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LAW Research
& Registry
   
 [THE TEXT OF THIS DOCUMENT WAS TAKEN FROM THE 1994 U.S. CODE ON CD-ROM.]
        -CITE-
            USC - ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION - 1777
        
        -EXPCITE-
            ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION - 1777
        
        -HEAD-
            ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION - 1777 (1)
        
        -STATUTE-
                To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned
                 Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting
              Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress
            assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our
            Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventyseven, and in the Second
            Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of
            Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of
            Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence
            Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
            Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and
            Georgia in the Words following, viz.
                     (1) Congress Resolved, on the 11th of June, 1776, that a
                  committee should be appointed to prepare and digest the form
                  of a confederation to be entered into between the Colonies;
                  and on the day following, after it had been determined that
                  the committee should consist of a member from each Colony,
                  the following persons were appointed to perform that duty, to
                  wit: Mr. Bartlett, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Sherman,
                  Mr. R. R. Livingston, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. M'Kean, Mr. Stone,
                  Mr. Nelson, Mr. Hewes, Mr. E. Rutledge, and Mr. Gwinnett.
                  Upon the report of this committee, the subject was, from time
                  to time, debated, until the 15th of November, 1777, when a
                  copy of the confederation being made out, and sundry
                  amendments made in the diction, without altering the sense,
                  the same was finally agreed to.  Congress, at the same time,
                  directed that the articles should be proposed to the
                  legislatures of all the United States, to be considered, and
                  if approved of by them, they were advised to authorize their
                  delegates to ratify the same in the Congress of the United
                  States; which being done, the same should become conclusive.
                  Three hundred copies of the Articles of Confederation were
                  ordered to be printed for the use of Congress; and on the
                  17th of November, the form of a circular letter to accompany
                  them was brought in by a committee appointed to prepare it,
                  and being agreed to, thirteen copies of it were ordered to be
                  made out, to be signed by the president and forwarded to the
                  several States, with copies of the confederation.  On the
                  29th of November ensuing, a committee of three was appointed,
                  to procure a translation of the articles to be made into the
                  French language, and to report an address to the inhabitants
                  of Canada, &c. On the 26th of June, 1778, the form of a
                  ratification of the Articles of Confederation was adopted,
                  and, it having been engrossed on parchment, it was signed on
                  the 9th of July on the part and in behalf of their respective
                  States, by the delegates of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay,
                  Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New
                  York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina, agreeably
                  to the powers vested in them.  The delegates of North
                  Carolina signed on the 21st of July, those of Georgia on the
                  24th of July, and those of New Jersey on the 26th of November
                  following.  On the 5th of May, 1779, Mr. Dickinson and Mr.
                  Van Dyke signed in behalf of the State of Delaware, Mr.
                  M'Kean having previously signed in February, at which time he
                  produced a power to that effect.  Maryland did not ratify
                  until the year 1781. She had instructed her delegates, on the
                  15th of December, 1778, not to agree to the confederation
                  until matters respecting the western lands should be settled
                  on principles of equity and sound policy; but, on the 30th of
                  January, 1781, finding that the enemies of the country took
                  advantage of the circumstance to disseminate opinions of an
                  ultimate dissolution of the Union, the legislature of the
                  State passed an act to empower their delegates to subscribe
                  and ratify the articles, which was accordingly done by Mr.
                  Hanson and Mr. Carroll, on the 1st of March of that year,
                  which completed the ratifications of the act; and Congress
                  assembled on the 2d of March under the new powers.
                    Note. - The proof of this document, as published above, was
                  read by Mr. Ferdinand Jefferson, the Keeper of the Rolls of
                  the Department of State, at Washington, who compared it with
                  the original in his custody.  He says: ''The initial letters
                  of many of the words in the original of this instrument are
                  capitals, but as no system appears to have been observed, the
                  same words sometimes beginning with a capital and sometimes
                  with a small letter, I have thought it best not to undertake
                  to follow the original in this particular.  Moreover, there
                  are three forms of the letter s: the capital S, the small s
                  and the long s, the last being used indiscriminately to words
                  that should begin with a capital and those that should begin
                  with a small s.''
             ''Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States
               of Newhampshire, Massachusettsbay, Rhodeisland and Providence
               Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania,
               Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and
                               Georgia.
              Article I. The stile of this confederacy shall be ''The United
            States of America.''
              Article II. Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and
            independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not
            by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in
            Congress assembled.
              Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm
            league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the
            security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare,
            binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered
            to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of
            religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
              Article IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship
            and intercourse among the people of the different States in this
            Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers,
            vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to
            all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several
            States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and
            regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all
            the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties,
            impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof
            respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so
            far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State,
            to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided
            also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any
            State, on the property of the United States, or either of them.
              If any person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or
            other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and
            be found in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the
            Governor or Executive power, of the State from which he fled, be
            delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his
            offence.
              Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to
            the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and
            magistrates of every other State.
              Article V. For the more convenient management of the general
            interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually
            appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall
            direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in
            every year, with a power reserved to each State, to recall its
            delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send
            others in their stead, for the remainder of the year.
              No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor
            by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being
            a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor
            shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any
            office under the United States, for which he, or another for his
            benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
              Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the
            States, and while they act as members of the committee of the
            States.
              In determining questions in the United States, in Congress
            assembled, each State shall have one vote.
              Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached
            or questioned in any court, or place out of Congress, and the
            members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from
            arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and
            from, and attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or
            breach of the peace.
              Article VI. No State without the consent of the United States in
            Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any
            embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or
            treaty with any king, prince or state; nor shall any person holding
            any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of
            them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind
            whatever from any king, prince or foreign state; nor shall the
            United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any
            title of nobility.
              No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation
            or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the
            United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the
            purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it
            shall continue.
              No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere
            with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United
            States in Congress assembled, with any king, prince or state, in
            pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress, to the
            courts of France and Spain.
              No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State,
            except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United
            States in Congress assembled, for the defence of such State, or its
            trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State, in
            time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the
            United States, in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to
            garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such State; but
            every State shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined
            militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and
            constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of
            field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition
            and camp equipage.
              No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the
            United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually
            invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a
            resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such
            State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay,
            till the United States in Congress assembled can be consulted: nor
            shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war,
            nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration
            of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then only
            against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against
            which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall
            be established by the United States in Congress assembled, unless
            such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may
            be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger
            shall continue or until the United States in Congress assembled
            shall determine otherwise.
              Article VII. When land-forces are raised by any State for the
            common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall
            be appointed by the Legislature of each State respectively by whom
            such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall
            direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the State which
            first made the appointment.
              Article VIII. All charges of war, and all other expenses that
            shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and
            allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be
            defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the
            several States, in proportion to the value of all land within each
            State, granted to or surveyed for any person, as such land and the
            buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to
            such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from
            time to time direct and appoint.
              The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by
            the authority and direction of the Legislatures of the several
            States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress
            assembled.
              Article IX. The United States in Congress assembled, shall have
            the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and
            war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article - of
            sending and receiving ambassadors - entering into treaties and
            alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made
            whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be
            restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as
            their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the
            exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities
            whatsoever - of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what
            captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes
            taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States
            shall be divided or appropriated - of granting letters of marque
            and reprisal in times of peace - appointing courts for the trial of
            piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing
            courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases
            of captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed
            a judge of any of the said courts.
              The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last
            resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or
            that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning
            boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority
            shall always be exercised in the manner following.  Whenever the
            legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any State in
            controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress,
            stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice
            thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legislative or
            executive authority of the other State in controversy, and a day
            assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents,
            who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent,
            commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and
            determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree,
            Congress shall name three persons out of each of the United States,
            and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately
            strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall
            be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven,
            nor more than nine names as Congress shall direct, shall in the
            presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose
            names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners
            or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always
            as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree
            in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend
            at the day appointed, without showing reasons, which Congress shall
            judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the
            Congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each State,
            and the Secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party
            absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to
            be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and
            conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the
            authority of such court, or to appear or defend their claim or
            cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence,
            or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the
            judgment or sentence and other proceedings being in either case
            transmitted to Congress, and lodged among the acts of Congress for
            the security of the parties concerned: provided that every
            commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be
            administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court
            of the State where the cause shall be tried, ''well and truly to
            hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of
            his judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:''
            provided also that no State shall be deprived of territory for the
            benefit of the United States.
              All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed
            under different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdiction as
            they may respect such lands, and the States which passed such
            grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the
            same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement
            of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the
            Congress of the United States, be finally determined as near as may
            be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes
            respecting territorial jurisdiction between different States.
              The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole
            and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of
            coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective
            States. - fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout
            the United States. - regulating the trade and managing all affairs
            with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that
            the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not
            infringed or violated - establishing and regulating post-offices
            from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and
            exacting such postage on the papers passing thro' the same as may
            be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office - appointing
            all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United
            States, excepting regimental officers - appointing all the officers
            of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the
            service of the United States - making rules for the government and
            regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their
            operations.
              The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to
            appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be
            denominated ''a Committee of the States'', and to consist of one
            delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and
            civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs
            of the United States under their direction - to appoint one of
            their number to preside, provided that no person be allowed to
            serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of
            three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised
            for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply
            the same for defraying the public expenses - to borrow money, or
            emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every
            half year to the respective States an account of the sums of money
            so borrowed or emitted, - to build and equip a navy - to agree upon
            the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State
            for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in
            such State; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the
            Legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers,
            raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a soldier like
            manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and
            men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place
            appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in
            Congress assembled: but if the United States in Congress assembled
            shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any
            State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than
            its quota, and that any other State should raise a greater number
            of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised,
            officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the
            quota of such State, unless the legislature of such State shall
            judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the
            same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and
            equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely
            spared.  And the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped,
            shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on
            by the United States in Congress assembled.
              The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a
            war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor
            enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate
            the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary
            for the defence and welfare of the United States, or any of them,
            nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United
            States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels
            of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea
            forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army
            or navy, unless nine States assent to the same; nor shall a
            question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day
            be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the United
            States in Congress assembled.
              The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to
            any time within the year, and to any place within the United
            States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration
            than the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of
            their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to
            treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment
            require secresy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each
            State on any question shall be entered on the journal, when it is
            desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a State, or any of
            them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a transcript
            of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to
            lay before the Legislatures of the several States.
              Article X. The committee of the States, or any nine of them,
            shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of
            the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled,
            by the consent of nine States, shall from time to time think
            expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to
            the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of
            confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the
            United States assembled is requisite.
              Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in
            the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and
            entitled to all the advantages of this Union: but no other colony
            shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to
            by nine States.
              Article XII. All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and
            debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before the
            assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present
            confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against
            the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said
            United States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
              Article XIII. Every State shall abide by the determinations of
            the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by
            this confederation are submitted to them.  And the articles of this
            confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the
            Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time
            hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed
            to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed
            by the Legislatures of every State.
              And whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the world to
            incline the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in
            Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said
            articles of confederation and perpetual union.  Know ye that we the
            undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us
            given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in
            behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify
            and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation
            and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things
            therein contained: and we do further solemnly plight and engage the
            faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the
            determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all
            questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them.
            And that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the
            States we re(s)pectively represent, and that the Union shall be
            perpetual.
            In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done
              at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of
              July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
              seventy-eight, and in the third year of the independence of
              America. (2)
                     (2) From the circumstances of delegates from the same
                  State having signed the Articles of Confederation at
                  different times, as appears by the dates, it is probable they
                  affixed their names as they happened to be present in
                  Congress, after they had been authorized by their
                  constituents.
                     ON THE PART & BEHALF OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
            Josiah Bartlett,                  John Wentworth, Junr.,
                                              August 8th, 1778.
                  ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY
            John Hancock,                     Francis Dana,
            Samuel Adams,                     James Lovell,
            Elbridge Gerry,                   Samuel Holten.
             ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE
                                        PLANTATIONS
            William Ellery,                   John Collins.
            Henry Marchant,
                     ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
            Roger Sherman,                    Titus Hosmer,
            Samuel                            Andrew Adams.
             Huntington,
            Oliver Wolcott,
                      ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
            Jas. Duane,                       Wm. Duer,
            Fra. Lewis,                       Gouv. Morris.
              ON THE PART AND IN BEHALF OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, NOVR. 26,
                                            1778
            Jno. Witherspoon.                 Nathl. Scudder.
                    ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
            Robt. Morris,                     William Clingan,
            Daniel Roberdeau,                 Joseph Reed, 22d
            Jona. Bayard                      July, 1778.
             Smith,
                       ON THE PART & BEHALF OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
            Tho. M'Kean, Feby.                Nicholas Van Dyke.
             12, 1779.
            John Dickinson, May 5th, 1779.
                      ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND
            John Hanson,                      Daniel Carroll,
             March 1, 1781.                   Mar. 1, 1781.
                      ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
            Richard Henry Lee,                Jno. Harvie,
            John Banister,                    Francis Lightfoot
            Thomas Adams,                     Lee.
                    ON THE PART AND BEHALF OF THE STATE OF NO. CAROLINA
            John Penn,                        Corns. Harnett,
             July 21st, 1778.                 Jno. Williams.
                    ON THE PART & BEHALF OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
            Henry Laurens,                    Richd. Hutson,
            William Henry                     Thos. Heyward, Junr.
             Drayton,
            Jno. Mathews,
                        ON THE PART & BEHALF OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA
            Jno. Walton, 24th                 Edwd. Telfair,
             July, 1778.                      Edwd. Langworthy.
        -END-
         



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