"Join, or Die" is a wood cut created by Benjamin Franklin in 1754. The purpose of the wood cut was to generate support for Franklin's Albany Plan of Union, a plan that would have created closer economic ties among the American Colonies. Each piece of the snake represents a specific colony: "V" represents Virginia; "P" represents Pennsylvania; etc. At the head of the snake is the symbol "NE," representing the four colonies that comprised New England: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island (Vermont is not included as it was not one of the original colonies). It is important for students to consider why Franklin placed New England at the head of the snake. Additionally, students should also consider why two colonies, Georgia and Delaware, are not included (Georgia was a royal colony; Delaware and Pennsylvania shared the same governor).
This handout is intended to accompany my PowerPoint presentation entitled, "The Road to Independence," and comes FREE with that purchase. Join, or Die by Brian Hook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
After teaching government and economics at the high school level for two years, it was definitely eye-opening to be placed in front of middle school students. But, ten years later, I am having a blast teaching US History and World History!