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Articles of Confederation vs. Declaration of Independence: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on February 8, 2024
The Articles of Confederation established a weak federal government for the USA, while the Declaration of Independence proclaimed independence from Britain and outlined basic human rights.

Key Differences

The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, served as the first constitution of the United States, establishing a confederation of sovereign states. The Declaration of Independence, proclaimed in 1776, was a formal statement declaring the Thirteen Colonies' independence from British rule.
Huma Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
The Articles of Confederation outlined the structure of the national government, emphasizing state sovereignty and limiting federal power. In contrast, the Declaration of Independence detailed grievances against King George III and articulated the colonies' right to self-governance and independence.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
The Articles of Confederation were developed during the Revolutionary War to coordinate the efforts of the colonies against Britain. The Declaration of Independence was created as a revolutionary document that catalyzed the American Revolution and set forth the philosophical underpinnings of American democracy.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
The Articles of Confederation's legacy lies in its role as a stepping stone to the more robust U.S. Constitution, highlighting the need for a stronger federal government. The Declaration of Independence is celebrated for its enduring principles of liberty and human rights, forming the ideological foundation of the United States.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
The Articles of Confederation were drafted by a committee led by John Dickinson and were ratified by the 13 states over several years. The Declaration of Independence was principally authored by Thomas Jefferson and unanimously adopted by the Continental Congress.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

To establish a confederation of sovereign states
To declare independence from Britain
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Key Content

Structure and powers of the national government
Grievances against Britain, principles of liberty
Huma Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Historical Significance

First constitution of the USA, a basis for federalism
Catalyst for the American Revolution
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Legacy

Highlighted the need for a stronger federal government
Ideological foundation of American democracy
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Ratification and Authors

Drafted by John Dickinson, ratified by states from 1777-1781
Authored by Thomas Jefferson, adopted in 1776
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024
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Articles of Confederation and Declaration of Independence Definitions

Articles of Confederation

The ratification process required unanimous consent from all thirteen states.
Maryland was the last state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed the colonies' separation from Britain.
The Declaration of Independence was a bold statement against British rule.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Articles of Confederation

The document outlined the powers and limitations of the federal government.
The Articles of Confederation created a national Congress with limited authority.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Declaration of Independence

It articulated fundamental principles of liberty and human rights.
The Declaration of Independence emphasized the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Huma Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Articles of Confederation

They established a framework for a confederation of states.
The Articles of Confederation allowed states to cooperate on mutual interests.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Declaration of Independence

Authored primarily by Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson's eloquence is evident in the Declaration of Independence.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation served as the first constitution of the United States.
Under the Articles of Confederation, each state retained significant independence.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Declaration of Independence

The document served as a catalyst for the American Revolution.
The Declaration of Independence inspired colonists to fight for their freedom.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Articles of Confederation

They acted as a stepping stone to the current U.S. Constitution.
The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation led to the Constitutional Convention.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Declaration of Independence

A historic milestone in American history.
The Declaration of Independence is celebrated every year on July 4th.
Janet White
Jan 17, 2024

FAQs

What were the Articles of Confederation?

The first constitution of the United States, establishing a union of states.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

What is the Declaration of Independence?

A document declaring the American colonies' independence from Britain.
Huma Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

When were the Articles of Confederation ratified?

Ratified in 1781.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

What day is the Declaration of Independence celebrated?

July 4th.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

How did the Declaration of Independence impact the world?

It inspired other countries towards democracy and independence.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

What powers did Congress have under the Articles of Confederation?

Limited powers, mostly related to war and foreign policy.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Did the Articles of Confederation have a president?

No, there was no executive branch.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

How many colonies signed the Declaration of Independence?

All thirteen colonies.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

What was the main weakness of the Articles of Confederation?

It provided limited power to the central government.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Why were the Articles of Confederation replaced?

Due to their inability to provide a strong federal government.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

What was King George III's reaction to the Declaration of Independence?

He rejected it and continued military actions against the colonies.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

What are the key principles in the Declaration of Independence?

Liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

How did the states interact under the Articles of Confederation?

They operated independently with a weak central government.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Were the Articles of Confederation successful?

They were seen as too weak, leading to the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

What role did France play after the Declaration of Independence?

France became an ally to the American colonies.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

What event did the Declaration of Independence lead to?

The American Revolution.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

How were disputes between states handled under the Articles of Confederation?

There was no strong judicial system to handle disputes.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Was there a Bill of Rights in the Articles of Confederation?

No, the Bill of Rights came later with the Constitution.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

Is the Declaration of Independence legally binding?

It's more symbolic and foundational than legally binding.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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