Delegates did not have the goal of creating an American nation; rather, they were colonists with the more limited mission of pursuing a treaty with the Mohawks and other major Iroquois tribes. This was the first time that American colonists had met together, and it provided a model that came into use in setting up the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, as well as the First Continental Congress in 1774, which were preludes to the American Revolution.
The Albany Congress was the first time in the 18th century that American colonial representatives met to discuss some manner of formal union. In the 17th century, some New England colonies had formed a loose association called the New England Confederation, principally for purposes of defense, as raiding was frequent by French and allied Indian tribes. In the 1680s, the British Government created the Dominion of New England as a unifying government on the colonies between the Delaware River and Penobscot Bay; it was dissolved in 1689. Jacob Leisler summoned an intercolonial congress which met in New York on 1 May 1690 to plan concerted action against the French and Indians. Because of differences in threat, he attracted only the colonies as far south as Maryland.