In July 1754, Benjamin Franklin wrote "Reasons and Motives for the Albany Plan of Union." The context was the beginning of the French and Indian War (alternatively, the Seven Years' War in Europe). The plan was ultimately rejected, which led to this remark by Franklin on February 9, 1789.
August Glen-James, editor
. . . the subsequent Separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country might not so soon have happened, or the Mischiefs suffered on both sides have occurred, perhaps during another Century.
On Reflection it now seems probable, that if the foregoing plan [i.e., Albany Plan of Union] or some thing like it, had been adopted and carried into Execution, the subsequent Separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country might not so soon have happened, or the Mischiefs suffered on both sides have occurred, perhaps during another Century. For the Colonies, if so united, would have really been, as they then thought themselves, sufficient to their own Defence, and being trusted with it, as by the Plan, an Army from Britain, for that purpose would have been unnecessary: The Pretences for framing the Stamp-Act would then not have existed, nor the other Projects for drawing a Revenue from America to Britain by Acts of Parliament, which were the Cause of the Breach, and attended with such terrible Expence of Blood and Treasure: so that the different Parts of the Empire might still have remained in Peace and Union. But the Fate of this Plan was singular. For tho' after many Days thorough Discussion of all its Parts in Congress it was unanimously agreed to, and Copies ordered to be sent to the Assembly of each Province for Concurrence, and one to the Ministry in England for the Approbation of the Crown. The Crown disapprov'd it, as having plac'd too much Weight in the democratic Part of the Constitution; and every Assembly as having allow'd too much to Prerogative. So it was totally rejected.