Thirteen Colonies

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The Thirteen Colonies were British colonies in North America which rebelled against British rule in 1775. A provisional government was formed which proclaimed their independence on July 4, 1776, and subsequently became the original thirteen United States. The colonies were founded between 1607 (Virginia), and 1733 (Georgia), although Great Britain held several other colonies in North America and the West Indies.


Contemporaneous documents usually list the thirteen revolutionary colonies of British North America in geographical order, from north to south.

Other divisions prior to 1730

Dominion of New England 
Created by King James II with the consolidation of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Province of New York, East Jersey, and West Jersey into a single larger colony in 1685. The experiment was discontinued with the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, and the nine former colonies re-established their separate identities in 1689.
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 1691.
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.
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 Jersey 
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 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.)

Year Population
1625 1,980
1641 50,000
1688 200,000
1702 270,000
1715 434,600
1749 1,046,000
1754 1,485,634
1765 2,240,000
1775 2,418,000


See also


  1. 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.
  2. Greene
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