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Continental Congress
How was the Continental Congress be a path to the presidency?

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John Adams
Continental Congress
1774-1777

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James Madison
Continental Congress
1780-1783

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John Adams was praised in the Continental Congress and beyond, as an accomplished "casting director" who placed the right people in the right jobs. In 1775 he was responsible for urging that the Congress choose Virginian George Washington as the leader of the Continental Army. After turning down the job himself, Adams recommended that Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. James Madison was only twenty-five years old in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was adopted; he then helped to write Virginia's state constitution. He began serving in the Continental Congress at age twenty-nine, thus making him the youngest member, but one already experienced at working out the details of the new republic. While there he argued in favor of a strong national government over a loose confederacy.

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