What Were the 13 Colonies?


Quick Answer

The 13 colonies were the original British colonies in the Americas, which later banded together to stage the American Revolution and become the United States. These colonies were located along the East Coast and included Virginia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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Full Answer

The 13 colonies are often divided up by region. The New England colonies, which were farther north, were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Middle colonies were Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Finally, the Southern colonies were North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland. These colonies were all founded at different times and had different trades and lifestyles.

The 13 colonies were the only British colonies in what would become the United States, but other countries had also set up colonies. France and Spain were England's main rivals in the Americas, but there were also Dutch and Russian colonies.

Most British colonies were established by private companies, such as the Virginia Company, or wealthy individuals. These companies and individuals received charters from the king, which allowed them to settle and cultivate the land. Virginia, established in 1607, was the first of the 13 colonies. Georgia was the last one with its founding in 1732. Although they were initially founded as business and empire-expanding ventures, most colonists were average people who went there in search of a better life.

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