A report on Articles of Confederation

1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed on November 15, 1777
The Act of the Maryland legislature to ratify the Articles of Confederation, February 2, 1781
Preamble to Art. V, Sec. 1
Art. V, Sec. 2 to Art. VI
Art. VII to Art. IX, Sec. 2
Art. IX, Sec. 2 to Sec. 5
Art. IX, Sec. 5 to Art. XIII, Sec. 2
Art. XIII, Sec. 2 to signatures

Agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first frame of government.

- Articles of Confederation

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Constitutional Convention (United States)

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The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787.

The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787.

Independence Hall's Assembly Room
James Madison, the author of the Virginia Plan
Virginia Plan
Charles Pinckney Plan
Edmund Randolph, the Governor of Virginia, introduced the Virginia Plan
James Wilson's ideas shaped the American presidency more than any other delegate
New Jersey Plan
Hamilton's Plan
Roger Sherman of Connecticut
Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
U.S. Postage, Issue of 1937, depicting Delegates at the signing of the Constitution, engraving after a painting by Junius Brutus Stearns
Quaker John Dickinson argued forcefully against slavery during the convention. Once Delaware's largest slaveholder, he had freed all of his slaves by 1787.

Although the convention was intended to revise the league of states and first system of government under the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new Frame of Government rather than fix the existing one.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

Constitution of the United States

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Supreme law of the United States of America.

Supreme law of the United States of America.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
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"We the People" in an original edition
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
John Jay, 1789–1795
John Marshall, 1801–1835
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
José Rizal
Sun Yat-sen

It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution.

United States Declaration of Independence

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Pronouncement and founding document adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

Pronouncement and founding document adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, as painted by Rembrandt Peale
The 13 states at the Declaration of Independence
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, an idealized depiction of Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).
Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and finalize the Declaration of Independence
"Declaration House", the reconstructed boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street in Philadelphia, where Jefferson wrote the Declaration
The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). The opening lines differ between the two versions.
English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)
The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Syng inkstand, which was used at both the 1776 signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, is on display in Philadelphia
On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock's signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.
William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, manumitted his slave, believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own slaves.
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building
a new broadside
John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress.
United States two-dollar bill (reverse)
Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1845–1846
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her two sons (1848)

John Dickinson made one last effort to delay the decision, arguing that Congress should not declare independence without first securing a foreign alliance and finalizing the Articles of Confederation.

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general

Second Continental Congress

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Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

Meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America that united in the American Revolutionary War.

1876 Currier & Ives printing of Washington being promoted to commanding general
John Trumbull's 1819 painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee presenting the Declaration of Independence to Congress
South facade of Independence Hall (formerly the Pennsylvania Statehouse), Philadelphia, principal meeting site of the Second Continental Congress
1977 13-cent U.S. Postage stamp commemorating the Articles of Confederation bicentennial; the draft was completed in York (formerly York Town), Pennsylvania on November 15, 1777
A five-dollar banknote issued by the Second Continental Congress in 1775.

During this period, its achievements included: Successfully managing the war effort; drafting the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first U.S. constitution; securing diplomatic recognition and support from foreign nations; and resolving state land claims west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796

George Washington

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American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

Portrait based on the unfinished Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1796
Ferry Farm, the residence of the Washington family on the Rappahannock River
Lieutenant Colonel Washington holds night council at Fort Necessity
Washington the Soldier: Lieutenant Colonel Washington on horseback during the Battle of the Monongahela (oil, Reǵnier, 1834)
Colonel George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1772
Martha Washington based on a 1757 portrait by John Wollaston
General Washington, Commander of the Continental Army by Charles Willson Peale (1776)
Washington taking command of the Continental Army, just before the siege.
Battle of Long Island
Alonzo Chappel (1858)
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (1851)
The Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
See map
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776
by John Trumbull
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, by John Ward Dunsmore (1907)
Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, Emanuel Leutze (1851–1854)
An engraving of Washington, likely made after his tenure in the army.
French King Louis XVI allied with Washington and Patriot American colonists
Siege of Yorktown, Generals Washington and Rochambeau give last orders before the attack
General George Washington Resigning His Commission, by John Trumbull, 1824
Shays' Rebellion confirmed for Washington the need to overhaul the Articles of Confederation.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. Washington is the presiding officer standing at right.
President George Washington, Gilbert Stuart (1795)
The President's House in Philadelphia was Washington's residence from 1790 to 1797
John Jay, negotiator of the Jay Treaty
Seneca chief Red Jacket was Washington's peace emissary with the Northwestern Confederacy.
Battle of Fallen Timbers by R. F. Zogbaum, 1896. The Ohio Country was ceded to America in its aftermath.
USS Constitution: Commissioned and named by President Washington in 1794
Washington's Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)
distillery
Washington on his Deathbed
Junius Brutus Stearns 1799
Miniature of George Washington by Robert Field (1800)
The sarcophagi of George (right) and Martha Washington at the present tomb's entrance
The Washington Family by Edward Savage (c. 1789–1796) George and Martha Washington with her grandchildren. National Art Gallery
George Washington's bookplate with the Coat of arms of the Washington family
George Washington as Master of his Lodge, 1793
Washington as Farmer at Mount Vernon
Junius Brutus Stearns, 1851
Runaway advertisement for Oney Judge, enslaved servant in Washington's presidential household
In 1794, Washington privately expressed to Tobias Lear, his secretary, that he found slavery to be repugnant.
Washington, the Constable by Gilbert Stuart (1797)
A drawing from a Japanese manuscript of Washington fighting a tiger.
Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
nation's first postage stamps
Washington issue of 1862
Washington–Franklin issue of 1917
Washington quarter dollar
George Washington Presidential one-dollar coin
Washington on the 1928 dollar bill

On March 1, 1781, Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, but the government that took effect on March2 did not have the power to levy taxes, and it loosely held the states together.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815

John Adams

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American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.

John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. undefined 1800–1815
Adams's birthplace now in Quincy, Massachusetts
Boston Massacre of 1770 by Alonzo Chappel
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence depicts the Committee of Five presenting its draft to Congress. Adams is depicted in the center with his hand on his hip.
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Adams frequently clashed with Benjamin Franklin over how to manage French relations.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West (Adams in front).
Adams – 1785 Mather Brown Portrait
Portrait of Adams by John Trumbull, 1793
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1795. Washington rarely consulted Vice President Adams, who often felt marginalized and overshadowed by Washington's prestige.
1796 presidential election results
President's House, Philadelphia. Adams occupied this Philadelphia mansion from March 1797 to May 1800.
A political cartoon depicts the XYZ Affair – America is a female being plundered by Frenchmen. (1798)
Thomas Jefferson, Adams's vice president, attempted to undermine many of his actions as president and eventually defeated him for reelection.
Alexander Hamilton's desire for high military rank and his push for war with France put him into conflict with Adams.
1800 presidential election results
John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of Adams's few dependable allies
John Adams, c. 1816, by Samuel Morse (Brooklyn Museum)
Tombs of John and Abigail Adams (far) and John Quincy and Louisa Adams (near), in family crypt at United First Parish Church
Peacefield - John Adams' Home
Thoughts on Government (1776)
John Adams by Gilbert Stuart (1823). This portrait was the last made of Adams, done at the request of John Quincy.

While in London, Adams learned of a convention being planned to amend the Articles of Confederation.

President of the United States

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Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

George Washington, the first president of the United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a radio address, 1933
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on
President Donald Trump delivers his 2018 State of the Union Address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Gorbachev sign the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully preserved the Union during the American Civil War.
President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court appointee Justice Sotomayor, 2009
President Ronald Reagan reviews honor guards during a state visit to China, 1984
President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day, 1916
President Jimmy Carter (left) debates Republican nominee Ronald Reagan on October 28, 1980.
Map of the United States showing the number of electoral votes allocated following the 2010 census to each state and the District of Columbia for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections; it also notes that Maine and Nebraska distribute electors by way of the congressional district method. 270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible.
Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944), leading to the adoption of a two-term limit.
President William McKinley and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt
President Reagan surrounded by Secret Service
From left: George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Photo taken in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009; Obama formally took office thirteen days later.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, 2013
White House, the official residence
Camp David, the official retreat
Blair House, the official guest house
The presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast"
The presidential plane, called Air Force One when the president is on board
Marine One helicopter, when the president is aboard

Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.

An artist's depiction of the rebellion: Shays' troops repulsed from the armory at Springfield, Massachusetts in early 1787

Shays' Rebellion

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Armed uprising in Western Massachusetts and Worcester in response to a debt crisis among the citizenry and in opposition to the state government's increased efforts to collect taxes both on individuals and their trades.

Armed uprising in Western Massachusetts and Worcester in response to a debt crisis among the citizenry and in opposition to the state government's increased efforts to collect taxes both on individuals and their trades.

An artist's depiction of the rebellion: Shays' troops repulsed from the armory at Springfield, Massachusetts in early 1787
Populist Governor John Hancock refused to crack down on tax delinquencies and accepted devalued paper currency for debts.
Artist's depiction of protesters watching a debtor in a scuffle with a tax collector by the courthouse at Springfield, Massachusetts. The insurrection was a tax-related rebellion.
Governor James Bowdoin instituted a heavy tax burden and stepped up a collection of back taxes.
Militia general William Shepard defended the Springfield Armory against rebel action.
General Benjamin Lincoln, portrait by Henry Sargent
This monument marks the spot of the final battle of Shays' Rebellion in Sheffield, Massachusetts.
The 1787 Constitutional Convention by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856
Elbridge Gerry (1861 portrait by James Bogle) opposed the Constitution as drafted, although his reasons for doing so were not strongly influenced by the rebellion.

The widely held view was that the Articles of Confederation needed to be reformed as the country's governing document, and the events of the rebellion served as a catalyst for the Constitutional Convention and the creation of the new government.

Continental Congress

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Series of legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War.

Series of legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War.

In March 1781, the nation's first Frame of Government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, came into force, at which time the body became what later was called the Congress of the Confederation.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

Benjamin Franklin

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American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

American polymath who was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. Among the leading intellectuals of his time, Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General.

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778
La scuola della economia e della morale sketch of Franklin, 1825
Benjamin Franklin (center) at work on a printing press. Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company.
William Franklin (1730-1813), son of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle (January 1741)
Robert Feke's 1748 painting of Franklin
This Join, or Die by Franklin urged the colonies to join the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War). It later served as a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolution.
In 1751, Franklin co-founded Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the first hospitals in the United States (depicted in this engaving by William Strickland, 1755)
Seal of the College of Philadelphia
Sketch of the original Tun Tavern
First U. S. postage stamp, issue of 1847, honoring Benjamin Franklin.
Pass, signed by Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin, gave William Goddard the authority to travel as needed to investigate and inspect postal routes and protect the mail.
Pennsylvania colonial currency printed by Franklin and David Hall in 1764
Franklin in London, 1767, wearing a blue suit with elaborate gold braid and buttons, a far cry from the simple dress he affected at the French court in later years. Painting by David Martin, displayed in the White House.
John Trumbull depicts the Committee of Five presenting their work to the Congress.
Franklin, in his fur hat, charmed the French with what they perceived as rustic New World genius.
While in France, Franklin designed and commissioned Augustin Dupré to engrave the medallion Libertas Americana, minted in Paris in 1783.
Franklin's return to Philadelphia, 1785, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Gouverneur Morris signs the Constitution before Washington. Franklin is behind Morris. Painting by Hintermeister, 1925.
Franklin's grave, Philadelphia
Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Benjamin West
Franklin and Electricity vignette engraved by the BEP (c. 1860)
An illustration from Franklin's paper on "Water-spouts and Whirlwinds"
A bust of Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1778
Voltaire blessing Franklin's grandson, in the name of God and Liberty, by Pedro Américo, 1889–90
Benjamin Franklin by Hiram Powers
Dr Richard Price, the radical minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, holding a letter from Franklin
Franklin bust in the Archives Department of Columbia University in New York City
Glass harmonica
Franklin on the Series 2009 hundred dollar bill
Marble memorial statue, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
commemorative stamps
Life-size bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin (seated with cane) in the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

While the plan was not adopted, elements of it found their way into the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.