Articles of Confederation

of Confederation
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the AOC and
explain how these weaknesses led to the need to revise the
After the Revolution, the colonies were officially independent from Great Britain.
They needed to create a system of government to run this new nation
Toward the end of the war, each state in the US began to write its own state
constitution. Georgia’s first constitution was written in 1777
The newly formed 13 independent states came together to create the Articles of
Confederation – our nation’s first constitution.
The AOC would outline the way the national and state governments would operate.
The Articles of Confederation, passed by the US Continental
Congress on November 15, 1777, was enacted on March 1,
1781 as the founding constitution of the United States of
America. The "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual
Union" established the United States of America as a
sovereign nation governed by the United States in Congress
The Articles of Confederation
 The national government’s powers are limited.
 Created a “firm league of friendship” in which “each state retains its sovereignty, freedom,
and independence.
 It was a loose union in which the 13 states cooperated for common purpose.
 AOC gave Congress several important powers: make war and peace, raise an army and
a navy, print money, and set up a postal system.
 In reality, these powers were limited by the inability of Congress to ask the states for funds
to do anything. Often, states ignored Congress’s “humble requests.”
 The result was that the AOC were ineffective at binding the states into a nation.
Attributes of AOC
 No single leader like a president – no executive branch
 The national government did not have the power to tax – it could only ask the states to give it
 There was no national army – the government could only ask states to send men for military
 Any changes to the Articles of Confederation had to be approved by all 13 states.
 The national government did not have the power to settle disputes between states or to
regulate trade.
 Each state had one vote in Congress.
 There was no national court system like the Supreme Court
 The national government did not have the power to coin or make money
James Madison
“the Articles were no more effective at binding the states into a nation than “a rope of sand.”
Group Task
 Count off and break into collaborative groups
 Take with you something to write with, your notes and your “thinking cap.”