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Many throughout the 13 colonies viewed this act as the most egregious of the Intolerable Acts and feared the British might impose similar laws on each of the rest of the colonies. In response, colonists formed their own alternative government — the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, which controlled the entire colony outside of Boston — and prepared for a possible military confrontation with the forces that occupied the capital. For many colonists, the revolutionary spirit was forged in dialogue with their friends and neighbors.

Congress unanimously voted on the measure, and the next day presented Washington his commission.It read, in part:“We, reposing special trust and confidence in your patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be General and Commander in chief, of the army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised, by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their service, and join the said Army for the Defence [sic] of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof: And you are hereby vested with full power and authority to act as you shall think for the good and welfare of the service.”Thus the Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental Army, June 19, 1775. This lithograph, published by Currier and Ives, circa 1876, depicts George Washington being elected by the delegates of the Continental Congress as the commander in chief of the Continental Army, June 15, 1775.Washington taking command of the American Army, published by Currier & Ives, depicts Gen.At times, the Army provided the lone symbol of nationhood around which patriots rallied.In the wake of the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament closed the port of Boston to ships with its passage of the Boston Port Act, which took effect June 1, 1774.

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