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The Articles of the Confederation is considered the first constitution of the United States. It established the Union and was created during the Revolutionary War. The Articles of the Confederation was drafted in 1777 by the Continental Congress. The same Continental Congress also passed the Declaration of Independence. The articles established cooperation between the 13 states. The government that the articles established was in favor of the states having their own power. They were afraid of having a strong central government. There was no federal government like we are used to that consists of judicial, legislative, and executive branches.
Under the Articles each of the states retained their "sovereignty, freedom and independence."
The articles went into effect on March 1, 1781 when all 13 states signed the document.
The government that emerged through the Articles was one where state power was maximized. The autonomy of the states and the ability to not have any oversight or check from the federal government helped to create a "loose confederation of states" where a lack of central authority was present. This, in its own right, presented its own set of challenges. The inability to collect taxes helped to drive up issues of debt. The lack of a federal military helped to make the nation susceptible to foreign threat and the inability to enforce foreign treaties helped undermine the global power of the new nation.
The Articles of Confederation, were in reality the first constitution of the United States of America and it legally established the union of the states the articles established a "firm league of friendship" between and among the 13 states.
The Articles reflect the cautious approach by the states of a central government. Afraid that their individual needs would be ignored by a national government with too much power, and the abuses that often result from such power, the Articles purposely established a "constitution" that vested the largest share of power to the individual states.
Under the Articles each of the states retained their "sovereignty, freedom and independence." Instead of setting up executive and judicial branches of government, there was a committee of delegates composed of representatives from each state. These individuals comprised the Congress, a national legislature called for by the Articles.
The Congress was responsible for conducting foreign affairs, declaring war or peace, maintaining an army and navy and a variety of other lesser functions.
During those years in which the 13 states were struggling to achieve their independent status, the Articles of Confederation stood them in good stead.
The Articles of Confederation created a confederation in the United States. A confederation is a government in which the state government, not national, have dominant power. The leaders of the new nation feared that a strong, centralized government would lead to tyrannical monarchy like the British government. So the Founding Fathers established a confedereation where there was no president nor Supreme court, and a Congress wiht limited power. But the existence of a weak congress led to an ineffective national government. The Congress lacked power to enforce taxes on states, and thus had difficulty in maintaining an army and navy, and couldn't regulate commerce.
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