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Colonial America (1492-1763)

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State Histories

A More Perfect Union--Take 1
The Articles of Confederation Are Adopted

History powered by Prof. WalterNovember 15, 1777 - How does a country become a country? When the Colonies declare their independence from Britain, they have a flag and an army. What they lack is a government.

If you are forming a new country, how would you run it?  Would there be one leader, or representatives from each state?  Would larger states have more representatives and more votes than smaller states?  The second Continental Congress debated similar issues for one year.  On November 15, 1777, the second Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  Then they need approval from the states.

Still at war with Great Britain, the colonists are not eager to establish another powerful national government. Three-and-a-half years pass before the states ratified (approved of) the Articles.

As with anyone's first try at something, the Articles of Confederation were not perfect.  While they required Congress to regulate the military, for example, they did not ensure that the states would send people to serve.

Eventually replaced by the United States Constitution of 1789, the Articles of Confederation did provide some stability during the Revolutionary War years.  Most important, they provided valuable lessons in self-governance and somewhat calmed fears about a powerful central government.
Are there changes in the government that you would like to make?

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