The First Continental Congress
As a result of the Intolerable Acts, which had been passed by the British Parliament, colonists in the Americas became increasingly convinced that they needed to take more aggressive steps in order to protect themselves and their liberty.
On September 5, 1774, 56 delegates were sent from each of the 13 colonies to meet in Philadelphia as representatives of the First Continental Congress. These representatives debated the issues of the rights of colonists as a united group. For the first time in history, the 13 colonies were working as a group and not as individual colonies. Patrick Henry, a delegate from Virginia, stated, “I am not a Virginian, I am an American.”
The First Continental Congress passed resolutions stating that the British Parliament did not have the right to pass laws in the colonies, and only had the right to regulate trade between the colonies and Great Britain. They further resolved that by December of the same year they would cease importing any goods from Great Britain, and that by September of the following year, they would cease exporting any goods to Great Britain.