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Articles of Confederation

Introduction: With the introduction of the Declaration of Independence, the continental congress recognized the need to establish guideline for a new government. Congress’s overriding concern to insure that the government was not as strong as centralized body similar to the British Parliament. With that in mind, the Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted, providing the structure for governing the new nation. Unfortunately, the limitations of the Articles of Confederation became readily apparent soon after their implementation.

Amendments:

Article 1: The new nation will be called “The United States of America”

Article 2: All states are independent from one another. The states government will retain all the power that are not specifically given to the national Congress.

Article 3: The states agree to maintain a friendly relationship. They will defend one another in times of trouble and protect their shared Liberties and mutual welfare.

Article 4: To maintain friendly relationships among all states, all free inhabitants can move among states and conduct business therein without extra taxes. If fugitives from one state are living in another state, they should be sent back to face prosecution. All records and judicial ruling applying to individuals in one state shall be accepted in by all other states.

Article 5: Every year, state legislature will send representatives to the national Congress. Each state shall send no less than two and no more than seven delegates, and each state will only have one vote in congress.

Article 6: No state can enter into a formal a formal alliance with any foreign powers. Neither the state or congress shall give any title of nobility to anyone in the United States. Two or more states can not enter their own treaty. States cannot nation standing armies or navies without congress approval. Unless invaded no state shall wage war without the approval of Congress.

Article 7: In times of war, state legislature will appoint all officers under the rank of colonel and maintain their armies.

Article 8: To pay for war, states will receive money from the national Treasury in proportion to the amount of land they own. The state legislature will collect taxes needed to fund the treasury.

Article 9: The national congress will have the power to:

  • declare war
  • negotiate foreign treaties
  • settle deputies between states
  • regulate currency
  • direct the operations of land and naval forces
  • borrow money from states

Congress cannot carry out any resolutions unless nine of the thirteen states agree.

Congress will have a president to organize debate for one-year term.

Article 10: A committee of states will be given the power to run the United States during the times Congress is in recess

Article 11: Canada will be allowed admission to the United States. Any other Colony requesting admission will require approval from nine votes from congress.

Article 12: Congress pledges to repay any money borrowed from individual states during the revolution.

Article 13: All states agree to abide by the Articles of Confederation. To amend the articles, Congress and all states legislatures must unanimously agree.

Activity:

Go through each amendment and answer: 

    1.    What does this amendment propose to do?

    2.    Why would people be in favor of it? 

    3.    Why would people be against it

    4.    Would you support this amendment? Why or why not? 

Then, answer the following questions: 

    1.    List four strengths and four weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. 

    2.    Why do you think the Founding Fathers decided no to include an executive branch or a federal court system? Do you think this was a good idea or a bad idea? 

    3.    What do you think the US would be like today if we were still ruled by the Articles of Confederation? Explain.

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