The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, states the reasons the British colonies of North America sought independence in July of 1776.
John Dickinson - Serving as a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Second Continental Congress, John Dickinson became part of the committee assigned to author the first draft of the Articles of Confederation.
The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States. Stemming from wartime urgency, its progress was slowed by fears of central authority and extensive land claims by states before was it was ratified on March 1, 1781. Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes.
In September 1786, at the Annapolis Convention, delegates from five states called for a Constitutional Convention in order to discuss possible improvements to the Articles of Confederation. The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787.