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Thirteen Colonies

The Thirteen Colonies were British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States. The colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Each colony developed its own system of self government. The white Americans were mostly independent farmers, who owned their own land and voted for their local and provincial government. Benjamin Franklin, in 1772, after examining the wretched hovels in Scotland surrounding the opulent mansions of the land owners, said that in New England every man is a property owner, "has a Vote in public Affairs, lives in a tidy, warm House, has plenty of good Food and Fuel, with whole clothes from Head to Foot, the Manufacture perhaps of his own family."

Before independence, the thirteen were part of a larger set of colonies in British America. Those in the British West Indies, Canada, and East and West Florida remained loyal to the crown throughout the war, although there was a degree of sympathy with the Patriot cause in several of them. However, their geographical isolation and the dominance of British naval power precluded any effective participation.

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