Above: The National Continental Congress Center will be a place where all of the versions of the Continental Congress, the 10 buildings in the 8 cities where they met, the 14 men who served as its President and the important documents they governed by, including the Articles of Confederation and the Treaty of Paris, can be studied, lectured about, discussed, and re-enacted with year-round events that include interactive exhibits, author signings, live musical and theatrical performances, festivals, exhibits and programs for the entire community.
Below: Interactive exhibits like they have at the National Constitution Center will chronicle the 1774-89 period’s major assemblies including the First and Second Continental Congresses; the Confederation Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled; the 1785 Mount Vernon Conference and the 1786 Annapolis Convention (meetings that led to the 1787 Constitutional Convention).
Cities, Buildings and Presidents
Below: Visitors will be able to experience the Continental Congress through touch screens, theatrical performances and feature films--including 3-D and even 4-D movies.
The National Continental Congress Center would be dedicated to all of the variations of the Continental Congresses and their Presidents, within the entire 1774-89 period, with a special emphasis on the role of Annapolis from 1783-86, when Annapolis was the capital of an officially independent nation, recognized as such by the ratification of the Treaty of Paris.
The goal is for visitors to see everywhere in the Center an emphasis on the creation of the United States as a 3-step process:
1. Revolution (1774-83)
2. Annapolis (1783-86)
3. Constitutional Convention (1787-89)
At the National Continental Congress Center visitors will see and become part of notable events in the history of the Continental Congress, including the votes to raise a Continental Army and Navy, the vote to declare independence from Great Britain, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, ratifying the Articles of Confederation, the day Cornwallis surrendered, attempts to amend the Articles of Confederation, and Annapolis-based events such as the day Congress convened in Annapolis, George Washington resigning his commission, the Treaty of Paris being signed in France and ratified in Annapolis, the appointment of Thomas Jefferson to France, Samuel Chase of Annapolis attending the Mt. Vernon Compact of 1785, the Annapolis Convention of 1786, Shay's Rebellion and the first and last sessions of the Continental Congress (1774, 1789) as a prelude to a trip to Philadelphia to see how the Constitution transformed the unicameral Continental Congress into the bicameral Congress of the United States of America with a House of Representatives, a Senate, a President and an independent court system.
To fully understand why Philadelphia was necessary, you need to know what happened in Annapolis.
Above: Following the conference at Mount Vernon the year before, between September 11 and 14, 1786 twelve delegates from five states came to Annapolis for a convention that would attempt to remedy the imperfections of the Articles of Confederation. Unable to agree on corrective amendments to the Articles, the delegates unanimously agreed to a resolution by Alexander Hamilton that a convention convene to begin writing a new document. The following year, Philadelphia hosted that convention, chaired by George Washington, and by March 4, 1789, the Continental Congress period in America's history came to an end when Washington became President of the United States, a bicameral Congress replaced the unicameral national legislature under the leadership of "presidents" and the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation.
1. Revolution, 1774-83
2. Post-war Transition, 1783-86 (the ANNAPOLIS ERA)
3. Constitutional Convention, 1787-89
The 4 Major pre-Consitution Cities
1. The Greater Boston Area gave birth to the Revolutionary War
2. Philadelphia proclaimed independence and wrote the Constitution
3. Annapolis guided the new nation from war to peace by accepting George Washington's 1783 resignation from the Army symbolizing the peaceful transition of power from the military to a civilian government; ratifying the Treaty of Paris in 1784, making it the first peacetime capital of the United States; and contributing to the 1785 Mount Vernon Conference that led to its hosting the 1786 Convention that called for a Constiutional Convention.
4. New York finalized the transition to a federal government from a confederal government.
The Important Legacy of the Continental Congress Period, 1774-89
- 14 men with the title of "president" before George Washington such as John Hancock, John Hanson, Samuel Huntington, John Jay and Thomas Mifflin.
- 10 buildings where the pre-Constitution Congress met such as Independence Hall, the Maryland State House and Federal Hall.
- 8 cities that hosted a variation of the Continental Congress, including Annapolis.
- 6 landmark documents: the Declaration of Independence; the Articles of Confederation--a document that provided state oversight of the national government (under the Revolution, 1774-83); the Treaty of Paris--a document that granted official recognition as a nation and ended to the Revolutionary War with Great Britain and the Treaty of Paris Proclamation--a document that secured an orderly transition from War to Peace (under the post-war Transition, 1783-86); and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (products of the Constitutional Convention and its aftermath, 1787-89).
- 3 variations: the first and second Continental Congresses (1774-81) and what some call the "Confederation Congress" (1781-89), but was officially named The United States in Congress Assembled.
- 1 chamber that produced the likes of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, William Paca and George Washington.
You can change that by joining the Annapolis Continental Congress Society in its effort to create a National Continental Congress Center in Annapolis, Maryland. Your donation will help pay for the 2013 Continental Congress Festival: "Prelude to Philadelphia: The 1786 Annapolis Convention," September 11-14 when for four days the Masonic Lodge in Annapolis will become the National Continental Congress Center and from this event we hope to create popular support for a national home for the nation's "First Form of Government."
HOW THE UNITED STATES BECAME AMERICA