The 13 original colonies, represented by the 13 stripes in the US flag, were the British colonies that rose up in revolt against the British and declared their independence, thus giving birth to a new country – the United States of America. These colonies – New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia – together went on to form the United States.
By the time the British Empire established its very first colony in North America, other Europeans including the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish had already settled their own colonies in the continent. The British colonies crystallized out of many smaller divisions and territories that had previously existed. The 13 original colonies were all located along the Atlantic (eastern) coast. They were divided into 3 regions – New England Colonies, Middle Colonies, and Southern Colonies.
Here is a snapshot of the 13 original colonies:
|New England Colonies||Province of New Hampshire||1623|
|Province of Massachusetts Bay||1620 (Plymouth Colony) & 1630 (Massachusetts Bay Colony)|
|Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations||1636|
|Middle Colonies||Province of New York||1664|
|Province of New Jersey||1664|
|Province of Pennsylvania||1682|
|Southern Colonies||Province of Maryland||1634|
|Colony and Dominion of Virginia||1607|
|Province of North Carolina||1653|
|Province of South Carolina||1663|
|Province of Georgia||1732|
Most of the colonies (with the exception of Georgia), were thus established in the 1600s. By 1700, the population of these 13 colonies consisted of the Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans and was estimated to be well over 250,000. The British policy of mercantilism, however, ensured that those who labored hard in the colonies rarely benefited from their efforts and much of the wealth made in the colonies were used in the upkeep of the crown resources. Mounting taxes were another issue. By 1775, the American Revolution broke out. The Second Continental Congress formed by these thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This declaration marked the formation of the USA.