Complete the following questions using the required homework format.
Chapter 4 Questions
1. For what reasons were the Colonies founded?
2. Why were Native Americans alarmed at the growth of the American Colonies?
3. How did the Mayflower Compact influence the Massachusetts Bay Colony?
4. Why was the Proclamation of 1763 important?
5. Why did England follow the practice of salutary neglect?
Plus, today's handout is also due Monday, following the required homework format.
The Albany Plan of Union & the Iroquois Confederacy
According to a controversial thesis rejected by many professional historians, Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan was inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy. He visited the Iroquois in 1744 and 1753, and, according to proponents of the thesis, held up the Iroquois Confederacy as a model for colonial government in a 1751 letter. According to historian Bruce Johansen, one of the primary advocates of the influence thesis, the visit in 1753 was at least partial inspiration for Franklin.
In 1754, at a joint meeting of Iroquois and colonial delegates in Albany, Franklin proposed his “Albany Plan,” the first attempt to unite the colonies, a combination of Iroquois and European elements. The Albany Plan failed to gain ratification by the colonies, but served as a rough draft for later federal designs of Franklin for the Articles of Confederation, as well as his part in debates over the Constitution.
In a book on the Albany Congress, historian Timothy J. Shannon writes that "no evidence exists of an Iroquois influence in the drafting of the Albany Plan of Union". According to historian Walter A. McDougall, "However fetching the notion of Native American contributions to federalism and democracy, there is little evidence Franklin studied the Iroquois. Evidence of British influence on his ideas abounds." Iroquois historian Elizabeth Tooker stated that it was unlikely the Iroquois confederation had an impact on the American political system, as there were substantial differences between the two. A single tribe determined what topics would be discussed, and decisions were made through consensus, with each of the 50 sachem chiefs having a theoretical veto. Leadership was inherited, and new leaders were determined by the women of the tribes, who were not permitted to occupy a seat on the council. Representation was not determined by population sizes but by the number of clans in each tribe.
The Albany Plan of UnionThe Albany Plan of Union was proposed by Benjamin Franklin at the Albany Congress in 1754 in Albany, New York. It was an early attempt at forming a union of the colonies "under one government as far as might be necessary for defense and other general important purposes" during the French and Indian War. Franklin's plan of union was one of several put forth by various delegates of the Albany Congress.
A committee, formed to consider the different plans, settled on Franklin's plan—making only small modifications. The Plan called for the general government to be administered by a President General appointed and supported by the Crown, and a Grand Council to be chosen by the representatives of the colonial assemblies. Many objections and difficulties were debated, addressed, and resolved whereupon the plan was unanimously adopted by the delegates of the Albany Congress. Copies were then sent to the Colonial Assemblies and the British Board of Trade in London.
The Plan was promptly rejected by both sides.
"The colonial assemblies and most of the people were narrowly provincial in outlook, mutually jealous, and suspicious of any central taxing authority." Many in the British government, already wary of some of the strong-willed colonial assemblies, disliked the idea of consolidating additional power into their hands. Instead, they preferred that the colonists' focus remain on the forthcoming military campaign. The Board of Trade never sought official approval for the Plan from the Crown. Instead, they proposed that colonial governors, along with some members of their respective councils, order the raising of troops and building of forts, using money from Treasury of Great Britain which would later be repaid by an Act of Parliament laying a tax on America.
In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, the Albany Plan of Union served as an inspirational primer for the writing of the Articles of Confederation.
1. Why do most historians believe the Iroquois Confederacy had no influence over Benjamin Franklin or the Albany Plan of Union?
2. Describe the main features of the Albany Plan of Union
3. Why was the Albany Plan a failure?
4. If the Albany Plan is considered a failure, why is it considered an inspiration for the Articles of Confederation that follow the Revolutionary War?
5. Do you think the Iroquois Confederacy influenced Benjamin Franklin and/or the Albany Plan of Union? Explain your opinion.