Second Continental Congress

Definition

The Second Continental Congress was the body of delegates that governed the Thirteen Colonies and, later, the United States during the American Revolutionary War. Between its first session in May 1775 and its disbandment in March 1781, the Congress oversaw the war effort, adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, and secured an alliance with France.

More about: Second Continental Congress

Timeline

  • 10 May 1775
    The Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 5 Jun 1775
    The Second Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition in a final attempt at reconciliation with Great Britain.
  • 15 Jun 1775
    The Second Continental Congress adopts the Continental Army, names George Washington as commander-in-chief.
  • 22 Jun 1775
    The Continental Congress issues $2 million in a new paper currency, called 'Continentals', to fund the Revolution.
  • 13 Oct 1775
    The Second Continental Congress votes to establish the Continental Navy.
  • 1 Jul 1776
    The Second Continental Congress votes for independence by a large majority.
  • 4 Jul 1776
    The Second Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence; the United States of America is established.
  • Dec 1776
    The Second Continental Congress is forced to evacuate Philadelphia at the approach of the British army; Washington is granted near dictatorial powers.
  • 26 Sep 1777
    Philadelphia is captured by a British army; Congress flees to York, Pennsylvania.
  • 15 Nov 1777
    The Second Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, which are sent to the states for ratification.
  • 4 May 1778
    The Second Continental Congress ratifies a treaty of alliance with France.
  • 1 Mar 1781
    The Articles of Confederation take effect.
  • 4 Mar 1789
    The Constitution of the United States goes into effect; the Continental Congress is replaced with the current US Congress.
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