The Confederation Period

Americans had a myriad of concerns in the years following the end of the War for Independence. Many of those issues centered on the Articles of Confederation and the powers delegated to Congress. Previous attempts to amend the Articles of Confederation inside and outside of Congress proved unsuccessful. All proposals to give Congress powers to tax and regulate commerce failed to get the approval of all thirteen state legislatures which was required by Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation. Among the many considerations that Americans faced during the “critical period,” the items below certainly paint a somber backdrop to the decade following the Revolutionary War. This Introduction of the Confederation Period will give you a broad perspective of the issues extant during the Confederation Period.

Most Americans in the mid 1780s held certain key assumptions regarding the Articles of Confederation. Among these was the belief that they were weak and therefore an ineffective way to address the affairs of the new nation. Most historians have worked under these assumptions as well. For a different view, see John P. Kaminski’s essay exploring an alternative model titled Empowering the Confederation: A Counterfactual Model.