The British Colonies

Britain began sending people to colonize America.

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The Beginnings

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In the early 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted Sir Walter Raleigh permission to establish colonies in North America. The land was named Virginia, after Queen Elizabeth who was called the Virgin Queen since she never married. The first two attempts failed. The third attempt, in 1587, succeeded with Virginia Dare being the first British colonist born in American. Governor John White returned to England for supplies. When he returned, in 1591, the colony was gone. All that was left was a post with the name "Croatan." Croatan indian legend says the settlers became part of the tribe. The British refer to the settlers and "The Lost Colony."

In 1606, King James I set up the Virginia Company of London. They were to find gold in Virginia, then return to England. They never found gold.

England continued to send settlers to America. The colony grew. In 1619, the Virginia colonist were given the right to self government. In 1620, a group called the Pilgrims left Plymouth, England on the Mayflower. They were headed for Virginia. They were blown off course and landed in Massachusetts, at a site they called Plymouth.


The Thirteen Colonies

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The British eventually established thirteen colonies in America. Many were settlers who started from the Massachusetts and Virginia colonies. They formed the original thirteen British colonies:
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia


Books about the British Colonies

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  Books on the British Colonies


Links to other sites on the British Colonies

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