2nd Continental Congress
The congress met in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. Three delegatres added to the Congress were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Hancock. The Congress took on governmental duties and united all the colonies for the war effort. They selected George Washington as commender of the army. They encouraged the colonies to set themselves up as states. On July 4, 1776 they adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Congress ended March 1, 1781 when a Congress authorized by the Articles of Confederation took over.
Olive Branch Petition
On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.
A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that criticized monarchies and convinced many American colonists of the need to break away from Britain.
Decloration of Independence
A statement of the reasons for the American colonies’ break with Britain, approved by the second continental congress in 1776.