What Document Did The Constitution Replace ?
The Constitution of the United States is the framework or guideline which forms the base for all the laws which governs the country. However, many do not know about the document that existed before the Constitution was enforced. This earlier document which was used as a guideline before the Constitution is known as the Articles of Confederation.
Often considered as the first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation was drafted in 1777 by the same set of people who had drafted the Declaration of Independence. This guideline went into effect from March 1, 1781, once all the thirteen states consented and signed on it. The importance of the document lies in the period of its conception. This was conceived by the Founding Fathers of the country at the time of the immense unrest in the country during the Revolutionary War.
At that time, it was a common goal of the thirteen original states to establish a constitution that maintained the peace and order within the individual states and not ruled by all-powerful central government. Through these articles, the states retained their independence for the most part, and were considered sovereign to a large degree. While the Congress played a major role in framing the article, and was mostly in charge of the international affairs. However, they were denied powers, like collecting tax and enforcing laws within the country as a whole.
The law making decisions and legislature were left in the hands of each independent state. The legislative body was unicameral unlike the present Congress which is bi-cameral.
The Articles of Confederation was an attempt to establish a united national government, and ultimately created a Confederation called the United States of America. While it had many loop holes, it served the country as a guiding factor for ten years before the Constitution was conceived and enforced.
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