Comment: States-1776 United-1781 Constitution-1789

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States-1776 United-1781 Constitution-1789

In your previous comment you used the terminology "A founding document". Now you hone in to imply that there was one singular founding document by using the terminology "THE founding document". Fine, let's hone it down to just one document for what it's worth.

Were there States before the Constitution?

Yes The colonies, in the DoI, declared themselves to be independent States. The King eventually conceded to that notion, in writing.

Were the States united prior to the Constitution?

Yes The formal ratification of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was completed in early 1781, eight years before the Constitution was ratified.

Declaration of Independence

or

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union

Those are your two choices. Take your pick.

UNITED -Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
STATES -Declaration of Independence

Feel free to choose both. ;)

It doesn't really matter to me, but hey, this is fun, so I'm gonna throw in my own pick, and it's based on something quite simple. I'm going to pick the Declaration of Independence as the "Declaration of Independence" is an abridged title, a nickname. The document's actual title is...

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America