The Road to the Constitution: The Articles of Confederation

After the American Revolution, the new nation was in need of a form of government. Fearful that a strong central government would become as tyrannical as Great Britain had been, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777 (but it is important to note that the ratification of the Articles by all 13 states did not occur until March 1, 1781).

The Articles of Confederation created strong state governments with the states having numerous powers and a weak central government with limited powers.

The need for a strong federal government was made apparent after a series of events, which will later be described, and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. On March 4, 1789, the present United States Constitution replaced the failed Articles of Confederation.


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