First Continental Congress

First Continental Congress

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The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n colonies that met on September 5, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall
Carpenters' Hall
Carpenters' Hall is a two-story brick building in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that was a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. Completed in 1773 and set back from Chestnut Street, the meeting hall was built for and is still owned by the...

 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, early in 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...

. It was called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as Intolerable Acts
Intolerable Acts
The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America...

 by the Colonial Americans) by the British 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...

. The Intolerable Acts had punished Boston for the Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government and the monopolistic East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies...

.

The Congress was attended by 56 members appointed by the legislatures of twelve of the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

, the exception being the Province of Georgia
Province of Georgia
The Province of Georgia was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States...

, which did not send delegates. At the time, Georgia was considered a convict state and was not taken into consideration in the colonies.

The Congress met briefly to consider options, including an economic boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

 of British trade; rights and grievances; and petitioning King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 for redress of those grievances.

The Congress also called for another Continental Congress
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 during the American Revolution....

 in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts
Intolerable Acts
The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America...

. Their appeal to the Crown had no effect, and so the Second Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774,...

 was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. The delegates also urged each colony to set up and train its own militia.

Galloway's Plan of Union


Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

 already considered the government dissolved, and was seeking a new system. Pennsylvania delegate Joseph Galloway
Joseph Galloway
Joseph Galloway was an American Loyalist during the American Revolution, after serving as delegate to the First Continental Congress from Pennsylvania.-Early life:...

 sought reconciliation with Britain. He put forth a "Plan of Union
Galloway's Plan of Union
Galloway's Plan of Union was put forward in the First Continental Congress of 1774. Joseph Galloway was a Pennsylvania delegate who wanted to keep the Thirteen Colonies in the British Empire. He suggested the creation of an American colonial parliament to act together with the Parliament of Great...

", which suggested an American legislative body be formed, with some authority, and whose consent would be required for imperial measures. John Jay
John Jay
John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States ....

, Edward Rutledge
Edward Rutledge
Edward Rutledge was an American politician and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.-Early years and career:...

, and other conservatives supported Galloway's plan.(Galloway would later join the Loyalists
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

).

Accomplishments


The Congress had two primary accomplishments. The first was a compact among the colonies to boycott British goods beginning on December 1, 1774. The West Indies were threatened with a boycott unless the islands agreed to non importation of British goods. Imports from Britain dropped by 97 percent in 1775, compared with the previous year. Committees of observation and inspection were to be formed in each colony for enforcement of the Association. All of the colonial Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the congress with the exception of New York and Georgia
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

.

If the "Intolerable Acts" were not repealed, the colonies would also cease exports to Britain after September 10, 1775. The boycott was successfully implemented, but its potential for altering British colonial policy was cut off by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

.

The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774,...

 to meet on May 10, 1775. In addition to the colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, the Congress resolved on October 21, 1774 to send letters of invitation to Quebec
Province of Quebec (1763-1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris when King Louis XV of France and his advisors chose to keep the territory of Guadeloupe for its valuable sugar crops instead of New France...

, Saint John's Island (now Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

), Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, Georgia
Province of Georgia
The Province of Georgia was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States...

, East Florida
East Florida
East Florida was a colony of Great Britain from 1763–1783 and of Spain from 1783–1822. East Florida was established by the British colonial government in 1763; as its name implies it consisted of the eastern part of the region of Florida, with West Florida comprising the western parts. Its capital...

, and West Florida
West Florida
West Florida was a region on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico, which underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. West Florida was first established in 1763 by the British government; as its name suggests it largely consisted of the western portion of the region...

. However, letters appear to have been sent only to Quebec (three letters in all). None of these other colonies sent delegates to the opening of the second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July.

List of delegates

# Name Colony Notes
1 New Hampshire
Province of New Hampshire
The Province of New Hampshire is a name first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers on the eastern coast of North America. It was formally organized as an English royal colony on October 7, 1691, during the period of English colonization...

 
2 New Hampshire
Province of New Hampshire
The Province of New Hampshire is a name first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers on the eastern coast of North America. It was formally organized as an English royal colony on October 7, 1691, during the period of English colonization...

 
3 Massachusetts
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

 
Lawyer, first vice-president of the United States, and second President
4 Massachusetts
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

 
Maltster; Patriot
5 Massachusetts
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

 
6 Massachusetts
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

 
7 Rhode Island
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original English Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America that, after the American Revolution, became the modern U.S...

 
8 Rhode Island
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original English Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America that, after the American Revolution, became the modern U.S...

 
9 Connecticut
Connecticut Colony
The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut was an English colony located in British America that became the U.S. state of Connecticut. Originally known as the River Colony, it was organized on March 3, 1636 as a haven for Puritan noblemen. After early struggles with the Dutch, the English...

 
10 Connecticut
Connecticut Colony
The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut was an English colony located in British America that became the U.S. state of Connecticut. Originally known as the River Colony, it was organized on March 3, 1636 as a haven for Puritan noblemen. After early struggles with the Dutch, the English...

 
11 Connecticut
Connecticut Colony
The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut was an English colony located in British America that became the U.S. state of Connecticut. Originally known as the River Colony, it was organized on March 3, 1636 as a haven for Puritan noblemen. After early struggles with the Dutch, the English...

 
12 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
13 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
Lawyer; First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, co-wrote The Federalist Papers
14 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
15 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
16 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
17 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
18 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
19 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
20 New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 
21 New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 
22 New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 
23 New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 
24 New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 
25 New Jersey
Province of New Jersey
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became the U.S. state of New Jersey in 1776. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a...

 
26 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
27 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
author of 'Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania'
28 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
Originator of the Galloway Plan of Union
29 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
30 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
31 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
32 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
33 Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 
34 Delaware
Delaware Colony
Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies was a region of the Province of Pennsylvania although never legally a separate colony. From 1682 until 1776 it was part of the Penn proprietorship and was known as the lower counties...

 
35 Delaware
Delaware Colony
Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies was a region of the Province of Pennsylvania although never legally a separate colony. From 1682 until 1776 it was part of the Penn proprietorship and was known as the lower counties...

 
36 Delaware
Delaware Colony
Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies was a region of the Province of Pennsylvania although never legally a separate colony. From 1682 until 1776 it was part of the Penn proprietorship and was known as the lower counties...

 
37 Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

 
38 Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

 
39 Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

 
40 Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

 
41 Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

 
42 Virginia 
43 Virginia 
44 Virginia  Prominent Virginian lawyer, creator of the 'Virginian Stamp Act Resolves'.
45 Virginia 
46 Virginia 
47 Virginia  Presided over this first gathering of a Congress.
48 Virginia  Future commander of the Continental Army, and first president of the United States
49 North Carolina
Province of North Carolina
The Province of North Carolina was originally part of the Province of Carolina in British America, which was chartered by eight Lords Proprietor. The province later became the U.S. states of North Carolina and Tennessee....

 
50 North Carolina
Province of North Carolina
The Province of North Carolina was originally part of the Province of Carolina in British America, which was chartered by eight Lords Proprietor. The province later became the U.S. states of North Carolina and Tennessee....

 
51 North Carolina
Province of North Carolina
The Province of North Carolina was originally part of the Province of Carolina in British America, which was chartered by eight Lords Proprietor. The province later became the U.S. states of North Carolina and Tennessee....

 
52 South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 
53 South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 
54 South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 
55 South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 
56 South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 

See also

  • Continental Association
  • List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses
  • Papers of the Continental Congress
    Papers of the Continental Congress
    The Papers of the Continental Congress are official records from the first three representative bodies of the original United Colonies and ultimately the United States of America. The First Continental Congress was formed in 1774 to address "intolerable acts" by the British Parliament...

  • Timeline of United States revolutionary history (1760–1789)
  • Second Continental Congress
    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774,...


External links