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Little changed politically once the Articles of Confederation went into effect, as ratification did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but most Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same.
Maryland finally ratified the Articles on February 2, 1781.
Congress was informed of Maryland's assent on March 1, and officially proclaimed the Articles of Confederation to be the law of the land.
In early 1776, Thomas Paine argued in the closing pages of the first edition of Common Sense that the "custom of nations" demanded a formal declaration of American independence if any European power were to mediate a peace between the Americans and Great Britain.
The monarchies of France and Spain in particular could not be expected to aid those they considered rebels against another legitimate monarch.
It would be two years before the Maryland General Assembly became satisfied that the various states would follow through, and voted to ratify.
During this time, Congress observed the Articles as its de facto frame of government.
A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states.
The weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.
However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. It was quickly agreed that changes would not work, and instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced.
The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed Albany Plan, an inter-colonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems.