what is the difference or differences between colonies and states?

Posted on 2013-05-12
Last Modified: 2013-05-14
Hi Everyone,

           Recently, I purchased an old American 1799 coin from a friend.  While carefully looking at this old Amercian coin, I did notice 13 stars on it which sparked questions.  So, I began reading upon the possible symbolic significance of these stars.  From my reading, I understood each star representing a "colony" back in Colonial times which brings me to this question.  Is a colony considered to be equivalent to a state?  

            I do remember some of the topics discussed within my college American history course which addressed main events prior to the Civil War.  If I am not mistaken, before the United States was the United States, it did exist as 13 independent colonies owned by Great Britain.  As the result of the outcome of the American Revolutionary War, these colonies gained their independence from the British empire.  Due to the fact that it has been several years since my college days, I might be incorrect on these conclusions drawn.  

            Realizing that EE is chiefly and most importantly a technical forum, I know this question steps outside of this forum's realms.  But, if someone has some knowledge or insights to share in response to this question, it will be greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, I will look forward to reviewing any feedback given to this post.

             Thank you.

Question by:GMartin
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Accepted Solution

Dave Baldwin earned 400 total points
ID: 39159848
After the Revolutionary War in 1776 separated us from Great Britain, the colonies became the states of the United States with the Articles of Confederation in 1781.   Not everyone was happy with that so the US Constitution was adopted in 1787.
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Assisted Solution

nickg5 earned 100 total points
ID: 39163401
Another related term in a territory. Guam is a U.S. territory.

One-time foreign colonies of a regime have been redefined or redesignated in modern times to be territories, rather than states or colonies. That is why Guam can not be represented in Congress.

A colony is a territory under immediate political control.

I have a set of medals and there is one for each state (of the original 13 colonies)
I recently sold a 1787 coin from New Jersey. It was a revoluntary coin.

Gilbraltor is still recognized as a colony of the UK.
The Colony of Virginia, one of the 13, became the states of: Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39163410
I see some questions from April 27th that are labelled abandoned. That was not too long ago, a mere 2+ weeks. You may be able to ask one of the moderators how long you have to close your question. Hopefully, you can leave it open until you figure out a solution.
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Author Comment

ID: 39166853
Hi Everyone,

            I greatly appreciate the feedback and links provided in response to this question.  To be perfectly honest, I am still reading over the information provided within the link given by DaveBaldwin.  I am wondering if some people were content with being ruled by Great Britain.  In other words, I am wondering what the treatment was like from Great Britain to its members of the 13 colonies.  

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Expert Comment

ID: 39166873
Thanks....for the points.


Why did the 13 colonies rebel?

The "straw that broke the camel's back" was taxation without representation. The Townsend act. The Stamp Act. The Sugar Act. The Tea Act.

The Quartering Act stated that colonists had to provide housing, candles, bedding, and beverages to British soldiers.

The Quebec Act. Concessions by the British to the French extended the boundaries of Quebec deep into America - all land west of the Appalachian mountains. This had serious religious ramifications also as it officially recognized the Roman Catholic Church as the official state-approved approved religion. Civil law was awarded the French while the British retained the control of criminal law.

Intolerable Act. Laws passed by Parliament to punish colonists in Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party. This act provided the justification for convening the First Continental Congress later that year (1774).

The Boston Massacre. British soldiers fired into a mob of men and boys taunting them. Five died.

"Common Sense" - a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine advocating complete independence from Britain was a convincing and well received publication that united colonists "en masse".

The Olive Branch Petition - The last attempt by the colonists to reconcile their differences with Britain without going to war. They declared their loyalty to the king and stated that the Intolerable Acts must be repealed. King George rejected it.

Next step was the "Declaration Of Independence" - the rest is history.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39166882
A lot of people opposed independence.

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