THE 13 ORIGINAL COLONIES
The Thirteen Colonies were the colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia). They revolted in the American Revolution, starting in 1775, and in 1776 declared their independence from the British Empire and formed a new nation, the United States of America. The colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Each colony developed its own system of self government. Americans were mostly independent farmers, who owned their own land and voted for their local and provincial government. Benjamin Franklin, in 1772, after examining the wretched hovels in Scotland surrounding the opulent mansions of the land owners, said that in New England "every man" is a property owner, "has a Vote in public Affairs, lives in a tidy, warm House, has plenty of good Food and Fuel, with whole clothes from Head to Foot, the Manufacture perhaps of his own family."
Before independence, the thirteen were part of a larger set of colonies in British America. Those in the British West Indies, Newfoundland, the Province of Quebec, Nova Scotia and East Florida remained loyal to the crown throughout the war, although there was a degree of sympathy with the Patriot cause in several of them. However, their geographical isolation and the dominance of British naval power precluded any effective participation.
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