User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Like William Penn's Plan of Union of 1697, Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan of 1754 was an attempt to solve problems faced by the Colonist and came about as a result of war over Empire. This war, an extension of the War of the Austrian Succession, is known as King George's War in the Colonies.

This time, the English Board of Trade had called for a Congress to meet and address two problems faced by the Colonies.

The Albany Congress

In an attempt to resolve two pressing problems in the Ohio Valley of the American Colonies, the English Board of Trade had called a Congress of the New England Colonies. Twenty-three delegates would meet in Albany, New York from June 19 to July 11, 1754.

While on his way to this Congress as a delegate for Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin would write the Albany Plan of Union. This plan would in effect, unite the Colonies into one government.

The Albany Plan

This government was to manage defense and Indian affairs, pass laws, and raise taxes. The chief executive was to be a president-general appointed and supported by the crown. There would be a grand council consisting of representatives appointed by each Colonial Assembly.

This plan was an attempt to stop the French from taking control of the Ohio River valley, because if they had, it would link the French territories of Louisiana and Canada together and block the growth of the English Colonies.

The Indian Problem

The second problem was the Iroquois Indian federation complaints against the colonies. A delegation of 150 Indians from this federation presented their grievances to the congress.

The Indians complaints were:

  1. Land speculators were stealing their lands.
  2. That an illegal English-French trade was bypassing them, thus preventing them from acting as middlemen for profit.
  3. Colonials were trading directly with other Indians supposedly under the rule of the Iroquois.

The congress had to placate the Iroquois, because the Colonies needed them as allies against the French.


The Albany Congress was a success in that the Iroquois Confederacy became allies with the English during the French and Indian War, which broke out in 1754.

However, the Plan of Union failed because of opposition from both the King and the Colonist. Both thought it had granted too much power. "The assemblies did not adopt it, as they all thought there was too much prerogative in it, and in England it was judged to have too much of the democratic."(1) The Plan was a farsighted document because it contained solutions that the Colonies would use to draw up the Articles of Confederation after Independence was declared in 1776.

Web Sites for Reference

You can learn more about the Albany Congress, The Albany Plan and the French and Indian War at the following sites.