Colonial America for Kids
The United States was formed when thirteen British colonies revolted against British rule and formed their own nation. These articles discuss the history of the establishment and development of these British colonies that later became the United States.
Time Period of British Colonization
The time period of British colonial expansion in the Americas lasted from 1585 to 1776. The first attempt by the British to colonize North America began with the Roanoke Colony in 1585. The Roanoke Colony failed, but was followed up by Jamestown in 1607. Jamestown, Virginia became the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
The English presence continued to expand along the east coast of North America, eventually developing into thirteen distinct colonies. As the colonies grew in population and wealth, they became increasingly independent from England. When England began to tax the colonies in the mid-1700s, the colonies protested saying they would not stand for "taxation without representation." In 1775, the Revolutionary War broke out between England and the colonies. The colonies officially declared their independence in 1776 forming the United States of America.
Religion played a large role in the settling and founding of many of the American colonies. Plymouth Colony was largely founded by Separatists Pilgrims (people who wanted to separate from the Church of England). Massachusetts Bay Colony was settled by Puritans who were being persecuted in England. Rhode Island and Connecticut were both founded by religious leaders who wanted religious freedom beyond that of Massachusetts. Pennsylvania was founded by the Quakers and Maryland was founded as a safe haven for Catholics.
- A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies by Joy Hakim. 2005.
- World History Series: Colonial America by Bonnie L. Lukes. 2000.
- Colonial Places by Sarah Howarth. 1994.
- The Making of America by Robert D. Johnston. 2010.
- Governing and Teaching: A Sourcebook on Colonial America edited by Carter Smith. 1991.
History for Kids