Which States Were Included in the Thirteen Colonies?

The first American flag, used to represent the Thirteen Colonies.

The thirteen British colonies were founded during the 17th and 18th century and were located on the eastern coast of North America. They included New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut Colony, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. When the thirteen colonies declared independence in 1776, they formed the United States of America.

Governance Of The Thirteen Colonies

All the thirteen colonies were part of the British possession in the new world and they were predominantly Protestant English Speakers. The legal, constitutional, and political systems were similar in all the thirteen colonies. There existed a handicapped indigenous self-government led by a royal governor. These governments were mainly made up of independent land proprietors who practiced farming and participated in the elections of their local and provincial governments. The British ran its colonies through the mercantilism, where the central government administered all its possessions for the economic benefit of the mother country. By 1750s the colonies began to collaborate therefore, cultivating a sense of togetherness. The colonies protested against Britain’s quest for more control. British’s thirst gave rise to the American Revolution with their primary grievance being no taxation without representation. The thirteen colonies joined to form the Continental Congress that declared their independence in 1776 and with the aid of France, Sprain and Dutch fought the American Revolution War of 1775–1783.

Population Of The Thirteen Colonies

Population in the colonies totaled to approximately a 250,000 in the 17th century. During the American Revolution, the population had risen to 2.5 million. The population in these colonies grew rapidly because of migration, the good health status of the people, especially the young among other reasons. By 1776, the majority of the population comprised of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irishmen. There were also a good number of German and Dutch immigrants. The majority of these European settlers were farmers who traded their goods between Europe and North America. The population grew even faster during the 18th and 19th centuries because of high fertility and low deaths.

Slavery Issues

Slavery was legal in all the thirteen colonies and mostly involved farm workers, house servants, loaders and other manual works. Economically, owning a slave was vital especially in Virginia and Maryland which were exporting tobacco, and thus slaves came in handy in the whole process of farming and harvesting. The need for farmers was replicated in states such as South Carolina. Close to 300,000 slaves were forced from Africa over a period of 160 years into the thirteen colonies. This figure represents only 2% of the total 12 million slaves who were shipped to the Americas through the Atlantic Slave Trade scheme. Most of the slaves ended up in the Colonies in Brazil and the Caribbean where conditions were harsh, and the majority died almost immediately. More slaves were traded to replenish the labor output.

Religion And Education Of The Thirteen Colonies

The majority of people in the thirteen colonies practiced Christianity with a minority practicing Judaism, Deism and some were not religious. Most people were Protestants, and their members reflected the churches’ origin. Germans were mostly Lutherans, Britons were mostly Anglicans, and the Dutch were members of the Dutch reformed Church. Most of Catholics were found in Maryland. Quality higher education was well established in the North with names such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, among others. Most of the colleges were strictly religious with very few training the secular elites like lawyers. Public schooling was rare, and most New England towns sponsored boys to school. Girls were mostly educated at home or private schools but not allowed to go to college. Professional schooling was done through apprentices to established professionals.

Independence Of The Thirteen Colonies

Britain had other colonies in the New World besides the thirteen. The greatest undoing that led to the clamor for independence is poor economic policy choices and the zeal to export most products to Europe instead of building local industries. Brutal force was applied in cases of dissenting voices, and within no time, local populations had had enough.


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