Albany Congress (1754) - Because of concerns about the approaching French and Indian War, representatives of seven colonies met at Albany, New York, to gain the support of the Iroquois Confederacy and unite the colonies in matters of defense. At the Congress, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) proposed the Albany Plan of Union.
Albany Plan of Union (1754) - Proposed by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) of Pennsylvania at the Albany Congress, this plan recommended that a congress of delegates, representing all the colonies, be formed, which would have the power to build and maintain armed forces, levy taxes, negotiate with Native Americans, and control western expansion. Britain rejected the plan because it would have given too much power to the colonies; the colonial legislatures rejected it because they were not willing to give up local power to the council. Although the Albany Plan of Union was defeated, it represented a major step toward the union of the colonies.
Articles of Confederation (1781) - The Continental Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation, a written constitution, which was ratified by all the states beginning in 1777 and adopted in 1781. Although the Articles provided the foundation for the United States government during and immediately after the Revolutionary War, it created a central government with several weaknesses: there was no executive branch; Congress did not have the power to tax, but could only request funds; both Congress and the states had the power to regulate currency and print money; Congress could not regulate trade between the states or with foreign countries; every state had one vote, regardless of population; and the requirements for passing legislature were such that it was very difficult to pass any laws, leave alone amend the Articles.