Today in History: The Articles of Confederation

Today in History–November 15–the Library of Congress features the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the Second Continental Congress on this day in 1777. Although Congress urged prompt action, it took more than three years for all thirteen states to ratify the articles that supported a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government. Find out more by visiting the  Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources.

Draft of the Articles of Confederation by Josiah Bartlett (June, 1776)

Draft of the Articles of Confederation by  John Dickinson  (June, 1776)

First draft of the Articles of Confederation (July 12, 1776)

Printed proposals for the Articles of Confederation by Thomas Jefferson (August 20, 1776)

Articles of Confederation (adopted November 15, 1777)

Articles of Confederation (ratified March 1, 1781)

The Articles of Confederation

Congress approves plan to revise the Articles of Confederation (February 21, 1787)

Copy of the Articles of Confederation (from Elliot’s Debates)

Vices of the Political System of the U. States by James Madison (May 7, 1787—outlines weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation)

Articles of Confederation historical newspaper coverage through 1799

Weakness of the United States Government under the Articles of Confederation by John Fiske The Atlantic Monthly Volume 57, Issue 343, May 1886

Creating the United States online exhibition

Policies and Problems of the Confederation Government learning activity

The Articles of Confederation: The First Constitution of the United States In Custodia Legis blog September 16, 2011

Related Resources