Patron:
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA


Articles of Confederation

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The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution.[1] Its drafting by the Continental Congress began in mid-1776, and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification in late 1777. The formal ratification by all 13 states was completed in early 1781. Even when not yet ratified, the Articles provided domestic and international legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with Europe and deal with territorial issues and Indian relations. Nevertheless, the weak government created by the Articles became a matter of concern for key nationalists. On March 4, 1789, the Articles were replaced with the U.S. Constitution.[2][3] The new Constitution provided for a much stronger national government wi h a chief executive (the president), courts, and taxing powers. The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed intercolonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems themselves; the Articles of Confederation would bear some resemblance to it. Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen and others would weaken, particularly the degree of deserved loyalty to the crown. With civil disobedience resulting in coercive and intolerable acts, and armed conflict resulting in dissidents being proclaimed rebels and outside the King's protection, any loyalty remaining shifted toward independence and how to achieve it. In 1775, with events outpacing communications, the Second Continental Congress began acting as the provisional government to run the American Revolutionary War and gain the colonies their collective independence.

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