Continental Congress

Author:Leonard W. Levy

Page 672

On September 5, 1774, delegates from the colonies convened in Philadelphia in a "Continental" Congress, so called to differentiate it from local or provincial congresses. The FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS adopted a Declaration and Resolves to protest British measures and promote American rights; it also adopted the ASSOCIATION. The Congress dissolved on October 24, 1774, having decided that the colonies should meet again if necessary on May 10, 1775. By that time, the colonies and Great Britain were at war. The Second Continental Congress adopted a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms on July 6, 1775, and the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE a year later. The Congress appointed GEORGE WASHINGTON as commander-in-chief of its armies, directed the war, managed FOREIGN AFFAIRS, and adopted a plan of union designated as the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. After the thirteenth state ratified the Articles in 1781, the official governing body of the United States became known as "the Congress of the Confederation," but it was a continuation of the Continental Congress and was not reconstituted until 1789, when a Congress...

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