Lessons Learned: The Articles of Confederation

February 28, 2012

Lessons Learned: The Articles of Confederation
Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.
from The Water's Edge

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution. It entered into effect on March 1, 1781, after Maryland became the thirteenth and final colony to ratify it. In the video I examine the Articles’ weaknesses and explore what lessons they have for understanding international relations today. Here’s a question to consider in light of the fact that the founders gave up on the Articles after only six years: What makes for a durable and effective constitution? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Further Reading:

Barlow, J. Jackson, Leonard W. Levy, and Ken Masugi, eds. The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution. (1988)

Bowling, Kenneth R., Inventing Congress: Origins & Establishment Of First Federal Congress. (1999)

Hoffert, Robert W., A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and American Political Ideas. (1992)

More on:

Defense and Security

Politics and Government

Diplomacy and International Institutions

Congresses and Parliaments

Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Jensen, Merrill, The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774-1781. (1959)

McDonald, Forrest, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution. (1986)

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