The Second Continental Congress
As the seasons shifted, the cries for independence grew. By May, they were successful in securing informal French support. Congress also began conducting international diplomacy. The Model Treaty was drafted to seek alliances with Europe, specifically with Spain and France. It was adopted by Congress in September 1776. Congress also sent commissioners to France to negotiate a formal alliance. In 1778, the United States and France signed the Model Treaty. The Congress also sent diplomats to other European powers to encourage their support and to secure loans for the war effort.
While the Second Continental Congress had several purposes, the main purpose was to respond to the growing crisis in the area near Boston. The thirteen colonies had broken ties with the British Parliament and King George III. As a result, they knew they would eventually face major armed conflicts with British Royal forces. As a result, they built up their military strength and appointed powerful military leaders. This was important because they knew they would not be able to defeat the British without help.
The Second Continental Congress also formed the Continental Army, under the command of George Washington. In addition, the Congress drafted the Olive Branch Petition, which suggested means for settling disputes between the colonies and Great Britain. The Congress sent the petition to King George III on July 8, 1776. However, King George III refused to receive it.
The Second Continental Congress served as the government for the thirteen colonies. It convened in Philadelphia in 1775. It appointed George Washington as commander of the Continental Army and enacted the Articles of Confederation, which governed the country until the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1779.
The Second Continental Congress assumed many of the functions of a typical government, including appointing ambassadors, issuing paper currency, and raising the Continental Army through conscription. However, it did not have the power to raise taxes or regulate commerce. On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which established a unicameral legislature and served as the governing authority for the United States until 1788.
The Second Continental Congress was called to help the United States deal with the growing threat posed by Britain. The two colonies were divided over the issue, with both factions believing that they could work out a deal with the British. The first Congress had a conservative majority, and the second was made up of radicals led by John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.
The First Continental Congress was a time of protest. The colonists were fed up with being taxed by the king without representation. They had many grievances against the king, but the most important one was that he had suspended their right to jury trials. In response to this, they adopted the Bill of Rights, which guaranteed the right to a fair trial.