Grateful American Kids
Constitutional Calendar

March 3: US Ratified the Articles of Confederation

On this day in 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation, the country’s first constitution. The Continental Congress had adopted this constitution in November, 1777, but it took more than three years to secure approval from all thirteen states. The Articles of Confederation established a weak federal government and a loose confederation of more powerful sovereign states. In this constitution, states were considered to be in “a firm league of friendship with each other” and the states retained “every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States.” Soon, it became evident that a more powerful federal government was necessary. Thus, the current Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation in 1788.

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