Isis Sneed 2B- Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation was the first form of government after the American Revolution. It was first ratified in 1781, adopted in 1777, and finally replaced in 1789 with the US Constitution. The purpose of the Articles of Confederation were to create a formal, limited authority for the wartime central government. It was a practical compromise born of necessity in the American Revolution and it was in effect until replaced by a new constitution. The Articles were a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak, central government, leaving most power to states.
On paper, Congress had the power to regulate foreign affairs, war, postal services, to appoint military officers, control Indian affairs, borrow money, determine the value of coin, and issue bills of credit. However, the Articles gave Congress no power to enforce its requests to the states for money or troops and by the end of 1786, the governmental effectiveness had broken down. The Articles of Confederation lacked essential powers, such as those over taxation and interstate commerce and was unable to pay debts and could not enforce laws or judicial decisions. Most decisions required consent of 9 states and could only be amended with consent from all states.


Van Cleve, George. "Articles of Confederation." Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Ed. Paul Finkelman. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. 175-178. U.S. History in Context. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

"Articles of Confederation." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 21 Sep. 2015. <>.

"The Articles of Confederation." Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.