How did the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution alter the concept of government that had prevailed in society before their creation?

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jraineharrison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prior to the Declaration of Independence, the American colonies were separate entities under British rule. The Declaration of Independence was essentially a statement sent to the British government announcing that the American colonies wanted their independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence was signed July 4, 1776.

In the Second Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation were drafted. This was the first constitution of the United States. They had to be approved by all thirteen colonies.  This was ratified on November 15, 1777. The Articles of Confederation set up a weaker central government and a stronger state government, as is typical in a confederate political system.

Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation created several problems. In 1787, a Constitutional Convention was called. Twelve of the thirteen states sent representatives to the convention. The only state without a representative was Rhode Island. John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote The Federalist Papers in defense of the new constitution. The new constitution set up a stronger central government but also allowed for states' rights. The new constitution went into effect on March 9, 1789.  All thirteen states ratified the Constitution by May 29,1790.