The First Continental Congress was called to order on September 5th, 1774. 55 colonial representatives, including famous Patriots like John Adams, Samuel Adams, George Washington, and Patrick Henry, from twelve colonies (all except Georgia) met in Philadelphia, to decide a plan of action. It was decided that each colony would be allotted one secret ballot.
Each representative believed the Intolerable Acts were unjust, but they differed with respect to proper solutions. Some preferred more defensive and potentially violent courses. The delegates overcame these obstacles and produced several highly significant results of the First Continental Congress.
Results achieved from the First Continental Congress included:
The Suffolk Resolves: Proposed on September 9th, 1774, by Dr. Joseph Warren and accepted by Congress on September 17th, this plan encouraged Massachusetts to protest the Intolerable Acts by stockpiling military supplies, operating an independent government, boycotting British goods, and announcing no allegiance to Britain and a king who failed to consider the wishes of the colonists.
Declaration of Rights: These rights included life, liberty, property, and the right to establish their own taxes within the colonies. It also outlined reasons for a rebellion, including the Boston Port Act, Quebec Act, an oppressive presence of royal governors in the colonies, and unjust taxation without representation in government. The final draft was accepted on October 14th, 1774, and constituted a formal declaration to King George III and the Parliament that the actions of the British must cease or else a revolution would result.
Continental Associations: On December 1, 1774, the Continental Association was created to boycott all contact with British goods. By reversing the economic sanctions placed on the colonists, the delegates hoped Britain would repeal its Intolerable Acts.
Following these proposals, the First Continental Congress adjourned on October 22nd, 1774. In the event that the Intolerable Acts were not lifted, the Congress decided to meet again. Following debate in the Parliament, the British passed the Restraining Act on March 30th, 1775, which only succeeded in further frustrating and infuriating the colonists. The New England colonies were prevented from trading with anyone except the British and fishing was forbidden in New England waters, cutting off a critical fishing ground and food source for the Patriots.
Source: First Continental Congress #2
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