An image of the first page of the Articles of Confederation which were ratified in 1781 as a document that guaranteed the "perpetual union" of the various states. The Articles established a very weak and limited central government which led to the dissolution thereof just six years later, despite the closing paragraph which declared that "at no time shall any alteration be made to any" portion of the articles without the direct consent of Congress and the legislatures of every state. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was not granted the authority by Congress to do away with the Articles of Confederation, and only nine states were needed to ratify the new Constitution that it proposed.