After the ratification of the Declaration of Independence which officially established the freedom of the united colonies, the Continental Congress began to work on creating a document that provided a legal framework for the new nation that would be the new law of the land. The Articles were written by the Second Continental Congress during the early part of the American Revolution.
John Dickinson, who was the head of the committee had refused to sign the Declaration of Independence, nevertheless adhering to the will of the majority of the members of the Continental Congress, presented a report on the proposed articles to the Congress on July 12, 1776, eight days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Dickinson initially proposed a strong central government, with control over the western lands, equal representation for the states, and the power to levy taxes. Because of the drama with England , the 13 states feared a powerful central government. As a resultthey changedDickinson’s proposed articles drastically before they sent them to all the states for ratification in November 1777. The Continental Congress had been careful to give the states as much independence as possible. The Articles intended to establish a confederation of sovereign states, carefully specifying the limited functions of the federal government. Despite these actions, it tookseveral years before all the states ratified the articles.
The delay resulted from the main focus being the revolution and disagreements among the states. These disagreements included conflictsconcerningboundary lines, conflicting decisions by state courts, differing tariff laws, and trade restrictions between states. The articles created a loose confederation of independent states that gave limited powers to a central government. The national government would consist of a single house of Congress, where each state would have one vote. Congress had the power to .