Which Best Describes The Purpose of The Second Continental Congress?
1. First Thing: The last attempt to avoid the inevitable Revolutionary War between the empire of Great Britain and the 13 colonies of North America.
2. Second Thing: Building a powerful continental army for future armed confrontations against the British Royal forces and appointing diplomats for seeking foreign powers’ help (especially, enemy nations of Great Britain).
3. Third Thing: To give birth to a new nation, completely separate from the 13 colonies’ mother country, Great Britain. Of course, that new country was the United States of America.
4. Fourth Thing: To form ‘A De Facto National Government’ for managing everything smoothly during the Revolutionary War.
1. Second Continental Congress Did The Last Attempt To Avoid The War Between Great Britain And The 13 Colonies
We must admit that the 13 colonies’ leaders had tried a lot to avoid the Revolutionary War till the very end. There was already an armed conflict that happened at Lexington and Concord on the 19th of April 1775. Even after all these clashes, Continental Congress tried till the end to avoid more critical conditions.
Through the Second Continental Congress, formed on 10th May 1775, delegates requested the British king George III and Parliament withdraw the 5 Intolerable acts from the 13 colonies.
Of course, those 5 bad laws were the main immediate reason for the growing tensions between these two sides.
Even to make that happen, Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition (July 5th, 1775), and the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (July 6, 1775).
If the British took these proposals seriously, it could calm the situation down again. But the British government and King George III didn’t show any interest in their last request. Even King George’s arrogance was so high that he saw nothing except his authority over the 13 colonies.
Finally, it resulted in the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17th June 1775. The Battle of Bunker Hill widely spread the Revolutionary War of the 13 colonies’ full independence.
[Did You Know? In The Battles of Lexington & Concord, American Militias Achieved Strategic Victory Over British Red Coats. The Defeat Was A Great Shame For The Well-Experienced & Well-Equipped Red Coats]
2. Building A Powerful Continental Army And Appointing Diplomats For Seeking Foreign Powers’ Help
The leaders of the Second Continental Congress were very smart. They knew that the 13 colonies’ relationship with King George III and British Parliament would never be normal again.
Seeing the worst situation, they realized that they would soon have to involve in some major armed confrontations against British Royal forces.
For this reason, another purpose of this Congress was to strengthen its military strength as much as possible.
To make that happen, they appointed some well-experienced and powerful military leaders like George Washington, Anthony Wayne, and Benedict Arnold.
Also, Congress knew that they can’t defeat Royal forces alone in face-to-face combat. After all, the British army was the world’s most powerful armed force at that time.
For this reason, they focused on seeking foreign powers’ military assistance and their direct involvement in the war.
Especially they appointed some great diplomats, Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and Silas Deane, and send them to France to request King Louis XVI for their direct involvement.
Of course, you know, at the time, France was the biggest enemy of the British Empire and they always wanted to take revenge for the defeat of the Seven Years’ War (1756-63).
In 1778, France’s armed forces directly entered the war for helping revolutionists. Along with France, Spain, and Netherlands (indirectly) were also involved in the war.
Although, Spain and Netherlands (merchants) provided their support by supplying money, gunpowder, and other necessary pieces of equipment.
Militarily, they didn’t involve.
[Did You Know? France’s Participation In The American Revolutionary War Was So Intense That It Broked Its Economic Spine. Later, It Fueled The French Revolution]
3. The Brith of A Completely New Nation, The United States of America, Separate From The Mother Country Great Britain
At the start of the Second Congress, the colonists’ purpose was to create more pressure on Great Britain for repealing the five Intolerable Acts.
But when the delegates started realizing that the Parliament and King were not ready to fulfill their demands under any circumstances, their purpose completely moved towards independence.
In mid-1776 on July 4th, after they fought many battles, the 13 colonies declared independence from their mother country and gave birth to a new nation.
And yes, it was today’s, the United States of America.
4. To Form ‘A De Facto National Government’ For Managing Everything During The Revolutionary War
The Second Continental Congress’ purpose can also be best described from its intention of forming a de facto national government at the outset of the Revolutionary War.
Congress knew they need their own governing body to run everything smoothly and make the Revolutionary War successful.
Congress’ this purpose fulfillment greatly benefited them in the case of:
- Raising continental militias
- Directing war strategies
- Appointing diplomats for seeking other nations’ help
- Writing the declaration of independence
- And in many other cases.
I think these are the four points, that best describes the purpose of the Second Continental Congress.
Still, have any doubts?
Feel free to write it down in the comment section.
I will try to help you as much as I can.