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Articles of Confederation
The document that set forth the terms under which the original thirteen states agreed to participate in a centralized form of government, in addition to their self-rule, and that was in effect from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789, prior to the adoption of the Constitution.
The Articles of Confederation served as the first constitution of the newly formed United States. As it was originally drafted in 1776, the document provided for a strong central government. However, by the time it was ratified in 1781, advocates of States' Rights had greatly weakened its provisions. Many of these advocates feared a centralization of power and wished to preserve a great degree of independence and sovereignty for each state. Accordingly, the Articles as they were ratified provided only for a "firm league of friendship," in which, according to article II of the document, "[e]ach State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence."
The Articles included provisions for military cooperation between the states, freedom of travel, Extradition of criminal suspects, and equal Privileges and Immunities for citizens. They also created a national legislature called the Congress. Each state had one vote in this body, that vote to be determined by a delegation of from two to seven representatives. The Articles called for Congress to conduct foreign relations, maintain a national army and navy, establish and maintain a postal service, and perform a number of other duties. The Articles did not create, as the Constitution later did, executive and judicial branches of government.
The Congress created by the Articles was successful on a number of fronts. In 1783, it negotiated with Great Britain a peace treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War; it arranged to pay war debts; and it passed the Northwest Ordinance, which allowed for settlement and statehood in new regions in the western part of the United States. However, with time, it became apparent that the Articles had created an unsatisfactory union of the states, chiefly because they established a weak central government. For example, under the Articles of Confederation, Congress did not have the power to tax or to effectively regulate commerce. The resulting national government did not prove competent at such tasks as raising a military or creating a stable currency. In addition, because amendments to the Articles required a unanimous vote of all thirteen states, the Articles proved to be too inflexible to last.
A series of incidents in the 1780s made it clear to many early U.S. leaders that the Articles of Confederation would not serve as an effective constitution. Among these incidents was Shays's Rebellion, in 1786–87, an insurrection in which economically depressed farmers demanded debt relief and closed courts of law in western Massachusetts. The Congress of the Confederation was not able to raise a force to respond to this civil unrest, which was later put down by a state militia. George Washington and other leaders perceived this as a grievous failure. Therefore, when a constitutional convention assembled in 1787 to amend the Articles, it quickly decided to abandon them altogether in favor of a new constitution. By June 21, 1788, nine states had ratified the new U.S. Constitution and made it effective. It has survived as the basis of U.S. government for over two hundred years.
Harrigan, John J. 1984. Politics and the American Future. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Kesavan, Vasan. 2002. "When Did the Articles of Confederation Cease to Be Law? Notre Dame Law Review 78 (December): 35–82.
Levy, Michael B. 1982. Political Thought in America: An Anthology. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press.
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation were the first constitution of the United States. During 1776–1777, a congressional committee led by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania (who had drafted the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms in 1775) wrote the Articles and submitted them to the states for ratification in 1777. Ratification was delayed by disputes between the states with extensive western lands and the "landless" states such as Maryland. On March 1, 1781, after the landed states agreed to cede their lands to Congress, the new government came into existence.
The Articles of Confederation reflected the new nation's fear of centralized power and authority. Under the Articles the states were more powerful than the central government, which consisted only of a Congress. Each state had one vote in Congress, with that vote determined by a delegation of from two to seven representatives. Though the Congress had the authority to regulate foreign affairs, wage war, and maintain the postal system, it had no power to levy and collect taxes or regulate interstate commerce.
Critics of the Articles multiplied until finally, in 1787, Congress summoned a convention to draft a revised constitution. On March 4, 1789, the new U.S. Constitution took effect, superseding the Articles of Confederation.
Articles of Confederation
To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting
Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-island, and Provi dence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia in the Words following, viz.
Articles 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
Source: Ben Perley Poore, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the United States, vol. 1 (1878), pp. 7–12.
The stile of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America."
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.
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 pretence whatever.
The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not exceed so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United States, or either of them.
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 to the courts and magistrates of every other State.
For the more convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each State, to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States.
In determining questions in the United States, in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court, or place out of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
No State without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any king, prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office or profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince or foreign state; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United States in Congress assembled, with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress, to the courts of France and Spain.No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defence of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the United States, in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.
No State shall engage in any way without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the United States in Congress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subject thereof, against which war has been so declared and under such regulations as shall be established by the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the United States in Congress assembled shall determine otherwise.
When land-forces are raised by any State for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the Legislature of each State respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the State which first made the appointment.
All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States, in proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted to or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint.
The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the Legislatures of the several States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress Assembled.
The United States in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article—of sending and receiving ambassadors—entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever—of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States shall be divided or appropriated—of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace—appointing courts for trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any State in controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress, stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name three persons out of each of the United States, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as Congress shall direct, shall, in the presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without showing reasons, which Congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each State, and the Secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to Congress, and lodged among the acts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme court of the State where the cause shall be tried, "well and truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:" provided also that no State shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United States.
All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdiction as they may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States, be finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different States.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States.—fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the United States.—regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated—establishing and regulating post-offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office—appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers—appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States—making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.
The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denominated "a Committee of the States," and to consist of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States under their direction—to appoint one of their number to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses—to borrow money or emit bills on the credit of the United States transmitting every half year to the respective States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted,—to build and equip a navy—to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the Legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a soldier like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled: but if the United States in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other State should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such State, unless the legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed, and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled.
The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defence and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secresy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State on any question shall be entered on the journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or her request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the Legislatures of the several States.
The committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by the consent of nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled is requisite.
Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union: but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
Every State shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State.
And whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union. Know ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: and we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them. And that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we re[s]pectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress.
Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, and in the third year of the independence of America.
On the part and behalf of the State of New Hampshire
JOSIAH BARTLETT, August 8th, 1778.
JOHN WENTWORTH, Junr.,
On the part and behalf of the State of Massachusetts Bay
JOHN HANCOCK, FRANCIS DANA,
SAMUEL ADAMS, JAMES LOVELL,
ELBRIDGE GERRY, SAMUEL HOLTEN.
On the part and behalf of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
WILLIAM ELLERY, JOHN COLLINS.
On the part and behalf of the State of Connecticut
ROGER SHERMAN, TITUS HOSMER,
OLIVER WOLCOTT, ANDREW ADAMS.
On the part and behalf of the State of New York
JAS. DUANE, WM. DUER,
FRA. LEWIS, GOUV. MORRIS.
On the part and in behalf of the State of New Jersey, Novr. 26, 1778
JNO. WITHERSPOON, NATHL. SCUDDER.
On the part and behalf of the State of Pennsylvania
ROBT. MORRIS, WILLIAM CLINGAN,
DANIEL ROBERDEAU, JOSEPH REED,
JONA. BAYARD SMITH, 22d July, 1778.
On the part & behalf of the State of Delaware
THO. M'KEAN, Feby. 12, 1779.
NICHOLAS VAN DYKE.
JOHN DICKINSON, May 5th, 1779
On the part and behalf of the State of Maryland
JOHN HANSON, Mar. 1, 1781.
DANIEL CARROLL, March 1, 1781.
On the part and behalf of the State of Virginia
RICHARD HENRY LEE, JNO. HARVIE,
JOHN BANISTER, THOMAS ADAMS,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE.
On the part and behalf of the State of No. Carolina
JOHN PENN, July 21st, 1778.
CORNS. HARNETT, JNO. WILLIAMS.
On the part & behalf of the State of South Carolina
HENRY LAURENS, RICHD. HUTSON,
WILLIAM HENRY DRAYTON,
JNO. MATHEWS, THOS. HEYWARD, Junr.
On the part & behalf of the State of Georgia
JNO. WALTON, 24th July, 1778.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. The compact which was made by the original
thirteen states of the United States of America, bore the name of the
"Articles 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." It was adopted and
went into force on the first day of March, 1781, and remained as the supreme
law until the first Wednesday of March, 1789. 5 Wheat. R. 420. The following
analysis of this celebrated instrument is copied from Judge Story's
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Book 2, c. 3.
2. "In pursuance of the design already announced, it is now proposed to give an analysis of the articles of confederation, or, as they are denominated in the instrument itself, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States, as they were finally adopted by the thirteen states in 1781.
3. "The style of the Confederacy was, by the first article, declared to be, `The United States of America.' The second article declared, that each state retained its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which was not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in congress assembled. The third article declared, that the states severally entered into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, 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 pretence whatever. The fourth article declared, that the free inhabitants of each of the states, (vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted,) should be entitled to all the privileges of free citizens in the several states; that the people of each state should have free ingress and regress to any from any other state, and should enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties and restrictions, as the inhabitants; that fugitives from justice should, upon the demand of the executive of the state, from which they fled, be delivered up; and that full faith and credit should be given, in each of the states, to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.
4. "Having thus provided for the security and intercourse of the states, the next article (5th) provided for the organization of a general congress, declaring that delegates should be chosen in such manner, as the legislature of each state should direct; to meet in congress on the first Monday in every year, with a power, reserved to each state, to recall any or all of the delegates, and to send others in their, stead. No state was to be represented in congress by less than two, nor than seven members. No delegate was eligible for more than three, in any term of six years; and no delegate was capable of holding any office of emolument under the United States. Each state was to maintain its own delegates; and, in determining questions in congress, was to have one vote. Freedom of speech and debate in congress was not to be impeached or questioned in any other place; and the members were to be protected from arrest and imprisonment, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
5. "By subsequent articles, congress was invested with the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, unless in case of an invasion of a state by enemies, or an imminent danger of an invasion by Indians; of sending and receiving ambassadors; entering into treaties and alliances, under certain limitations, as to treaties of commerce; of establishing rules for deciding all cases of capture on land and water, and for the division and appropriation of prizes taken by the land or naval forces, in the service of the United States of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace; of appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas; and of establishing courts for receiving and finally determining appeals in all cases of captures.
6. "Congress was also invested with power to decide in the last resort, on appeal, all disputes and differences between two or more states concerning boundary, jurisdiction, or any other cause whatsoever; and the mode of exercising that authority was specially prescribed. And all controversies concerning the private right of soil, claimed under different grants of two or more states before the settlement of their jurisdiction, were to be finally determined in the same manner, upon the petition of either of the grantees. But no state was to be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United States.
7. "Congress was also invested with the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or that of the United States; of fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the United States; of regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states, provided, that the legislative right of any state within its own limits should not be infringed or violated of establishing and regulating post offices from one state to another, and exacting postage to defray the expenses; of appointing all officers of the land forces in the service of the United States, except regimental officers; of appointing all officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatsoever in the service of the United States; and of making rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces, and directing their operations.
8. "Congress was also invested with authority to appoint a committee of the states to sit in the recess of congress, and to consist of one delegate from each state, and other committees and civil officers, to manage the general affairs under their direction; to appoint one of their number to preside, but no person was to serve in the office of president more than one year in the term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums for the, public service, and to appropriate the same for defraying the public expenses; to. borrow money and emit bills of credit of the United States to build and equip a navy; to agree upon the number of land forces, and make requisitions upon each state for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state. The legislatures of each state were to appoint the regimental officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and equip them at the expense of the United States.
9. "Congress was also invested with power to adjourn for any time not exceeding six months, and to any place within the United States and provision was made for the publication of its journal, and for entering the yeas and nays thereon, when desired by any delegate.
10. "Such were the powers confided in congress. But even these were greatly restricted in their exercise; for it was expressly. provided, that congress should never engage in a war; nor grant letters of marque or reprisal in, time of peace; nor enter into any treaties or alliances; nor coin money or regulate the value thereof; nor ascertain the sums or expenses necessary for the, defence and welfare of the United States, nor emit bills nor borrow money on the credit of the United States nor appropriate money; nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built, or purchased; or the number of land or sea forces to be raised; nor appoint a commander-in- chief of the army or navy; unless nine states should assent to the same. And no question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day, was to be determined, except by vote of the majority of the states.
11. "The committee of the states or any tine of them, were authorized in the recess of congress to exercise such powers, as congress, with the assent of nine states, should think it expedient to vest them with, except such powers for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the assent of nine states was required, which could not be thus delegated.
12. "It was further. provided, that all bills of credit, moneys borrowed, and debts contracted by or under the authority of congress before the confederation, should be a charge against the United States; that when land forces were raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel should be appointed by the legislature of the state, or in such manner as the state should direct; and all vacancies should be filled up in the same manner that all charges of war, and all other expenses for the common defence or general welfare, should be defrayed out of a common treasury, which should be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of the land within each state granted or surveyed, and the buildings and improvements thereon, to be estimated according to the mode prescribed by congress; and the taxes for that proportion were to be laid and levied by the legislatures of the states within the time agreed upon by congress.
13. "Certain prohibitions were laid upon the exercise of powers by the respective states. No state, without the consent of the United States, could send an embassy to, or receive an embassy from, or enter into, any treaty with any king, prince or state; nor could any person holding any office under the United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument, office or title, from any foreign king, prince or state; nor could congress itself grant any title of nobility. No two states could enter into any treaty, confederation, or alliance with each other, without the consent of congress. No state could lay any imposts or duties, which might interfere with any proposed treaties. No vessels of war were to be kept up by any state in time of peace, except deemed necessary by congress for its defence, or trade; nor any body of forces, except such as should be deemed requisite by congress to garrison its forts, and necessary for its defence. But every state was required always to keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and to be provided with suitable field-pieces, and tents, and arms, and ammunition, and camp equipage. No state could engage in war without the consent of congress, unless actually invaded by enemies, or in danger of invasion by the Indians. Nor could any state grant commissions to any ships of war, nor letters of marque and reprisal, except after a declaration of war by congress, unless such state were infested by pirates, and then subject to the determination of congress. No state could prevent the removal of any property imported into any state to any other state, of which the owner was an inhabitant. And no imposition, duties, or restriction, could be laid by any state on the Property of the United States or of either of them.
14. "There was also provision made for the admission of Canada, into the Union, and of other colonies with the assent of nine states. And it was finally declared, that every state should abide by the determinations of congress on all questions submitted to it by the confederation; that the articles should be inviolably observed by every state; that the union should be perpetual; and that no alterations should. be made in any of the articles, unless agreed to by congress, and 'Confirmed by the legislatures of every state.
15. "Such is the substance of this celebrated instrument, under which the treaty of peace, acknowledging our independence, was negotiated, the war of the revolution concluded, and the union of the states maintained until the adoption of. the present constitution."