The Articles of Confederation

March 1, 1781

The Articles of Confederation

Before the Constitution, there was the Articles of Confederation. Unlike the Constitution, it took the approval of all participants for it to go into effect. It wasn't until Maryland approved the new government on March 1, 1781, that the Articles of Confederation became effective. Even then, it would have meant nothing had the colonies lost the war.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/articles.html