"In 1775, the British claimed authority over the red and pink areas on this map and Spain claimed the orange. The red area is the area of settlement; most lived within 50 miles of the ocean.The Thirteen Colonies were the British Colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia). Individual colonies began collaborating at the Albany Congress of 1754 to demand more rights and set up a Continental Congress that declared independence from Great Britain in 1776 and formed a new nation, the United States of America. The thirteen colonies were: Delaware Colony, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey were formed by mergers of previous colonies. Most white men could and did vote for local and legislative officials. The colonies were all prosperous and had high growth rates based on immigration from Britain and Germany, together with ample food supplies and land for new settlers. Most families operated subsistence farms. All the colonies had legal slavery, with slave-based plantations in the South producing valuable exports such as tobacco and rice. The Northern and Middle colonies concentrated on trade. The frontier districts often confronted Indian wars, but by 1700 the colonists greatly outnumbered the Indians. Each of the thirteen colonies developed its own system of self-government, based largely on independent farmers who owned their own land, voted for their local and provincial government, and served on local juries. In some of the colonies, especially Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, there were also substantial populations of African slaves."
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