A few days ago

need some history help?

im a bit confused on these two

First Continental Congress was a meeting of delagates from most of the colonies held in 1774 in response to the coercieve acts right? So what was the Second Continental Congress????

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A few days ago

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Second Continental Congress

The Second Continental Congress was a body of representatives from all walks of life appointed by the legislatures of thirteen British North American colonies which met from May 10, 1775, to March 1, 1781. It was the body which adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. During the American Revolution, it acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties.


Its predecessor the First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to the British King George III to stop the Intolerable Acts and had created the Articles of Association to establish a coordinated protest of the Intolerable Acts; in particular, a boycott had been placed on British goods. That First Congress provided that the Second Continental Congress would meet on May 10, 1775, to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the Intolerable Acts.

By the time the Second Continental Congress met, the American Revolutionary War had already started with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The Congress was to take charge of the war effort. For the first few months of the struggle, the rebels had carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, and besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and quickly appointed Congressman George Washington of Virginia as commanding general of the Continental Army. On July 6, 1775 Congress approved “A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, now met in Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the causes and necessity of their taking up Arms.” On July 8, Congress extended the Olive Branch Petition to the Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. King George III refused to receive it. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister (ambassador) of the Congress. American ports were reopened in defiance of the Navigation Acts.

Although it had no explicit legal authority to govern , it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money (called “Continentals”), and disbursing funds. The Congress had no authority to levy taxes, and was required to request money, supplies, and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states frequently ignored these requests. According to one historian, commenting on the source of the Congress’ power:

“The appointment of the delegates to both these congresses was generally by popular conventions, though in some instances by state assemblies. But in neither case can the appointing body be considered the original depositary of the power by which the delegates acted; for the conventions were either self-appointed “committees of safety” or hastily assembled popular gatherings, including but a small fraction of the population to be represented, and the state assemblies had no right to surrender to another body one atom of the power which had been granted to them, or to create a new power which should govern the people without their will. The source of the powers of congress is to be sought solely in the acquiescence of the people, without which every congressional resolution, with or without the benediction of popular conventions or state legislatures, would have been a mere brutum fulmen; and, as the congress unquestionably exercised national powers, operating over the whole country, the conclusion is inevitable that the will of the whole people is the source of national government in the United States, even from its first imperfect appearance in the second continental congress.”

Congress on May 10, 1776 passed a resolution recommending that any colony lacking a proper government should form such. On May 15 Congress adopted a preamble in which it advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown, while resting colonial governments on the authority of the people. That same day the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a declaration of independence and formation of foreign alliances and a confederation. Without dissenting vote (although New York did abstain) the Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence on July 2. On July 4 Congress ordered the document authenticated and printed.

Most importantly, in July 1776, they declared independence. The actual ordinance of independence, known as the Lee Resolution, passed on July 2, and the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4 and formally signed on August 2.

The Continental Congress was forced to flee Philadelphia at the end of September 1777, as British troops occupied the city. The Congress moved to York, Pennsylvania, and continued their work.

After more than a year of debate, on November 17, 1777, Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification the Articles of Confederation, the country’s first written constitution. The issue was large states wanting a larger say, nullified by small states who feared tyranny. Jefferson’s proposal for a Senate to represent the states and a House to represent the people was rejected. The small states won and each state had one vote. Congress urged the individual states to pass the Articles as quickly as possible, but it took three and a half years for all the states to ratify the Articles. In the meantime, the Second Continental Congress tried to lead the new country through the war with borrowed money and no taxing power. Finally, on March 1, 1781, the Articles of Confederation were ratified. The Second Continental Congress adjourned and the same delegates met the next day as the new Congress of the Confederation. It would be the Confederation Congress that would oversee the conclusion of the American Revolution.


A few days ago
The second continental congress was when they decided to completely break away from Britain…although they didnt attend the first one, Tom Jefferson and Ben Franklin attended the second…and John Hancock was the president of the congress…big names! And from this congress we got the Declaration of Independence (hence July 4th!) Check out this website to read more:


And if you’re really interested in this stuff, check out these websites too!





A few days ago
A fiasco… but it did end with the Constitution