Portrait of John Hancock.

John Hancock served the longest term as President of the Second Continental Congress.

Second Continental Congress

May 10, 1775–1781

The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia's Independence Hall on May 10, 1775, after the Battles of Concord and Lexington had been fought.


Although there was still great sentiment among the delegates to seek reconciliation with Great Britain, the movement towards independence could not be reversed.  The delegates were soon forced to turn their attention to forming an army, crafting a Declaration of Independence, conducting the war, and establishing a new national government acceptable to each of the thirteen separate states. To their credit, the delegates successfully managed each of these tasks through extremely trying times. When the Articles of Confederation were officially adopted in 1781, the delegates to the Second Continental Congress officially met as the Congress of the Confederation, and a new nation was born.


Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Second Continental Congress
  • Coverage May 10, 1775–1781
  • Author
  • Keywords second continental congress
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date March 7, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 11, 2021