The Articles of Confederation served as the written document that established the functions of the national government of the United States after it declared independence from Great Britain. It established a weak central government that mostly, but not entirely, prevented the individual states from conducting their foreign diplomacy.
Colonies Lacked Unity
The Albany Plan, an earlier, pre-independence attempt at joining the colonies into a larger union, had failed in part because the individual colonies were concerned about losing power to another central institution. As the American Revolution gained momentum, however, many political leaders saw the advantages of a centralized government that could coordinate the Revolutionary War. In June of 1775, the New York provincial Congress sent a plan of union to the Continental Congress, which, like the Albany Plan, continued to recognize the authority of the British Crown.
Some Continental Congress delegates had also informally discussed plans for a more permanent union than the Continental Congress, whose status was temporary. Benjamin Franklin had drawn up a plan for “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.”