Life in the Thirteen Colonies

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What were the royal colonies of the US?

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There were seven royal colonies in what is now the United States: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire.

North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and New York began as proprietary colonies, meaning that they were land grants given by the British king to proprietors who were permitted to fully govern them. However, the four eventually converted to royal colony status, meaning that they were ruled by the British monarch and governed by a governor who allocated land and was assisted by a locally elected legislature. Virginia began as a charter colony but relinquished its right to self-govern in 1624 when King James claimed it as a royal colony. New Hampshire, too, began as a charter colony, but it was later claimed as a royal colony by King James II.

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Royal Colonies were colonies that were governed and administered by the English Crown. This stood in contrast to those colonies set up and administered by the Joint Stock Companies and Proprietary Colonies, where the colony was given to a single individual (or a group of individuals) who would then hold all responsibility (including risk) for the success or failure of said colony.

The thing to keep in mind is that colonization was, by its nature, a deeply risky venture. Generally speaking, the first steps of colonization were almost invariably carried out under either Joint Stock Companies or Proprietors (and this does make a certain degree of sense from the perspective of the English government, as it freed it from carrying the risks and costs associated with those ventures). When you look across the history of the colonies, then, what you would see are colonies starting out as either Joint Stock Company or a Proprietary Colonies, only to be later converted into Royal Colonies.

The colonies which were converted to Royal Colonies were as follows: Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Georgia.

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