When several public figures began to revolt against the British, the colonists in America were divided in opinion. Some of them were loyal to the Crown, while some preferred neutrality. The Southern Colonies were more likely to lean toward the British, while the heart of the Revolution was in New England and the Middle Colonies.
List of the Thirteen Colonies
Although many divisions existed previously, the British overtook most of the territory under the Dominion of New England and other establishments. The thirteen colonies were located along the Atlantic coast, and became broadly classified in the following divisions:
|New England Colonies||Province of New Hampshire||New Hampshire|
|Province of Massachusetts Bay||Massachusetts; Maine|
|Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations||Rhode Island|
|Middle Colonies||Province of New York||New York; Vermont|
|Province of New Jersey||New Jersey|
|Province of Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania|
|Southern Colonies||Province of Maryland||Maryland|
|Colony and Dominion of Virginia||Virginia; Kentucky; West Virginia|
|Province of North Carolina||North Carolina; Tennessee|
|Province of South Carolina||South Carolina|
|Province of Georgia||Georgia|
These divisions were based on the location of the colonies, from north to south, as shown on the map.
Government in the Colonies
Compared to the colonial experience elsewhere in the world, the Americans had it better than most when it came to governance. The British set up a system of election that allowed the people to vote, and to directly select members of the lower house of legislature. The 1716 South Carolina legislature outlined voter eligibility as having an “interest” in the colony, which meant ownership of property, and so voting was no more than a pipe dream for the average Native American or slave. Among white men, however, the majority were able to vote.
The economic policy adopted was that of mercantilism, which meant that the British government and merchants would work with the colonies to expand the Empire’s trade and wealth. Much of the wealth generated through the colonies was used up in the upkeep of the Royal Navy, the superior naval force the British commanded.
Role in American Revolution
These thirteen colonies began voicing their ire against not having representation in the lawmaking process, and having to pay taxes as well. For instance, the unwelcome tax on tea led to the infamous Boston Tea Party.
Later, these colonies would unite to form the Continental Congress, and then declare independence, becoming the first thirteen of the United States of America.