THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES
Americans still proudly talk about the thirteen original colonies. These are the British colonies that received a royal charter from the British Crown to settle in North America.
Since the territories were still largely unknown and certainly unexplored at the time when these Charters were issued, the British Crown in its “Royal Innocence” majestically granted them the entire territory across the whole width of the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean!
The Crown thereby tacitly ignored any existing colonies that had previously been founded by Swedes, Dutch, French or Spanish. It simply did not concern itself about whether any other nationalities, groups or people resided or had resided in these territories, nor about any existing property rights or previous claims of other countries…
The main reason for such an inexplicable generosity and the extensive grants was of course money. Both the British and the French royal families used this convenient way to pay off their very high (war) debts. In their royal eyes these territories were uninhabited, didn’t generate any revenue and only cost handfuls of money for supplies and expeditions…
The thirteen original (British) colonies are:
Connecticut New Hampshire Rhode Island
Delaware New Jersey South Carolina
Georgia New York Virginia
Maryland North Carolina
Colonial Government – Three Types of Government
There were three types or systems of government used within Colonial Government of the 13 Colonies. The names of these different types of government were Royal, Charter and Proprietary. These three types of government were implemented in the colonies and a colony would be referred to as either a Royal Colony, a Charter Colony or a Proprietary Colony.
Royal Government definition: Royal Colonies were ruled directly by the English monarchy
Proprietary Government definition: Proprietary Colonies were established in territories which had been granted by the English Crown to one, or more, proprietors who had full governing rights
Charter Government definition: Charter Colonies were generally self-governed, and their charters were granted to the colonists as opposed to proprietors
Royal colonies were owned by the king.
These governments were appointed by the Crown, and carried out the orders and wishes of the Crown as opposed to private or local interests
By 1775 the Royal Colony system of government was in the Carolina’s, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York.
In a Proprietary Colony, an individual, or small elite group, essentially owned the colony, controlling all of the actions and institutions of government, for which they would receive political or financial favors. The governors of the proprietary colonies reported directly to the king.
By 1775 the Proprietary system of government was in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania
The Charter Colonies were generally self-governed, and their charters were granted to the colonists via a joint-stock company
When created, the British King granted these colonies a charter establishing the rules of government, but he allowed the colonists a great amount of freedom within those rules
The Charter system of government was in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was a royal province under a charter
Colonial Government – Changes to Systems of Government
The 3 systems of government in the 13 original British Colonies could change according to the political and economic changes in Great Britain. Most began as Charter Companies and were then changed to either proprietary colonies or royal colonies. The systems of government just before the American Revolutionary War were as follows:
There were 3 Propriety colonies: Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania
There were 3 Charter Colonies: Connecticut and Rhode Island. Massachusetts was a royal province while operating under a charter
There were 7 Royal Colonies: New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia
Colonial Government – Joint Stock Company
Definition of a Joint Stock Company. A joint-stock company issued stock to investors to raise money. Once success had been achieved a joint-stock company divided the profits amongst the investors. A joint-stock company organized and supported the colony through charters from the British government and while they worked with the government they made private profits.