13 Colonies Fun Facts

The original 13 colonies were settlements created by the British. On large ships they brought over families and supplies to build new homes in an unfamiliar land. Many people left England and headed to America because they hoped to start a new life. England was crowded and didn’t have enough land to support everyone. It was a very competitive and difficult life. So instead, brave families decided to explore a brand new continent. Their settlements were called colonies. They were established in the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Revolutionary War, these small colonies became a single nation: the United States of America. The English were not the first people to try to settle in the New World. The French, Spanish, Dutch and Russians also tried, but the English were the most successful.

• The 13 colonies are Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
• The very first colonists lived in Jamestown, Virginia.
• The colonies had governments within America, but the British were technically in charge.
• The trip from England to America took about two and a half months by boat.
• The colonies were divided into three groups: The New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies and the Southern Colonies.
• The very first attempts at colonization were failures.
• Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution — making it the first state to join the United States of America.
• Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I.
• Jamestown was the first capital of Virginia; it was moved to Richmond in 1779.
• Jamestown was made of 104 colonists who landed in April 1607.
• Many came to America in search of religious freedom.
• The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts in 1620.
• Most families were very large — often with six or more kids.
• Georgia was named after King George III.
• One of the first things colonists did when they arrived was start farming so that they would have food for the winter.
• Common crops were corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats, beans, pumpkins and squash.

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