CONFEDERATION, government. The name given to that form of government which the American colonies, on shaking off the British yoke, devised for their mutual safety and government.

2. The articles of confederation, (q. v.) were finally adopted on the 15th of November, 1777, and with the exception of Maryland, which, however, afterwards also agreed to them, were speedily adopted by the United States, and by which they were formed into a federal bod y, and went into force on the first day of March, 1781; 1 Story Const. 225; and so remained until the adoption of the present constitution, which acquired the force of the supreme law of the land on the first Wednesday of March, 1789. 5 Wheat. R. 420. Vide Articles of Confederation.