Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History

Publication Date



The Articles of Confederation were the formal charter of the government of the United States until they were superseded by the Constitution. As tensions with Great Britain grew during the third quarter of the eighteenth century, so did American interest in the creation of a confederation of the colonies. Such a confederation was viewed as a step toward independence. When on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee proposed that the Second Continental Congress declare independence, he also moved "that a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."


By Permission of Oxford University Press

This chapter is from Oxford International encyclopedia of legal history edited by Stanley N. Katz.