When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
March 1, 1781
Our nation’s first constitution,
the Articles of Confederation, was ratified by Congress.
Under these articles, Congress is the sole governing body of the national government and all laws and taxes must be adopted by unanimous consent of all 13 states. Written in 1777 and stemming from wartime urgency, progress on creating the Articles of Confederation was slowed by fears of central authority and extensive land claims by states. The agreement was not ratified until March 1, 1781.
Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes. Significantly, The Articles of Confederation named the new nation “The United States of America.” Congress was given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money. However, the central government lacked the ability to levy taxes and regulate commerce, issues that led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 for the creation of new federal laws under The United States Constitution.
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