29 May 2023

What are the Thirteen Colonies? – What were and origin of the Thirteen Colonies

By Donald

The thirteen colonies are a fundamental part of the history of the United States of America, as a step prior to the founding of the nation. This article explains what they are the thirteen colonies and what were their names, in the same way, they talk about the reasons why they became independent from the government of England or Great Britain, in addition to the date on which it occurred. Likewise, the most important ports of the time and the measures taken by the British Empire to avoid the independence of the United States are mentioned.

What do the Thirteen Colonies mean?

A colony refers to a territory conquered by a country and as a consequence it becomes part of the invading nation, this is the title used by European countries to name the lands conquered in ‘the new World’. Now, the thirteen colonies allude to a group of conquered peoples who rebelled, achieved the independence of the thirteen colonies and formed one of the most powerful and important nations in the world.

The thirteen British colonies were a series of peoples conquered by Great Britain within the present territory of the United States of America. There were thirteen places located to the east of the US, so they belonged to the British crown along with other territories of Canada and the Caribbean Islands. The thirteen colonies were part of the central government located in Europe, which managed the region’s resources in benefit of the European population, based on mercantilism as an economic system.

What were the Thirteen Colonies?

In the list of the thirteen British colonies it is possible to find the names of several of the most important states of the current American nation. In that sense, the British region only occupied the east of the country, since the British Empire was not the only empire that came to North America to conquer its territories. Other colonies in that region were the Spanish, French, Dutch and even Swedish, in addition to the indigenous civilizations of the time.

The thirteen colonies were:

  • Delaware Colony.
  • colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • Virginia Colony.
  • Massachusetts Bay Province.
  • Province of North Carolina.
  • Province of South Carolina.
  • Connecticut Province.
  • Province of Georgia.
  • Maryland Province.
  • Province of NY.
  • Province of New Jersey.
  • Province of New Hampshire.
  • Province of Pennsylvania.

What was the origin of the Thirteen Colonies?

The origin of the thirteen colonies is located between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, when many British decided to travel to the ‘The new World‘ in search of a better life. A large number of British began to arrive on the eastern shores of the United States, who became the settlers and rulers of the American lands. These people were mostly from Protestant religion, being many of them exiled or persecuted for their religion, since the crown assimilated Christianity. The majority of the population was English-speaking, who dedicated themselves to agriculture to survive.

The first British settlement in the US arose in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia, long before it was called an imperial colony, then expanded to Plymouth and New Hampshire. The population was made up of a mixture of European ethnic groups, among which the British, Scottish, Irish, as well as some German and French predominated.

What ports are the most important in the Thirteen Colonies?

For the British crown, trade and marine communication were of vital importance in order to maintain order within the thirteen colonies. For this reason, they developed several ports in strategic locations within British territory in America, so that the crown ships could arrive without problems.

The importance of the ports is also related to the arrival of troops and defenses for the colonies, it must be remembered that several of the European powers had some territories in that region and relations were very fragile. So you could go to war at any time to expand territories, as happened with the Swedish colony.

The first port was located in the banks of the james river in Jamestown, Virginia, as this was the first British settlement in the region. After that, other ports appeared in the other colonies as the colonies developed, with major docking points for ships including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.

What are the intolerable laws of the Thirteen Colonies?

The government of Great Britain in North America was based on mercantilism, in which the resources of the region were taken to England to increase the spoils of the British Empire and the crown. Over time, every policy and law that was enacted in the United Kingdom caused unrest among the British colonists, who no longer they wanted to be tied to the crown.

The thirteen English colonies did not produce the sufficient profitability that they expected in Great Britain, so they conceded certain freedoms to their colonies in North America. In that sense, they allowed them to create their own government systems, which produced the first votes in the nation. In the same way, they could administer their resources freely, however, this law gave a boost to the feeling of independence of the children of the colonists, that is, those born in American territory.

The growing wave of independence produced a reaction in England and other territories of Great Britain, so they promulgated the intolerable law. This law was a set of decrees issued by the British crown in order to maintain order in North America and prevent the independence of the region.

The intolerable law or intolerable laws were made up of:

  • Boston Harbor Law: This decree prohibited the use of said port, since the Tea Party took place from there.
  • Administration of Justice Law: This order gave authority to certain persons and military bodies to administer justice in the region.
  • Massachusetts Government Law.
  • Quartering Law: It forced the colonies to receive, house and maintain 100,000 men coming from the metropolis. These were soldiers who went with orders to repress the people.
  • Tories Law.
  • Quebec Law: The people took it as one more decree within the intolerable laws, but it did not belong to this group. This law granted Protection of Catholics in Ohio to the detriment of the Indians of the region.

What is the importance of the independence of the 13 colonies?

The importance of the process in which the thirteen colonies became independent lies in the creation of the United States of America. In this sense, in the colonies there was discomfort or resentment towards the crown and government of England, for which reason the colonists and their descendants wanted to be free from the mandates of Great Britain.

The desire of the independentistas arose as a consequence of several events, among which the rise in the price of various types of tax stands out. In the same way, it was due to the creation of intolerable laws and other restrictive mandates such as the prohibition of expansion west of the Appalachians. It should be noted that the colonies helped Great Britain to defeat the french in the 7 Years War, but they did not get any territorial rewards.

Likewise, there was a growing wave of ideas in favor of rights and the social contract, where the sovereignty of the nation was the main basis. These thoughts came from what is now known as founding fatherswhich are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

On what date were the Thirteen Colonies independent?

The thirteen colonies managed to become independent between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, the process was not easy, so it took place in several phases. At first, the colonies began a peaceful resistance between 1763 and 1775, in this period there were protests against English laws.

After the pacifist protests, the side of the independents took up arms due to the arduous repression carried out by the armed forces of the crown. The revolution war o independence took place between the years 1775 and 1783, where the date that stands out the most was July 4, 1776, the day the independence of the United States was declared.

From there a series of battles took place between the colonials and the army of the British empire, the first being the confrontation of Lexington, while the last one is known as the surrender and Yorktown. The last stage of independence occurred between 1783 and 1789, which is known as the era of national consolidation. In this phase the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America took place, in which a republican system based on democracy was established.