Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by kabisa from , . kabisa Wonders, “were was the 13 colonies formed” Thanks for WONDERing with us, kabisa!

When your social studies teacher asks how many states there are, does your hand shoot into the air as you hope to be called upon to give the answer? If your reply is 50, you'd be right!

While 50 is a nice even number, you might have grandparents or older relatives who remember a time when there were fewer than 50 states in the United States. As you travel back in time to the birth of the United States, you'll discover that this great nation got its start when 13 original colonies joined forces and declared independence from England.

Located along the eastern seaboard, the original 13 colonies consisted of the following: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Let's take a closer look at how and when some of the colonies were founded.

With the settlement of Jamestown in 1607, Virginia became the first of the original 13 colonies. It was founded by the London Company pursuant to a charter issued by King James I.

The colony of Virginia looked a bit different than the state we know today. For example, the colony of Virginia also included all the land we now know as West Virginia.

The colonization of what we know now as the New England colonies began in 1620 when the Pilgrims established the Plymouth colony in 1620. The colony eventually became known as Massachusetts after 1630 when the Massachusetts Bay Company sent more people to the area.

The Pilgrims, who were Puritan separatists, branched out to form other colonies throughout the area, including New Hampshire (1623), Connecticut (1635), and Rhode Island (1636). In 1632, the English king granted 12 million acres at the head of Chesapeake Bay to Lord Baltimore. He called the new colony Maryland as a tribute to the queen.

William Penn, a Quaker who owned a large amount of land in Ireland, was granted 45,000 square miles west of the Delaware River. In 1682, this land became the colony of Pennsylvania.

Virginians moving south formed the Carolina colony. The northern part of the Carolina territory was settled in 1653, with the southern part settled a decade later. The colony would not be split into North Carolina and South Carolina until 1729. To separate South Carolina from the Spanish settlements in Florida, Englishman James Edward Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia in 1732.

The original 13 colonies were quite diverse and they grew quickly. At the turn of the 18th century, the population of the colonies consisted of about 250,000 European settlers and African slaves. On the eve of the American Revolution, 75 years later, that population had grown to almost 2.5 million.

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