Join or Die, Vinyl Sticker 4"x6"
Join Or Die - Ben Frankiln and the Albany Congress In 1754, Britain and France were struggling for control over portions of North America. In the face of a looming war that would play out, in part, on American soil, Franklin proposed a plan that would unite the colonial governments into a single federal council. In his Albany Plan, Franklin held that the colonies, by acting with one united voice, could more effectively fend off threatened attacks by the French and their Native American allies. Both the colonists and the British Crown rejected Franklin’s plan because it encroached on their respective powers, but the Albany Plan remains important as one of the first documented efforts to unite the colonies. Join, or Die is a famous political cartoon created by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake severed into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initial of a British American colony or region. However, New England was represented as one colony, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. In addition, Delaware and Georgia were omitted completely. Thus, it has 8 segments of snake rather than the traditional 13. The cartoon appeared along with Franklin's editorial about the "disunited state" of the colonies, and helped make his point about the importance of colonial unity. During that era, there was a superstition that a snake which had been cut into pieces would come back to life if the pieces were put together before sunset. The popularity of this Join or Die flag has increased due to award winning HBO's series John Adams. The image is of a curving snake cut into pieces, each of which bears the abbreviated name of one of the 13 original colonies. The title, Join, or Die, and its alternate caption, Unite or Die,is an admonition to join together in order to survive, first, a foreign power on the frontier, but, later, Britain's tyrannical behavior toward her colonies. This image was published in the May 9, 1754 issue of Franklin's paper, The Pennsylvania Gazette.
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