The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution. Its drafting by the Continental Congress began in mid 1776 and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification in late 1777. The formal ratification by all 13 states was completed in early 1781. Even if not yet ratified, the Articles provided domestic and international legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the American Revolution, conduct diplomacy with Europe and deal with territorial issues and Indian relations. Nevertheless, a perceived weak government created by the Articles became a matter of concern for key nationalists and in 1789 the Articles were replaced with the United States Constitution. It provided for a much stronger national government with a president, courts, and taxing powers.
In one alternate visited by Crosstime Traffic, the Articles of Confederation remained the governing document of the United States after the Constituional Convention could not reach an agreement on representation in the legislature. Within a few decades, the United States ceased to exist altogether.