What Was The Purpose of The First Continental Congress?
|Short Answer: The main purpose of the First Continental Congress was to force the Parliament of Great Britain for repealing the five Intolerable Acts.
Also, Congress intended to create pressure on the English authority to withdraw the British troops from the Boston Harbor.
Of course, those troops were re-instituted in Boston Harbor after the Boston Tea Party.
All began something like this – Part 1
On 10th May 1773, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the ‘Tea Act‘ to create a monopoly on the 13 North American colonies’ whole tea market.
But this decision was completely unacceptable for the colonists; especially it raised fear among local merchants and shippers, who were already associated with tea businesses.
Therefore, as an act of dissatisfaction to the tea act, in the year 1773 on 16th December, some patriots from the ‘Sons of Liberty’ organization dumped 342 chests of British East India Company’s tea at Boston Harbor, Atlantic Ocean.
In history, this incident is popular as the ‘Boston Tea Party’.
The tea party caused huge economic losses to the company and the British government.
The company was doing its monopoly business through the support of the British government and the new act.
Hence, the government was making massive profits through the East India Company.
|Interesting Fact: One thing here you need to know that East India Company was a leading contributor to the British economy.
Therefore, under the Tea Act, the English Parliament provided a special facility to this company.
In response to the incident, the Parliament of Great Britain passed 5 punitive laws during the year 1774.
These laws were completely against the American colonists’ interests.
Especially the laws targeted very hard to the common people of Boston, Massachusetts province.
The five acts were:
- Boston Port Act
- Massachusetts Government Act
- Administration of Justice Act
- Quartering Act
- Quebec Act
Though, the British Parliament named the laws ‘Coercive Acts’ but colonists started naming it ‘Intolerable Acts’.
Because those were highly intolerable and vengeful towards them and tried taking away all their rights of being British citizens.
Many also blamed that the Parliament was violating Bill of Rights’ rules.
Leaders from the colonies requested Britain for repealing those harmful laws.
But it made no effect on them.
Hence in response to the British’s action, in the year 1774 from September 5th to October 26th; the American colonies united in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and formed the First Continental Congress.
In that meeting 12 of the 13 British American colonies came together and decided to impose an economic boycott over British goods from December 1st, 1774.
Here, they all came together (except Georgia for some reasons) because they wanted the opposition to make more and more powerful against the Intolerable Laws.
So, now I hope you have got your answer on what was the purpose of the First Continental Congress.
Did The Purpose of The First Continental Congress Succeed?
Though in long run, it benefited colonists, but in direct words, their purpose succeeded partially.
Because though they tried to create pressure on the English authority to repeal the Intolerable Acts but it made no impact on the Parliament and King George III.
Hence, they became obliged to impose economic sanctions on English economic goods.
After they imposed economic sanctions on Britain, the import of British goods significantly reduced to the colonies by 97 percent (till the end of 1775).
Of course, from this side, it was a massive success for the colonists.
Again, in this meeting, they decided to set up their own militias for inevitable military conflict.
Because from the current situation, they learned very well that the relation between the two sides would never be normal again.
As they decided, they executed it, and after five months during the battles of Lexington and Concord, it proved to be beneficial for them.