Course Hero Logo
Literature Study GuidesArticles Of Confederation

Articles of Confederation | Study Guide

United States Supreme Court

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Articles of Confederation Study Guide." Course Hero. 21 Dec. 2018. Web. 31 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, December 21). Articles of Confederation Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Articles of Confederation Study Guide." December 21, 2018. Accessed May 31, 2023.


Course Hero, "Articles of Confederation Study Guide," December 21, 2018, accessed May 31, 2023,



United States Supreme Court

Year Published



Primary Source



At a Glance

  • The Articles of Confederation functioned as the first constitution of the United States while the emerging republic was fighting for independence from Britain. Drafted by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War (1775–83), the articles were submitted to the 13 states and went into effect in 1777. They were not fully ratified until 1781, with Maryland being the last to sign.
  • During the 1780s the document's inadequacy as a governmental framework became clear to influential founders such as George Washington (1732–99), James Madison (1751–1836), John Jay (1745–1829), and Alexander Hamilton (1755/57–1804). These leaders lobbied to reform or replace the articles.
  • The push for reform led to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, from May to September 1787, where a newly written Constitution establishing the permanent structure of the United States government was drafted. The Constitution was ratified by 1789.
  • The articles are significant because they show the difficulty of establishing a federalist system of government without precedent at this time—a republic with powers allocated to both national and state governments but with the state governments retaining most of the sovereignty.
  • The articles' failures exemplify the challenges confronted by Americans as they labored to build a new nation after their victory in the Revolution.


This study guide for United States Supreme Court's Articles of Confederation offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Articles of Confederation? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!