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Government. A union of states that delegate some rights and powers to a central authority but the central authority is weak and generally ineffective as the states themselves retain significant autonomous powers. The name given to that form of government which the American colonies, on shaking off the British yoke, devised for their mutual safety and government. The articles of confederation, were finally adopted on the 15th of November, 1777, and with the exception of Maryland, which, however, afterwards also agreed to them, were speedily adopted by the United States, and by which they were formed into a federal body, and went into force on the first day of March, 1781 and so remained until the adoption of the present constitution, which acquired the force of the supreme law of the land on the first Wednesday of March, 1789.


 - n. The act of confederating; a league; a compact for mutual support; alliance, particularly of princes, nations, or states. The parties that are confederated, considered as a unit; a confederacy. Articles of confederation. See under Article.

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