The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen British North American colonies that met on September 5, 1774, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution. Called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as Intolerable Acts by the Colonial Americans) by the British Parliament, the Congress was attended by 56 members appointed by the legislatures of twelve of the Thirteen Colonies, the exception being the Province of Georgia, which did not send delegates. The Congress met briefly to consider options, an economic boycott of British trade, publish a list of rights and grievances, and petition King George for redress of those grievances.
The Congress also called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts. Their appeal to the Crown had no effect, and so the Second Continental Congress was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War.
The Congress met from 5 September to 26 October 1774. From 5 September through 21 October, Peyton Randolph presided over the proceedings; Henry Middleton took over as President of the Congress for the last few days, from 22 October to 26 October. Charles Thomson, leader of Philadelphia Sons of Liberty, was selected to be Secretary of the Continental Congress.
Galloway's Plan of UnionEdit
Patrick Henry already considered government dissolved, and was seeking a new system. Pennsylvania delegate Joseph Galloway sought reconciliation with Britain. He put forth a "Plan of Union", which suggested an American legislative body be formed, with some authority, and whose consent would be required for imperial measures. John Jay, Edward Rutledge and other conservatives supported Galloway's plan. (Galloway would later join the Loyalists).
The Congress had two primary accomplishments. The Association was a compact among the colonies to boycott British goods beginning on 1 December 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. The entire colony's Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the congress with the exception of New York.
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.
The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress to meet on 10 May 1775. In addition to the colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, letters of invitation were sent to Quebec, Saint John's Island, Nova Scotia, Georgia, East Florida, and West Florida. None of these sent delegates to the opening of the second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July.
List of delegatesEdit
|1||Nathaniel Folsom||New Hampshire|
|2||John Sullivan||New Hampshire|
|6||Robert Treat Paine||Massachusetts|
|7||Stephen Hopkins||Rhode Island|
|8||Samuel Ward||Rhode Island|
|12||James Duane||New York|
|13||John Jay||New York|
|14||Philip Livingston||New York|
|15||Isaac Low||New York|
|16||Simon Boerum||New York|
|17||John Haring||New York|
|18||Henry Wisner||New York|
|19||William Floyd||New York|
|20||John Alsop||New York|
|21||Stephen Crane||New Jersey|
|22||John De Hart||New Jersey|
|23||James Kinsey||New Jersey|
|24||William Livingston||New Jersey|
|25||Richard Smith||New Jersey|
|45||Richard Henry Lee||Virginia|
|49||Richard Caswell||North Carolina|
|50||Joseph Hewes||North Carolina|
|51||William Hooper||North Carolina|
|52||Christopher Gadsden||South Carolina|
|53||Thomas Lynch, Jr.||South Carolina|
|54||Henry Middleton||South Carolina|
|55||Edward Rutledge||South Carolina|
|56||John Rutledge||South Carolina|
- List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses
- Papers of the Continental Congress
- Timeline of United States revolutionary history (1760-1789)
- ↑ Risjord, Norman K. (2002). Jefferson's America, 1760-1815. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 114.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Greene, Evarts Boutell (1922). The Foundations of American Nationality. American Book Company.. p. . 434.
- ↑ Miller, Marion Mills (1913). Great Debates in American Hist: From the Debates in the British Parliament on the Colonial Stamp. Current Literature Pub. Butts. Co. p. 91.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kramnick, Isaac (ed); Thomas Paine (1982). Common Sense. Penguin Classics. p. 21.
- ↑ Ketchum, pg. 262
- ↑ Launitz-Schurer pg. 144
- ↑ Worthington C. Ford, et al. (ed.), ed. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. pp. 2:192–193. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(jc00266)).
- Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. (1854-78), vol 4-10 online edition
- Burnett, Edmund C. (1975) . The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3.
- Henderson, H. James (2002) . Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5.
- Launitz-Schurer, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1
- Ketchum, Richard, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0805061207
- Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution (1943) online edition
- Puls, Mark, Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution, 2006, ISBN 1403975825
- Montross, Lynn (1970) . The Reluctant Rebels; the Story of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X.
- Peter Force, ed. American Archives, 9 vol 1837-1853, major compilation of documents 1774-1776. online edition
- The Continental Congress - History, Declaration and Resolves, Resolutions and Recommendations
- Full text of Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789
- Papers of the Continental Congress (Digitized Original Documents)
|Legislature of the United States|
5 September 1774 to 26 October 1774
| Succeeded by|
the Second Continental Congress
They also had the meeting in Jamestown, Virginia known as the Pro- First Continental Congress Of The Great America.
de:Erster Kontinentalkongress es:Primer Congreso Continental fr:Premier Congrès continental ko:제1차 대륙회의 it:Primo congresso continentale ms:Kongres Kontinental Pertama ro:Primul Congres Continental ru:Первый Континентальный конгресс uk:Перший Континентальний конгрес