Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...


The Congress met from 1774 to 1789 in three incarnations. The first call for a convention was made over issues of mounting taxation without representation in Parliament
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 and because of the British blockade. Though at first somewhat divided on issues concerning independence and a break from Crown rule, the new Congress would come to issue a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution, and proclaim the name United States of America as the name of the new nation.

1774    First Continental Congress assembles in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1774    The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1775    American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress bans trade with Canada.

1775    American Revolutionary War: the Continental Army is established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.

1775    The Olive Branch Petition is signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.

1776    American Revolution: the Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.

1776    Richard Henry Lee presents the "Lee Resolution" to the Continental Congress. The motion is seconded by John Adams and leads to the United States Declaration of Independence.

1776    The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1776    The Continental Congress officially names its new union of sovereign states the United States.

1777    American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette lands near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.