The first European people who came to the east coast of North America, in the 1600s and 1700s, came for many different reasons, so their settlements were very different from each other. The earliest successful settlement was in Florida, in 1565 AD, when Spanish explorers founded the city of St. Augustine. The second successful settlement was in 1607, when English adventurers settled at Jamestown, Virginia. The Paspahegh people who lived in the area tried to push them out, but could not and were defeated. Dutch traders settled in New York in 1614 to trade with the Iroquois for furs. Another settlement was in Massachusetts in 1620, when the Puritans came in the Mayflower from England to live according to their religion. In 1631, Dutch traders settled in Delaware and made arrangements with the local Delaware people to trade with them for furs. In 1681, a group of Quakers came from England, led by a man called William Penn, and they called the place where they settled down Pennsylvania (Penn's woods).
- New Hampshire
- Massachusetts (Maine split off from Massachusetts later)
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- Virginia (Kentucky and West Virginia split off later)
- North Carolina (Tennessee split off later)
- South Carolina
Florida was English by this time but chose not to participate in the Revolution. Florida stayed loyal to England during the Revolution, then became Spanish again after England lost the war. Florida joined the United States only under Andrew Jackson in 1821.
Learn by doing: try to spot license plates from all 13 original states
More about the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence
The Revolutionary War
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