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