The Thirteen Colonies


1607 Virginia


Type: Royal. Region: Southern Colonies. Founder: John Smith. Purpose: First permanent English colony in the New World. Key Events/Characteristics: Jamestown, King Philip's War, this colony was loyal to the King in the English Civil war. Future presidents were born here: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, & Monroe. Virginia was an Anglican colony and wealthy landowners were the important members of the colony. Slavery was a major part of the economy. The second college in the colonies was started in Williamsburg (College of William and Mary).

1607 Jamestown in Virginia


First permanent settlement of English in The New World. Purpose: to find gold, a northwest passage, claim land for England, and find other valuable resources to ship back to Europe.

1620 Plymouth in Massachusetts


Purpose: For the "saints" it was to have a place where they could worship God freely; for the "stangers" it was for economic reasons.

1628 New Netherlands (New York)


Region: Middle Colonies. Founder: John Michaellus, a Dutch settler and others (Peter Minuit). Purpose: To establish a Dutch trading colony in the New World and compete with the English. Key Events/Characteristics: The Dutch had good relations with the Natives and established a fur trade quickly. In 1626 the Dutch bought Manhattan Island from the Indians for $24. They built a walled city in New Amsterdam (now NYC) and called it Wall Street. 18 languages were spoken from the earliest days in New Amsterdam as it was a haven for all cultures. Slavery was instituted from the outset and you could buy a slave for the same price as paying a worker one year's wages. In 1664 the English took New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York. The legend of Santa Claus came from the Dutch and would remain after they left.

The Great Migration

1630 - 1640

Mass Migration of thousands English and other Europeans between 1630-1640

1630 Massachusetts Bay Colony


Type: Royal. Region: New England. Governor: John Winthrop. Purpose: Religious freedom for Puritans. Key Events/Characteristics: Harvard College is founded in 1636 as a religious institution. Ministers are not allowed to hold public office (separation of church and state). 1642 a law is passed that children must be taught to read and any town with 50 or more residents must provide a teacher to the children in that town. Children were taught Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and primarily read the Bible. Other religions were not tolerated. Salem, Massachusetts was the home of the infamous witch trials in 1692-1693.

1633 North Carolnia


Type: Royal. Region: Southern Colonies. Founders: 8 lords of England. Purpose: to produce and trade wine, silk, and olive oil. North Carolina was made of more small farms vs the larger plantations in South Carolina. Many were religious dissenters and outcasts of Virginia. North Carolnia was the most democratic of all the colonies. In 1677 North Carolnia rebelled against England because of the Navigation Acts. They imprisoned British officials and tried others for treason. In 1729, North and South Carolina are separated.

1633 Maryland


Type: Proprietary. Region: Southern Colonies. Founder: George Calvert & Lord Baltimore. Purpose: A refuge for English Catholics. Key Events/Characteristics: Named after King Charles' wife (Henrietta Maria). In 1649 Maryland passed a Toleration Act which promised religious freedom to all residents. However, if you were not CHRISTIAN (catholic, protestant, puritan, Quaker, etc) you could still be hanged. The act only promised toleration of Christian denominations. Freedom was not granted to athiests, Jews, etc.

1633 South Carolina


Type: Royal. Region: Southern Colonies. Founders: 8 lords of England. Purpose: to produce and trade wine, silk & olive oil. Key Events/Characteristics: Indigo was the major crop, Charles Town was major port city. Religious tolerance helped to attact new settlers. Slavery was central to the economy. Few wealthy held most political power. In 1729 North Carolina and South Carolnia were separated.

1636 Connecticut


Type: Charter. . Region: New England. Founder: Thomas Hooker. Purpose: Farming & possibly religious differences with Puritans in Massachusetts. Key Events/Characteristics: In 1639 they drafted a constitution establishing a democratic state controlled by its citizens.

1636 Rhode Island


Type: Charter. Region: New England. Governor/Founder: Roger Williams. Purpose: Religious freedom from the Puritanical intolerance of Massachusetts. Key Events/Characteristics: Williams was kicked out of Massachusetts for preaching tolerance of other religions. He also preached that colonists should treat Natives fairly. Jews, Atheists, and any religious group that was persecuted elsewhere in colonies or Europe was welcome in Rhode Island. Government was separated from church. Anne Hutchinson settled here before moving to New York after she was also kicked out of Massachusetts for speaking against Puritan ideas. A woman like Anne was not supposed to speak up at all since they were the property of their husbands, so Anne's actions were radical.

1638 Delaware


Type: Proprietary. Region: Middle Colonies. Founder: Peter Minuit (Sweden). Purpose: Key Events/Characteristics: Founded in 1638 by Minuit, it was named after the Delaware River which was named after Lord De La Warr who was a governor of Jamestown (he was the one who made the Jamestown settlers turn back to Jamestown when they were trying to flee back to England).

1638 New Hampshire


Type: Royal. Region: New England. Founder: John Mason. Purpose: Fishing. Key Events/Characteristics: At first, New Hampshire was part of Massachusetts (along with present-day Maine) but was later separated as its own colony when the king gave the land to his friend, John Mason.

1642 Civil War in England (Cromwell)

1642 - 1651

English civil war between Puritans and King Charles I. Virginians in the New World were on the side of the King (Cavaliers--because of the king's calvalry). New Englanders were on the side of the Puritans (Roundheads--because they wore their hair short). In 1649 King Charles is beheaded and Oliver Cromwell takes his place as a Puritan head of England. This idea that kings could be overthrown helps future Americans realize they don't need a king and that they can rule themselves. After Cromwell dies, a new king is restored in England and the monarchy continues. After the monarchy is restored, Puritans are persecuted in England and many emigrate to the New World. In appreciation to those who stayed loyalty to the monarchy, King Charles awards New Netherlands to his brother, the Duke of York, and the Carolnas to 8 of his favorite lords. He also gives Pennsylvania to a man named William Penn, who is his friend but is being persecuted for being a Quaker.

1664 New Jersey


Type: Royal. Region: Middle Colonies. Founder: Lord Berkely. Purpose: A royal colony. Key Events/Characteristics: Along with New York, this was granted to the King's friends as a royal colony for the purpose of earning money for England. Freedom of religion was a primary benefit to living in New Jersey. All men, regardless of religion, were free to vote. An assembly was set up of settlers that were elected to run the governement.

1664 New York


Type: Royal. Region: Middle Colonies. Founder: The Duke of York. Purpose: A royal colony. Key Events/Characteristics: English took this colony from the Dutch. The Duke of York sent a fleet to New Netherlands to take it from the Dutch, but the Dutch surrendered without a fight. Many Dutch settlers remained and it simply switched hands to the English peacefully.

1675-1676 King Philip's War

1675 - 1676

Wampanoag chief Massasoit had peace with Plymouth but when he died, the peace ended. His sons, Metacom (King Philip) and Wamsutta (Alexander) were enemies of the colonists. Metacom attacked English settlements and 600 colonists were killed as well as 3,000 natives. Fighting took place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with Connecticut also supplying weapons and soldiers. Metacom's head was chopped off and hung in Plymouth in 1676, thus ending the war. His family were sold as slaves to the West Indies.

1680 The Pueblo Uprising in New Mexico


In New Mexico, the Indians are tired of the Spaniards' treatment of them. They are tired of begin enslaved and told what religion they must practice. They coordinate an attack against all the Spanish colonies simultaneously. The Spaniards lose. Every Spaniard marches back to Mexico. The Indians burn the towns and churches they leave behind. In 12 years the Spaniards will return.

1682 Pennsylvania


Type: Proprietary. Region: Middle Colonies. Founder: William Penn. Purpose: Religious freedom from England. Key Events/characteristics: Quakers do not swear allegiance to anyone but God, so life was tough in England where the King was to be revered. Because Penn was a friend of the king, the king granted him a colony in the New World so that he could be safe. Even though Penn was a Quaker, he wanted religious freedom for all people. No one was persecuted in Pennsylvania and all were free to worship whomever or whatever they chose. This was the primary inspiration for religious freedom in America. Penn also set up a representative government in Philadelphia where "laws rule and the people are a party to those laws." Phaledelphia was the largest, most prosperous city in the early colonies and was settled by the Germans, French, Scottish, Welsh, and English. Ben Franklin moved there from Boston. In 1737, the Delaware Indians signed an agreement that gave PA colonists all the land they could cover on foot in a day and a half. Instead of walking leisurely, the colonists sent runners to cover more territory. The Delaware Indians were furious and felt they'd been swindled.

1688 Bloodless Revolution of England


King James II wants England to be Catholic but the people don't, so they ask him to step down. In his place is put his Protestant daughter, Mary and her husband William. The people also insist that Parliament have more power than the monarch, and they draft a Bill of Rights. The people in the New World are inspired.

1732 Georgia


Type: Royal. Region: Southern Colonies. Founder: James Oglethorpe. Purpose: As a buffer zone between Spanish colony in St. Augustine and the English colonies/as a debtor or penal colony. Key Events/Characteristics: Named after King George. Georgia was founded by debtors -- instead of putting them in jail in England, they would be sent to Georgia. Laws were passed: no drinking, no slavery. Oglethorpe wanted the debtors to work for themselves and be responsible.

1750's Westward Expansion Begins


Daniel Boone born in 1734. Eastern seaboard is populated and colonists begin to move west, despite the directive from England to not move into Indian territory (not because they were morally opposed but because if colonists moved west it would cause wars with Indians and then England would have to defend the colonists). By 1790, almost 200,000 people had moved west. Daniel Boone was friends with Abe Lincoln's grandfather (also named Abraham Lincoln).

Type of Colonies



A Royal Coloy is granted by the King of England and has a royal governor who is appointed by the king and carried out the orders and wishes of the crown. Royal colonies: Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolna, New York, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Georgia.

Proprietary Colonies


Proprietary colonies were owned by individuals as an investment. The individuals essentially owned the colony and controlled all of the actions and institutions of government. Proprietary colonies: Maryland, Pennsylvania, & Delaware.

Charter Colonies


A charter colony is one with a charter that enables the colony to govern itself. Their congresses pick their governors. Charter Colonies: Rhode Island & Connecticut.