University of Wisconsin–Madison

Attempts to Revise The Articles of Confederation

Throughout the 1780s there were efforts within Congress to amend the Articles of Confederation to address the pressing financial situation facing the country. Some of these efforts to empower Congress were constructed so as to be temporary grants of power to tax or to regulate commerce. This approach would calm the fears of those who were fearful of an over-powering, consolidated government. Even these failed to gain the requisite approval of all thirteen state legislatures. The selections below illustrate numerous attempts to revise the Articles of Confederation. Several of the attempts at revision foreshadowed many of the issues that surfaced later at the Philadelphia Convention.

Attempts within Congress to Amend the Articles of Confederation

Private Commentary on the Problems in the United States Under the Articles of Confederation