• Letter to John Jay

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Letter to John Jay Letter to John Jay 1 George Washington Washington writes here as a private citizen to Jay, who as Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation witnessed firsthand the Articles' shortcomings, as each state pursued a different foreign policy. August 15, 1786 Dear Sir: I have to thank you very sincerely for your interesting letter of the twenty-seventh of June, as well as for the other communications you had the goodness to make at the same time. I am sorry to be assured, of what indeed I had little doubt before, that we have been guilty of violating the treaty in some instances. What a misfortune it is the British should have so well grounded a pretext for their palpable infractions? —and what a ...
  • Letter to James Madison

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Letter to James Madison Letter to James Madison 1 George Washington Washington writes here to Madison, two months before the Constitutional Convention was set to start in Philadelphia. A year earlier, only twelve men from five states attended a gathering held in Annapolis, Maryland, to amend the Articles of Confederation. Both men feared the consequences should this convention similarly fail. March 31, 1787 My dear Sir: At the same time that I acknowledge the receipt of your obliging favor of the 21st. Ult. from New York, I promise to avail myself of your indulgence of writing only when it is convenient to me. If this should not occasion a relaxation on your part, I shall become very much your debtor—and possibly like others in similar ...
  • Vices of the Political System of the United States

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Vices of the Political System of the United States Vices of the Political System of the United States 1 James Madison In this essay, Madison outlines the main issues that the Constitutional Convention should address. His early arrival in Philadelphia allowed him to incorporate his ideas into a recommended plan for the Convention—what came to be called the Virginia Plan—representing no mere revision of the Articles of Confederation, but the adoption of an entirely new Constitution. April 1787 1. Failure of the States to comply with the Constitutional requisitions. This evil has been so fully experienced both during the war and since the peace, results so naturally from the number and independent authority of the States and has been so uniformly ...
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