On this day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Between the States. The Articles functioned as a first constitution for the original thirteen states.
The conclusion of Articles begins with these words:
“And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual…”
Then, the successful ratification, was entrusted to the will of God:
“And Whereas it hath 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.”
Although customary, it is no less significant that the Articles are dated in this (old) fashion:
“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.”
Lastly, a couple especially noteworthy “undersigned delegates” are John Hancock and Samuel Adams, both from Massachusetts Bay. Check out the shop for Our Samuel Adams shirt.
Of course, in the summer 1787, the Constitutional Convention commenced in Philadelphia, and the Articles of Confederation was formally replaced by the U.S. Constitution on March 4, 1789.