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09-Oct-2019 06:02

The First Continental Congress, 1774 is a mural at Great Experiment Hall, Cox Corridors, in the U. (Right) A soldier blocks the path of a woman and child, symbolizing the armed occupation that incensed many colonists.

Upon learning that this extra-legal government was amassing stores of weapons in Concord, about 20 miles from Boston, Gage sent a military expedition, April 18, 1775, to seize and destroy all the munitions his men could find.

George Washington arriving in Cambridge, Mass., July 3, 1775, after his appointment as commander in chief of the newly formed Continental Army.

When Congress declared independence, the Continental Army and the militia in the service of Congress became known collectively as the Army of the United States, instead of the Army of the United Colonies.

The second act, the Massachusetts Government Act of May 20, 1774, stripped the colony of its sovereignty. Thomas Gage, the commander in chief of British forces in North America and royal governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, invoked the new law in October 1774 and dissolved the provincial assembly. Abbey, illustrates a reality of American politics in 1774-1775.

Washington unexpectedly interrupted the meeting and denounced the anonymous address, saying that it had "something so shocking in it that humanity revolts at the idea." In an eloquent and passionate address, Washington was able to diffuse the situation, appealing to their sense of duty and patriotism and placing their "full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress." Through his words, Washington not only reaffirmed the significance of civilian control of the military, but may have also saved the fate of American independence.