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This article tests Federalist and Anti-Federalist explanations for state contributions to the confederation government using data on troop requisitions from 1775 to 1783. The Federalists claimed that state politicians acted unilaterally and contributed when the Continental army protected their state's interests. The Anti-Federalists claimed that state politicians understood their duty to the Union and contributed to advance its needs. The results suggest that, with one important caveat, states contributed more consistent with the Federalist argument. This helps explain why the Articles of Con-federation needed reform.