San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article compares the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution to gain insight into both the Constitution and the contemporary federalism debate. The author employs textual analysis to the documents underlying both federal structures and discusses other models of political union which influenced the framers. The author concludes that the fundamental difference between the Articles and the Constitution is that the latter represented a compact among both the people and the states, whereas the former represented a compact among states alone. This theory is used to shed light on topics such as the constitutionality of secession, Constitutional amendment outside the scope of Article V, and the interpretation of enumerated powers.

Included in

Law Commons