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Visit Website Did you know? Colonial opposition made a dead letter of the Stamp Act and brought about its repeal in The British government did not abandon its claim to the authority to pass laws for the colonies, however, and would make repeated attempts to exert its power over the colonies in the years to follow.
Colonists continued to coordinate their resistance to new imperial measures, but, from untildid so primarily through committees of correspondence, which exchanged ideas and information, rather than through a united political body.
The delegates included a number of future luminaries, such as future presidents John Adams of Massachusetts and George Washington of Virginiaand future U.
The Congress was structured with emphasis on the equality of participants, and to promote free debate. The Congress also passed the Articles of Association, which called on the colonies to stop importing goods from the British Isles beginning on December 1,if the Coercive Acts were not repealed.
After proclaiming these measures, the First Continental Congress disbanded on October 26, The British army in Boston had met with armed resistance on the morning of April 19,when it marched out to the towns of Lexington and Concord to seize a cache of weapons held by colonial Patriots who had ceased to recognize the authority of the royal government of Massachusetts.
The Patriots drove the British expedition back to Boston and laid siege to the town.
The Revolutionary War had begun. Fighting for Reconciliation Although the Congress professed its abiding loyalty to the British Crown, it also took steps to preserve its rights by dint of arms.
On June 14,a month after it reconvened, it created a united colonial fighting force, the Continental Army. The king dismissed the petition out of hand. Declaring Independence For over a year, the Continental Congress supervised a war against a country to which it proclaimed its loyalty.
In fact, both the Congress and the people it represented were divided on the question of independence even after a year of open warfare against Great Britain.
Early ina number of factors began to strengthen the call for separation. At the same time, many Americans came to realize that their military might not be capable of defeating the British Empire on its own.
Meanwhile, the war itself evoked hostility toward Britain among the citizenry, paving the way for independence. In the spring ofthe provisional colonial governments began to send new instructions to their congressional delegates, obliquely or directly allowing them to vote for independence.
The provisional government of Virginia went further: It instructed its delegation to submit a proposal for independence before Congress. Congress postponed a final vote on the proposal until July 1, but appointed a committee to draft a provisional declaration of independence for use should the proposal pass.
The committee consisted of five men, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania. But the declaration was primarily the work of one man, Thomas Jefferson, who penned an eloquent defense of the natural rights of all people, of which, he charged, Parliament and the king had tried to deprive the American nation.
Waging the War The Declaration of Independence allowed Congress to seek alliances with foreign countries, and the fledgling U.Obtain documents, public disclosure forms, historical data and Member and Committee information for the U.S.
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Fifteen years ago I had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela in Cape Town while he was serving as President of South Africa. It was an odd occasion. I was a member of the International Commission on the Future of the Oceans, which was holding a meeting in South Africa.