Thirteen Colonies

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The Thirteen Colonies were established by Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. In 1776 they declared their independence and formed the United States of America. They extended from what is now Maine (then part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay) in the north to the Georgia in the south. The colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Each colony developed its own system of self government.

Other British colonies in the British West Indies and Canada remained loyal to the crown through the war, although there was a degree of sympathy with the Patriot cause in several of them. However, their geographical isolation and the dominance of British naval power precluded any effective participation.



British colonies in North America, circa 1750. 1: Newfoundland; 2: Nova Scotia; 3: The Thirteen Colonies; 4: Bermuda; 5: Bahamas; 6: British Honduras; 7: Jamaica; 8: British Leeward Islands and Barbados

North American colonies 1763-76, illustrating and territorial claims

In 1775, the British claimed authority over the red and pink areas on this map and Spain claimed the orange. The red area is the area of settlement; most lived within 50 miles of the ocean.

State land claims based on colonial charters, and later cessions to the U.S. government, 1782-1802

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

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