A Concise Guide to the Articles of Confederation as a Source for Determining the Original Meaning of the Constitution

55 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2017  

Gregory E. Maggs

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Judges and scholars often refer to the Articles of Confederation when making claims about the original meaning of the United States Constitution. To help readers understand and evaluate such claims, this piece describes the formation and content of the Articles of Confederation and explains four ways in which the Articles may provide evidence of the original meaning of the Constitution. The two appendices to this piece contain an annotated copy of the Articles of Confederation and a table linking provisions of the Constitution to their antecedents in the Articles.

Keywords: Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Original Meaning, Original Intent

Suggested Citation

Maggs, Gregory E., A Concise Guide to the Articles of Confederation as a Source for Determining the Original Meaning of the Constitution (2017). 85 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 397 (2017); GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2017-18; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2942259

Gregory E. Maggs (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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