and ready to be signed. The Articles were drafted by the Second Continental Congress.


The first delegates to sign were from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina. Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey and North Carolina did so over the next 2 years.

What is a Confederation? Simple put it is a group of individuals (people or groups) who pledge themselves to working with other individuals. In the sense we are talking about today we are speaking of the individual sovereign States, the same sovereign states as the Constitution.

This Confederation provided for a league of friendship and cooperation among the states. The individual states remained sovereign and controlled what happened within their respective boundaries and had little more than a voice to comment on the operations of their fellow members of the confederation.

This new quasi government structure had the power to declare war, create treaties, establish an army and navy, regulate the value of money, deal with the Indians and settle disputes between states regarding land claims. 

So why was the Constitution needed?
The problem with the government established by the Articles of Confederation was the new government was not provided with any funding nor did it establish an easy method to amend. It all boiled down to money and legal loop holes. It was easier to “start over” than try to right the Confederation.

Just think, we could have been known as the Confederated States of America.

History needs you!
Help pass along our history, become active in your local Historical and Genealogy Societies.

The William Prince Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, right here in Princeton would be happy to help you get involved.

History does not repeat itself, but it most assuredly rhymes!

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Father, retired Firefighter

American History, no such thing as a single cause
American History, no such thing as a single cause

History is a muddy mess! If someone tells you ANY event in history happened due to one thing or issue, RUN! They are an idiot! Example 1:American Revolution. What caused it? Taxes, representation, military over reach, distance, King George? All good answers but there are hundreds more! Example 2: "Civil War" was all about slavery. Lincoln called for the invasion in 1861 yet he created West Virginia in 1863 as a NEW UNION SLAVE STATE. Many more examples are out there...

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