Thirteen Colonies were part of what became known
as British America, a name that was
used by Great
Britain until the Treaty
of Paris recognized the independence of the original thirteen
United States of
America in 1783.
colonies in North America
rebelled against British rule in
1775, in what is called the American
in the United States and the American War of
Independence in other countries. A provisional government
which proclaimed their independence, which is now celebrated as
having occurred on July
, and subsequently became the original thirteen United
States of America. The colonies were founded between 1607
(Virginia), and 1733 (Georgia), although Great
Britain held several other colonies in North America and
Indies that did not join the rebellion in
Thirteen Colonies gave rise to eighteen present-day states: the
original thirteen states (in chronological order of their
ratification of the United States Constitution: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South
Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New
Carolina, Rhode Island), Vermont (which had
been disputed between New Hampshire and New
York and which was an
independent republic from 1777 to 1791), Kentucky (formerly part of Virginia until 1792), Tennessee (formerly part of North Carolina until 1796),
Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts until 1820), and West Virginia (also formerly part of Virginia until 1863).
Much of the additional North American territory outside the
Thirteen Colonies was gained by Britain during
the Seven Years War
. However the Proclamation Line
of 1763 barred American
North American colonies 1763-76
Contemporaneous documents usually list the thirteen revolutionary
colonies of British North
in geographical order, from the north to the south.
- New England Colonies
- Middle Colonies
- Southern Colonies
- (depending on the subject under discussion, Virginia and
Maryland may be grouped as the Chesapeake Colonies)
Other divisions prior to 1730
- Dominion of New
- Created in 1685 by a decree from King James II that consolidated Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony,
Island, Connecticut, Province of New
York, East Jersey, and West Jersey into a single larger colony.
The experiment was discontinued with the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, and the
nine former colonies re-established their separate identities in
- Province of Maine
- Settled in 1622 (An earlier attempt to
settle the Popham
Colony on Sagadahoc Island, Maine in 1607 was abandoned
after only one year). Massachusetts Bay colony encroached
into Maine during the English Civil
War, but, with the Restoration, autonomy was returned to
Maine in 1664. Maine was officially merged into Massachusetts Bay
Colony with the issuance of the Massachusetts Bay charter of
- Plymouth Colony
- Settled in 1620 by the Pilgrims.
Plymouth was absorbed by Massachusetts Bay Colony with the issuance
of the Massachusetts Bay charter of 1691.
- Saybrook Colony
- Founded in 1635 and merged with Connecticut Colony in
- New Haven
- Settled in late 1637. New Haven was absorbed by Connecticut
Colony with the issuance of the Connecticut Charter in 1662, partly
as royal punishment by King Charles II for harboring the regicide
judges who sentenced King Charles I to death.
- East and West
- New Jersey was divided into two separate colonies in 1674. The
Jerseys were reunited in 1702.
- Province of Carolina
- Founded in 1663. Carolina colony was divided into two colonies,
North Carolina and South Carolina in 1712. Both colonies became
royal colonies in 1729.
(Note: the population figures do not account for the native tribes
who originally resided there.)
At the time of the Revolutionary War, approximately 85 percent of
the white population was of English, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish
descent. Persons of German origin represented 8.8 percent of the
white population, and those of Dutch origin represented 3.5 percent
of the colonists. The colonies/states continued to grow at a rapid
rate throughout the eight years of war until 1783.
- The present State of Vermont was disputed between the colonies of New
York and New Hampshire. From 1777 to 1791, it existed as the de
facto independent Vermont Republic.
- Cooke, Jacob Ernest et al., ed. Encyclopedia of the North
American Colonies. Scribner's, 1993. 3 vol; 2397 pp.
- Gipson, Lawrence. The British Empire Before the American
Revolution (15 volumes) (1936-1970), Pulitzer Prize; highly
detailed discussion of every British colony in the New World
- Greene, Evarts Boutelle et al., American Population before
the Federal Census of 1790, 1993, ISBN 0806313773
- Greene, Evarts Boutelle. Provincial America,
1690-1740. 1905. online
- Osgood, Herbert L. The
American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century. 4 vol Columbia
University Press, 1904-07. online
- Vickers, Daniel, ed. A Companion to Colonial America.
Blackwell, 2003. 576 pp.