A Plan to Unite the Colonies He knew they wouldn’t budge those stubborn old mules in their white powdered wigs. But, he tried to move them anyway. Every idea his lightning quick mind threw at them, they ignored. “If we all worked together, we could solve our problems,” he would tell them. The representatives were only interested in protecting their own colony. They didn’t care about his crazy plan of a “Union.” At 48, Benjamin Franklin was very wealthy. He was also the most famous resident of the thirteen colonies.
The representatives of seven colonies had been meeting on the quiet banks of the Hudson River. They were in a small village called Albany. It was the very first “congress” or general meeting of representatives of the colonies. They had been sent there by the King to meet with representatives of the Iroquois Nation of Native Americans. Six of the colonies refused to go!
The colonists were to make friends with the great Iroquois nation. The Iroquois knew the French were working with their enemies, the Huron Nation. They wanted to make sure their friendship was still strong with the British. Though it was June 1754, a month before Washington’s battle, many of the colonists at the “Albany Congress” felt war would start soon.
Franklin had observed the Grand Council of the Iroquois Nation in action. Seven very different tribes had joined together to form the Iroquois Nation. Each tribe had representatives that could vote on decisions for the whole nation. The British, French, or the Huron could defeat any one of the seven tribes alone, but together they were a force that frightened even the far-off King of England. With these thoughts, Franklin and his friend Thomas Hutchinson put pen to paper. Together they wrote the Albany Plan of Union.
Franklin’s Albany Plan called for a “president-general” who would run the union of colonies. A congress of representatives from each colony would meet to pass laws for the “general good.” They would be able to raise taxes and create an army.
It failed miserably. Even with war about to break out, the different colonies refused to give-up their power to run their own governments. Many did not like Franklin’s plan to put the capital in Philadelphia.