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It adopted trade restrictions, established and maintained an army, issued fiat money, created a military code and negotiated with foreign governments.
A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states.
The weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.
Little changed politically once the Articles of Confederation went into effect, as ratification did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.
That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but most Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same.
Maryland finally ratified the Articles on February 2, 1781.
Congress was informed of Maryland's assent on March 1, and officially proclaimed the Articles of Confederation to be the law of the land.It would be two years before the Maryland General Assembly became satisfied that the various states would follow through, and voted to ratify.During this time, Congress observed the Articles as its de facto frame of government.It was approved, after much debate (between July 1776 and November 1777), by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, and sent to the states for ratification.The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states.On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent; at the same time he also urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states.Congress then created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, and the Articles of Confederation.Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen; others would weaken, especially in the degree of loyalty (or lack thereof) owed the Crown.Civil disobedience resulted in coercive and quelling measures, such as the passage of what the colonials referred to as the intolerable acts in the English Parliament, and armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels.The Declaration announced the states' entry into the international system; the model treaty was designed to establish amity and commerce with other states; and the Articles of Confederation, which established "a firm league" among the thirteen free and independent states, constituted an international agreement to set up central institutions for the conduct of vital domestic and foreign affairs.On June 12, 1776, a day after appointing a committee to prepare a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of 13 to prepare a draft of a constitution for a union of the states.