Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Yale Law Journal

Publication Date

11-1978

Abstract

This Note disputes the accepted view of the Articles Period and interprets the years 1777-1789 as ones in which the national government gained and exercised increasing powers. The legal and political institutions created during this period were the basis for the Constitution's national federalism, a political structure characterized by state deference to national power in certain major policy areas and the common recognition of a national citizenship given reality by comity among the states. Examination of the drafting history and actual text of the Articles suggests that the document was the result of a drive toward union, not an obsession with decentralization. In fact, the national government grew in power and institutional strength from 1777 to 1789, and the theoretical and institutional structures of the government of the early Constitution Period owed a very substantial debt to those of the Articles Period.

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