Indeed, today's European Union resembles more the ineffectual Articles of Confederation, which governed the United States from 1777 to 1787, than the U.S. Constitution with its strong central government. The Confederation's Article II declared that "each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated."
The United States wasn't really even a government or a nation then. It was called "a firm league of friendship" among the states. General George Washington was particularly contemptuous of this concept of "state sovereignty" because he had watched his soldiers freeze and starve when the states reneged on promised contributions to the Continental Army.
So, with George Washington in the lead and fellow Virginian James Madison serving as architect, some of America's most distinguished citizens, including Franklin, met in secret in Philadelphia to devise a governing framework that eliminated the independence of the states and subsumed their sovereignty into a binding Union.
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