A map showing the Thirteen American Colonies. Sources :

Thirteen American Colonies or the Thirteen Colonies were the British Colonial holdings in the North American continent along the coast east coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

The British Colonial Government ruled the Thirteen American Colonies since 1607 until the American War of Independence in 1776 when the Colonies defeated the British and declared their independence. Since then, the Thirteen Colonies merged and called themselves the United States of America. However, before the Declaration of Independence, the Thirteen Colonies were as follows : New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Foundation of the Colonies

The history of the foundation of the American Thirteen Colonies can be traced back to the year 1607 when the London Company established the first Colony of named the Colony and Dominion of Virginia. The foundation of the first Colony came about after King James I of England granted a royal charter to the London Company to establish a permanent settlement in North America in 1606.

Since 1607, a number of Colonies were established as follows :

  1. Virginia Colony established in 1607
  2. New Hampshire Colony established in 1623
  3. New York Colony established in 1626
  4. Massachusetts Colony established in 1630
  5. Maryland Colony established in 1633
  6. Rhode Island Colony established in 1636
  7. Connecticut Colony established in 1636
  8. Delaware Colony established in 1638
  9. North Carolina Colony established in 1653
  10. South Carolina Colony established in 1663
  11. New Jersey Colony established in 1664
  12. Pennsylvania Colony established in 1682
  13. Georgia Colony established in 1623

Administration of the Colonies

The Thirteen American Colonies were created out of the British Royal Charter. A Colonial Government was established in the Colonies, and British officials were sent in order to administer the Colonies on behalf of the British Government.


The responsibility of making laws for the Colonies were placed under the Colonial Government. Under the system, the Colonial Government also set taxes for the Colonies.


In the grassroot, many Americans were allowed to take part in the administration of their local governments.

In each of the Colonies, the British Colonial Government appointed a Governor who will served as head of the Colony.

Economy of the Thirteen American Colonies

Farming was the main important sector in which the Thirteen American Colonies economy relied on. However, the economy gradually was shaped by the British Government to be the Colonial farming. Huge amount of farm products were required to be sent to the Great Britain from each of the Thirteen American Colonies. This made the Colonies to be among the most important Colonial possession of the British Empire. Because, the Colonies were blessed with many natural resources needed by British Government.

By 1700s, the British Government reinforced it’s Colonial economic system through a new system called ‘mercantilism’ in which the Colonies were expected to enrich British by providing raw materials to the British home industries.

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