The First Continental Congress Definition
We can define the First Continental Congress as the first federal government of the United States of America. Although, the 13 British North American colonies were still under British rule.
But how can we define it as the first federal government of the USA?
Actually, 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:
1. First – It signifies for the very first time that American colonies came together for their collective interests. Also, they intended to counter the autocratic rules of the British government.
2. Continental – It signifies the North American continent, where the 13 colonies also come in.
3. Congress: Meeting.
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 British 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, 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?
They organized the meeting 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 to the colonists.
The 5 vengeful acts targeted all the common people of Boston city though not all were involved. Because of all these reasons, 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.
For example, during this meeting, they decided to impose an economic boycott on British goods. The decision got a 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, in response to the 5 Intolerable Acts, Congress imposed a heavy economic sanction on British goods supply to the colonies.
The boycott 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 to set up their own militias and armaments. That call later proved to be beneficial. Because after five months, on 19th April 1775, patriots had to face a series of military conflicts against the English Red Coats.
As you can guess, it was the battles of Lexington and Concord where Americans achieved strategic victory over the 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.