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The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first written constitution of the United States.
See the fact file below for more information on the Articles of Confederation or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Articles of Confederation worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Fully known as the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, it was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America to serve as its first constitution.
- Its primary purpose was to plan a systemic structure of the new government as the country effective declared its independence from the British colony.
- It was a process that began in 1775 with the First Continental Congress despite growing opposition of defecting from the colony.
- After Benjamin Franklin presented his drafts, many other revisions were submitted and deliberated.
- John Dickinson’s (Pennsylvania) revised text was approved by the Congress and further deliberated until November 1777.
- While this happened, the US declared its independence.
- By the following year, the first 13 states ratified the Declaration. It officially became the ruling government in the United States by 1781 as the Revolutionary War raged on.
- To cement its economy, the United States established the Bank Of North America in 1782.
- During the span of the Confederation, 10 presidents oversaw the government from 1781 to 1788.
- Through Benjamin Franklin’s intervention, the Treaty of Paris was established and the terms of peace between the United States and Great Britain ended the Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783.
- The government acquired new lands so on April 23,1784, the Congress approved Thomas Jefferson’s Land Ordinance.
- On 1787, the congress revisited the Articles of Confederation and suggested for further ratification. The act eventually resulted in the drafting of America’s Constitution.
THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
- Agreed to by Congress November 15, 1777 then ratified and in force March 1, 1781.
- To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in the words following, viz. “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.”
- Article I.
- The Style of this confederacy shall be “The United States of America”.
- Article II.
- Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
- Article III.
- The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
- Article IV.
- (Summarized) Elaborates upon the intent to secure friendship among the people of the different States and to establish equal treatment and freedom for the inhabitants to pass between the states, excluding “paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice”. People are entitled to equal rights but if a crime is committed in one state and the perpetrator flees to another state, he will be extradited.
- Article V.
- (Summarized) Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation to each state, which is entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress are to be appointed by state legislatures. No congressman may serve more than three out of any six years.
- Article XI.
- (Summarized) Only the central government may declare war, or conduct foreign political or commercial relations. No state or official may accept foreign gifts or titles, and granting any title of nobility is forbidden to all. No states may form any sub-national groups. No state may tax or interfere with treaty stipulations already proposed. No state may wage war without permission of Congress, unless invaded or under imminent attack on the frontier; no state may maintain a peacetime standing army or navy, unless infested by pirates, but every State is required to keep ready, a well-trained, disciplined, and equipped militia.
- Article VII.
- (Summarized) Whenever an army is raised for common defense, the state legislatures shall assign military ranks of colonel and below.
- Article VIII.
- (Summarized) Expenditures by the United States of America will be paid with funds raised by state legislatures, and apportioned to the states in proportion to the real property values of each.
- Article IX.
- (Summarized) Elaborates powers and functions of the US Congress including: declaration of war, appointment, regulation of the armed forces, and requisitions.
- Article X.
- (Summarized) When Congress is in recess, any of the powers of Congress may be executed by “The committee of the states, or any nine of them”, except for those powers of Congress which require nine states in Congress to execute.
- Article XI.
- (Summarized) If Canada [referring to the British Province of Quebec] accedes to this confederation, it will be admitted. No other colony could be admitted without the consent of nine states.
- Article XII.
- (Summarized) Affirms that the Confederation will honor all bills of credit incurred, monies borrowed, and debts contracted by Congress before the existence of the Articles.
- Article XIII.
- (Summarized) Declares that the Articles shall be perpetual, and may be altered only with the approval of Congress and the ratification of all the state legislatures.
- For Full Text: https://supreme.findlaw.com/documents/aofc.html
Articles of Confederation Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Articles of Confederation across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Articles of Confederation worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union which was the first written constitution of the United States.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The British Colonists
- 1700s America
- Government Structure
- Presidents of the Confederation
- Confederacy Rule
- Confederate Terms
- Confederate States
- Political Cartoon
- Addressing Weaknesses
- My Government
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Link will appear as Articles of Confederation Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 11, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.