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13 Colonies Historical Summary

The Original Thirteen Colonies were divided into three sections - the New England, Middle and Southern Colonies. Each developed different economic, social, and political systems (refer to Colonial Government). The original names of the Thirteen Colonies were as follows:

Original New England Colonies The original names of the New England Colonies were the Province of New Hampshire, later New Hampshire, the Province of Massachusetts Bay, later Massachusetts and Maine, the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, later Rhode Island and the Connecticut Colony, later Connecticut.

Original Middle Colonies The original names of the Middle Colonies were the Province of New York, later New York and Vermont, the Province of New Jersey, later New Jersey, the Province of Pennsylvania, later Pennsylvania and the Delaware Colony (before 1776, the Lower Counties on Delaware), later Delaware

Original Southern Colonies The original names of the Southern Colonies were the Province of Maryland (later Maryland), the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, (later Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia), the Province of North Carolina, (later North Carolina and Tennessee), the Province of South Carolina, (later South Carolina) and the Province of Georgia, (later Georgia). The Dominion of Virginia and the Province of Maryland comprised the Chesapeake Colonies.


Original Thirteen Colonies - Survival and Conflict The main objectives of the first colonists was to survive. They needed food, clothing and shelter to enable them to live - Refer to Colonial Food. They turned to the Native American Indians for help and, at first, this was given. Refer to the period in Jamestown Colony history referred to as the Starving Time. The first people to live in the original Thirteen colonies gradually learned how to survive using the natural resources of the New World. But hostilities between the original colonists and settlers and the Native Americans increased leading to series of terrifying and bloody Indian Wars. The colonies started to expand to different areas and more people arrived in Colonial America.


Original Thirteen Colonies - The reasons people journeyed to North America During the period of time covered in the 13 Colonies Timeline the colonists and settlers arrived from Europe looking for religious freedom, land and the opportunity for prosperity and wealth. The decision to undertake the journey from Europe to the New World of America was not for the feint hearted. The voyages were long and arduous - 66 long days at sea, poor conditions, sea sickness and boredom. People were motivated by many reasons, the rich for the prospect of more wealth through the acquisition of lands and and new trading opportunities, the members of religious sects were searching for a land where they could practise their chosen religion without fear of prosecution and finally the poor who were desperate for jobs. Refer to Religion in the Colonies. At the time the 13 colonies started to be established the population in England was exploding and there were not enough jobs refer to Colonial Times.


Original Thirteen Colonies - Expansion Between 1607 and 1682 twelve of the original thirteen colonies had been established (refer to