Articles of Confederation

(1777)

Impact

The Articles of Confederation made the United States of America a nation. Whereas all other attempts at colonial unification had failed, the Articles created a government that could direct the American Revolution and be represented in Spanish and French courts. Thirteen states would no longer be seeking freedom; the United States of America would request aid, and, as such, one large nation would negotiate with foreign powers the terms of financial agreements, loans, and military assistance. France would recognize and assist the United States of America in the American Revolution.

With the end of the Revolution, however, the radicals' interests in a national government faded. The defeated British were expected to withdraw from forts on western lands, which the Treaty of Paris (1783) ceded to the United States. (The United States did not force full British compliance until the War of 1812.) Independence had been achieved. The radicals were concerned with state...

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The Articles of Confederation (National Archives and Records Administration)

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