Life in the Thirteen Colonies

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What were the original thirteen colonies and their capitals?

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The thirteen colonies were settlements under British rule that spanned the Atlantic coast. They were founded in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and included Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Over time, the capitals of these colonies changed, and many of the original capitals were different than the state capitals we know today.

  • Jamestown was the capital of Virginia from 1607 to 1699. Then the capital became Williamsburg, from 1699 to 1776.
  • In the Province of Maryland, St. Mary’s City was the capital from 1632 to 1695. Then Annapolis became the capital, and it still is the capital today.
  • Philadelphia was the capital of the Province of Pennsylvania.
  • New Castle was the colonial capital for Delaware Colony.
  • Elizabethtown was the capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1664 to 1673, and then Perth Amboy and Burlington were known as the capitals from 1702 to 1783.
  • New York was the capital of the Province of New York.
  • In the Connecticut Colony, New Haven was a joint capital with Hartford from 1701 until 1776 when Hartford became the capital.
  • Boston was the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
  • Providence Plantations and Newport were the capitals of the Colony of Rhode Island.
  • In the Province of New Hampshire, Portsmouth was the capital from 1630 to 1774, and then Exeter became the capital until 1776.
  • The Province of North Carolina had several capitals during its colonial time: Bath, from 1712 to 1722; Edenton, from 1722 to 1743; Brunswick Town, from 1743 to 1770; and then New Bern, until 1776.
  • Charleston was the capital of the Province of South Carolina.
  • Savannah was the capital of the Province of Georgia.
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What were the thirteen colonies of the United States?

When British settlers first arrived here, they settled along the Atlantic Coast and formed the thirteen colonies. These colonies were Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Settlers arrived from England seeking religious freedom and a better life, but they were not the first ones to arrive here. Native Americans were already living on the land, and explorers from European countries also established small settlements before the English established dominance of the area. The thirteen colonies were ruled by the King of England until they declared independence in 1776, but throughout colonial times, the colonies established a high degree of self-government. It was these thirteen colonies that eventually became the United States.

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