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History >> Colonial America

Colonial America

The Thirteen Colonies

The United States was formed from thirteen British colonies in 1776. Many of these colonies had been around for well over 100 years including the first colony of Virginia which was founded in 1607. See below for a map of the thirteen original colonies.

What is a colony?

A colony is a region of land that is under the political control of another country. Usually the controlling country is physically far away from the colony, as was the case with England and the American colonies. Colonies are typically founded and settled by people from the home country, however, there may also be settlers from other countries. This was especially true of the American colonies which had settlers from all over Europe.

Map of the original 13 colonies

The Thirteen Colonies

Here is a list of the thirteen colonies with the year they were founded in () and a note on how they were founded.
Why were the colonies established?

Queen Elizabeth wanted to establish colonies in the Americas in order to grow the British Empire and to counter the Spanish. The English hoped to find wealth, create new jobs, and establish trade ports along the coast of the Americas.

Each colony, however, has its own unique history on how it was founded. Many of the colonies were founded by religious leaders or groups looking for religious freedom. These colonies included Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Other colonies were founded purely in hopes of creating new trade opportunities and profits for investors.

Colonial Regions

The colonies are often divided up into three regions including the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies.

New England Colonies
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts Bay
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
Middle Colonies
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
Southern Colonies
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
Interesting Facts about the Thirteen Colonies
Activities To learn more about Colonial America:

Colonies and Places
Lost Colony of Roanoke
Jamestown Settlement
Plymouth Colony and the Pilgrims
The Thirteen Colonies

Daily Life
Clothing - Men's
Clothing - Women's
Daily Life in the City
Daily Life on the Farm
Food and Cooking
Homes and Dwellings
Jobs and Occupations
Places in a Colonial Town
Women's Roles
William Bradford
Henry Hudson
James Oglethorpe
William Penn
John Smith
Roger Williams

French and Indian War
King Philip's War
Mayflower Voyage
Salem Witch Trials

Timeline of Colonial America
Glossary and Terms of Colonial America

Works Cited

History >> Colonial America

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