Why Was the Albany Plan of Union Proposed?

The Albany Plan of Union was proposed in 1754 to unite the North American colonies of Great Britain under a more central government. This would make it possible to cooperate better during the upcoming conflict with the French and Indians, and also help the colonies settle their territorial differences.

The Albany Plan of Union was initially proposed by Benjamin Franklin and drafted by a committee of the Albany Congress. Although it was the first attempt at the unification of the colonies, it was not intended to foster independence from the British government, but rather facilitate communication and cooperation between the colonies. It proposed a president general presiding over a grand council made up of delegates from the various colonies. Besides regulating Indian relations and resolving territorial disagreements, these representatives would have the authority to levy taxes for the support of the colonial government.

After debating its details and drafting a final version, the Albany Congress voted to adopt the plan on July 10, 1754. However, the individual colonial assemblies rejected the plan. They were concerned that central authority would cause them to lose commerce, territory and autonomy. Parts of the Albany Plan provided inspiration when the founding fathers drafted the Articles of Confederation after the Revolutionary War.