The Articles of Confederation

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What form of government in the United States was established by the Articles of Confederation?

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As the name suggests, the Articles of Confederation established a confederation, a loose organization of mostly independent states with a very limited central authority. The Articles themselves described the government as a "firm league of friendship," and while this might be a slight understatement--the new government did have the power to conduct foreign relations and other features of a sovereign government, but it had little coercive powers over the state. It also lacked an executive to enforce its laws. The laws themselves were passed by a unicameral Congress in which each state's delegation had a single vote. In order for a law to pass, nine of the thirteen states had to agree to it, and a unanimous vote in Congress was required for ratifying any amendments. In short, the Articles were quite limited in scope and power, and this caused considerable difficulty, especially in attempting to service the nation's ballooning war debts. These problems led to the writing and adoption of a new Constitution in 1787-1789. 

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