Why do we argue? Some say it is part of our DNA. We often hear things like “why can’t we get along?” but I often wonder why don’t we know our history?

Most people, I would argue, don’t know that on this day in 1781, the Articles of Confederation were finally ratified. You see, the Articles were signed by Congress and sent to the individual states for ratification on November 15, 1777, after 16 months of debate. Because of squabbles and arguments the final ratification did not occur for almost four more years. Maryland finally approved the Articles on March 1, 1781, affirming the Articles as the outline of the official government of the United States.

Then we ended up throwing the darn thing out. The nation was guided by the Articles of Confederation until the implementation of the current Constitution in 1789. It is interesting that there is a critical distinction between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

About 5 years after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, some of our leadership decided that the system was inadequate to the task of governance. So…we overthrew the government for the second time in around 20 years. The difference between a collection of sovereign states forming a confederation and a federal government created by a sovereign people lay at the heart of debate as the new American people decided what form their government would take.

A very interesting time line between 1776 and 1787, Americans went from living under a sovereign king, to living in sovereign states, to becoming a sovereign people.

How does this play into local government? Well, normally we have small group of elected people (7 in Auburn Hills) who get together to make policy decisions for the community. Here is a news flash, they always don’t see eye to eye on every issue. What they do is argue their point of view, attempt to sway others to their point of view and then they vote. Sometimes we in local government take for granted that this simple form of government makes a huge impact on the success of an organization. People bring their experiences, their knowledge, and their passion to the table then the group moves forward with the collective information they have at the time.

Pretty cool this history of ours.

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  • Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.