The Articles of Confederation
An Interpretation of the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774–1781
Publication Year: 2040
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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T HE PREFACE I wrote ten years ago for the third printing of this book had two purposes. One was to suggest changes I original edition. The other was to evaluate and answer some of the interpretations offered during the 1950S by a group of historians and political scientists to whom the labels "consensus school" or "new conservatives" were rather loosely and inaccurately applied. Other ...
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T HIS BOOK is in no sense a history of the American Revo lution, and for that reason much that is familiar and tra and ratification of the first constitution of the United States in terms of the ideas and interests of the men who wrote and ratified what the issues were. It is, furthermore, an effort to consider the was unified in the revealing though seldom considered struggles ...
THE REVOLUTIONARY BACKGROUND
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I The Problem of Interpretation
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T HE ARTICLES of Confederation have been assigned one of the most inglorious roles in American history. They have and the parent of chaos; hence the necessity for a new constitu tion in 1787 to save the country from ruin. In so interpreting the first constitution of the United States and the history of the coun try during its existence, historians have accepted a tradition estab ...
II The Internal Revolution
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T HE ARTICLES of Confederation were written by men many of whom rose to leadership as a result of the tem pestuous local political battles fought in the years before the Revolution. Most of these new leaders gained power because they themselves politically, or were able to force concessions where all the states, the radicals were guided by experience and by cer ...
III Independence and Internal Revolution, 1774–1776
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THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS T HE IDEA of a continental congress was not a new one, for the Albany and the Stamp Act congresses had been con grown steadily in the realization that an intercolonial union was the Port Bill. If they accepted the proposal they would identify lose all the gains they had made in a long struggle; if they rejected Only by seeming to do that which they had no intention of doing ...
THE WRITING AND RATIFICATION OF THE ARTICLES
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IV The Problem of Union
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T HE IDEA of union had long been part of colonial political thought and activity. The New England Confederation of the colonies, though impermanent ones. From the beginning of the eighteenth century plans for a union of all the colonies had ing list, but to suppose that they were the subject of much con cern either because of their number or their good sense would be ...
V The Dickinson Draft of the Confederation
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FEW SOURCES remain for study of the work of the com mittee appointed on June 12, 1776, to draft articles of con sented to Congress on July 12. The weight of influence as well as when that appeared inevitable, in trying to delay a declaration of teen colonies and foreign alliances could be obtained. Three out whole also a conservative, as were Francis Hopkinson and Thomas ...
VI The Solution of the Major Issues
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REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS T HE DISPUTE over the basis of "representation," as it was called at the time, was a controversy between the large and be in proportion to their population, or should all, whatever their to be created. Was it to be a national state or was it to be a federa good of the whole," explaining that the Declaration of Independ ence had thrown all the people of the thirteen colonies into one ...
VII The Problem of Sovereignty
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T HE FUNDAMENTAL issue in the writing of the Articles of Confederation was the location of ultimate political au Congress or in the states? Many conservatives in 1776-77, as in control over the unsettled Western lands, the chief field of eco involved, ultimately, taxation. Not all the conservatives, particu larly in the Southern colonies, agreed on all these points, but ...
VIII The Completion of the Articles
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LTTLE time was needed to finish the task of writing the first constitution of the United States once the major issues had it in the Dickinson draft. This was especially marked in the provi had expressly prohibited the states from levying duties or imposts together; and that it might refuse privileges in its ports to the citizens of any foreign country which did not grant equal privi ...
IX Early Reaction and Ratification
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T HE NATURE of the immediate reaction to the Articles of Confederation must be garnered largely from the official to ratify the document, or criticizing it and making further de mands. Individual expressions of opinion are few, but these few are indicative of a continued divergence of ideas. Even before the Articles had been completed, Charles Carroll voiced the views of ...
X Virginia and the Western Problem, 1778–1770
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I N THE autumn of 1778 the Virginia Assembly continued the policy toward the West which had been inaugurated by ties had been set up west of the Alleghenies,t a commission had been at work gathering evidence against those claiming land under sent to the Ohio to subdue the enemy posts there.3 Such activity and December, 1778, in spite of the fact that the land question ...
XI Congress and the Western Problem: Land Speculation and the Spanish Alliance
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T HE RELATIONSHIP between the land companies and the conservative politicians of the Middle states was a very states toward the Articles of Confederation and on their demand companies fonnally joined forces in the spring of 1779, before the denial of their claims by the Virginia legislature.1 Some of the course speculative in character, shares being bought, sold, and ...
XII The Completion of the Confederation
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PROBABLY the first expression of the idea of creating inde pendent states in the West was contained in Jefferson's Jefferson eventually became the recognized leader. In November, 1778, before Maryland finally refused to ratify the Confederation, western boundary of the state. In support of his proposal he urged that the completion of the Confederation was necessary; that it ...
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T HE ARTICLES of Confederation were the constitution of the United States from 178 I to 1789, when the Confedera another constitution is no proof either of their success or of their failure. Any valid opinion as to the merits of the Articles must be is possible to draw certain tentative conclusions by approaching the history of the period from the point of view of the American ...
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ON JUNE 7, 1776 , Richard Henry Lee moved that "a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the re tion," as the second part of his motion that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." 1 On of the thirteen colonies was appointed to draw up a plan of con leaned decidedly to the side of the conservatives, for three of its ...
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2040