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The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the thirteen colonies of British America, that later formed the governing body of the United States after the American Revolution. The Continental Congress gathered three times over the course of the war.
The Second Continental Congress started on 10 May 1775, after the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April. The Congress formed the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as its Commander-in-Chief on 15 June. On 4 July 1776, the Second Congress claimed independence for the colonies from Great Britain via the Declaration of Independence and designed a new government. John Hancock was President of the Continental Congress for the first two years of the war.
The last Continental Congress - better known as the Congress of the Confederation - convened in 1781 and met until 1789, to form the foundations of a new government for the colonies. The American Constitution passed in 1788, officially forming the constitutionalized United States.