Articles of Confederation vs Constitution: Difference and Comparison

The articles of Confederation and the Constitution are two known documents that note the American Revolution’s changes. The regulations of the Articles of Confederation were accepted and signed by the 13 states of the United States of America. 

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the agreement that the 13 states of the United States agreed to follow. This was considered their earliest constitution.

The constitution in India is the longest one containing 444 articles, making it the largest democracy. Individual institutions can also implement constitutions to prescribe the rules for them.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Articles of Confederation was the first governing document of the United States, while the Constitution replaced it as the supreme law of the land.
  2. The Articles of Confederation established a weak central government with limited powers, while the Constitution created a strong federal government with checks and balances.
  3. The Articles of Confederation lacked provisions for an executive branch and federal judiciary, whereas the Constitution established a clear separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Articles of Confederation vs Constitution

The difference between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution is that the Articles of Confederation are the rules that the United States of America agreed upon in the 18th century. In contrast, the constitution is the rule that democratic countries and other legalized institutions develop to implement law and order in their body.

Articles of Confederation vs Constitution
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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonArticles of ConfederationConstitution
Codification of lawIt followed unicameralism, which is having a single chamber in the parliament.The constitution follows bicameralism; the parliament is divided into two chambers.
Voting powerEach state had a single vote according to the Articles of Confederation.Each legislative representative has a vote in the parliament according to the constitution.
Distribution of powerThe Articles of Confederation distributed the power between many unions.The constitution divides the power between subordinates, but the ultimate power resides with the central authority.
Bill of rightsThe citizens could not claim the Bill of Rights under the Articles of Confederation.The Constitution considers everybody equally; hence, citizens can claim the Bill of Rights.
Law enforcement9 out of 13 states should have supported the law to enforce it everywhere.Both houses of parliament must keep the law to amend it in a country.

 

What are Articles of Confederation?

The Articles of Confederation and the Perpetual Union was a bond signed between 13 states in the United States of America. It consisted of the rules that were to be followed by these states in the 18th century.

The Articles of Confederation was a written document that embellished the idea of introducing a friendly bond between the states.  This process was a long one.

The committee included 13 people to finalize the draft. John Dickinson was the head of the committee, and he presented the final draft of the Articles of Confederation on 12th July 1776.

Virginia ratified the Articles of Confederation, followed by the others in the early 1779s. But these articles gave minimum power to the central government, so an unstructured central government headed it.

 

What is Constitution?

The Constitution of a country is the collection of all the rules and regulations that a citizen must obey. A group makes this of people trusted by the government because of their social knowledge.

This is a document where the principles are written by considering the entity’s behaviour. If the constitution is written in a single comprehensive unit, it is known as a codified constitution.

Anybody who intends a systematic and organized working structure can create the constitution they need. A form is the backbone of a democratic country, so the power is divided among different departments.

The constitution considers the central government as the epitome of powers. The central government can decide or nullify the laws that the state government implied.


Main Differences Between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution

  1. According to the Articles of Confederation, citizens could not claim the Bill of Rights. Anyone can claim their rights according to the constitution.
  2. If 9 out of 13 states accepted a law, it was brought to act by the Articles of Confederation. The constitution demands that both houses pass the law to enforce it on the public.

References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lDH5SMKrl2EC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=Articles+of+Confederation+and+Constitution&ots=tWoIT9mlne&sig=VupjLYrIUBro6w49tupVACfFdTk
  2. https://digital.sandiego.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3066&context=sdlr

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Articles of Confederation vs Constitution: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Avatar of Richards Francesca
    Richards Francesca

    It’s fascinating to note the distinct differences in the codification of law and the distribution of power between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. This analytical approach provides valuable insights.

  2. While the historical context of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution is richly expounded, the article would benefit from a deeper exploration of their contemporary implications.

    1. I echo your sentiments, Sophie Cook. A contemporary analysis would indeed enhance the relevance of this scholarly discourse.

  3. The historical context and procedural insight provided in the ‘What are Articles of Confederation?’ and ‘What is Constitution?’ sections are genuinely enlightening.

    1. Avatar of Quentin Phillips
      Quentin Phillips

      The detailed account of the historical background and the significance of these documents offers a compelling narrative.

  4. The articles provide a comprehensive account of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, offering an illuminating study of the transition from the former to the latter.

    1. Avatar of Wilson Sebastian
      Wilson Sebastian

      This article certainly paints a vivid picture of the progression of constitutional frameworks in the United States.

  5. I appreciate the analysis of the differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, although I would have been interested in the author’s insight on the relevance of these historical documents today.

    1. The historical context of these documents is important. It would be beneficial to explore their relevance in contemporary policies.

  6. Avatar of Victoria Rogers
    Victoria Rogers

    The comprehensive coverage of the main differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution is commendable. It offers a detailed understanding of the legitimizing principles in each document.

    1. The author adeptly elucidates the historical and legal disparities between the two documents, enabling a thorough comprehension of their contextual relevance.

    2. The nuanced examination of these historical documents is intellectually enriching, shedding light on the evolution of constitutional governance.

  7. The references cited offer a scholarly underpinning to the discourse, making this analysis of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution a compelling read.

  8. Avatar of Fiona Campbell
    Fiona Campbell

    The juxtaposition of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution in the comparison table is particularly enlightening.

    1. The comparison table effectively encapsulates the nuanced variations in the legislative frameworks of the two governing documents.

  9. This in-depth analysis of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution provides an intellectually stimulating examination of constitutional transitions in the United States.

    1. The historical and legal depth of the analysis makes for an intellectually engaging exploration of the constitutional evolution in the United States.

  10. The structural comparison between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution offers a compelling investigative narrative into the evolution of governance in the United States.

    1. The structural juxtaposition highlights the intricate shifts in governance paradigms, offering a profound historical perspective.

    2. Avatar of Roberts Elizabeth
      Roberts Elizabeth

      The author’s structural analysis effectively illuminates the transformative nature of constitutional frameworks.

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