Thirteen Colonies

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The colonies were founded between 1607 (Virginia), and 1733 (Georgia). All colonies founded prior to 1707 were colonies of England. Britain held several other colonies in North America and the West Indies.

The Thirteen Colonies or more correctly the American Colonies, were British colonies in North America which rebelled against the Government commencing in 1775. An illegal provisional government was formed which proclaimed their independence on 4 July 1776, and subsequently became the original states forming the United States after the American Revolutionary War.


Dark Red: New England colonies
Bright Red; Middle Atlantic colonies
Red-brown: Southern colonies

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

Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New Haven Colonies formed the New England Confederation in 1643, and all New England colonies were included in the Dominion of New England (1686–1689). The Province of Carolina was initially chartered in 1629 and initial settlements were established after 1651. That charter was voided in 1660 by Charles II and a new charter was issued in 1663, making it a proprietary colony. The Carolina province was divided into separate proprietary colonies, north and south in 1712, before both became royal colonies in 1729.

Earlier, along the coast, the Roanoke Colony was established in 1585, re-established in 1587, and found abandoned in 1590.

Other divisions prior to 1730

English colonies in 17th-century North America.jpg

Colonies of England

  • 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.


Population of white Europeans and slaves, without the Indian tribes:

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

Modern-day New England

New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the southwest. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The areas of the states (including water area) are:

  • Maine, 35,380 square miles (91,600 km2)
  • Massachusetts, 10,554 square miles (27,330 km2)
  • Vermont, 9,616 square miles (24,910 km2)
  • New Hampshire, 9,349 square miles (24,210 km2)
  • Connecticut, 5,543 square miles (14,360 km2)
  • Rhode Island, 1,545 square miles (4,000 km2)

See also

Further reading

  • Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, Bt., O.M., The American Revolution Longmans, London & New York, 4 volumes, 1926.
  • Poles, J. R., editor, The Revolution in America 1754-1788, Documents etc., MacMillan, London, 1970, ISBN: 0-333-03488-0
  • Hibbert, Christopher, Redcoats and Rebels - The War for America 1770-1781, Grafton, London, 1990. ISBN: 0-246-13467-4
  • Fiske, John, Old Virginia and her Neighbours, 2 vols, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston & New York, 1897.

External links



  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.