Articles of Confederation Lesson Plan

US History Lesson Plans

Topic Overview:

The young United States of America faced political struggles in its early days.  The biggest issues were probably: how to avoid recreating the same tyrannical government they fought to be free of, how to retain the rights they fought to exercise, and how to remain united.  The Articles of Confederation of 1781 were drawn up as a result.  However, since they only loosely held the fledging nation together, they were flawed from the start.  Their downfall was centered on the fact that Congress had the power to enact laws, but did not possess the power to enforce them.  Each new state, under the Articles, was practically autonomous.

Activity Overview:

In this recreation simulation students will become governors of one of the newly created states and will have to manage the state budget during the era of the Articles of Confederation.  They will have to pay for their own soldiers and manage the economic frustration of farmers and merchants as they try to balance the budget and prevent a revolt.  Finally, students will come together to correct problems in their States, only to realize that making changes under the Articles of Confederation was difficult.