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13 US Colonies

The thirteen original British colonies that rose up in revolt are grouped into New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies. Together, they provided enough push to defeat the British and give rise to an independent country.

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:

Region Colony Present-day name
New England Colonies Province of New Hampshire New Hampshire
Province of Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts; Maine
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Rhode Island
Connecticut Colony Connecticut
Middle Colonies Province of New York New York; Vermont
Province of New Jersey New Jersey
Province of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
Delaware Colony Delaware
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.