Difference Between Articles of Confederation and US Constitution

Articles of Confederation vs US Constitution
 

The difference between Articles of Confederation and US Constitution exists in many factors such as the legislature, executive, members of Congress, etc. Articles of Confederation and US Constitution are agreement and law respectively concerned with the United States of America. The Articles of Confederation is an agreement among the 13 founding states of America. This agreement established the fact that the United States of America is a confederation of sovereign states. In fact, it can be said that the articles of confederation served as the first constitution of the United States of America. On the other hand, the US Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. The US Constitution is the framework for the organization of the United States government. It is also a constitution meant for the relationship of the federal government with the states of America and the citizens of the country of America. This is the constitution the US is currently following.

What is Articles of Confederation?

The Articles of Confederation is the first constitution under which the United States of America operated. The Articles of Confederation was created on November 15, 1777. It was ratified on March 1, 1781. The members of the Continental Congress were the authors of the Articles of Confederation. All the members of the continental congress officiated as signatories of the Articles of Confederation. Between two and seven members per state constitute the members of the Congress of the Articles of Confederation.

It is interesting to note that the Articles of Confederation gave a sort of legitimacy to the Continental Congress to give green signal to the American Revolutionary War. As a matter of fact, confederation type constitution proved to be a very weak constitution for the United States, and this is the reason why it was replaced by the US constitution.

The Articles of Confederation consists of preamble, seven original articles, twenty seven amendments and a paragraph certifying its enactment by the constitutional convention. As a matter of fact, the preamble of the Articles of Confederation called the nation as the United States of America.

Difference Between Articles of Confederation and US Constitution

Articles of Confederation

What is US Constitution?

The US Constitution is the second US constitution, which operates even in the present. The US Constitution was created on September 17, 1787. It was ratified on June 21, 1788. The delegates of the Philadelphia convention were the authors of the US constitution. About 39 of the 55 delegates of the Philadelphia convention officiated as the signatories. It finally replaced the Articles of Confederation. Two senators per state and the representatives apportioned according to the population of each state constituted the members of the Congress of the US constitution.

The US constitution was originally handwritten, and it is interesting to note that the handwritten document by Jacob Shallus is exhibited at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. The Preamble to the US constitution is different from that to the articles of confederation. The US constitution also named the nation as the United States of America.

 Articles of Confederation vs US Constitution

Signing the Constitution

What is the difference between Articles of Confederation and US Constitution?

It is interesting to note that both the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution were established by the same people. When we say the same people, literally, some people who were involved in the Articles of Confederation also had a hand in this. However, mostly, the phrase same people indicates the contemporaries were involved in creating the US Constitution.

• Definitions of Articles of Confederation and US Constitution:

• The Articles of Confederation was the first US constitution that was in force since 1781 to 1788.

• The US Constitution is the second constitution of the US from 1788 up to the present.

• Time:

• The Articles of Confederation was created on November 15, 1777. It was ratified on March 1, 1781.

• The US Constitution was created on September 17, 1787. It was ratified on June 21, 1788.

• Connection:

• The US Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation. So, the Articles of Confederation was succeeded by the US Constitution.

• Legislature:

• The Articles of Confederation had a unicameral legislature, which they called the Congress.

• The US Constitution has a bicameral legislature known as the Congress. This Congress is divided into two main parts as the House of Representatives and the Senate.

• Members of Congress:

• The Articles of Confederation had between two and seven members per state for the Congress.

• The US Constitution says two senators per state should be allowed in the Congress. The number of representatives depends on the population of each state.

• Executive:

• In the Articles of Confederation, there is no executive.

• In the US Constitution, the President is known as the executive.

• Ratification:

• In the Articles of Confederation, the unanimous consent of all states was a must for ratification.

• In the US Constitution, the consent of nine states is required.

Although there are many differences between the two as pointed out above, it is interesting to note that both the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution were the laws of the United States of America. It is especially very interesting to see, how the US Constitution was created as a better constitution which strengthened the position of the US as a country.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Articles of Confederation by Justin Morgan (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Signing the Constitution, September 17, 1787 via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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