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200px|"Join, or Die" political cartoon attributed Ben Franklin in favor of the Albany Plan Union]]
The Albany Plan of Union, written by Benjamin Franklin, was a plan to place the British North American colonies under a more centralized government. On July 10, 1754, representatives from seven of the British North American colonies adopted the plan. Although never carried out, the Albany Plan was the first important proposal to conceive of the colonies as a collective whole united under one government.
Representatives of the colonial governments adopted the Albany Plan during a larger meeting known as the Albany Congress. The British Government in London had ordered the colonial governments to meet in 1754, initially because of a breakdown in negotiations between the colony of New York and the Mohawk nation, which was part of the Iroquois Confederation. More generally, imperial officials wanted a treaty between the colonies and the Iroquois that would articulate a clear colonial-Indian relations policy. The colonial governments of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all sent commissioners to the Congress. Although the treaty with the Iroquois was the main purpose of the Congress, the delegates also met to discuss intercolonial cooperation on other matters. With the French and Indian War looming, the need for cooperation was urgent, especially for colonies likely to come under attack or invasion.
====Why was a Centralized Government Necessary?====