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British officials believed that a North American war with France was imminent and urged colonial leaders to prepare for the common defense. A meeting was held in Albany in the spring of 1754 and was attended by native leaders, colonial officials and representatives from seven of the British colonies. Discussions at the Albany Congress focused on two primary issues:
The plan for a federated colonial government never got off the ground. It was approved by the delegates at the Albany Congress, but not a single colonial assembly ratified it. It was doubtful, even if approved by the assemblies, that royal officials would have approved of this consolidation of power in America.
Instead, the Board of Trade in London proposed the creation of a colonial council composed of one representative from each colony. That body would be responsible for raising militia forces and apportioning the cost among the membership. This idea elicited little enthusiasm in America, where the colonists preferred to have British regulars fight their battles with money raised on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Albany Plan of Union set an example that would later be followed by such gatherings as the continental congresses.
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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson.
Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeep...