The devastating impact on English merchants, due to the boycott of British imported goods in America, had prompted them to place pressure on the British government to repeal the taxes. The British government had capitulated and the taxes imposed by the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts were eventually repealed - all except the tax on tea. This led to the Boston Tea Party which was followed by reprisals by the British in the Coercive, or Intolerable Acts.
One of the first acts of the First Continental Congress was to create the Continental Association of 1774, more commonly known as "The Association". The Continental Congress created the Articles of Association that were adopted on October 20, 1774. The Continental Association (also known as Articles of Association or simply the Association), was an agreement made by the American colonies to impose economic sanctions against Great Britain. The boycott against importing British goods to the colonies was to be enforced by community groups and small committees. The ban on British goods became operative on December 1 1774.
Continental Association - Summary of the Articles of Association
The summary of the Articles of Association issued by the Continental Congress is as follows:
- The Continental Association begins with a loyal address to the king (George III)
- The Association then details a list of complaints (grievances)
- Specific details of the actions that the Association intended to take
- The Association planned to discontinue imports
- The Association planned to discontinue exports
- The Association planned to discontinue slave trade
- The Association also planned to develop agriculture and industry in the American colonies to lessen dependence on imported goods
- The Continental Association gave the Committees of Correspondencethe power to enforce the measures detailed in the Articles of Association and to publish information to the colonists on a weekly basis
The Effects of the Continental Association
The constant stream of new laws and taxes demanded by the British parliament was like a slow burning fuse to a keg of dynamite that would explode into the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Association based on the boycott of British imports to the American colonies were the main weapon employed by the colonists in their unsuccessful attempt to win their demands from the British by peaceful means.