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011 - Articles of Confederation

The First Governing Document of the United States of America

Tavish Whiting

on 13 July 2014

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Transcript of 011 - Articles of Confederation

Foundation of Articles
The Articles of Confederation
Reason for Articles #1
In order to be
considered a separate and sovereign power in the community of nations
, it was necessary for the states to create a unifying national government. In this way, the states could speak as one voice when interacting with other nations.
Reason for Articles #2
A unifying document was needed to tie the states together as one country
. Separately, these new states were small and weak. Together, the Founding Fathers believed that they could tackle problems such as defence, commerce, expansion and international relations.
Creation of Articles
On June 12, 1776, after a committee was choosen to draft a Declaration of Independence, a committee to draft a constitution for the United States was created with one member from each state on the committee. The chairman was John Dickinson of Pennsylvania.

The goal of the committee was to create a "league of friendship:" independent states with a weak central government.

The Articles were finally approved on March 1, 1781. It required unanimous approval of the states.
States of the Confederation
There were 13 states in the new United States. They were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
The Congress of the United States represented the states. Each state could send between 2-7 members, but each state was entitled to only
one vote in the unicameral legislature

head of Congress was given the title of "President of the United States."
The First "President" was John Hanson of Maryland
Each state was considered to be sovereign
. The Untied States, according to the Articles, was a league of friendship that allowed for friendly intercourse between states, the freedom of movement for the inhabitants, and assurances of equal treatment of citizens within states.
Under the Articles, the Congress had limited lawmaking abilities and very few were passed.
It required 3/4 of the states to approve a law. Even so, states were not obligated to follow these laws because of a lack of enforcement powers from the Congress
. The most notable law passed during this time was the Northwest Ordinance.
First President of the United States
(Not Chief Executive)
John Hanson of Maryland
of the
Full transcript