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The Continental Association, often known as the Association, was a detailed system created by America's
First Continental Congress The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the United States. It met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall Carpenters' Hall is the official birthplace of the ...
in October, 1774, calling for a
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
trade boycott with Great Britain. Congress hoped that placing severe economic sanctions on British imports and exports would pressure
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
into addressing the colonies' grievances, in particular repealing the
Intolerable Acts The Intolerable Acts (passed/Royal assent March 31–June 22, 1774) were punitive laws passed by the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may re ...
, without severing allegiance. The boycott began on December 1, 1774, and exhibited the colonies' collective will and ability to act towards their common interests. Trade between the colonies and Britain fell sharply, and the British responded with the New England Restraining Act and escalated their own economic sanctions. The outbreak of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
in April, 1775, superseded the need to boycott British goods.


Background

Parliament passed the
Coercive Acts The Intolerable Acts (passed/Royal assent March 31–June 22, 1774) were punitive laws passed by the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may r ...
in 1774 to restructure the colonial administration of the
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
and to punish the
Province of Massachusetts A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
for the
''Gaspee'' Affair
''Gaspee'' Affair
and the
Boston Tea Party The Boston Tea Party was an American political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relati ...

Boston Tea Party
. Many Americans saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the
British Constitution The Constitution of the United Kingdom or British constitution comprises the written and unwritten arrangements that establish the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
and a threat to
the liberties The Liberties (Irish language, Irish: ''Na Saoirsí'' or occasionally ''Na Libirtí'') is an area in central Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, located in the southwest of the inner city. One of Dublin's most historic working-class neighbourh ...
of all Thirteen Colonies, not just Massachusetts, and they turned to economic boycotts to protest the oppressive legislation. The word ''boycott'' had not yet been coined, and the Americans referred to their economic protests as "non-importation", "nonexportation", or "non-consumption". On May 13, 1774, the
Boston Town Meeting A town meeting is a form of direct democracy in which most or all of the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. It is a town- or city-level meeting in which decisions are made, in contrast w ...
passed a resolution, with
Samuel Adams Samuel Adams ( – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

Samuel Adams
acting as moderator, which called for an economic boycott in response to the
Boston Port Act The Boston Port Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wa ...
, one of the Coercive Acts. The resolution said:
That it is the opinion of this town, that if the other, Colonies come, into a ''joint'' resolution to stop all importation from ''Great Britain'', and exportations to ''Great Britain'', and every part of the ''West Indies'', till the Act for blocking up this harbour be repealed, the same will prove the salvation of ''North America'' and her liberties. On the other hand, if they continue their exports and imports, there is high reason to fear that fraud, power, and the most odious oppression, will rise triumphant over right, justice, social happiness, and freedom.
Paul Revere Paul Revere (; December 21, 1734 O.S. (January 1, 1735 N.S.)May 10, 1818) was an American silversmith A silversmith is a metalworking, metalworker who crafts objects from silver. The terms ''silversmith'' and ''goldsmith'' are not exact ...

Paul Revere
often served as messenger, and he carried the Boston resolutions to New York and Philadelphia. Adams also promoted the boycott through the colonial
committees of correspondence The committees of correspondence were, prior to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delega ...
, through which leaders of each colony kept in touch. The
First Continental Congress The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the United States. It met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall Carpenters' Hall is the official birthplace of the ...
was convened at
Carpenters' Hall Carpenters' Hall is the official birthplace of the Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. It is in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Comple ...

Carpenters' Hall
in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
on September 5, 1774, to coordinate a response to the Coercive Acts. Twelve colonies were represented at the Congress. On October 20, 1774, Congress created the Association, based on the earlier
Virginia Association The Virginia Association was a series of non-importation agreements adopted by Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', ...
, which signified the increasing cooperation among the colonies. The Association opened with a profession of allegiance to the king, and they blamed Parliament and lower British officials for "a ruinous system of colony administration" rather than blaming the king directly. The Association alleged that this system was "evidently calculated for enslaving these colonies, and, with them, the British Empire."


Provisions

The articles of the Continental Association imposed an immediate ban on British tea, and a ban beginning on December 1, 1774 on importing or consuming any goods from Britain, Ireland, and the
British West Indies The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territo ...
. It also threatened an export ban on any products from the Thirteen Colonies to Britain, Ireland, or the West Indies, to be enacted only if the Intolerable Acts were not repealed by September 10, 1775. The Articles stated that the export ban was being suspended until this date because of the "earnest desire we have not to injure our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain, Ireland, or the West-Indies." All American merchants were to direct their agents abroad to also comply with these restrictions, as would all ship owners. Additionally, article 2 placed a ban on all ships engaged in the slave trade.The Continental Association, October 20, 1774
"2. We will neither import nor purchase, any slave imported after the first day of December next; after which time, we will wholly discontinue the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor sell our commodities or manufactures to those who are concerned in it." The Association set forth policies by which the colonists would endure the scarcity of goods. Merchants were restricted from price gouging. Local committees of inspection were to be established in the Thirteen Colonies which would monitor compliance. Any individual observed to violate the pledges in the Articles would be condemned in print and ostracised in society "as the enemies of American liberty." Colonies would also cease all trade and dealings with any other colony that failed to comply with the bans. The colonies also pledged that they would "encourage frugality, economy, and industry, and promote agriculture, arts and the manufactures of this country, especially that of wool; and will discountenance and discourage every species of extravagance and dissipation", such as gambling, stage plays, and other frivolous entertainment. It set forth specific instructions on frugal funeral observations, pledging that no one "will go into any further mourning-dress, than a black crepe or ribbon on the arm or hat, for gentlemen, and a black ribbon and necklace for ladies, and we will discontinue the giving of gloves and scarves at funerals."


Signers

These 53 delegates signed the Association in Congress. Many local signings also took place. President of Congress :1.
Peyton Randolph Peyton Randolph (September 10, 1721 – October 22, 1775) was a planter and public official from the Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses (1619–1776) , today = , demonym = , area_km2 ...

Peyton Randolph
New-Hampshire :2. John Sullivan 9:3.
Nathaniel Folsom Nathaniel Folsom (September 28, 1726 – May 26, 1790) was an American merchant and statesman. He was a delegate for New Hampshire in the Continental Congress in 1774 and 1777 to 1780, signing the Continental Association. He served as major general ...
Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers ...
:4.
Thomas Cushing Thomas Cushing III (March 24, 1725 – February 28, 1788) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders ...
:5.
Samuel Adams Samuel Adams ( – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

Samuel Adams
:6.
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of ...

John Adams
:7.
Robert Treat Paine Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was an American lawyer, politician, and Founding Father of the United States who signed the Continental Association and the United States Declaration of Independence, Declaration of Indepe ...

Robert Treat Paine
Rhode-Island :8. Stephen Hopkins :9. Samuel Ward
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
:10.
Eliphalet Dyer Eliphalet Dyer (September 14, 1721 – May 13, 1807) was a lawyer, jurist, and statesman from Windham, Connecticut. He was a delegate for Connecticut to many sessions of the Continental Congress, signed the Continental Association, and is one of ...
:11.
Roger Sherman Roger Sherman (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an early American politician, statesman and lawyer, as well as a Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father of the United States. He is the only person to have signed all four grea ...
:12.
Silas Deane Silas Deane (September 23, 1789) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, merchant, politician, and diplomat, and a supporter of American independence. Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he ...
New-York :13.
Isaac Low Isaac Low (April 13, 1735 – July 25, 1791) was an American merchant in New York City and a Founding Father of the United States who served as a member of the Continental Congress, where he signed the Continental Association, and he later ser ...
:14.
John Alsop John Alsop Jr. (1724 – November 22, 1794) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, merchant, and politician from New York City. As a delegate for New York (state), New York to the Continental Congress from 1774 ...

John Alsop
:15.
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
:16.
James Duane James Duane (February 6, 1733 – February 1, 1797) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typic ...

James Duane
:17.
Philip Livingston Philip Livingston (January 15, 1716 – June 12, 1778) was an American merchant and statesman from New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Ar ...
:18.
William Floyd William Floyd (December 17, 1734 – August 4, 1821) was an American politician from New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), ...

William Floyd
:19.
Henry Wisner Henry Wisner (c. 1720 – March 4, 1790) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typically those who ...
:20. Simon Boerum New-Jersey :21. :22.
William Livingston William Livingston (November 30, 1723July 25, 1790) was an American politician who served as the first governor of New Jersey (1776–1790) during the American Revolutionary War. As a NewJersey representative in the Continental Congress, he sign ...

William Livingston
:23.
Stephen Crane Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the literary realism, Realist tradition as well as early examples of America ...
:24. Richard Smith :25. John De Hart
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...
:26.
Joseph Galloway Joseph Galloway (1731August 10, 1803) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typically those w ...

Joseph Galloway
:27.
John Dickinson John Dickinson (November 13 Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2">Julian_calendar.html"_;"title="/nowiki>Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2_1732Various_sources_indicate_a_birth_date_of_ ...
:28.
Charles HumphreysCharles Humphreys (September 19, 1714 – March 11, 1786) was a miller and statesman from Haverford Township, Pennsylvania, Haverford, Pennsylvania. The son of Daniel and Hannah (née Wynne; daughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne) Humphreys, he served as ...
:29.
Thomas Mifflin Thomas Mifflin (January 10, 1744January 20, 1800) was an American merchant, soldier, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served in a variety of roles during and after the American Revolution, several of which qualify him to be coun ...

Thomas Mifflin
:30. Edward Biddle :31. John Morton :32. George Ross The Lower Counties :33.
Caesar Rodney Caesar Rodney (October 7, 1728 – June 26, 1784) was an American Founding Father, lawyer, and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United Stat ...
:34.
Thomas McKean Thomas McKean (March 19, 1734June 24, 1817) was an American lawyer, politician, and a Founding Father of the United States. During the American Revolution he was a Delaware delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the Continental Ass ...

Thomas McKean
:35. George Read
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...
:36. :37. Thomas Johnson, Junr :38.
William Paca William Paca (October 31, 1740 – October 13, 1799) was a Founding Father of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also ...
:39.
Samuel Chase Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was a Founding Father of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also kn ...

Samuel Chase
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...
:40.
Richard Henry Lee Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732June 19, 1794) was an American statesman and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founder ...

Richard Henry Lee
:41.
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
:42. :43.
Richard Bland Richard Bland (May 6, 1710 – October 26, 1776), sometimes referred to as Richard Bland II or Richard Bland of Jordan's Point, was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, Planter class, planter, and statesman from V ...

Richard Bland
:44.
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of t ...

Benjamin Harrison
:45.
Edmund Pendleton Edmund Pendleton (September 9, 1721 – October 23, 1803) was a Virginia Planter class, planter, politician, lawyer and judge, and a Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father of the United States. He served in the Virginia legislatur ...
North-Carolina :46.
William Hooper William Hooper (June 28, 1742 October 14, 1790) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, lawyer, politician, and a member of the Continental Congress representing North Carolina from 1774 through 1777. Hooper si ...

William Hooper
:47.
Joseph Hewes Joseph Hewes (July 9, 1730– November 10, 1779) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, a signer of the Continental Association and U.S. Declaration of Independence, and a native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he ...

Joseph Hewes
:48.
Richard Caswell Richard Caswell (August 3, 1729November 10, 1789) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the first and fifth governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executiv ...

Richard Caswell
South-Carolina :49.
Henry Middleton Henry Middleton (1717 – June 13, 1784) was a planter and public official from South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the U ...
:50. Thomas Lynch :51.
Christopher Gadsden Christopher Gadsden (February 16, 1724 – August 28, 1805) was an American politician who was the principal leader of the South Carolina Patriot (American Revolution), Patriot movement during the American Revolution. He was a delegate to the Con ...

Christopher Gadsden
:52.
John Rutledge John Rutledge (September 17, 1739 – June 21, 1800) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typi ...
:53.
Edward Rutledge Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749 – January 23, 1800) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father and politician who signed the Continental Association and was the youngest signatory of the United States Declaration o ...

Edward Rutledge


Enforcement

The Continental Association went into effect on December 1, 1774. Compliance with (and support for) the established boycott was largely enforced through local enforcement committees. By mid-1775, a large majority of Virginia's 61 counties had set up their own enforcement committees. Nearly all other colonies saw similar levels of success in upholding the boycott, with the notable exception of Georgia, where Governor James Wright emphasized the need for British protection from Native Americans. The use of public pressure was an overwhelmingly effective tactic in enforcing support for the boycott. Those who went against the boycott or even simply criticized the Association would often find their names slandered in newspapers and town gossip, often forcing those targeted to cave to pressure and publicly apologize. The threat of more direct action also played a role in forcing merchants to comply, with one merchant in Annapolis, Maryland, choosing to burn his own ship full of imported tea rather than attempt to sell it. When enforcement could not be guaranteed, some counties enacted to discourage
smuggling Smuggling is the illegal transportation of objects, substances, information or people, such as out of a house or buildings, into a prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Austr ...
.


Effects

Only one of the Thirteen Colonies failed to establish local enforcement committees; the restrictions were dutifully enforced in the others, and trade with Britain plummeted. Parliament responded by passing the New England Restraining Act which prohibited the northeastern colonies from trading with anyone but Britain and the British West Indies, and they barred colonial ships from the North Atlantic fishing areas. These punitive measures were later extended to most of the other colonies, as well. The outbreak of open fighting between the Americans and British soldiers in April 1775 rendered moot any attempt to indirectly change British policies. In this regard, the Association failed to determine events in the way that it was designed. Britain did not yield to American demands but instead tried to tighten its grip, and the conflict escalated to war. However, the long-term success of the Association was in its effective direction of collective action among the colonies and expression of their common interests.


Legacy

President
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
traced the origin of the United States back to the Continental Association of 1774 in his first inaugural address in 1861:


See also

*
Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also known as Revolutionaries, Continentals, Rebels, or American Whigs) were those colonists of the Thi ...


References

;Notes ;Bibliography *Ammerman, David. ''In the Common Cause: American Response to the Coercive Acts of 1774.'' New York: Norton, 1974.


External links


Association Test
at encyclopedia.com {{Authority control 1774 in law 1774 in the Thirteen Colonies Boycotts of countries Continental Congress Documents of the American Revolution Pennsylvania in the American Revolution