The Albany Plan of Union (1754)
Dieses Dokument markiert
einen der letzten vorrevolutionären Versuche, ein Arrangement zwischen
Großbritannien und den amerikanischen Kolonien zu erreichen.
Ausgearbeitet wurde der Text, der bereits einer Verfassung für Amerika
ähnelt, von Benjamin Franklin und Thomas Hutchinson.
Ein Abdruck findet sich bei: Francis Newton Thorpe (Hrsg.), The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters,
and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America.
Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906, Band 1, Washington 1909, S. 83-86.
Plan of Union Adopted
by the Convention at Albany
It is proposed that humble
application be made for an act of Parliament of Great Britain, by virtue
of which one general government may be formed in America, including all
the said colonies, within and under which government each colony may retain
its present constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change may
be directed by the said act, as hereafter follows.
[1 President-General and
That the said general government
be administered by a President-General, to be appointed and supported by
the crown; and a Grand Council, to be chosen by the representatives of
the people of the several Colonies met in their respective assemblies.
[2 Election of Members]
That within ** months after
the passing such act, the House of Representatives that happen to be sitting
within that time, or that shall especially for that purpose convened, may
and shall choose members for the Grand Council, in the following proportion,
that is to say,
[3 Place of First Meeting]
** who shall meet for the first
time at the city of Philadelphia, being called by the President-General
as soon as conveniently may be after his appointment.
[4 New Election]
That there shall be a new election
of the members of the Grand Council every three years; and, on the death
or resignation of any member, his place should be supplied by a new choice
at the next sitting of the Assembly of the Colony he represented.
[5 Proportion of Members
After the First Three Years]
That after the first three years,
when the proportion of money arising out of each Colony to the general
treasury can be known, the number of members to be chosen for each Colony
shall, from time to time, in all ensuing elections, be regulated by that
proportion, yet so as that the number to be chosen by any one Province
be not more than seven, nor less than two.
[6 Meetings of the Grand
Council, and Call]
That the Grand Council shall
meet once in every year, and oftener if occasion require, at such time
and place as they shall adjourn to at the last preceding meeting, or as
they shall be called to meet at by the President-General on any emergency;
he having first obtained in writing the consent of seven of the members
to such call, and sent duly and timely notice to the whole.
That the Grand Council have
power to choose their speaker; and shall neither be dissolved, prorogued,
nor continued sitting longer than six weeks at one time, without their
own consent or the special command of the crown.
[8 Members' Allowance]
That the members of the Grand
Council shall be allowed for their service ten shillings sterling per diem,
during their session and journey to and from the place of meeting; twenty
miles to be reckoned a day's journey.
[9 Assent of President-General
and his Duty]
That the assent of the President-General
be requisite to all acts of the Grand Council, and that it be his office
and duty to cause them to be carried into execution.
[10 Power of President-General
and Grand Council; Treaties of Peace and War]
That the President-General,
with the advice of the Grand Council, hold or direct all Indian treaties,
in which the general interest of the Colonies may be concerned; and make
peace or declare war with Indian nations.
[11 Indian Trade]
That they make such laws as
they judge necessary for regulating all Indian trade.
[12 Indian Purchases]
That they make all purchases
from Indians, for the crown, of lands not now within the bounds of particular
Colonies, or that shall not be within their bounds when some of them are
reduced to more convenient dimensions.
[13 New Settlements]
That they make new settlements
on such purchases, by granting lands in the King's name, reserving a quitrent
to the crown for the use of the general treasury.
[14 Laws to Govern Them]
That they make laws for regulating
and governing such new settlements, till the crown shall think fit to form
them into particular governments.
[15 Raise Soldiers and Equip
That they raise and pay soldiers
and build forts for the defence of any of the Colonies, and equip vessels
of force to guard the coasts and protect the trade on the ocean, lakes,
or great rivers; but they shall not impress men in any Colony, without
the consent of the Legislature.
[16 Power to Make Laws, Lay
That for these purposes they
have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imposts,
or taxes, as to them shall appear most equal and just (considering the
ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several Colonies),
and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people;
rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary burdens.
[17 General Treasurer and
That they may appoint a General
Treasurer and Particular Treasurer in each government when necessary; and,
from time to time, may order the sums in the treasuries of each government
into the general treasury; or draw on them for special payments, as they
find most convenient.
[18 Money, How to Issue]
Yet no money to issue but by
joint orders of the President-General and Grand Council; except where sums
have been appropriated to particular purposes, and the President-General
is previously empowered by an act to draw such sums.
That the general accounts shall
be yearly settled and reported to the several Assemblies.
That a quorum of the Grand Council,
empowered to act with the President-General, do consist of twenty-five
members; among whom there shall be one or more from a majority of the Colonies.
[21 Laws to be Transmitted]
That the laws made by them for
the purposes aforesaid shall not be repugnant, but, as near as may be,
agreeable to the laws of England, and shall be transmitted to the King
in Council for approbation, as soon as may be after their passing; and
if not disapproved within three years after presentation, to remain in
[22 Death of the President-General]
That, in case of the death of
the President-General, the Speaker of the Grand Council for the time being
shall succeed, and be vested with the same powers and authorities, to continue
till the King's pleasure be known.
[23 Officers, How Appointed]
That all military commission
officers, whether for land or sea service, to act under this general constitution,
shall be nominated by the President-General; but the approbation of the
Grand Council is to be obtained, before they receive their commissions.
And all civil officers are to be nominated by the Grand Council, and to
receive the President-General's approbation before they officiate.
[24 Vacancies, How Supplied]
But, in case of vacancy by death
or removal of any officer, civil or military, under this constitution,
the Governor of the Province in which such vacancy happens may appoint,
till the pleasure of the President-General and Grand Council can be known.
[25 Each Colony May Defend
Itself on Emergency, &C]
That the particular military
as well as civil establishments in each Colony remain in their present
state, the general constitution notwithstanding; and that on sudden emergencies
any Colony may defend itself, and lay the accounts of expense thence arising
before the President-General and General Council, who may allow and order
payment of the same, as far as they judge such accounts just and reasonable.