Understanding the Birth and Downfall of the Articles of Confederation in the United States

When were the Articles of Confederation used?

1781-1787

The Articles of Confederation were used as the first constitution of the United States from 1781 to 1789. The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777, amid the ongoing American Revolution. However, it took several years for all thirteen states to ratify them and establish the government under the Articles. The Articles of Confederation established a weak central government that lacked the power to tax, regulate commerce or enforce the laws, leading to the eventual adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789.

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