Assembling representatives from every colony, the Continental Congress
(1774-1789) provided a platform to those colonists dedicated to resisting
the British. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Congress became
the central institution for managing the struggle for American independence.
The Articles of Confederation (1781-1789) represented America's first
attempt to govern itself as an independent nation. The Constitutional
Convention of 1787 proposed a new constitution establishing a much stronger
national government. Although this controversial new Constitution provoked
a great deal of resistance, it was eventually ratified by the necessary
number of states, replacing the Articles of Confederation as the framework
of the U.S. government.