The first and second drafts of the Articles of Confederation were written by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, and the fourth was written by John Dickinson. This fourth draft went through two revisions and was approved by the Continental Congress in November 1777.
The Articles of Confederation were a precursor to and model for the U.S. Constitution. They were designed to guarantee strong state power while providing a central strong alliance. Under the Articles, states mostly ran themselves, and disputes between states would be brought to Congress. However, the lack of forceful penalties for state noncompliance resulted in chaos, making it clear to the founding fathers that a stronger central government was needed. In September 1788, the Articles of Confederation were superseded by the U.S. Constitution.