Colonies to States

Declaration of Independence

Colonies to States - Colonial Government
The Declaration of Independence

This article about  the change from Colonies to States provides information about the events in America surrounding the War of Independence and the separation from British rule in 1783

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Colonial Congress & Government
State Land ClaimsFirst 13 Colonies
American Colonies Index

The Change from Colonies to States
This article explains how the Colonies became States. The American Revolutionary War against Great Britain lasted from 1775 to 1783. At the beginning of the war the government of the 13 colonies faced the colonists with a dilemma. America was striving for independence from the administration of the British but America had not separated from Great Britain and therefore an American government had not been established. During the early stages of conflict it was not then supposed that the quarrel with the 'Mother Country' would end in separation...

Colonies States - Colonial Government

Colonial Government in the colonies represented an extension of the British government with a Governor, governor's court and legal system. The colonial governments of the 13 colonies took a variety of forms. By 1775, eight of the colonies had royal governors, who were appointed by the king. Three of the colonies, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were under proprietors who themselves chose the governors. Two, of the colonies, Connecticut and Rhode Island, elected their governors under self-governing rule.

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 stateDelaware was the 1st of the original 13 colonies to become a state on : December 7, 1787 and the first colonial state
Colonies to States: PennsylvaniaPennsylvania was the 2nd of the original 13 colonies to become a state on December 12, 1787
Colonies to States: New JerseyNew Jersey was the 3rd of the original 13 colonies to become a state on December 18, 1787
Colonies to States: GeorgiaGeorgia was the 4th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on January 2, 1788
Colonies to States: ConnecticutConnecticut was the 5th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on January 9, 1788
Colonies to States: MassachusettsMassachusetts was the 6th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on February 6, 1788
Colonies to States: MarylandMaryland was the 7th of the original 13 colonies to become a state April 28, 1788
Colonies to States: South CarolinaSouth Carolina was the 8th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the May 23, 1788
Colonies to States: New HampshireNew Hampshire was 9th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the June 21, 1788
Colonies to States: VirginiaVirginia was the 10th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on the June 25, 1788
Colonies to States: New YorkNew York was the 11th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on July 26, 1788
Colonies to States: North CarolinaNorth Carolina was the 12th of the original 13 colonies to become a state on November 21, 1789
Colonies to States: Rhode IslandRhode 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.

Colonies to States

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Colonies to States
We hope that this article providing an overview of the American Colonies to States will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the colonial history. A great educational resource for kids on the subject of Colonies to States. Learn more facts and information about the War for Independence and the events that made the United States a united, sovereign and national state including the
State Land Claims.

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