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Early pioneers extended their settlement to the West. The US was a new country there were vast expanses of land. Many pioneers traveled west to find inexpensive farms and new opportunities. In 1803 Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory. In 1820 Mexico allowed US citizens to settle in Texas. 1846 Mormon pioneers left Illinois and headed out West. In 1848 the California gold rush began. In 1862 the first Homestead Act offered free land for settlers. Many people took the risk of pioneer travel to pursue a better life.
Daily life in colonial America was extremely harsh for the first settlers. They were in a new country and did not have friends or relatives to help them in this unknown territory. As the American colonies grew large cities began to grow as well. These cities became centers of trade for the surrounding rural areas. People worked as farmers, merchants, and as tradesmen. Children living in colonial cities have access to schools and education to a higher degree than those living on farms. Churches were well attended and often served as a meeting place for the locals to get together and discuss the news of the day. The wealthy often wore large powdered wigs in an attempt to emulate the latest fashions that were popular in England. Rural farmers socialized in taverns and at dances and festivals.
The English settlement of the original 13 colonies was located on the Atlantic coast of north America and founded between 1607 in Virginia in 1733 in Georgia. The original 13 colonies were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. The 13 colonies had very similar political, constitutional and legal systems. They were dominated by Protestant English speakers. All 13 colonies were part of Britain's possessions in the New World. These possessions also included colonies in Canada, Florida and the Caribbean. The colonial population grew from about 2000 to 2.4 million people between 1625 and 1775.
The 13 colonies were in America but were controlled by Britain. Colonies are typically settled by people from a home country. In order to expand the British Empire against a Spanish rival Queen Elizabeth of England established colonies in North America. Each of the 13 colonies had the charter that was a written agreement between the colony and the King of England and Parliament. There were royal colonies, charter colonies and proprietary colonies. a colonial legislature was elected by property holding males.