On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. Submitted to the states for ratification two days later, the Articles of Confederation were accompanied by a letter from Congress.
Although Congress debated the Articles for over a year, they requested immediate action on the part of the states. However, three-and-a-half years passed before ratification on March 1, 1781.
Still at war with Great Britain, the colonists were reluctant to establish another powerful national government. Jealously guarding their new independence, the Continental Congress created a loosely structured unicameral legislature that protected the liberty of the individual states at the expense of the nation. While calling on Congress to regulate military and monetary affairs, for example, the Articles of Confederation provided no mechanism to ensure that states complied with requests for troops or revenue. At times this left the military in a precarious position as George Washington wrote in a 1781 letter to the governor of Massachusetts, John Hancock.