Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union

The states of the US became a confederation once the famous Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was adopted. By this the states were recognized as a political entity that is sovereign and single at the same time. This entire structure of the union was governed by the international law. The statuses of the unions are very specifically defined in accordance to Article IV of the American Constitution. This article presents a thorough outline of the affairs of the states and the subsequent relation between them in terms of economy, trade and jurisdiction.

Thus it could be mentioned that the unions of the US enjoy specified rights and duties with a broad autonomous administration. Each union is governed by an individual constitution and jurisdiction. The entire positive effects of this decentralized form of government structure has proved to be extremely successful over the years but there were subsequent additions and alterations to the power and jurisdiction in accordance to national interest. (Richards, 19-21) It should be remembered that there before the Second World War the unions use to enjoy a lot more autonomy than the present day.

This was changes as a measure of reformation and concern for national interest after the war. This was because during the war it was found that a centralized form of government system was far better equipped to face any crisis. Thus the major change that was implemented on the unions was the disarmament of the defense systems. After the Second World War new agencies like the FBI and CIA were formed which took out quite a few responsibilities out of the unions’ jurisdiction in terms of national security and defense mechanisms.

This was one big blow for the unions because this move indicated that the unions would not be responsible for the defense mechanism by a large margin. Their status was thus clipped down by the central authority. However, this by no means to suggest that the unions were dominated by the policies by the central governing force after the Second World War but it was essentially weaker in terms of military power. (Richards, 87-88) Another important central government implication further weakened the union.

This was the policy of determining the central fiscal approach just after the Second World War. This was detrimental for the states because the central authority implemented a homogenous policy in terms of monetary transactions and it was kept in mind that the unions enjoy a similar advantage of out the policy. However, this resulted a scenario where the competitive advantage between the states or unions was lost but it was essential for the nation and thus national interest was given the highest priority. (Richards, 116-7)

It should be mentioned that during the last 25 years there has hardly been any expansion or contraction of the unions as the country had already established itself as a stable government formation during the 19th and the early 20th century. However, it should be mentioned that several territories had been added but most of these took place in and around the era of the post second world war scenario along the cold war era. Though there were no major changes it could be stated that parts of Louisiana were added to Texas. This state also gained some areas from Mexico too.

Apart from these alterations parts of Arizona was formed into New Mexico. (Richards, 16-19) Incidentally, it should be mentioned that unions around the world faced a weary time during the last quarter of a century. The first and foremost of these is the USSR. As soon as communism departed as national policy it was seen that many important states broke away from the former union and proclaimed independence. But it should be taken into account that states like Ukraine, Kazakhstan or Georgia were fundamentally forced into the union in the first place.

The other important union is the European Union but it is obvious that this cannot be stated as a conventional union because it is more of a tie up in the context of economy and there is no political significance. But in sharp contrast the union of India is surviving quite well enough for the last 60 years as a unified country. Many political historians predicted that a country with such a diverse cultures and language would never be able to survive as a single nation and would subsequently fall apart as smaller nations. India has proved them wrong.

Much like the unions of the United States this country forms a strong bondage of nationalism and thus unifies the several states of the country successfully under democratic form of government. (Richards, 432-4) In conclusion it can well be mentioned that the stability of the unions of the United States largely based on the decentralized autonomy formulation of government structure. This mechanism of state policies have contributed immensely making the United States a driving force of the today’s world.


Richards, V; History of the United States; National Book Trust; 2001