The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was the first written constitution or plan of government of the United States of America and specified how the national government was to operate. It was drafted in 1776-77 and became the working constitution, although it was not formally ratified until 1781. The Articles legitimized the Congress in its supervision of the American Revolution, its diplomacy with Europe, and its handling of territorial issues. Nationalists complained that it was too weak, and after extensive debate it was replaced by the current Constitution in 1789.
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