On this day in U.S. history in 1781, the Articles of Confederation were ratified by the final state (Maryland) making it, essentially, the law of the country before the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789.
This document was the first “constitution” of our country and legally established a union for the sovereign states.
Some of the main points outlined in the Articles were:
- To assert the sovereignty of each state.
- To allocate one votes in Congress to each state.
- To establish that any expenditures by the United States would be paid for by funds raised by state legislatures.
- To define the rights and powers of the national government which were much more limited than those granted to the national government by the Constitution.
One of the main arguments against the Articles was that the national government was not strong enough.
Personally, I have to wonder if the nation would have been a better nation had they stuck to the Articles and not let the national government get so big for its trousers. In the long run, we probably could have avoided a lot of the messes that we have gotten ourselves into over the years.