The First Continental Congress – 1774

· Met in Philadelphia · Delegates came from every colony except Georgia

· George Washington represented Virginia

· Patrick Henry, Sam Adams were also present

· Adopted procedures and measures · Renewed boycotts

· Told people to arm themselves and form militias

· Outlined grivences to the king

· People have a right to participate in the legislative council

· The English in America are not yet represented

· The Assembly agreed to meet again in the spring (1775) if the crisis was not resolved

· King George III remained unmoved “blows must decide”

The Second Continental Congress – 1775

· After the Lexington & Concord Battle

· Met in Philadelphia · Most of the delegates from the first were present

· New faces: Ben Franklin (Penn), John Hancock (Mass), Thomas Jefferson (Virginia)

· Conflict within the delegates: Independence (Sam Adams, John Adams, Patrick Henry) vs. Compromise with England (John Dickinson – Delaware)

· Olive Branch Petition (Nov. 1775): drafted by Dickinson and sent to King George III expressed colonists loyalty to England and wish for peace, begging the king to halt fighting until a solution could be found

· June 1776 (a year into the conflict) congress decides to break ties with England & appointed a commitee to prepare a statement outlining reasons for separation

· Commitee included: Thomas Jefferson, planter; John Adams, lawyer; Roger Sherman, Judge; Robert Livingston, Lawyer; & Ben Franklin

· Jefferson was influenced by the Enlightenment, which emphasized science & reason as the keys to improving society & John Locke

· Declaration of Indepence adopted on July 4th, 1776