The Galloway Plan for Union (1774)


The Galloway Plan for Union, sponsored by Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania, was debated and narrowly defeated by the first Continental Congress in October 1774. Galloway’s proposal was an attempt at compromising with Great Britain by establishing a separate ‘American parliament’:


“Resolved, that this Congress will apply to His Majesty for a redress of grievances under which his faithful subjects in America labor, and assure him that the colonies hold in abhorrence the idea of being considered independent communities on the British government… [they] most ardently desire the establishment of a political union, not only among themselves but with the mother state…

As the colonies from their local circumstances cannot be represented in the Parliament of Great Britain, they will humbly propose to His Majesty and his two houses of Parliament the following plan, under which… the interest of both countries [may be] advanced, and the rights and liberties of America secured:

That a British and American legislature, for regulating the administration of the general affairs of America, be proposed and established in America, including all the said colonies; within and under which government each colony shall retain its present constitution and powers of regulating and governing…

That the said government be administered by a president-general, to be appointed by the King, and a Grand Council, to be chosen by the representatives of the people of the several colonies…

That there shall be a new election of members for the Grand Council every three years…

That the Grand Council shall meet once in every year if they shall think it necessary, and more often if occasions shall require…

That the president-general shall hold his office during the pleasure of the King and his assent shall be required for all acts of the Grand Council…

That the president-general, by and with the advice and consent of the Grand Council, hold and exercise all the legislative rights, powers, and authorities necessary for regulating and administering all the general policies and affairs of the colonies…

That the said president-general and the Grand Council be an inferior and distinct branch of the British legislature, united and incorporated with it for the aforesaid general purposes…

That in time of war, all bills for granting aid to the Crown, prepared by the Grand Council and approved by the president-general, shall be valid and passed into a law, without the assent of the British Parliament.”

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