Connor Niemira, Week 2- The Plot Thickens

It has, admittedly, been a light week in terms of research for my final project. There are two primary sources that are the summation of the digging that I’ve done since my last post, and they are the Articles of Confederation (text retrieved from https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=3&page=transcript) and the Albany Plan of Union (https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/albany.asp), the latter of which is the first document advocating for a union of the colonies, published in 1754 by one Benjamin Franklin. In the future I intend to see if I can dig up some of the personal correspondence of the authors of the Articles both contemporaneous to the Articles themselves as well as earlier to evidence its intellectual origins. Additionally, I intend to find the exact text of the Treaty of Utrecht (1577) which has as of the time of writing proven inaccessible except for an internet archive I need to make an account to access.

Both documents that I have acquired so far are invaluable to the project, the Articles as providing one of the cornerstones of my research and the Albany Plan as an influence on them. Analysis of the Albany Plan will shed some light on some of the ideas contained within the Articles and possibly will belie whether or not these ideas are homegrown or of foreign origin. Also potentially, as the Albany Plan is a rough draft (so to speak) it may contain references to its source material that would have been edited out of later versions.

The Articles have provided valuable insight into the mindset of the writers and how they viewed themselves in rebellion against the British. Interestingly the US is referred to as the “united States”. Also interesting is a clause that specifies that when troops must be raised, they will be paid for by a common fund that the states themselves are expected to contribute to. The Albany Plan is interesting as it advocates colonial union under the British Crown, with any law passed by the unified states going into permanent effect if not struck down by the King in 3 years. Both are invaluable, providing insight into the idea of unification at different points in America’s flirtation with independence. Unfortunately, without the Treaty of Utrecht as a comparison, their usefulness is limited, necessitating the treaty as a document I need to acquire quickly.

1 thought on “Connor Niemira, Week 2- The Plot Thickens

  1. Connor, It sounds like you are making progress. What archive is making you sign up for an account? If you still haven’t found a copy of the 1577 document, let’s make sure to ask Rebecca Llyod about it!

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