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ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
(While the Declaration of Independence was under consideration in the Continental Congress, and before it was finally agreed upon, measures were taken for the establishment of a constitutional form of government; and on the uth of June, 1776, it was “Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare and digest the form of a confederation to be entered into between these Colonies ;" which committee was appointed the next day, June 12, and consisted of a member from each Colony, namely: Mr. Bartlett, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Sherman, Mr. R. R. Livingston, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. McKean, Mr. Stone, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Hewes, Mr. E. Rutledge, and Mr. Gwinnett. On the 12th of July, 1776, the committee reported a draught of the Articles of Confederation, which was printed for the use of the members under the strictest injunctions of secrecy.
This report underwent a thorough discussion in Congress, from time to time, until the 15th of November, 1777; on which day, “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” were finally agreed to in form, and they were directed to be proposed to the legislatures of all the United States, and if approved by them, they were advised to authorize their delegates to ratify the same in the Congress of the United States; and in that event they were to become conclusive. On the 17th of November, 1777, the Congress agreed upon the form of a circular letter to accompany the Articles of Confederation, which concluded with a recommendation to each of the several legislatures “to invest its delegates with competent powers, ultimately, and in the name and behalf of the State, to subscribe articles of confederation and perpetual union of the United States, and to attend Congress for that purpose on or before the roth day of March next." This letter was signed by the President of Congress and sent, with a copy of the articles, to each State legislature.
On the 26th of June, 1778, Congress agreed upon the form of a ratification of the Articles of Confederation, and directed a copy of the articles and the ratification to be engrossed on parchment; which, on the 9th of July, 1778, having been examined and the blanks filled, was signed by the delegates of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina. Congress then directed that a circular letter be addressed to the States whose delegates were not present, or being present, conceived
they were not authorized to sign the ratification, informing them how many and what States had ratified the Articles of Confederation, and desiring them, with all convenient dispatch, to authorize their delegates to ratify the same. Of these States, North Carolina ratified on the 21st and Georgia on the 24th of July, 1778; New Jersey on the 26th of November following; Delaware on the 5th of May, 1779; Maryland on the ist of March, 1781; and on the 2d of March, 1781, Congress assembled under the new form of government.]
ACT OF CONFEDERATION OF THE UNITED STATES
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 15th day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, 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. “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.
ARTICLE I. The Stile of this confederacy shall be “The United States of America."
ARTICLE 11. 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 interest 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 recal 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