•Formal recognition for need of independent, national government; created in the summer of 1776 but finally ratified in 1781, they served as a guide for the national government through 1787
•Similar to state constitutions, they reflected similar political experiences, expectations, and beliefs held by Americans at the time
•Outlined design for a weak central government, unicameral legislature, no independent executive, no right to tax
•Essentially, then, the Articles allowed for very little central authority and no real mechanism for a central government to do much of anything. It certainly united the country as "the United States of America" but it truly did little else, and Americans were ready for a change by the formation of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.