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The Adoption Of The Articles Of Confederation

November 17, 2010 by  

It was 233 years ago this week that our original 13 colonies took a huge step toward nationhood. On Nov. 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. The articles vested the conduct of war and foreign policy in a Federal government, but left everything else to the States.

The Articles of Confederation were modeled after the Swiss Confederation that had been established more than four centuries earlier. On Nov. 15, 1315, the Swiss defeated the powerful Austrian empire in the Battle of Morgarten, when the men of Schwyz (a Swiss canton) lured the Austrians into the mountains and ambushed them in a pass.

The men of Schwyz killed 1,500 Austrian troops, drove hundreds more into Lake Lucerne and put the rest to flight. The country’s inhabitants were so grateful they changed the name of their nation from Helvetia to Switzerland. The country has remained free, independent and faithful to its own Articles of Confederation for nearly 700 years.

Our own Articles of Confederation did not survive nearly as long. Too many Federalists objected to the almost total lack of power the articles gave the central government. Demands for a new Constitutional convention began almost at once.

We know what happened next. Some people still say it was a mistake.

–Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • http://none Mike

    233 years,We are falling fast in histories eyes I am afraid. Oh to have true patriots in goverment again not career clowns.People willing to stand for whats right not whats expdient.Mike L.

  • Harlan Dewayne McVay

    I don’t want to sound like a dunce (sp), but what exactly were you referring to when you said, “We know what happened next.”, at the end of this article. Just to add my two cents worth, without going into details, in my opinion, something most sinister and destructive took place in the 1860′s.

    • http://none Mike

      I think with that last comment he was insinuating that we started to adopt a federalist view in our goverment insted of a republic view. The 2 forms of goverment are close but with the federalist view it was easier for the central goverment to assume more power thus it grows twords Totalatarian goverment.With a true republic we would have only appealed to the central goverment in disputes with neighboring states over such things as commerce and transportation. And the central goverment would be held to its responsibilities of defence and transportation duties. There were a few more that were deligated to the central goverment at the time but I cant remember them all(getting old been a long time since my last civics class)In other words we need to return to a republic view and less twords a federalist view in order to save the republic. Mike L.

  • Vigilant

    Mr. Wood,

    It’s still called Helvetia. Looked at a Swiss postage stamp lately? And when I was in Europe, all the country tags on the cars from Switzerland said, “CH,” Confœderatio Helvetica.

    Switzerland, if I’m not mistaken, is the Anglicized version, much like we call “Deutschland” Germany.

  • Vigilant

    “Our own Articles of Confederation did not survive nearly as long. Too many Federalists objected to the almost total lack of power the articles gave the central government. Demands for a new Constitutional convention began almost at once.

    “We know what happened next. Some people still say it was a mistake.”

    I’m afraid we part ways on this one. The Constitution remains a virtual miracle of modern politics, and a return to the situation established by the Articles would destroy our nation. There’s a reason why our Constitution is the oldest surviving such document in the history of the world.

    It was not a perfect document, but it was light years better than the Articles. The failure of our federalism in the 20th-21st centuries has been the result of our departure from, not our adherence to, the Law of the Land.

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