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A day after appointing a committee to write the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress named another committee to write the Articles of Confederation. More of a treaty—or a “firm league of friendship”—than a constitution, the Articles of Confederation in no way infringed upon the sovereignty of the original thirteen states. The Articles of Confederation represented an attempt to balance the sovereignty of the states with an effective national government. The Articles served as the nation’s plan of government until the US Constitution was ratified in 1788. 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. If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or executive power of the state from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offense. Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state. In determining questions in the united states in congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.
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The members worked from June 1776 until November 1777, when they sent a draft to the states for ratification. Each state held “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.” The Congress, the primary organ of the new national government, only had the power to declare war, appoint military officers, sign treaties, make alliances, appoint foreign ambassadors, and manage relations with the American Indians. Power was concentrated in a single assembly, rather than being divided, as in the state governments, into separate houses and branches. 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.


III.The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, 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 pretense whatever. To view it, please apply for your school to be an Affiliate School, sign up to be a community member, or log in.
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On December 16, 1777, Virginia became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. All states were represented equally in Congress, and nine of the thirteen states had to approve a bill before it became law. Congress could raise money only by asking the states for funds, borrowing from foreign governments, and selling western lands.
Further, members of the Confederation Congress were selected by state governments, not by the people.



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