What Are the Articles of Confederation?: And Other Questions about the Birth of the United States

Overview

In June 1776, colonial delegates to the Continental Congress began writing a document to set up a new country—with a government independent from Britain. The Articles of Confederation created a limited centralized government, with states keeping most of the power. After sixteen months of debate, delegates finally passed the Articles on November 15, 1777. But afterward, many conflicts arose. It became clear that the country needed—but also feared—a stronger central government. The states sent delegates to another ...

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Overview

In June 1776, colonial delegates to the Continental Congress began writing a document to set up a new country—with a government independent from Britain. The Articles of Confederation created a limited centralized government, with states keeping most of the power. After sixteen months of debate, delegates finally passed the Articles on November 15, 1777. But afterward, many conflicts arose. It became clear that the country needed—but also feared—a stronger central government. The states sent delegates to another meeting called the Constitutional Convention, out of which came the U.S. Constitution.

So who attended the Continental Congress?
How did the Articles of Confederation hold the country together during the Revolutionary War?
What was Shay's Rebellion?

Discover the facts about the Articles of Confederation and learn how this document influenced the formation of the U.S. government.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kris Sauer
Many know that the Constitution is the defining document of our nation, but how many know it was not America's first attempt at organizing itself? The Articles of Confederation, a document establishing a limited centralized government for a brand-new nation, did that. This excellent nonfiction book will tell readers in grades four to six just how important the Articles were to the way the United States is governed today. Using a journalistic who-what-when-where-why-how approach, the author tackles what can be a very difficult topic. Starting with a brief description of how and why the original thirteen colonies went to war with Great Britain, the text then turns to answering the underlying questions of the Articles of Confederation story. When did Congress begin discussing the Articles of Confederation? Why did the states have trouble agreeing to the Articles? Who became Congress's first Superintendent of Finance (and why should readers care)? Where did some Americans move as the country's population grew and why was that important to what happened next? And, how do we know about the Articles of Confederation? This last question deals with the topic of primary sources, an important element in any non-fiction research. Sidebars throughout help define new words such as confederation and amendment as well as addressing other important questions such as, "Who was King George III?" Paintings and pictures of primary documents support the text throughout. As all good books of this nature should, this nonfiction title includes a table of contents, timeline, source notes, index, bibliography, and a suggested list of websites and additional resources. Part of an eighteen-title series, "Six Questions of American History," and written a reading level 5, this would be a good complement to any American history course. Reviewer: Kris Sauer
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—When people consider the founding of the United States, many students start with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, then move to the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, without full comprehension of the enormous achievements of the intervening years, including the Articles of Confederation. Explaining the many discussions and compromises involved in setting up a government can be complicated for a young audience, but this book does a good job of breaking down the events into digestible pieces of information. In an effort to make the text accessible, however, a conversational tone and sentence fragments are employed. The "six questions" approach (who, what, where, when, why, how) provides a useful framework, taking readers through events in an easy-to-understand progression. Each chapter addresses a big question with more detailed questions highlighted on a notepad graphic within the text. Unfamiliar words are highlighted and defined in the side margins. To set off reproductions of primary sources, an eReader graphic is used, possibly to demonstrate that students can find digitized documents online. Period paintings, prints, and maps provide visual interest. Teachers will appreciate the list of additional resources at the end.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761385646
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Series: Six Questions of American History Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 971,736
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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