• The Articles of Confederation

     |  Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation Pennsylvanian John Dickinson—who declined to sign the Declaration of Independence because he believed that the states should be organized politically before declaring independence—wrote the first draft of the Articles of Confederation in 1777. Signed into effect that year and ratified in 1781, the Articles provided the structure of government for the states until the Constitution was ratified in 1788. During that period, the Articles' deficiencies became increasingly obvious, and by the time of the Constitutional Convention, few Founders, including Dickinson, defended its continuation. March 1, 1781 To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed ...
  • Circular Letter to the States

     |  Articles of Confederation

    Circular Letter to the States Circular Letter to the States 1 George Washington As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, overseen by a national legislature that struggled to fund the War for Independence, General Washington was as familiar as anyone with the defects of the Articles of Confederation. In this, his last circular letter to the states, which he sent to the thirteen governors, Washington emphasizes the need for unity in the maintenance of the nation's independence. June 8, 1783 Sir: The great object for which I had the honor to hold an appointment in the Service of my Country, being accomplished, I am now preparing to resign it into the hands of Congress, and to return to that domestic retirement, which, it is well known ...
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