The Continental Army of The United States, was a Military Formation created by The American Congress (then in open Rebellion), in 1775. This was the first major land force recruited to ensure American Independence from Great Britain. The Continental Army was the original linage which would one day for The Army of The United States today. With no standing Army, The Thirteen Colonies of America needed not only a means of recruitment, but the materials of War. From simple supply of food and munitions to Command and Leadership, The Colonies were woefully lacking in all. This meant that diplomatic measures were needed to procure almost all of everything they needed from foreign sources.
Most European Counties did not wish to become involved in another War. Europe had spent a vast majority of the 18th Century embroiled in several costly engagements. While many looked upon England's ''demise'' from international commerce a ''relief'', none could really stand up against the power of both Her Navy and Armies. Likewise, none would come together to form a coalition to do so. Hence, the supply of arms and related materials to America was ''few and far between''. Additionally, none would give full support by recognizing America as a legitimate ''Nation''.
Still, The Colonies (now identifying themselves as ''States'' – united into a central Government), and administered by a Congress of Representatives from each, brought together their Militias. As previously discussed, these Militias were forms as far back as the 17th Century as a form of protective force against hostile Native American attacks. Most were pressed into Military Service by Great Britain during The Seven Year War (in America, The French and Indian War). As such, many men and their respective Officers had some experience in warfare.
Bringing these Militias together to train and fight as a cohesive ''Army'' was daunting. The majority were simple farmers, store clerks etc. Regional and cultural differences also posed some problems. Strong Leadership and command was needed. This was found in one George Washington. He was able to bring together The Militia System into America;s first “Continental Army''. At first relying on Colonial goods (difficult to procure at best) – and eventually the training provided by sympathetic foreign Military Advisors, The Continental Army would survive many trials and hardships. With French recognition of America as a Nation, much needed weapons and supplies would cement The Army into a well honed fighting force.
After The War, The Army was disbanded (1783) – save America begin to become like many European Nations who maintain Standing Armies to entice fear into their population. However, the rise of Westward Expansion into the Countries interiors, and America's growing appearance into The European Trade Market, would urge the recreation of a Standing Force known as The Army of The United States (1796).