History of British Colonies: An Overview | Homework Joy

The Thirteen British Colonies were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of North America. It was founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence and formed the United States of America in 1776. The British Colonies had similar political and legal systems, dominated by English-speakers. The New England colonies namely Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire were founded primarily for religious beliefs. Whereas the other colonies were founded for business purposes and economic expansion. All thirteen colonies were part of Britain’s possessions in America. It also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.


What is a Colony? 

It is a region of land that is under the political control of another country. Colonies are set up by people from home counties or settlers from another country. 


Establishment of British Colonies 

The Thirteen Colonies resisted London’s demands of control as they had a high degree of self-governance and active local elections. During the 1750s, the colonies began collaborating with one another instead of depending on Britain. These inter-colonial activities led to the feeling of shared American identity and ultimately resulted in calls for protection of the colonists’ “Rights as Englishmen”. It basically focused on the principle of “no taxation without representation”. Conflicts with the British government over taxes escalated to the American Revolution. The colonists fought the American Revolutionary War united with the aid of the Kingdom of France. Just before declaring independence, the British Colonies consisted of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, etc.

Colonial regions

The British colonies are divided into three regions: New England colonies, Middle colonies, and Southern colonies. 

New England Colonies 

The New England colonies are Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. 

  • Massachusetts Bay Chartered as a Royal colony in 1691
  • Connecticut colony chartered as Royal colony in 1662
  • Province of New Hampshire chartered as Royal colony in 1679
  • Rhode Island established as a Royal colony in 1663

Middle colonies 

The Middle colonies are New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. 

  • Delaware colony established as a proprietary colony in 1664
  • Province of New York chartered as Royal colony in 1686
  • New Jersey established as a proprietary colony in 1664 
  • The Province of Pennsylvania established as a proprietary colony in 1681

Southern Colonies 

The Southern colonies include Georgia, Mary land, North Caroline, South Caroline, and Virginia. 

  • Virginia established as a proprietary colony in 1607
  • The province of Maryland established as a proprietary colony in 1632
  • Province of North Carolina chartered as Royal colony in 1712
  • Province of South Carolina chartered as Royal colony in 1729
  • Georgia established as a proprietary colony in 1732


 The thirteen British colonies altogether formed New World; America