On May 10, 1775, what became known as the Second Continental Congress was called into session as the British stormed Boston in an attempt to arrest the patriots that publicly voiced their grievances against the crown. With the bloody fights at Concord and Lexington fresh in their minds, the delegates of twelve of the thirteen Colonies came together in Philadelphia to draw up a statement of positions in regards to the actions of the British Parliament. Georgia did not send a delegate until much later. This session of the Second Congress was to stay in session until March 2, 1789.
The original purpose was not to declare independence from Britain, but rather to come up with an action to present the grievances of the colonies, however, in 1776 after no satisfaction from the crown in regard to the issues presented, Congress did decide to pull away from Great Britain. The delegates then proceeded to draw up the famous document that was to be known as the Declaration of Independence. They began making provisions to form the American Continental army to defend the colonies. George Washington was appointed as Commander-in-Chief over the newly found army. This was a huge step towards what would become an amazing new nation. To finance the new military, Congress also voted to start printing money. Congress had officially taken charge of the war effort.
It was at the meeting of the Second Continental Congress that the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. This amazing document has defined America for over two centuries. Congress approved the first resolution of independence on July 2, 1776. On July 4th, they approved the final declaration. As president of Congress, John Hancock was the first of the delegates to sign the document.
In summary, this second meeting of the Continental Congress was instrumental in setting the tone and managing the efforts that would bring about the birth of a new nation, a nation now known as the United States of America.