The First and Second Continental Congresses were shaped by differing opinions from the three parties. Each faction provided convincing arguments for their positions. However, the one that was most persuasive and effective in achieving its goals were the radicals due to their beliefs about British dominance, their independence, and their rights.
The three factions had three distinct beliefs. The radicals had no hope for a relationship with Britain. They wanted their independence as soon as possible. On the other hand, moderates were afraid to break loose and wanted to mend troubles with their mother country. Finally, the conservatives wanted ties with Britain to be like they were before the French and Indian War. However, they wanted power to veto British acts, and so they came up with the idea of a "grand council."
Although significantly less people favored liberty, the radicals were the most effective due to their persuasive beliefs. Their first idea was to have Britain accede to their demands. They wanted to British to acknowledge that the colonies were not one single unit dominated by their empire.
In addition to want the British to acknowledge its lack of dominance, the radicals wanted independence. They had strong opinions about this, some adopted from Thomas Jefferson's pamphlet, A Summary View of the Rights of British America. First, they wanted Parliament to discontinue taxing. Most importantly, each colony had its own legislature. Therefore, they were well on their way to self-government.
Self-government came with certain rights. Therefore, the radicals adopted the Declaration and Resolves, originally known as the Suffolk Resolves. They took several actions that would trigger the American Revolution. Very importantly, they declared the Intolerable Acts void. They also recommended the formation of militias and the arming of colonists. Most effective, the Declaration and Resolves called for a boycott of English goods. They were to use two types of boycotting: non-importation and non-consumption. These techniques were shown to be effective within a year, when the radical party's goals were reached.
The boycotting method was used more than once. They also used it to repeal the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act Congress declared, "no taxation without representation." The radicals used vigilantes to impose their beliefs on others. The Sons and Daughters of Liberty terrorized the colonists into behaving properly. In other words, the colonists that did not boycott were violently punished. Their ability to manipulate the British government and the colonists made the radicals feel empowered.
The Boston Tea Party was another situation where the radicals got to shine. Parliament was giving the East India Tea Company a monopoly. This infuriated the delegates, and allowed the radicals to lead the "tea party." In turn, the colonists realized they were in charge. If they could take control of their tea, they were ready to take on any other conflict that was to come.
In addition to radical tactics, other circumstances allowed radical beliefs to flourish. The Olive Branch Petition called an effort to show loyalty to George III and remain his subjects. The conservatives came up with the Galloway plan. This plan was an effort to bring the colonies back to the way they were before the French and Indian War. With the failure of both of these, the radicals were left in an ideal situation where they could step in and impose their beliefs on the colonists.
These three parties had different ideas but the radicals dominated in the end. They used certain techniques including boycotting and even violence. Also, the failure of conservative and moderate ideas gave them the lead. Clearly, the radicals were most persuasive, and so they were effective in achieving their goals. American independence today serves as evidence of this.