Portrait of John Dickinson.

John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware, was the principal author of the draft of the Articles of Confederation.

Articles of Confederation

March 1, 1781–1789

The Articles of Confederation were American's first constitution.

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As the delegates to the Second Continental Congress were drafting the Declaration of Independence, they were also developing a plan for unifying the thirteen colonies to defeat Great Britain. In the summer of 1776, a committee composed of one delegate from each colony drafted the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution. Although the document created a weak central government compared to the federal government established by the current Constitution, the Articles successfully created a “firm league of friendship” that guided the emerging nation through its fledgling years.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Articles of Confederation
  • Coverage March 1, 1781–1789
  • Author
  • Keywords articles of confederation
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date October 23, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 11, 2021
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