The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia from Sept. 5 to Oct. 6, 1774, when it issued a Declaration of Rights declaring loyalty to the British Crown but denying the right of taxation by the British Parliament, according to History.com. It also passed the Articles of Association, which stated that if the Coercive Acts were not repealed by Dec. 1, 1774, the colonies would boycott imports from Great Britain.
Fifty-six delegates attended the First Continental Congress was attended, including George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams and John Jay. All 13 colonies except Georgia sent representatives. The British had responded to the Boston Tea Party and other acts of rebellion against taxation and oppression by passing the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts. These established martial law in Massachusetts, closed Boston Harbor to commercial shipping, gave British officials immunity from prosecution and forced colonists to quarter British troops. After the First Continental Congress, the boycott of British goods was implemented by the Americans, but before it could be followed by a ban on exports to England, it was made redundant by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1775. It was first attended by delegates from the 12 colonies that had attended the first but was later joined by a delegate from Georgia. On July 4, 1776, this group adopted the Declaration of Independence of the United States.