1777- Articles of Confederation submitted to the states

On November 17, 1777, Congress submits the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification.

The Articles had been signed by Congress two days earlier, after 16 months of debate. Bickering over land claims between Virginia and Maryland delayed final ratification for almost four more years. Maryland became the last state to approve the Articles on March 1, 1781, affirming them as the outline of the official government of the United States. The nation was guided by the document until the implementation of the current U.S. Constitution in 1789.

The critical distinction between the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution–the primacy of the states under the Articles–is best understood by comparing the following lines.

The Articles of Confederation begin:

“To all to whom these Present shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States…”

By contrast, the Constitution begins:

“We the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The predominance of the states under the Articles of Confederation is made even more explicit by the claims of Article II:

“Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

Less than five years after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, enough leading Americans decided that the system was inadequate to the task of governance that they peacefully overthrew their second government in just over 20 years. The difference between a collection of sovereign states forming a confederation and a federal government created by a sovereign people lay at the heart of the debate as the new American people decided what form their government would take.

For the complete article, go to history.com

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on this day 11/17

1558 – Elizabeth I ascended the English throne upon the death of Queen Mary Tudor.

1603 – Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.

1796 – Catherine the Great of Russia died at the age of 67.

1798 – Irish nationalist leader Wolfe Tone committed suicide while in jail awaiting execution.

1800 – The U.S. Congress held its first session in Washington, DC, in the partially completed Capitol building.

1869 – The Suez Canal opened in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and the Red seas.

1880 – The first three British female graduates received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from London University.

1903 – Russia’s Social Democrats officially split into two groups – Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

1904 – The first underwater submarine journey was taken, from Southampton, England, to the Isle of Wight.

1913 – The steamship Louise became the first ship to travel through the Panama Canal.

1913 – In Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm banned the armed forces from dancing the tango.

1922 – Siberia voted for union with the U.S.S.R.

1962 – Washington’s Dulles International Airport was dedicated by U.S. President Kennedy.

1968 – NBC cut away from the final minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. The Raiders came from behind to beat the Jets 43-32.

1970 – The Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon, the Lunokhod 1. The vehicle was released by Luna 17.

1973 – U.S. President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando, FL, “people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

1979 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the U.S.Embassy in Tehran.

1982 – The Empire State Building was added to the National Register of Historical Places.

1988 – Benazir Bhutto became the first woman leader of an Islamic country. She was elected in the first democratic elections in Pakistan in 11 years.

1990 – A mass grave was discovered by the bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. The bodies were believed to be those of World War II prisoners of war.

1990 – The Soviet government agreed to change the country’s constitution.

1997 – 62 people were killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt. The attackers were killed by police.

1997 – Mario Lemieux was voted into the NHL Hall of Fame.

2001 – “Toys “R” Us Times Square – The Center of the Toy Universe” opened in New York City.

2006 – Sony’s PlayStation 3 went on sale in the United States.

2010 – Reasearchers trapped 38 antihydrogen atoms. It was the first time humans had trapped antimatter.