The Admiralty known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England in the Kingdom of Great Britain, from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral, the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty. In 1964, the functions of the Admiralty were transferred to a new Admiralty Board, a committee of the tri-service Defence Council of the United Kingdom and part of the Navy Department of the Ministry of Defence; the new Admiralty Board meets only twice a year, the day-to-day running of the Royal Navy is controlled by a Navy Board. It is common for the various authorities now in charge of the Royal Navy to be referred to as simply'The Admiralty'; the title of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom was vested in the monarch from 1964 to 2011.
The title was awarded to Duke of Edinburgh by Queen Elizabeth II on his 90th birthday. There continues to be a Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom and a Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom, both of which are honorary offices; the office of Admiral of England was created around 1400. King Henry VIII established the Council of the Marine—later to become the Navy Board—in 1546, to oversee administrative affairs of the naval service. Operational control of the Royal Navy remained the responsibility of the Lord High Admiral, one of the nine Great Officers of State; this management approach would continue in force in the Royal Navy until to 1832. King Charles I put the office of Lord High Admiral into commission in 1628, control of the Royal Navy passed to a committee in the form of the Board of Admiralty; the office of Lord High Admiral passed a number of times in and out of commission until 1709, after which the office was permanently in commission. In this organization a dual system operated the Lord High Admiral Commissioners of the Admiralty exercised the function of general control of the Navy and they were responsible for the conduct of any war, while the actual supply lines and services were managed by four principal officers, the Treasurer, Comptroller and Clerk of the Acts, responsible individually for finance, supervision of accounts and maintenance of ships, record of business.
These principal officers came to be known as the Navy Board responsible for'civil administration' of the navy, from 1546 to 1832. This structure of administering the navy lasted for 285 years, the supply system was inefficient and corrupt its deficiencies were due as much to its limitations of the times they operated in; the various functions within the Admiralty were not coordinated and lacked inter-dependency with each other, with the result that in 1832, Sir James Graham abolished the Navy Board and merged its functions within those of the Board of Admiralty. At the time this had distinct advantages. In 1860 saw big growth in the development of technical crafts, the expansion of more admiralty branches that began with age of steam that would have an enormous influence on the navy and naval thought. Between 1860 and 1908, there was no real study of strategy and of staff work conducted within the naval service. All the Navy's talent flowed to the great technical universities; this school of thought for the next 50 years was technically based.
The first serious attempt to introduce a sole management body to administer the naval service manifested itself in the creation of the Admiralty Navy War Council in 1909. It was believed by officials within the Admiralty at this time that the running of war was quite a simple matter for any flag officer who required no formal training. However, this mentality would be questioned with the advent of the Agadir crisis, when the Admiralty's war plans were criticized. Following this, a new advisory body called the Admiralty War Staff was instituted in 1912, headed by the Chief of the War Staff, responsible for administering three new sub-divisions responsible for operations and mobilisation; the new War Staff had hardly found its feet and it continually struggled with the opposition to its existence by senior officers they were categorically opposed to a staff. The deficiencies of the system within this department of state could be seen in the conduct of the Dardanelles campaign. There were no mechanisms in place to answer the big strategic questions.
A Trade Division was created in 1914. Sir John Jellicoe came to the Admiralty in 1916, he re-organized the war staff as following: Chief of War Staff, Intelligence, Signal Section, Trade. It was not until 1917 that the admiralty department was again properly reorganized and began to function as a professional military staff. In May 1917, the term "Admiralty War Staff" was renamed and that department and its functional role were superseded by a new "Admiralty Naval Staff". Appointed was a new post, that of
In jurisdictions following the English common law system, equity is the body of law, developed in the English Court of Chancery and, now administered concurrently with the common law. For much of its history, the English common law was principally developed and administered in the central royal courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer. Equity was the name given to the law, administered in the Court of Chancery; the Judicature Reforms in the 1870s effected a procedural fusion of the two bodies of law, ending their institutional separation. The reforms did not effect any substantive fusion, however. Judicial or academic reasoning which assumes the contrary has been described as a "fusion fallacy". Jurisdictions which have inherited the common law system differ in their current treatment of equity. Over the course of the twentieth century some common law systems began to place less emphasis on the historical or institutional origin of substantive legal rules. In England, New Zealand, Canada, equity remains a distinct body of law.
Modern equity includes, among other things: The law relating to express and constructive trusts. The latter part of the twentieth century saw increased debate over the utility of treating equity as a separate body of law; these debates were labelled the "fusion wars". A particular flashpoint in this debate centred on the concept of unjust enrichment and whether areas of law traditionally regarded as equitable could be rationalised as part of a single body of law known as the law of unjust enrichment. After the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, royal justice came to be administered in three central courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer; the common law developed in these royal courts. To commence litigation in these royal courts, it was necessary to fit one's claim within a form of action; the plaintiff would purchase a writ in the Chancery, the head of, the Lord Chancellor. If the law provided no remedy, litigants could sometimes appeal directly to the King.
The King would delegate resolution of these petitions to the King's Council. These petitions were delegated to the Lord Chancellor himself. In the early history of the United States, common law was viewed as a birthright. Both the individual states and the federal government supported common law after the American Revolution. U. S. courts draw on decisions of English courts, individual state courts, federal courts in formulating common law. By the 14th century it appears that Chancery was operating as a court, affording remedies for which the strict procedures of the common law worked injustice or provided no remedy to a deserving plaintiff. Chancellors had theological and clerical training and were well versed in Roman law and canon law. By the 15th century the judicial power of Chancery was recognised. Equity, as a body of rules, varied from Chancellor until the end of the 16th century. After the end of the 17th century, only lawyers were appointed to the office of Chancellor. Over time, Equity developed a system of precedent much like its common-law cousin.
One area in which the Court of Chancery assumed a vital role was the enforcement of uses, a role that the rigid framework of land law could not accommodate. This role gave rise to the basic distinction between equitable interests, it was early provided that, in seeking to remove one who wrongfully entered another's land with force and arms, a person could allege disseisin and demand a writ of entry. That writ gave him the written right to re-enter his own land and established this right under the protection of the Crown if need be, whence its value. In 1253, to prevent judges from inventing new writs, Parliament provided that the power to issue writs would thereafter be transferred to judges only one writ at a time, in a "writ for right" package known as a form of action. However, because it was limited to enumerated writs for enumerated rights and wrongs, the writ system sometimes produced unjust results, thus though the King's Bench might have jurisdiction over a case and might have the power to issue the perfect writ, the plaintiff might still not have a case if there was not a single form of action combining them.
Therefore, lacking a legal remedy, the plaintiff's only option would be petitioning the King. People began petitioning the King for relief against unfair judgments, as the number of petitioners grew, so the King delegated the task of hearing petitions to the Lord Chancellor; as the early Chancellors lacked formal legal training and showed little regard for precedent, their decisions were widely diverse. In 1529, a lawyer, Sir Thomas More, was appointed as Chancellor. After this time, all future Chancellors were lawyers. Beginning around 1557, records of proceedings in the Courts of Chancery were kept and several equitable doctrines developed. Criticisms continued, the most famous being 17th-century jurist John Selden's aphorism:Equity is a roguish thing: for law we have a measure, know what to trust to. One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot:'tis the same thing in a Chancellor's conscience. A criticis
Oliver Ellsworth was an American lawyer, judge and diplomat. He was a framer of the United States Constitution, a United States Senator from Connecticut, the third Chief Justice of the United States. Additionally, Ellsworth received 11 electoral votes in the 1796 presidential election. Born in Windsor, Ellsworth attended the College of New Jersey where he helped found the American Whig–Cliosophic Society. In 1777, he became the state attorney for Hartford County and was selected as a delegate to the Continental Congress, serving during the American Revolutionary War, he served as a state judge during the 1780s and was selected as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which produced the United States Constitution. While at the convention, Ellsworth played a role in fashioning the Connecticut Compromise between the more populous states and the less populous states, he served on the Committee of Detail, which prepared the first draft of the Constitution, but he left the convention before signing the document.
His influence helped ensure that Connecticut ratified the Constitution, he was elected as one of Connecticut's inaugural pair of Senators, serving from 1789 to 1796. He was the chief author of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which shaped the federal judiciary of the United States and established the Supreme Court's power to overturn state supreme court decisions that were contrary to the United States Constitution. Ellsworth aligned with the Federalist Party, he led the Senate passage of Hamiltonian proposals such as the Funding Act of 1790 and the Bank Bill of 1791. He advocated in favor of the United States Bill of Rights and the Jay Treaty. In 1796, after the Senate rejected the nomination of John Rutledge to serve as Chief Justice, President George Washington nominated Ellsworth to the position. Ellsworth was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, served until 1800, when he resigned due to poor health. Few cases came before the Ellsworth Court, he is chiefly remembered for his discouragement of the previous practice of seriatim opinion writing.
He served as an envoy to France from 1799 to 1800, signing the Convention of 1800 to settle the hostilities of the Quasi-War. He was succeeded as chief justice by John Marshall, he subsequently served on the Connecticut Governor's Council until his death in 1807. Ellsworth was born in Connecticut, to Capt. David and Jemima Ellsworth, he transferred to the College of New Jersey at the end of his second year. Along with William Paterson and Luther Martin he founded the "Well Meaning Club," which became the Cliosophic Society—now part of Whig-Clio, the nation's oldest college debating club, he received his A. B. degree in 1766, Phi Beta Kappa after 2 years. Soon afterward, Ellsworth turned to the law. After four years of study, he was admitted to the bar in 1771 and became a successful lawyer and politician. In 1772, Ellsworth married Abigail Wolcott, the daughter of Abigail Abbot and William Wolcott, nephew of Connecticut colonial governor Roger Wolcott, granddaughter of Abiah Hawley and William Wolcott of East Windsor, Connecticut.
They had nine children including the twins William Wolcott Ellsworth, who married Noah Webster's daughter, served in Congress and became the governor of Connecticut. Oliver Ellsworth was the grandfather of Henry L. Ellsworth's son Henry W. Ellsworth. From a slow start, Ellsworth built up a prosperous law practice. In 1777, he became Connecticut's state attorney for Hartford County; that same year, he was chosen as one of Connecticut's representatives in the Continental Congress. He served on various committees until 1783, including the Marine Committee, the Board of Treasury, the Committee of Appeals. Ellsworth was active in his state's efforts during the Revolution, having served as a member of the Committee of the Pay Table that supervised Connecticut's war expenditures. In 1777 he joined the Committee of Appeals, which can be described as a forerunner of the Federal Supreme Court. While serving on it, he participated in the Olmstead case that first brought state and federal authority into conflict.
In 1779, he assumed greater duties as a member of the Council of Safety, with the governor, controlled all military measures for the state. His first judicial service was on the Supreme Court of Errors when it was established in 1785, but he soon shifted to the Connecticut Superior Court and spent four years on its bench. Ellsworth participated in the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia as a delegate from Connecticut along with Roger Sherman and William Samuel Johnson. More than half of the 55 delegates were lawyers, eight of whom, including both Ellsworth and Sherman, had previous experience as judges conversant with legal discourse. Ellsworth took an active part in the proceedings beginning on June 20, when he proposed the use of the name the United States to identify the government under the authority of the Constitution; the words "United States" had been used in the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation as well as Thomas Paine's The American Crisis. It was Ellsworth's proposal to retain the earlier wording to sustain the emphasis on a federation rather than a single national entity.
Three weeks earlier, on May 30, 1787, Edmund Randolph of Virginia had moved to create a "national government" consisting of a supreme legislative, an executive and a ju
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, it is known for its rocky coastline. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland; the capital is Augusta. For thousands of years, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory, now Maine. At the time of European arrival in what is now Maine, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area; the first European settlement in the area was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons.
The first English settlement was the short-lived Popham Colony, established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail over the years; as Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements had survived. Loyalist and Patriot forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the War of 1812, the largely-undefended eastern region of Maine was occupied by British forces, but returned to the United States after the war following major defeats in New York and Louisiana, as part of a peace treaty, to include dedicated land on the Michigan peninsula for Native American peoples. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820, under the Missouri Compromise, it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name "Maine", but the most origin is that the name was given by early explorers after the former province of Maine in France. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed for English settlers in 1665 when the English King's Commissioners ordered that the "Province of Maine" be entered from on in official records; the state legislature in 2001 adopted a resolution establishing Franco-American Day, which stated that the state was named after the former French province of Maine. Other theories mention earlier places with similar names, or claim it is a nautical reference to the mainland. Attempts to uncover the history of the name of Maine began with James Sullivan's 1795 "History of the District of Maine", he made the unsubstantiated claim that the Province of Maine was a compliment to the queen of Charles I, Henrietta Maria, who once "owned" the Province of Maine in France. This was quoted by Maine historians until the 1845 biography of that queen by Agnes Strickland established that she had no connection to the province.
A new theory, put forward by Carol B. Smith Fisher in 2002, is that Sir Ferdinando Gorges chose the name in 1622 to honor the village where his ancestors first lived in England, rather than the province in France. "MAINE" appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 in reference to the county of Dorset, today Broadmayne, just southeast of Dorchester. The view held among British place name scholars is that Mayne in Dorset is Brythonic, corresponding to modern Welsh "maen", plural "main" or "meini"; some early spellings are: MAINE 1086, MEINE 1200, MEINES 1204, MAYNE 1236. Today the village is known as Broadmayne, primitive Welsh or Brythonic, "main" meaning rock or stone, considered a reference to the many large sarsen stones still present around Little Mayne farm, half a mile northeast of Broadmayne village; the first known record of the name appears in an August 10, 1622 land charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, English Royal Navy veterans, who were granted a large tract in present-day Maine that Mason and Gorges "intend to name the Province of Maine".
Mason had served with the Royal Navy in the Orkney Islands, where the chief island is called Mainland, a possible name derivation for these English sailors. In 1623, the English naval captain Christopher Levett, exploring the New England coast, wrote: "The first place I set my foote upon in New England was the Isle of Shoals, being Ilands in the sea, above two Leagues from the Mayne." Several tracts along the coast of New England were referred to as Main or Maine. A reconfirmed and enhanced April 3, 1639, from England's King Charles I, gave Sir Ferdinando Gorges increased powers over his new province and stated that it "shall forever hereafter, be called and named the PROVINCE OR COUNTIE OF MAINE, not by any other name or names whatsoever..." Maine is the only U. S. state whose name has one syllable. The original inhabitants of the territory, now Maine were Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, including the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Kennebec. During the King Philip's War, many of these peoples would merge in one form or another to become the Wabanaki Confederacy, aiding the Wampanoag of Massachusetts & the Mahican of New York.
Afterwards, many of these people were driven from their natural territories, but most of the tribes of Maine continued, until the American Revolution
Judiciary Act of 1869
The Judiciary Act of 1869, sometimes called the Circuit Judges Act of 1869, a United States statute, provided that the Supreme Court of the United States would consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, established separate judgeships for the U. S. circuit courts, for the first time included a provision allowing federal judges to retire without losing their salary. This is the most recent legislation altering the size of the Supreme Court. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Supreme Court of the United States shall hereafter consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum. In addition, it stipulated that each of the nine circuit courts of the United States would have a circuit judge appointed who would reside in that locale and have the same power and jurisdiction as the Supreme Court justice assigned to the circuit.
It was stipulated that the Chief Justice and each of the associate justices had the duty to sit at least one term in the circuit every two years. The circuit court could be held by the circuit judge, the Supreme Court justice, or the two could hold the court together, in which case the Supreme Court justice would preside. Up until this time, circuit courts were only staffed by district judges and Supreme Court justices "riding circuit." The salary of the circuit court judgeships created was set at $5,000 a year. In addition, the act stipulated that federal judges who had served for ten years or more would receive a pension upon their retirement; the pension was set at the salary of the judge at the time of retirement. A judge had to be at least seventy years old at the time of retirement. There were eight justices serving on the Supreme Court at the time; the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866 had provided that the Court be reduced in size from ten to seven justices upon its next three vacancies, but the reduction was to occur only when the serving justices created such vacancies either through death or retirement.
As only two seats were vacated between 1866 and 1869, only one new seat was implemented with the creation of the Act. Joseph P. Bradley was the first Justice appointed to this newly created seat. An earlier version of this legislation had been approved by the 40th Congress at the close of the session in March 1869, but fell victim to a pocket veto from outgoing President Andrew Johnson; the act was the third time. The first time was the soon-repealed Judiciary Act of 1801, the second was a single circuit judgeship in the frontier state of California which only lasted from 1855 to 1863. Though the law did not abolish circuit riding by the justices of the Supreme Court, it reduced the burden by requiring each justice to attend circuit court in each district within his circuit only once every two years. Circuit court riding would be abolished by the Judiciary Act of 1891; the circuit courts themselves were abolished by the Judicial Code of 1911, which transferred their trial jurisdiction to the U.
S. district courts
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and