The First Continental Congress Definition
|Short & Direct Answer: Simply, we can define the First Continental Congress as the first federal government of the United States of America, even though they were still under British rule.
Because the purpose of its formation was to make various decisions for the interests of the American people.
And of course, it happened for the very first time, when 12 of the 13 colonies of the North American continent came together.
We can break its name this way:
Description – First Continental Congress Definition
So, you want to know the definition of the First Continental Congress.
Am I right?
Actually, the First Continental Congress was none other, but it was a meeting of the twelve North American colonies’ leaders.
This meeting was organized in 1774, from September 5th to October 26th. The place was at the Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania state.
For the first time, at this meeting, these 12 of the 13 colonies came together with similar interests and became the United States of America.
Politically, the first stage of the formation of the USA started from this meetup.
So, this is the simple definition of the First Continental Congress.
But Again, Why They Organized This Meeting?
The meeting was organized in response to the 5 Intolerable Acts of 1774.
The Parliament of Great Britain passed the 5 laws for punishing American colonists for the incident of the Boston Tea Party.
These laws were highly vengeful for the colonists.
Even though not all common people were involved in the Boston Tea Party, but the 5 acts targeted them all.
Therefore the laws were unacceptable for them under any circumstances.
To create pressure on the British Parliament for repealing the acts, 12 of the 13 colonies united in the First Continental Congress.
Here even they took some major initiatives to counter the British Parliament’s punitive decisions.
Such as during this meeting they decided to impose an economic boycott over British goods’ import to the colonies.
The decision got huge success till the end of the following year 1775.
Was The First Continental Congress Effective?
Yes, the First Congress was very effective and became a major headache for the British authority.
As we have mentioned above, in response to the 5 Intolerable Acts, Congress imposed a heavy economic sanction over British goods’ import to the colonies.
The sanction significantly reduced British goods import to colonies by 97 percent, till the end of 1775.
This was, of course, a big reversal attack from the colonists’ side.
Secondly, the Continental Congress also urged colonies’ delegates for setting up their own militias and armaments.
This call was later proved to be correct because, after five months, on 19th April 1775, patriots had to face a series of armed conflicts against English forces.
As you can guess, it was the battles of Lexington and Concord, where Americans achieved strategic victory over English Red Coats.
However, even after taking all these initiatives and success, Congress failed in convincing the English government and King George III to repeal the 5 punitive acts.