Articles of the Confederation and Perpetual Union - the first constitutional document of the United States . The articles of the Confederation were adopted at the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777 in York ( Pennsylvania ) and ratified by all thirteen states (the last was done by Maryland on March 1, 1781 ). The Confederation Articles established the powers and authorities of the Confederation. According to the articles, the Confederation resolved issues of war and peace, diplomacy, Western territories, money circulation and state loans, while the remaining issues remained with the states.
It soon became apparent that the powers of the Confederate government were very limited (in particular, it did not have tax powers) and this weakened the unity of the new state. Another major drawback was the equal representation of the states in the Confederation Congress, which caused discontent among large and densely populated states. Criticism of the Articles of the Confederation and the need for "the formation of a better Union  " led to the adoption in 1787 of the US Constitution , which entered into force, replacing the Articles of the Confederation, March 4, 1789
The independence movement of the North American colonies from the British Empire began to gain strength from the middle of the 18th century . In 1775, the US War of Independence began, after which it became obvious that the colonies could achieve independence only by uniting. Held in the same year, the Second Continental Congress included representatives from thirteen states, was the main authority of the colonies throughout the war (until the creation of the Confederate Congress in 1781). It was the Second Continental Congress that adopted the Articles of the Confederation and submitted them for ratification.
The entry into force of the Articles required ratification by all 13 states. Ratification by states took place in the following order 
- Virginia - December 16, 1777
- South Carolina - February 5, 1778
- New York - February 6, 1778
- Rhode Island - February 16, 1778
- Georgia - February 26, 1778
- Connecticut - February 27, 1778
- New Hampshire - March 4, 1778
- PA - March 5, 1778
- Massachusetts - March 10, 1778
- North Carolina - April 24, 1778
- New Jersey - November 20, 1778
- Delaware - February 1, 1779
- Maryland - February 2, 1781
On March 1, 1781, the Articles were signed by the delegation of Maryland, after which they entered into force.
The articles of the Confederation were composed on five pages and consist of a preamble, thirteen articles and a list of signatures.
- The name of the Confederation is “United States of America”.
- The sovereignty of the states is established and their powers are guaranteed to the extent that they are not transferred to the Confederation.
- The goals of the creation of the Confederation are set, the states are obligated to help each other.
- The freedom of movement of state citizens in the Confederation and the duty of states to extradite criminals are established.
- The principle of “one state has one vote in Congress” and the procedure for appointing representatives to Congress (representatives are determined by state legislatures, each state must have at least 2 and no more than 7 representatives in Congress, one person cannot be a representative for more than three out of every six years) .
- International relations are the exclusive competence of the Confederation, states are forbidden to have their own armed forces (with the exception of the militia) and the navy without the permission of Congress.
- The order of conferring military ranks during the war (the ranks below the colonel are assigned to the state legislatures).
- Confederate expenses are paid from fees established by state legislatures and distributed across states in proportion to the state’s land value.
- The powers of the Confederation: declaration of war, standardization of measures and weights (including monetary circulation), consideration of disputes between states.
- The State Committee is the body that acts as the government between Congress sessions.
- The procedure for accepting a new member is being established (Canada (the modern province of Quebec ) is accepted by default, in other cases, approval by nine states is required).
- Confirmation of obligations undertaken by the United States prior to the approval of the Articles of Confederation.
- Procedure for changing Articles - Changes must be approved by all states.
- Rebellion shays
- Preamble to the US Constitution
- Stanley L. Klos. President Who? - Stanley Klos, 2004 .-- S. 17 .-- ISBN 0975262750
- Articles of the confederation of 1781-1788 (rus.) // Constitutions and legislative acts of bourgeois states XVII-XIX. - M.: State Publishing House of Legal Literature , 1957 (translated according to the annex to the Russian translation of the book by James Bryce, American Republic: In 3 hours, Part 1-3 / Soch. James Bryce, author of the book "Holy Roman Empire" and member Chambers of Deputies from Aberdeen; Translated from English by V. N. Nevedomsky . - M.: K. T. Soldatenkov , 1889-1890.)
- Articles of the Confederation and perpetual union (Translated by A.V. Kamensky ) // Channing E. History of the United States of North America . - SPb., 1897. - S. 339-350
- The Articles of Confederation // The University of Oklahoma Law Center (English)