The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt at a Constitution between the 13 colonies that had broken away from Great Britain.
The Articles of Confederation began to be drafted at the same time as the Declaration of Independence. The Thirteen Colonies (now called States) were already beginning to consider their joint future in anticipation of winning the American Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation were approved by the States in July 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence.
The Government was a deliberately loose confederation between the thirteen states. Each state would retain its own sovereignty. Some of the particular elements of the Confederation were:
- Citizens were allowed to move freely between each of the thirteen states.
- A Congress of Confederation would be established in which each State had one vote and would send a delegation of between two and seven members.
- The Congress of Confederation would be the final court for any disputes between the States.
- A President of Congress may be appointed.
- The Central Government would have responsibility for Foreign Policy and the Congress of Confederation was the only institution that could declare war. The individual states would not be able to have their unilateral relations with other countries.
- National expenditure would be paid with funds given to the national government by the States.