Congress of the Confederation

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The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was a body of representatives appointed by the legislatures of the United States from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. It was the immediate successor to the Second Continental Congress; in fact, the membership of the Second Continental Congress automatically carried over to the Congress of the Confederation when the latter was created by the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.


[edit] Events

The Congress of the Confederation opened in the midst of the American Revolution. Seven months after it started operations, on October 19, 1781, the United States was victorious at the Battle of Yorktown, which ended military operations in the colonies, although combat would continue in the Ohio Valley and in British colonies around the world.

Two years later, the Treaty of Paris was signed, which ended the war and gave British recognition to the United States. With very little power and without the external threat of a war against the British, it became more difficult to get enough delegates to meet to form a quorum. Nonetheless, even in its dysfunctional state, the Congress still managed to get important agreements passed, such as the Northwest Ordinance. There were enough problems that the Congress called a convention in 1787 to recommend changes to the Articles of Confederation. This convention instead issued a Constitution to replace the Articles. The Congress submitted the Constitution to the states, and the Constitution was ratified by enough states to become operative in September 1788. On September 12, 1788, the Congress set the date for choosing the electors for President as January 7, 1789, the date for the electors to vote for President as February 4, 1789, and the date for the Constitution to become operative as March 4, 1789.

The Congress of the Confederation continued to conduct business for another month. On October 10, 1788, the Congress formed a quorum for the last time; afterwards, although delegates would occasionally appear, there were never enough to conduct business, and so the Congress of Confederation passed into history.

[edit] Dates and places of sessions

First Confederation Congress
Second Confederation Congress
Third Confederation Congress
Fourth Confederation Congress
Fifth Confederation Congress
Sixth Confederation Congress
Seventh Confederation Congress
Eighth Confederation Congress
Ninth Confederation Congress
Tenth Confederation Congress

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • Burnet, Edmund C. [1941] (1975). The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3.
  • Henderson, H. James [1974] (2002). Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5.
  • Montross, Lynn [1950] (1970). The Reluctant Rebels; the Story of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X.

[edit] External links

Congress of the Confederation

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