The first form of national government in the United States was a loose confederacy of states governed according to the Articles of Confederation, according to History.com. This government was created in response to the urgency of the American Revolution but was not functional for the long-term governing of a nation.
In the early days of the War for Independence, the Continental Congress, an assembly of ambassadors from the 13 colonies, decided affairs regarding the conflict. After ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781, the national Congress continued in the same governing style as the Continental Congress. The United States was more of a loosely allied league of independent countries, rather than a united nation. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress did not have power to tax or carry out other functions necessary for the administration of a cohesive state.