Second Continental Congress (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Early patriots manage the Revolutionary War and form the core of a federal government for the United States of America.
Summary of Event
The Second Continental Congress began its deliberations at the State House in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. It was, like the First Continental Congress, an extralegal body, until the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781. However, it continued to meet throughout the Revolutionary War, exercising whatever authority the colony-states permitted. Although it was weak in terms of legal jurisdiction and state pressures, and lacked material resources for waging war, the Second Continental Congress accomplished much. Out of a bond forged by a common threat from Great Britain, a bond often frustrated by local politicians more interested in state sovereignty than wartime efficiency, there emerged a cluster of American political leaders, nationalists who echoed the plea of New York’s John Jay that the “Union depends much upon breaking down provincial Conventions.”
Forging a national identity was a delicate task that was much discussed among the delegates. Wary of a strong national government that had plagued the colonies, pushing them into war with the mother country, the delegates recognized that a united effort would be the only solution to the problems with Great Britain. The delegates to the congress knew also that a central government would...
(The entire section is 1314 words.)
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