Feb 052013

On February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify The Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation, or more correctly The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was the first document drafted by the Continental Congress that referred to our country as the “United States of America.” Many of the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were included in the Articles of Confederation including freedom of speech, and each state’s retention of powers not expressly delegated to the national government, The states entered “into a firm league of friendship” with respect to assuring for a common defense, liberties, and general welfare. However, the Articles of Confederation proved to be a founding document that was fraught with problems. It did not establish an executive or judicial branch, and consequently the legislature had vast powers with no system of checks and balances. It also did not establish a common currency or provide for interstate commerce free from tariffs. The national government was not able to collect taxes, establish an army, or regulate foreign trade. These weaknesses led to the call for a Constitutional Convention, and the eventual creation and ratification of our current Constitution.


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