British America

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British America and
the British West Indies
1607–1783
Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg
British America.png
British colonies in America (red) and the island colonies of the British West Indies of the Caribbean Sea (pink)
StatusColonies of England (1607 — 1707)
Colonies of Scotland
(1629 — 1632)
Colonies of Great Britain (1707 — 1783)
CapitalAdministered from London, England
Common languagesEnglish (de facto official)
Spoken languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Finnish
Welsh
Cornish
Irish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
Manks
Ojibwe
Indigenous languages
Religion
Anglicanism, Protestantism, Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, American Indian religion, Traditional African religions
Government Constitutional monarchy
Monarch 
 1607 — 1625
James VI and I (first)
 1760 — 1783
George III (last)
History 
1607
1610
  Bermuda
1614
1620
1634
1655
1670
1713
1763
1775–1783
1783
Currency Pound sterling, Spanish dollar, bills of credit, commodity money, and many local currencies
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Royal Standard of King Louis XIV.svg New France
Prinsenvlag.svg New Netherland
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg New Sweden
Flag of New Spain.svg Spanish Florida
British North America Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg
United States Grand Union Flag.svg
Spanish Florida Flag of New Spain.svg
British West Indies Flag of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg

British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in the Americas from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. [1]

Contents

After the American Revolution, the term British North America was used to refer to the remainder of Great Britain's possessions in North America. The term British North America was used in 1783, but it was more commonly used after the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), generally known as the Durham Report .

In the Caribbean, the British West Indies and other European sugar colonies were at the center for the Atlantic Slave Trade.

The English established and expanded a number of colonies in the 17th century in the New World. British America later gained large amounts of territory with the Treaty of Paris (1763), which ended the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years' War in Europe. At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the British Empire included 23 colonies and territories on the North American continent. The Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the war, and Britain lost much of this territory to the newly formed United States. In addition, Britain ceded East and West Florida to the Kingdom of Spain, which in turn ceded them to the United States in 1821. Most of the remaining colonies to the north formed Canada in 1867, with the Dominion of Newfoundland joining in 1949.

History

British map of North America, 1710 Senex, Price, and Maxwell North America 1710 UTA.jpg
British map of North America, 1710

A number of English colonies were established in America between 1607 and 1670 by individuals and companies whose investors expected to reap rewards from their speculation. They were granted commercial charters by King James I, King Charles I, Parliament, and King Charles II. The London Company founded the first permanent settlement in 1607 on the James River at Jamestown, Virginia upstream from Chesapeake Bay. This was followed in 1620 when the Pilgrims established the Plymouth settlement in New England. English Catholics settled the Province of Maryland in 1634, under Cecilus Calvert, second Lord Baltimore.

A state department in London known as the Southern Department governed all the colonies beginning in 1660, as well as a committee of the Privy Council called the Board of Trade and Plantations. In 1768, Parliament created a specific state department for America, but it was disbanded in 1782 when the Home Office took responsibility for the remaining possessions of British North America in Eastern Canada, The Floridas, and the West Indies. [2]

North American colonies in 1775

The Thirteen Colonies that became the original states of the United States:

New England Colonies
A view of Fort George and the city of New York
c. 1731 A view of Fort George with the city of New York, from the SW.jpg
A view of Fort George and the city of New York
c. 1731
Middle Colonies
Southern Colonies

Colonies and territories that became part of Canada:

Colonies and territories that were ceded to Spain or the United States in 1783:

Colonies in the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, and South America in 1783

Bermuda
Divisions of the British Leeward Islands
Island of Jamaica and its dependencies
Other possessions in the British Windward Islands

See also

Related Research Articles

Thirteen Colonies 17th and 18th-century British colonies in North America which became the United States

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, they began fighting the American Revolutionary War in April 1775 and formed the United States of America by declaring full independence in July 1776.

British colonization of the Americas American Colonies of England and then Great Britain and the United Kingdom

The British colonization of the Americas was the history of establishment of control, settlement, and colonization of the continents of the Americas by England, Scotland and Great Britain. Colonization efforts began in the 17th century with failed attempts by England to establish permanent colonies in the North. The first permanent British colony was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Approximately 30,000 Algonquian peoples lived in the region at the time. Over the next several centuries more colonies were established in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Though most British colonies in the Americas eventually gained independence, some colonies have opted to remain under Britain's jurisdiction as British Overseas Territories.

Treaty of Paris (1763) 1763 treaty that ended the Seven Years War

The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain and Prussia's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War.

British North America Former British imperial territories

English colonisation of North America began in the 16th century in Newfoundland, then further south at Roanoke and Jamestown, Virginia, and more substantially with the founding of the Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic Coast of North America.

East Florida Colony of Great Britain and a province of Spanish Florida

East Florida was a colony of Great Britain from 1763 to 1783 and a province of Spanish Florida from 1783 to 1821. Great Britain gained control of the long-established Spanish colony of La Florida in 1763 as part of the treaty ending the French and Indian War. Deciding that the territory was too large to administer as a single unit, Britain divided Florida into two colonies separated by the Apalachicola River: East Florida with its capital in St. Augustine and West Florida with its capital in Pensacola. East Florida was much larger and comprised the bulk of the former Spanish territory of Florida and most of the current state of Florida. However, most of the Spanish population, including all of St Augustine emigrated after the treaty.

Colonial history of the United States Aspect of history

The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European colonization of North America from the early 17th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States of America, after the War of Independence. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic launched major colonization programs in North America. The death rate was very high among early immigrants, and some early attempts disappeared altogether, such as the English Lost Colony of Roanoke. Nevertheless, successful colonies were established within several decades.

British West Indies British territories in the Caribbean, sometimes including former colonies

The British West Indies (BWI) were the British territories in the West Indies: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Guiana and Trinidad and Tobago. Other territories include Bermuda, and the former British Honduras. Before the decolonisation period in the later 1950s and 1960s the term was used to include all British colonies in the region as part of the British Empire. Following the independence of most of the territories from the United Kingdom, the term Commonwealth Caribbean is now used.

Southern Colonies 16/17th-century British colonies which became the Southern United States

The Southern Colonies within British America consisted of the Province of Maryland, the Colony of Virginia, the Province of Carolina and the Province of Georgia. In 1763, the newly created colonies of East Florida and West Florida would be added to the Southern Colonies by Great Britain until the Spanish Empire took back Florida. These colonies were the historical core of what would become the Southern United States, or "Dixie". They were located south of the Middle Colonies, albeit Virginia and Maryland were also considered as the Chesapeake Colonies.

Proprietary colony

A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America and in the Caribbean in the 17th century. In the British Empire, all land belonged to the monarch, and it was his/her prerogative to divide. Therefore, all colonial properties were partitioned by royal charter into one of four types: proprietary, royal, joint stock, or covenant. King Charles II used the proprietary solution to reward allies and focus his own attention on Britain itself. He offered his friends colonial charters which facilitated private investment and colonial self-government. The charters made the proprietor the effective ruler, albeit one ultimately responsible to English Law and the King. Charles II gave New Amsterdam to his younger brother The Duke of York, who named it New York. He gave an area to William Penn who named it Pennsylvania.

The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Since then, many territories around the world have been under the control of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states. When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's colonial possessions passed to the new state. Similarly, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom, control over its colonial possessions passed to the latter state. Collectively, these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Upon much of Ireland gaining independence in 1922 as the Irish Free State, the other territories of the Empire remained under the control of the United Kingdom.

A colonial empire is a collective of territories, either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas, settled by the population of a certain state and governed by that state.

Indian Reserve (1763) Native North American Areas

"Indian Reserve" is a historical term for the largely uncolonized land in North America that was claimed by France, ceded to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the end of the Seven Years' War—also known as the French and Indian War—and set aside for the First Nations in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The British government had contemplated establishing an Indian barrier state in the portion of the reserve west of the Appalachian Mountains, and bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the Great Lakes. British officials aspired to establish such a state even after the region was assigned to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) ending the American Revolutionary War, but abandoned their efforts in 1814 after losing military control of the region during the War of 1812.

British West Florida

British West Florida was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1763 until 1783, when it was ceded to Spain as part of the Peace of Paris.

France–Americas relations

France–Americas relations started in the 16th century, soon after the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, and have developed over a period of several centuries.

The military history of North America can be viewed in a number of phases.

Former colonies and territories in Canada Former political entities in what is now Canada.

A number of states and polities formerly claimed colonies and territories in Canada prior to the evolution of the current provinces and territories under the federal system. North America prior to colonization was occupied by a variety of indigenous groups consisting of band societies typical of the sparsely populated North, to loose confederacies made up of numerous hunting bands from a variety of ethnic groups, to more structured confederacies of sedentary farming villages, to stratified hereditary structures centred on a fishing economy. The colonization of Canada by Europeans began in the 10th century, when Norsemen explored and, ultimately unsuccessfully, attempted to settle areas of the northeastern fringes of North America. Early permanent European settlements in what is now Canada included the late 16th and 17th century French colonies of Acadia and Canada, the English colonies of Newfoundland (island) and Rupert's Land, the Scottish colonies of Nova Scotia and Port Royal.

English overseas possessions Overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England

The English overseas possessions, also known as the English colonial empire, comprised a variety of overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England during the centuries before the Acts of Union of 1707 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The many English possessions then became the foundation of the British Empire and its fast-growing naval and mercantile power, which until then had yet to overtake those of the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Portugal, and the Crown of Castile.

Spanish West Florida Province of the Spanish Empire from 1783 to 1821

Spanish West Florida was a province of the Spanish Empire from 1783 until 1821, when both it and East Florida were ceded to the United States.

References

  1. "Rights: Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America". press-pubs.uchicago.edu.
  2. Foulds, Nancy Brown. "Colonial Office". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. "Rhode Island Royal Charter of 1663". sos.ri.gov. Secretary of State of Rhode Island . Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  4. "Charles II Granted Rhode Island New Charter". christianity.com. Christianity.com. 8 July 1663. Retrieved 14 April 2011.