Trial & Error

This Day in History

Among the many vital cornerstones of which our nation’s Constitution was erected, the date of November 15, 1777 marked the official creation and adoption of the Articles of Confederation by the Continental Congress following a tedious 16 months of hardship.

Despite the barrier broken, one would be led to believe that the accomplishment would endeavor the colonies to further unite; however, the document failed to pass the ratification phase until March 1, 1781.

The states, accustomed to the strict governing of English rule, were not completely open to such a loosely-tied foundation of government proposed by their patriotic leaders amidst a period of trial-and-error in the adolescence of a new nation.

Benjamin Franklin, leader of the Article of Confederation's charge

Lawmakers were tasked with creating a balance between too much governmental power and a government strong enough to fend off Great Britain and representative of the republican status the country had gained.

Benjamin Franklin was the author of the Articles’ first draft in 1775, but the draft was dismissed and received extensive editing, going through five more drafts the final document was submitted in 1777.

Congress was given jurisdiction over the national army and certain foreign affairs, but, in contrast to today’s statute, was prohibited from levying taxes. A compromise had to be struck between states retaining their sovereignty and freedoms while Congress tried to dispute the right to impose taxes in agreement with all thirteen colonies.

The Articles of Confederation

Gradually over nearly 10 years, the form of government began to deteriorate and Shay’s Rebellion demonstrated that the Articles of Confederation had definitely failed to meet the demands of the people. As the West rapidly expanded, trade and economic holes were planted in the sinking ship of the Articles of Confederation.

The document sank rather peacefully a couple years following the Constitutional Convention of 1787. In spite of all the trials and tribulations that the government faced under the Articles of Confederation, it served as a stepping stone and learning curve in the molding of the greatest country to ever be.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend