To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned
Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the
states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia.
I The Stile of this Confederacy shall be
"The United States of America".
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.
III The said States hereby severally enter into a firm
league of friendship with each other, for their common defense,
the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general
welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all
force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them,
on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other
pretense whatever.
IV The better to secure and perpetuate mutual
friendship and intercourse among the people of the different
States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these
States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted,
shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free
citizens in the several States; and the people of each State
shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State,
and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce,
subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as
the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such
restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal
of property imported into any State, to any other State, of
which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no
imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State,
on the property of the United States, or either of them.
If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony,
or other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from
justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall,
upon demand of the Governor or executive power of the State
from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the
State having jurisdiction of his offense.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States
to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts
and magistrates of every other State.
V For the most convenient management of the general
interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually
appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State
shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in
November, in every year, with a powerreserved to each State
to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within
the year, and to send others in their stead for the
remainder of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two,
nor more than seven members; and no person shall be capable
of being a delegate for more than three years in any term
of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be
capable of holding any office under the United States,
for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any
salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting
of the States, and while they act as members of the
committee of the States.
In determining questions in the United States in Congress
assembled, each State shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be
impeached or questioned in any court or place out
of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected
in their persons from arrests or imprisonments, during the
time of their going to and from, and attendence on Congress,
except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
VI No State, without the consent of the United States
in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive
any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement,
alliance or treaty with any King, Prince or State; nor shall
any person holding any office of profit or trust under the
United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument,
office or title of any kind whatever from any King, Prince or
foreign State; nor shall the United States in Congress
assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
No two or more States shall enter into any treaty,
confederation or alliance whatever between them, without
the consent of the United States in Congress assembled,
specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is
to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere
with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United
States in Congress assembled, with any King, Prince or State,
in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress,
to the courts of France and Spain.
No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State,
except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the
United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such
State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up
by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in
the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled,
shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for
the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up
a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed
and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready
for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents,
and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.
No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the
United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be
actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain
advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians
to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not
to admit of a delay till the United States in Congress assembled
can be consulted; nor shall any State grant commissions to any
ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal,
except it be after a declaration of war by the United States
in Congress assembled, and then only against the Kingdom or
State and the subjects thereof, against which war has been
so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established
by the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State
be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be
fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger
shall continue, or until the United States in Congress
assembled shall determine otherwise.
VII When land forces are raised by any State for the
common defense, all officers of or under the rank of colonel,
shall be appointed by the legislature of each State respectively,
by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such
State shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the
State which first made the appointment.
VIII All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall
be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and
allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be
defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by
the several States in proportion to the value of all land within
each State, granted or surveyed for any person, as such land
and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated
according to such mode as the United States in Congress
assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint.
The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and
levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures
of the several States within the time agreed upon by the
United States in Congress assembled.
IX The United States in Congress assembled, shall have
the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace
and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article --
of sending and receiving ambassadors -- entering into treaties
and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be
made whereby the legislative power of the respective States
shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on
foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from
prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species
of goods or commodities whatsoever -- of establishing rules
for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall
be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval
forces in the service of the United States shall be divided
or appropriated -- of granting letters of marque and reprisal
in times of peace -- appointing courts for the trial of
piracies and felonies commited on the high seas and
establishing courts for receiving and determining finally
appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of
Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last
resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting
or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning
boundary, jurisdiction or any other causes whatever; which
authority shall always be exercised in the manner following.
Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent
of any State in controversy with another shall present a
petition to Congress stating the matter in question and praying
for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of
Congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other
State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of
the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed
to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to
constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in
question: but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name three
persons out of each of the United States, and from the list of
such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the
petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to
thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more
than nine names as Congress shall direct, shall in the
presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons
whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be
commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the
controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall
hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either
party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without
showing reasons, which Congress shall judge sufficient, or
being present shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall
proceed to nominate three persons out of each State, and the
secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party
absent or refusing; and the judgement and sentence of the
court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed,
shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties
shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or
to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall
nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgement,
which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the
judgement or sentence and other proceedings being in
either case transmitted to Congress, and lodged among
the acts of Congress for the security of the parties
concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he
sits in judgement, shall take an oath to be administered
by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of
the State, where the cause shall be tried, 'well and truly
to hear and determine the matter in question, according to
the best of his judgement, without favor, affection or hope
of reward': provided also, that no State shall be deprived
of territory for the benefit of the United States.
All controversies concerning the private right of soil
claimed under different grants of two or more States, whose
jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the States
which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or
either of them being at the same time claimed to have
originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction,
shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of
the United States, be finally determined as near as may be
in the same manner as is before presecribed for deciding
disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between
different States.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also have
the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the
alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or
by that of the respective States -- fixing the standards of
weights and measures throughout the United States -- regulating
the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members
of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of
any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated --
establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another,
throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on
the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray
the expenses of the said office -- appointing all officers of the
land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting
regimental officers -- appointing all the officers of the naval
forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service
of the United States -- making rules for the government and
regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing
their operations.
The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority
to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress,
to be denominated 'A Committee of the States', and to consist
of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other
committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing
the general affairs of the United States under their direction
-- to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no
person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than
one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary
sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States,
and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public
expenses -- to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the
United States, transmitting every half-year to the respective
States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted
-- to build and equip a navy -- to agree upon the number of
land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its
quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such
State; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the
legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers,
raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a solid-like
manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers
and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place
appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States
in Congress assembled. But if the United States in Congress
assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper
that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller
number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be
raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner
as the quota of each State, unless the legislature of such State
shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spread out in
the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm
and equip as many of such extra number as they judeg can be safely
spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed, and equipped,
shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed
on by the United States in Congress assembled.
The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a
war, nor grant letters of marque or reprisal in time of peace, nor
enter into any treaties or alliances, nber of
vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land
or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of
the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same: nor
shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from
day to day be determined, unless by the votes of the majority
of the United States in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn
to any time within the year, and to any place within the United
States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer
duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the
journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof
relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in
their judgement require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the
delegates of each State on any question shall be entered on the
journal, when it is desired by any delegates of a State, or any
of them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a
transcript of the said journal, except such parts as are above
excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several States.
X The Committee of the States, or any nine of them,
shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such
of the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress
assembled, by the consent of the nine States, shall from time
to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no
power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of
which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States
in the Congress of the United States assembled be requisite.
XI Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining
in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into,
and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other
colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be
agreed to by nine States.
XII All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed, and
debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before
the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present
confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against
the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said
United States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pleged.
XIII Every State shall abide by the determination of the
United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by
this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of
this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State,
and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at
any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such
alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States,
and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to
incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent
in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the
said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that
we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and
authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents,
in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully
and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and
singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do
further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective
constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of
the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which
by the said Confederation are submitted to them. And that the
Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we
respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual.
In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress.
Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day
of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and
Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America.
Agreed to by Congress 15 November 1777
In force after ratification by Maryland, 1 March 1781



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