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


The Articles of Confederation were American's first constitution.


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.


Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Articles of Confederation
  • Coverage 1781–1789
  • Author
  • Keywords articles of confederation
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date March 7, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 11, 2021