On This Day in History -
Calls for changes to the system were made for years, but early in 1786, the state of Virginia requested that all the states get together at Annapolis, Maryland to come up with suggestions for changes to the Articles regarding matters of trade and commerce. The Annapolis Convention met from September 11 to 14, but with delegates present from only five states, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Four other states had appointed delegates, but they failed to arrive on time, while four others didn't;t even appoint delegates.
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Scene at the Signing of the
Constitution of the United States
by Howard Chandler Christy
The delegates, including Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Dickinson, all agreed that major changes were necessary to the Articles regarding trade, but there were so few representatives present that they didn't feel they had the authority to act. Instead, they put together a proposal to Congress and the states that all thirteen states should meet the following May to make serious amendments to the Articles of Confederation that would permanently remedy its weaknesses.
Congress received the proposal and, though there were great differences between the members about how far the changes should go, they passed a resolution on February 21, 1787 that stated, "It is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation."
The Convention met in May and, rather than modifying the Articles of Confederation, came up with an entirely new governing document – the Constitution of the United States, which took effect on March 4, 1789.
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