the Declaration of Independence was under consideration of The Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation


The Article of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States designed by delegates from 13 states to represent the other states not present in the meeting as asserted by Bogue, Allan and Everett (191). This essay will describe the articles of Confederation and why the delegates opted for its design that had many problems, such as different coins for different states. The other areas of importance in this essay will be the concerns leading to the formation of the Articles and the ways in which the document did not address the needs of the states as noted by Bogue, Allan and Everett (191), in their work. The key features of the US constitution, its relationship with politics, and the differences between the constitution and the Articles will form an important part of this essay. To write the essay, the researcher will use literature materials covering the required topics in all the states of America.

On 11 June 1776, the continental congress appointed a committee to prepare a form of confederation for the colonies in the US, which comprised of each member of the colonies (Chu, Jonathan and Keith 1025). This committee came up with the Articles of Confederation on 12 July 1776, and all the members were to use it under the strictest injunctions of secrecy. There was more discussion on the report by the congress until 15 November 1777, when the Articles of Confederation formed the legislature of all the United States (Chu, Jonathan and Keith 1025). On 17 November 1777, the congress drafted a circular letter recommending all the legislatures to have competent delegates, who will attend a congress on behalf of the State on the 10th day of March (Chu, Jonathan and Keith 1025). According to Chu, Jonathan and Keith (1025), various states signed the Articles of confederation on 9 July 1778, after examining, ratifying the document, and filling the blanks. The parties that signed the Articles of Confederation were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and others as Chu, Jonathan and Keith (1025) asserts in their work. According Chu, Jonathan and Keith (1025) in their journal, a circular letter was sent to the states, who were absent from the meeting on March, with the information on the members that signed the document.

According to the Articles of Confederation, every state was to retain its sovereignty, freedom, and independence without interference of any nature. The other rights the states were to retain was the jurisdiction rights, but all the states will have friendship with each other for their welfare and harmonious living as Dougherty (7) notes. All the states were free to engage in free trade and commerce and if somebody were guilty of treason, felony, or any other form of misdemeanor to the state, his home state would deal with him (Dougherty 8). According to the Articles of Federation, there was to be an annual appointment of delegates to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November every year (Dougherty 8). Each state was to send between two to seven delegates to the congress and no person should represent the state for more than three years in a term of six years according to Dougherty (9). The delegates were not to be holders of any office earning salaries, or emoluments of any kind and each needed one vote when determining the questions in the United States (Dougherty 9). No court was to impeach or question any member of delegate as pertaining to the freedom of speech or debate in the congress according to Farrand, Max, and Merrill (138). The states were not to engage in any form of war, and the US was the one to sort out any disputes regarding many issues such as soil disputes and determine the value of the coin.

Why the Delegates designed the Articles of Confederation the way they did

The delegates designed an Articles of Confederation that would create a sovereign and national government to limit the rights of the states in conducting their own diplomacy and foreign policy (Farrand, Max, & Merrill (138). The delegates did not want to allow the congress to have sufficient authority to compel the states to enforce the provisions of the 1783 that allowed British creditors to sue debtors (Farrand, Max, & Merrill 138).

The concerns that influenced the delegation to design the confederation

The time for drafting the Articles of Confederation, there was a political push to increase cooperation with the loyal colonies and the document would solve mutual local challenges of various states (A Politics of Tensions 31). The period was an era of constitution writing by various nations, in which every nation felt the need to have a written constitution. The colonies also wanted to transform themselves from outlaws into legitimate nations, which will enable them gain international recognition by the foreign allies (A Politics of Tensions 31). In those times some countries, such as the monarchies of France and Spain could not offer assistance to the nations considered as rebels against other legitimate monarchies. The Conference was also to improve the association of the colonies and demonstrate their independence, while improving their international relations as explained in ‘A Politics of Tensions (31).

The ways in which the Articles of Confederation did not address the needs of the States

The congress did not have any powers to develop a common currency or regulate inter-state and foreign commerce, which made some state fail to pay for the goods, bought abroad (Kaminski 1552). The other problem was the inability of the congress to impose taxes and could only manage to borrow money on credit (Kaminski 1552). The congress did not set any national court for the protection of the US citizens, as there was no executive to enforce the laws as asserted by Kaminski (1553). The other challenge was that it allotted only one vote for each state regardless of its population (Kaminski 1552).

The key features of the US Constitution

The constitution of United State of America formed a republican form of government instead of a democratic government since the founders thought that democracy was a mob rule (Socolofsky, Homer and Everett 698). The constitution provided a federal government, where the national and the state government share sovereign powers, but each of the government makes its laws over its citizens as asserted by Socolofsky, Homer and Everett (698). The national government, according to the constitution had delegated powers between the national government and state government. For instance, the national government has powers to declare war, support armies, print money, and operate post offices (Socolofsky, Homer E., and Everett Dick 698). The legislature is for making laws, the executive for power enforcement, and judgment for judging criminal cases.

Differences between the constitution and the Articles of Confederation

The differences between the constitution and the Articles of Federation are the name of the Articles was the United States of America, the constitution did not specify the. In the Articles, the legislature was the Unicameral called congress, while in the constitution it was bicameral, with the senate and the House of Representatives as explained by Socolofsky, Homer and Everett Dick (698) in their work. The articles allowed between two and seven members and one vote per state as asserted by Socolofsky, Homer and Everett Dick (698).

Power distribution is for both states and the national government with some checks and balances to prevent power concentration in the national government.

How division of powers affect politics in the US today

The division of powers poses a lot o challenges with the politicians, who like interfering with the government issues. The judiciary faces many challenges or its failure to allow political interference in it duties. For example, the judiciary refused to stop the recounting of votes in the 2000 presidential elections, hence challenged the reputation of not allowing politicians to interfere with their judgment (Levy, Leonard, Kenneth, & Adam (10). The court favored the republican candidate George Bush, when it stopped the recounting of votes in Florida State (‘A Politics Of Tensions 32). The president may appoint judges but the senate, which is a political branch, must approve or reject the president’s choice. The congress will also pass laws, but the president has the power of vetting them, hence politics is inseparable from the federal government.

For example, the President appoints judges and departmental secretaries. But these appointments must be approved by the Senate. The Supreme Court can rule a law to be unconstitutional, but the Congress, with the States, can amend the Constitution (‘A Politics Of Tensions 32).


The Article of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States designed by delegates from 13 states to represent the others as explained by (Kaminski 1552). According to the Articles of Confederation, every state was to retain its sovereignty, freedom, and independence without interference of any nature (Kaminski 1552 Federal government has three main branches namely the legislative, the judicial, and the executive, in which the legislative branch has two chambers namely the Senate and the House of Representative (Kaminski 1552) . The division of powers poses a lot o challenges with the politicians, who like interfering with the government issues, such as during elections.


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‘A Politics Of Tensions: The Articles Of Confederation And American Political Ideas’. Choice Reviews Online 30.04 (1992): 30-2296-30-2296. Web.

Chu, Jonathan M., and Keith L. Dougherty. ‘Collective Action Under The Articles Of Confederation’. The Journal of American History 89.3 (2002): 1025. Web.

Dougherty, Keith L. Collective Action Under The Articles Of Confederation. Print.

Farrand, Max, and Merrill Jensen. ‘The Articles Of Confederation: An Interpretation Of The Social-Constitutional History Of The American Revolution, 1774-1781’. The American Historical Review 47.1 (1941): 138. Web.

Kaminski, John P. ‘Reviews Of Books:Collective Action Under The Articles Of Confederation Keith L. Dougherty’. AM HIST REV 107.5 (2002): 1551-1552. Web.

Levy, Leonard W, Kenneth L Karst, and Adam Winkler. Encyclopedia Of The American Constitution. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. Print.

Socolofsky, Homer E., and Everett Dick. ‘The Lure Of The Land: A Social History Of The Public Lands From The Articles Of Confederation To The New Deal’. The Journal of American History 57.3 (1970): 698. Web.

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