What came first? Id say Congress came first.
So you point to the Declaration. The one that calls the states FREE and INDEPENDENT. (Wasn't it Lincoln that pretty much led the way in not referring to the United States, and instead called it Union?)
I've never heard anybody call the "Continental Congress" the "U.S. Congress" before. Did you just do that?
I believe our form of government started in 1788, that's when our Congress was put in place. Not 1776.
I'm sure you know several of the states have their own separate constitutions going back to 1776.
Yea they did as a result of a call from congress in May of '76 to break ties with England and form their own governments.
BTW. Do you really think that Washignton, Madison and the rest spent the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia crafting a constitution that would allow any group of conniving self-serving politicians to ignore at their pleasure. The idea was not to create a structure that would collapse in the first storm or be destroyed by opportunists but to create a lasting government that would benefit all. Taking a hike because you don't like the outcome of an election is not what they had in mind unless you think they were damn fools. But of course, the Confederates did call them damn fools in so many words even rejecting the Declaration principles of all men being created equal so it's no surprise to find the neo-confederates rejecting those ideals either.