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Judges and scholars often refer to the Articles of Confederation when making claims about the original meaning of the United States Constitution. To help readers understand and evaluate such claims, this piece describes the formation and content of the Articles of Confederation and explains four ways in which the Articles may provide evidence of the original meaning of the Constitution. The two appendices to this piece contain an annotated copy of the Articles of confederation and a table linking provisions of the Constitution to their antecedents in the Articles.

GW Paper Series

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2017-18; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-18

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