How the Articles of Confederation Served as Rule of Law Before the U.S. Constitution Was Ratified

Taking a cue from United States history, Simon Whistler, host of the informative video series “Today I Found Out” explains how the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union served as the governing rule of law for the nascent country after the Declaration of Independence had been signed in 1776 and before the Constitution was ratified in 1788.

With independence now declared and the British Empire booted as the governing body of the colonies, there was an immediate need for a document that established an American government. While most people think that the Constitution was the first such document, this is false. The Constitution would not be ratified and established until 1788. America’s first attempt at a government was based on a document called “The Articles of Confederation.” ….By 1790, with the help of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and others of the original framers, every one of the original 13 states had signed off and ratified the United States Constitution, replacing the Articles of Confederation as the governing document in the United States.