Colonies to States - the First Continental Congress
In 1773 the Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, disbanded the Virginia House of Burgesses for supporting persons opposed to Great Britain. This led to the creation of the Continental Congress. The role of the First Continental Congress was to set forth the views of the people, and remonstrate against the conduct of the King and Parliament.
Colonies to States - Congress becomes a Governing Body
Congress petitioned the King and fixed May 10, 1775, as the date on which a second Congress should meet to consider the response of their petition. The British reaction to the petition in January 1775 was to send orders prohibiting another meeting of the Congress and send additional troops to America. In February 1775 Parliament declared that Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion. Matters quickly escalated and on April 18, 1775 the American War of Independence began. The 13 Colonies asked Congress to adopt the American army that had gathered around Boston, and direct the war. Through this chain of events Congress, unexpectedly, became a governing body, and began to act as advisor to each of the colonies.
Colonies to States - Massachusetts seek advice from Congress
When Congress met at Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, a letter was received from the Massachusetts colony requesting advice:
- The second of the Intolerable Acts had put an end to the constitution of Massachusetts
- Only one town meeting was permitted a year in Massachusetts, unless approved by the governor
- Town officials would no longer be elected, they were to be be appointed by the royal governor
- The executive council would no longer be elected, but appointed by the King
- The Massachusetts Government Act also revoked the colony's 1691 charter
The people had overthrown the Boston based governor and had taken the government of the Massachusetts colony into their own hands. Their letter asked what they should do. Congress replied that no obedience was due to the governor and advised the people to make a temporary government to last until the King should restore the old charter. Later in 1775 Congress gave similar advice to New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The End of Colonial Government - Colonies turn themselves into States
By the spring of 1776 all of the governors of the 13 colonies had either fled or been thrown into prison. The demise of the royal governors and effectively put an end to colonial government. Continental Congress, realized that reconciliation with Great Britain was impossible. On May 15, 1776 Congress advised all the colonies to form governments for themselves. All but two made new constitutions; but Connecticut and Rhode Island used their old charters. They adopted constitutions, and by doing so turned themselves from British colonies into sovereign and independent states.
Chart of Colonies to States
The following chart of Colonies to states details the dates when each of the original 13 colonies became states:
Colonies to States Chart
|Colonies to States: Delaware, the first colonial state||Delaware was the 1st of the original 13 colonies to become a state on : December 7, 1787 and the first colonial state|
|Colonies to States: Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania was the 2nd of the original 13 colonies to become a state on December 12, 1787|
|Colonies to States: New Jersey||New Jersey was the 3rd of the original 13 colonies to become a state on December 18, 1787|
|Colonies to States: Georgia||Georgia was the 4th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on January 2, 1788|
|Colonies to States: Connecticut||Connecticut was the 5th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on January 9, 1788|
|Colonies to States: Massachusetts||Massachusetts was the 6th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on February 6, 1788|
|Colonies to States: Maryland||Maryland was the 7th of the original 13 colonies to become a state April 28, 1788|
|Colonies to States: South Carolina||South Carolina was the 8th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the May 23, 1788|
|Colonies to States: New Hampshire||New Hampshire was 9th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the June 21, 1788|
|Colonies to States: Virginia||Virginia was the 10th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the June 25, 1788|
|Colonies to States: New York||New York was the 11th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on July 26, 1788|
|Colonies to States: North Carolina||North Carolina was the 12th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on November 21, 1789|
|Colonies to States: Rhode Island||Rhode Island was the 13th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on May 29, 1790|
Colonies to States Chart
Colonies to States - United States becomes a united, sovereign and national state
While the colonies were gradually turning themselves into the states, the Continental Congress was trying to bind them into a union by means of a general constitution called the "Articles of Confederation." Approval of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation brought into being the United States as a united, sovereign and national state.