The Albany Plan of Union

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Updated on Feb 4, 2012

The Albany Plan of Union

Benjamin Franklin was among the first to realize that large-scale conflict over Colonial land lay ahead. Franklin considered the Iroquois Confederacy an impressive exercise in democratic rule, and in 1751 he proposed that the colo- nists create a similar official body for their mutual defense. When representa- tives from seven colonies met in Albany, New York to discuss the question, Franklin outlined an idea that became known as the Albany Plan of Union. It failed with both the Colonial governments and the British Parliament for two reasons. First, Parliament did not want to set up any institution that would rival its own authority over the colonies. Second, representatives of one colony did not necessarily trust those of another.

Franklin drew this cartoon to illustrate why his plan of union was a good idea for the defense of the colonies. As a whole animal, the snake was well able to defend itself and to attack when necessary; but its individual pieces were helpless.

US History French and Indian War Albany Plan of Union

Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:

The French and Indian War Practice Test

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