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The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly referred to as the Articles of Confederation, was the first constitution of the United States of Americamarker and legally established the union of the states. The Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to draft the Articles in June 1776 and sent the draft to the states for ratification in November 1777. The ratification process was completed in March 1781, legally federating the sovereign and independent states, already cooperating through the Continental Congress, into a new federation styled the "United States of America". Under the Articles the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the central government.

On June 12, 1776, a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft declaration of independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of thirteen to prepare a draft of a constitution for a confederate type of union. The last draft of the Articles was written in the summer of 1777 and the Second Continental Congress approved them for ratification by the States on November 15, 1777 in Yorkmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker after a year of debate. In practice the final draft of the Articles served as the de facto system of government used by the Congress ("the United States in Congress assembled") until it became de jure by final ratification on March 1, 1781; at which point Congress became the Congress of the Confederation. The Articles set the rules for operations of the "United States" confederation. The confederation was capable of making war, negotiating diplomatic agreements, and resolving issues regarding the western territories. An important element of the Articles was that Article XIII stipulated that "their provisions shall be inviolably observed by every state" and "the Union shall be perpetual".

The Articles were created by the chosen representatives of the states in the Second Continental Congress out of a perceived need to have "a plan of confederacy for securing the freedom, sovereignty, and independence of the United States." Although serving a crucial role in the victory in the American Revolutionary War, a group of reformers, known as "federalists", felt that the Articles lacked the necessary provisions for a sufficiently effective government. Fundamentally, a federation was sought to replace the confederation. The key criticism by those who favored a more powerful central state (i.e. the federalists) was that the government (i.e. the Congress of the Confederation) lacked taxing authority; it had to request funds from the states. Also various federalist factions wanted a government that could impose uniform tariffs, give land grants, and assume responsibility for unpaid state war debts ("assumption".) Those opposed to the Constitution, known as "anti-federalists," considered these limits on government power to be necessary and good. Another criticism of the Articles was that they did not strike the right balance between large and small states in the legislative decision making process. Due to its one-state, one-vote plank, the larger states were expected to contribute more but had only one vote.

The Articles were replaced by the US Constitution on June 21, 1788.

Background

The political push for the colonies to increase cooperation began in the French and Indian War in the mid 1750s. The American Revolution in response to lack of elected representation in the British government, followed by the beginning of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and a proclamation by the monarchy that Congress were traitors in rebellion, induced the various states to cooperate in declaring their independence from the British Empire. Starting 1775, the Second Continental Congress acted as the provisional national government that ran the war. Congress presented the Articles for enactment by the states in 1777, while prosecuting the American Revolutionary War.

Ratification

Congress began to move for ratification of the Articles in 1777:
"Permit us, then, earnestly to recommend these articles to the immediate and dispassionate attention of the legislatures of the respective states. Let them be candidly reviewed under a sense of the difficulty of combining in one general system the various sentiments and interests of a continent divided into so many sovereign and independent communities, under a conviction of the absolute necessity of uniting all our councils and all our strength, to maintain and defend our common liberties...


The document could not become officially effective until it was ratified by all thirteen colonies. The first state to ratify was Virginiamarker on December 16, 1777. The process dragged on for several years, stalled by the refusal of some states to rescind their claims to land in the West. Marylandmarker was the last holdout; it refused to go along until Virginiamarker and New York agreed to cede their claims in the Ohio River Valley. A little over three years passed before Maryland's ratification on March 1, 1781.

Article summaries

Even though the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were established by many of the same people, the two documents are very different. The original five-paged Articles contained thirteen articles, a conclusion, and a signatory section. The following list contains short summaries of each of the thirteen articles.
  1. Establishes the name of the confederation as "The United States of America."
  2. Asserts the equality of the separate states with the confederation government, i.e. "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated."
  3. Establishes the United States as a new nation, a sovereign union of sovereign states, united ". . . for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them . . . ," while declaring that the union is "perpetual," and can only be altered by approval of Congress with ratification by all the state legislatures.
  4. Establishes freedom of movement–anyone can pass freely between states, excluding "paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice." All people are entitled to the rights established by the state into which he travels. If a crime is committed in one state and the perpetrator flees to another state, he will be extradited to and tried in the state in which the crime was committed.
  5. Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (United States in Congress Assembled) to each state, which was entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress were appointed by state legislatures; individuals could not serve more than three out of any six years.
  6. Only the central government is allowed to conduct foreign relations and to declare war. No states may have navies or standing armies, or engage in war, without permission of Congress (although the state militias are encouraged).
  7. When an army is raised for common defense, colonels and military ranks below colonel will be named by the state legislatures.
  8. Expenditures by the United States will be paid by funds raised by state legislatures, and apportioned to the states based on the real property values of each.
  9. Defines the powers of the central government: to declare war, to set weights and measures (including coins), and for Congress to serve as a final court for disputes between states.
  10. Defines a Committee of the States to be a government when Congress is not in session.
  11. Requires nine states to approve the admission of a new state into the confederacy; pre-approves Canada, if it applies for membership.
  12. Reaffirms that the Confederation accepts war debt incurred by Congress before the Articles.
  13. Declares that the Articles are perpetual, and can only be altered by approval of Congress with ratification by all the state legislatures.


Still at war with the Kingdom of Great Britainmarker, the Founding Fathers were divided between those seeking a powerful, centralized national government, and those seeking a loosely structured one. Jealously guarding their new independence, members of the Continental Congress arrived at a compromise solution dividing sovereignty between the states and the federal government, with a unicameral legislature that protected the liberty of the individual states. While calling on Congress to regulate military and monetary affairs, for example, the Articles of Confederation provided no mechanism to force the states to comply with requests for troops or revenue. At times, this left the military in a precarious position, as George Washington wrote in a 1781 letter to the governor of Massachusettsmarker, John Hancock.

The end of the war

The Treaty of Paris , which ended hostilities with Great Britain, languished in Congress for months because state representatives failed to attend sessions of the national legislature. Yet Congress had no power to enforce attendance. Writing to George Clinton in September 1783, George Washington complained:

Congress have come to no determination yet respecting the Peace Establishment nor am I able to say when they will. I have lately had a conference with a Committee on this subject, and have reiterated my former opinions, but it appears to me that there is not a sufficient representation to discuss Great National points.


Function

Military

The Articles supported the Congressional direction of the Continental Army, and allowed the 13 states to present a unified front when dealing with the European powers. As a tool to build a centralized war-making government, they were largely a failure: Historian Bruce Chadwick wrote:

The Continental Congress, before the Articles were approved, had promised soldiers a pension of half pay for life. However Congress had no power to compel the states to fund this obligation, and as the war wound down after the victory at Yorktown the sense of urgency to support the military was no longer a factor. No progress was made in Congress during the winter of 1783-1784. General Henry Knox, who would become the first Secretary of War under the Constitution, blamed the weaknesses of the Articles of the inability of the government to fund the military. The army had long been supportive of a strong union. Knox wrote:

As Congress failed to act on the petitions, Knox wrote to Gouverneur Morris, four years before the Philadelphia Convention was convened, “As the present Constitution is so defective, why do not you great men call the people together and tell them so; that is, to have a convention of the States to form a better Constitution.”

Once the war was won, the Continental Army was largely disbanded. A very small national force was maintained to man frontier forts and protect against Native American attacks. Meanwhile, each of the states had an army (or militia), and 11 of them had navies. The wartime promises of bounties and land grants to be paid for service were not being met. In 1783, Washington defused the Newburgh conspiracy, but riots by unpaid Pennsylvania veterans forced the Congress to leave Philadelphia temporarily.

Foreign policy

Even after peace was achieved, the weakness of the government frustrated the ability of the government to conduct foreign policy. In 1786 Thomas Jefferson, concerned over the failure to fund a naval expedition against the Barbary pirates, wrote to James Monroe, "It will be said there is no money in the treasury. There never will be money in the treasury till the confederacy shows its teeth. The states must see the rod.”Also, the Jay-Gardoqui Treaty with Spain in 1786 also showed weakness in foreign policy. In the treaty (which was never ratified due to its immense unpopularity) the US had to give up rights to the Mississippi River for 20 years which would have economically strangled the settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains. Finally, due to the Confederation's military weakness, they could not force the British out of the frontier forts (which the British promised they would leave in 1783). This violation of the Treaty of Paris was amended with Jay's Treaty in 1795 under the new Constitution.

Taxation and commerce

Under the articles, Congress could make decisions, but had no power to enforce them. There was a requirement for unanimous approval before any modifications could be made to the Articles. Because the majority of lawmaking rested with the states, the central government was also kept limited.

Congress was denied the power of taxation: it could only request money from the states. The states did not generally comply with the requests in full, leaving the Confederation Congress and the Continental Army chronically short of funds. As more money was printed, continental dollars depreciated. Washington in 1779 wrote to John Jay, serving as President of the Continental Congress, "that a wagon load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon load of provisions." Jay and the Congress responded in May by requesting $45 million from the states. In an appeal to the states to comply Jay wrote that the taxes were "the price of liberty, the peace and the safety of yourselves and posterity." He argued that Americans should avoid having it said "that America had no sooner become independent than she became insolvent" or that "her infant glories and growing fame were obscured and tarnished by broken contracts and violated faith." The states did not respond with the money requested.

Congress was also denied the power to regulate commerce, and as a result, the states maintained control over their own trade policy as well. The states and the national congress had both incurred debts during the war, and how to pay the debts became a major issue after the war. Some states paid off their debts; however, the centralizers favored federal assumption of states' debts.

Accomplishments

Nevertheless, the Congress of the Confederation did take two actions with lasting impact. The Land Ordinance of 1785 established the general land survey and ownership provisions used throughout later American expansion. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 noted the agreement of the original states to give up western land claims and cleared the way for the entry of new states.

History during the Articles

The Treaty of Paris left the United States independent and at peace but with an unsettled governmental structure. The Second Continental Congress had drawn up Articles of Confederation in November 15, 1777, to regularize its own status. These described a permanent confederation, but granted to the Congress—the only federal institution—little power to finance itself or to ensure that its resolutions were enforced. The Articles of Confederation were weak and did not give a strong political or economic base for the newly formed nation. However, the articles did serve as the lead up to the much stronger and more agreed upon Constitution.

Although historians generally agree that the articles were a spectacular failure in terms of workable governance, they do give much credit to the Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance that set up protocol for the admission of new states, the division of land into homesteads and states, as well as setting aside land in each township for public use. This system represented a sharp break from imperial colonization, as in Europe, and provided the basis for the rest of American continental expansion through the 19th Century.

During the latter years of the war, most people were living in comparative comfort. Farmers found a ready market for their produce within the lines of the British and French armies. Blockade runners and the prizes from privateers added rich cargoes and merchandise to northern shops. Speculators went in debt in preparation for the economic boom which was sure to follow the war.

These dreams vanished in the economic depression that followed the war. Orders in council closed the ports of the British West Indies to all staple products which were not carried in British ships. France and Spain established similar policies. Simultaneously, new manufacturers were stifled by British products which were suddenly filling American ports. Political unrest in several states and efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts increased the anxiety of the political and economic elites which had led the Revolution. The apparent inability of the Congress to redeem the public obligations (debts) incurred during the war, or to become a forum for productive cooperation among the states to encourage commerce and economic development, only aggravated a gloomy situation.

The Continental Congress had issued bills of credit, but by the end of the war its paper money had so far depreciated that it ceased to pass as currency, spawning the expression "not worth a continental". Congress could not levy taxes and could only make requisitions upon the States. Less than a million and a half dollars came into the treasury between 1781 and 1784, although the governors had been asked for two million in 1783 alone.

When John Adams went to London in 1785 as the first representative of the United States, he found it impossible to secure a treaty for unrestricted commerce. Demands were made for favors and there was no assurance that individual states would agree to a treaty. Adams stated it was necessary for the States to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress, or that the States themselves pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain. Congress had already requested and failed to get power over navigation laws. Meanwhile, each State acted individually against Great Britain to little effect. When other New England states closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit by opening its ports.

Debtor's problems came to a head in Shays' Rebellion in Massachusetts. Congress was unable to protect manufacturing and shipping. State legislatures were unable or unwilling to resist attacks upon private contracts and public credit. Land speculators expected no rise in values when the government could not defend its borders nor protect its frontier population. The idea of a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Alexander Hamilton, a Revolutionary War veteran who determined while serving as Washington's aide-de-camp that a strong central government was necessary to avoid the frustrations endured by the Army due to an ineffectual Congress, called for what would be referred to as the Annapolis Convention to determine the feasibility of a revision of the Articles — or their replacement.

Signatures

The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles for distribution to the states on November 15, 1777. A copy was made for each state and one was kept by the Congress. The copies sent to the states for ratification were unsigned, and a cover letter had only the signatures of Henry Laurens and Charles Thomson, who were the President and Secretary to the Congress.

The Articles, however, were unsigned, and the date was blank. Congress began the signing process by examining their copy of the Articles on June 27, 1778. They ordered a final copy prepared (the one in the National Archives), and that delegates should inform the secretary of their authority for ratification.

On July 9, 1778, the prepared copy was ready. They dated it, and began to sign. They also requested each of the remaining states to notify its delegation when ratification was completed. On that date, delegates present from New Hampshiremarker, Massachusettsmarker, Rhode Islandmarker, Connecticutmarker, New Yorkmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Virginiamarker and South Carolinamarker signed the Articles to indicate that their states had ratified. New Jerseymarker, Delawaremarker and Marylandmarker could not, since their states had not ratified. North Carolinamarker and Georgiamarker also didn't sign that day, since their delegations were absent.

After the first signing, some delegates signed at the next meeting they attended. For example, John Wentworth of New Hampshire added his name on August 8. John Penn was the first of North Carolina's delegates to arrive (on July 10), and the delegation signed the Articles on July 21, 1778.

The other states had to wait until they ratified the Articles and notified their Congressional delegation. Georgia signed on July 24, New Jersey on November 26, and Delaware on February 12, 1779. Maryland refused to ratify the Articles until every state had ceded its western land claims.

The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 2, 1781
On February 2, 1781, the much-awaited decision was taken by the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolismarker. As the last piece of business during the afternoon Session, "among engrossed Bills" was "signed and sealed by Governor Thomas Sim Lee in the Senate Chamber, in the presence of the members of both Houses… an Act to empower the delegates of this state in Congress to subscribe and ratify the articles of confederation" and perpetual union among the states. The Senate then adjourned "to the first Monday in August next." The decision of Maryland to ratify the Articles was reported to the Continental Congress on February 12. The formal signing of the Articles by the Maryland delegates took place in Philadelphia at noon time on March 1, 1781 and was celebrated in the afternoon. With these events, the Articles entered into force and the United States came into being as a united, sovereign and national state.

Congress had debated the Articles for over a year and a half, and the ratification process had taken nearly three and a half years. Many participants in the original debates were no longer delegates, and some of the signers had only recently arrived. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were signed by a group of men who were never present in the Congress at the same time.

The signers and the states they represented were:

Roger Sherman (Connecticut) was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the United States: the Continental Association, the United States Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.

Robert Morris (Pennsylvania) was the only person besides Sherman to sign three of the great state papers of the United States: the United States Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.

John Dickinson (Delaware), Daniel Carroll (Maryland) and Gouverneur Morris (New York), along with Sherman and Robert Morris, were the only five people to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution (Gouverneur Morris represented Pennsylvania when signing the Constitution).

Presidents of the Congress

The following list is of those who led the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation as the Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled. Under the Articles, the president was the presiding officer of Congress, chaired the Cabinet (the Committee of the States) when Congress was in recess, and performed other administrative functions. He was not, however, a chief executive in the way the successor President of the United States is a chief executive, but all of the functions he executed were under the auspices and in service of the Congress.

For a full list of Presidents of the Congress Assembled and Presidents under the two Continental Congresses before the Articles, see President of the Continental Congress.

Gallery

Image:Articles page1.jpg|Articles of Confederation, page 1Image:Articles page2.jpg|Articles of Confederation, page 2Image:Articles page3.jpg|Articles of Confederation, page 3Image:Articles page4.jpg|Articles of Confederation, page 4Image:Articles page5.jpg|Articles of Confederation, page 5

Revision and replacement

In May 1786, Charles Pinckney of South Carolinamarker proposed that Congress revise the Articles of Confederation. Recommended changes included granting Congress power over foreign and domestic commerce, and providing means for Congress to collect money from state treasuries. Unanimous approval was necessary to make the alterations, however, and Congress failed to reach a consensus. The weakness of the Articles in establishing an effective unifying government was underscored by the threat of internal conflict both within and between the states, especially after Shays' Rebellion threatened to topple the state government of Massachusetts.

On January 21, 1786, the Virginia Legislature, following James Madison's recommendation, invited all the states to send delegates to Annapolis, Maryland to discuss ways to reduce these interstate conflicts. At what came to be known as the Annapolis Convention, the few state delegates in attendance endorsed a motion that called for all states to meet in Philadelphiamarker in May, 1787 to discuss ways to improve the Articles of Confederation in a "Grand Convention." Although the states' representatives to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were only authorized to amend the Articles, the representatives held secret, closed-door sessions and wrote a new constitution. The new Constitution gave much more power to the central government, but characterization of the result is disputed. The general goal of the authors was to get as close to a republic as defined by the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment, while trying to address the many difficulties of the interstate relationships. Historian Forrest McDonald, using the ideas of James Madison from Federalist 39, describes the change this way:

When approached after leaving the close of the Federal Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked a question. This is the conversation as has been recorded,

The lady asked "Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?"
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” was the response of Benjamin Franklin.


Historian Ralph Ketcham comments on the opinions of Patrick Henry, George Mason, and other antifederalists who were not so eager to give up the local autonomy won by the revolution:

According to their own terms for modification (Article XIII), the Articles would still have been in effect until 1790, the year in which the last of the 13 states ratified the new Constitution. The Congress under the Articles continued to sit until November 1788, overseeing the adoption of the new Constitution by the states, and setting elections. By that date, 11 of the 13 states had ratified the new Constitution.

Historians have given many reasons for the perceived need to replace the articles in 1787. Jillson and Wilson (1994) point to the financial weakness as well as the norms, rules and institutional structures of the Congress, and the propensity to divide along sectional lines.

Rakove (1988) identifies several factors that explain the collapse of the Confederation. The lack of compulsory direct taxation power was objectionable to those wanting a strong centralized state or expecting to benefit from such power. It could not collect customs after the war because tariffs were vetoed by Rhode Islandmarker. Rakove concludes that their failure to implement national measures "stemmed not from a heady sense of independence but rather from the enormous difficulties that all the states encountered in collecting taxes, mustering men, and gathering supplies from a war-weary populace." The second group of factors Rakove identified derived from the substantive nature of the problems the Continental Congress confronted after 1783, especially the inability to create a strong foreign policy. Finally, the Confederation's lack of coercive power reduced the likelihood for profit to be made by political means, thus potential rulers were uninspired to seek power.

When the war ended in 1783, certain special interests had incentives to create a new "merchant state," much like the British state people had rebelled against. In particular, holders of war scrip and land speculators wanted a central government to pay off scrip at face value and to legalize western land holdings with disputed claims. Also, manufacturers wanted a high tariff as a barrier to foreign goods, but competition among states made this impossible without a central government.

Political scientist David C. Hendrickson writes that two prominent political leaders in the Confederation, John Jay of New York and Thomas Burke of North Carolina believed that "the authority of the congress rested on the prior acts of the several states, to which the states gave their voluntary consent, and until those obligations were fulfilled, neither nullification of the authority of congress, exercising its due powers, nor secession from the compact itself was consistent with the terms of their original pledges."

Law professor Daniel Farber argues that there was no clear consensus on the permanence of the Union or the issue of secession by the Founding Fathers. Farber wrote:

However, what if one or more states do violate the compact? One view, not only about the Articles but also the later Constitution, was that the state or states injured by such a breach could rightfully secede. This position was held by, among others, Thomas Jefferson and John Calhoun.

 This view motivated discussions of secession and nullification at the Hartford Convention, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, and the Nullification Crisis. In his book Life of Webster Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge writes   A competing view, promoted by Daniel Webster and later by Abraham Lincoln , was that the Constitution (and Articles) established a permanent union. President Andrew Jackson during the Nullification Crisis, in his “Proclamation to the People of South Carolina”, made the case for the perpetuity of the Union while also contrasting the differences between “revolution” and “secession”:


This view, among others, was presented against declarations of secession from the Union by southern slave states as the American Civil War began.

See also



Notes

  1. "Its [the Philadelphia Convention's] official function was to propose revisions to the Articles. But the delegates, meeting in secret, quickly decided to draft a totally new document. Of the 55 delegates, only 8 had signed the Declaration of Independence. Most of the leading radicals, including Sam Adams, Henry, Paine, Lee, and Jefferson, were absent. In contrast, 21 delegates belonged to the militarist Society of the Cincinnati. Overall, the convention was dominated by the array of nationalist interests that the prior war had brought together: land speculators, ex-army officers, public creditors, and privileged merchants." Did the Constitution Betray the Revolution?, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, William Marina
  2. "The American Revolution, like all great social upheavals, was brought off by a disparate coalition of competing view-points and conflicting interests. At one end of the Revolutionary coalition stood the American radicals - men such as Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Jefferson. Although by no means in agreement on everything, the radicals objected to excessive government power in general and not simply to British rule in particular. ... At the other end of the Revolutionary coalition were the American nationalists - men such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Representing a powerful array of mercantile, creditor and landed interests, the nationalists went along with independence but opposed the Revolution's libertarian thrust. They sought a strong and effective American central government, which would reproduce the hierarchical features of the eighteenth-century British State, only without the British." - Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, The Constitution as Counter-Revolution: A Tribute to the Anti-Federalists
  3. Monday, November 17, 1777, Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. A Century of Lawmaking, 1774-1873
  4. Letter George Washington to George Clinton, September 11, 1783. The George Washington Papers, 1741-1799
  5. Puls pp. 174-176
  6. Ellis 92
  7. Stahr p. 105
  8. Stahr p. 107
  9. Stahr pp. 107-108
  10. Friday, February 2, 1781, Laws of Maryland, 1781. An ACT to empower the delegates
  11. Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789 - To Form a More Perfect Union: The Work of the Continental Congress & the Constitutional Convention (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
  12. Rakove 1988 p. 230
  13. Hendrickson p. 154
  14. Hendrickson p. 153-154
  15. This view, along with the view that the union was a binding contract from which no state could unilaterally remove itself, was included in Lincoln's First Inaugural Address.
  16. Pressley p. 649-650. In 1848 Lincoln expressed “unequivocal support for the ‘right of revolution,’" with the following comment regarding Mexico: :Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable,-a most sacred right-a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government, may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much of the teritory [sic] as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority, intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their movement. Such minority, was precisely the case, of the Tories of our own revolution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws; but to break up both, and make new ones.
  17. Remini pp. 21


References

  • R. B. Bernstein, "Parliamentary Principles, American Realities: The Continental and Confederation Congresses, 1774-1789," in Inventing Congress: Origins & Establishment Of First Federal Congress ed by Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon (1999) pp 76–108
  • Burnett, Edmund Cody. The Continental Congress: A Definitive History of the Continental Congress From Its Inception in 1774 to March, 1789 (1941)
  • Chadwick, Bruce. George Washington's War. (2005)
  • Ellis, Joseph J., American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. (1996) ISBN 0-679-76441-0
  • Farber, Daniel. Lincoln's Constitution. (2003) ISBN 0-226-23793-1
  • Barbara Feinberg, The Articles Of Confederation (2002). [for middle school children.]
  • Hendrickson, David C., Peace Pact: The Lost World of the American Founding. (2003) ISBN 0-7006-1237-8
  • Robert W. Hoffert, A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and American Political Ideas (1992).
  • Lucille E. Horgan. Forged in War: The Continental Congress and the Origin of Military Supply and Acquisition Policy (2002)
  • Calvin Jillson and Rick K. Wilson. Congressional Dynamics: Structure, Coordination, and Choice in the First American Congress, 1774-1789. (1994)
  • Andrew C. Mclaughlin, A Constitutional History of the United States (1935) online version
  • Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1998).
  • Jackson T. Main, Political Parties before the Constitution. University of North Carolina Press, 1974
  • Phelps, Glenn A. "The Republican General" in “George Washington Reconsidered.“ edited by Don Higginbotham. (2001) ISBN 0-8139-2005-1
  • Pressly, Thomas J., “Bullets and Ballots: Lincoln and the ‘Right of Revolution’” The American Historical Review, Vol. 67, No. 3. (Apr., 1962)
  • Puls, Mark. Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution. (2008) ISBN- 978-1-4039-8427-2
  • Jack N. Rakove, The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress (1982).
  • Jack N. Rakove, “The Collapse of the Articles of Confederation,” in The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution. Ed by J. Jackson Barlow, Leonard W. Levy and Ken Masugi. Greenwood Press. 1988. Pp 225–45 ISBN 0313256101
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. (1984) ISBN 0-06-015279-6
  • Stahr, Walter. John Jay. (2005) ISBN 0-8264-1879-1


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