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Locating the Site


Map 1: The Thirteen Colonies.[Map 1] with link to larger version of map

Approximately 2.5 million people lived in the 13 British colonies by 1775. The colonies were grouped into three basic sections: New England (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island); middle colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland); and southern colonies (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia). Colonists considered themselves British subjects first and Virginians, New Englanders, etc. second. They did not think of themselves as "Americans" at this time.

By 1775, Pennsylvania's population had reached about 300,000—the largest of any colony except Virginia. Philadelphia, with 30,000 people, was the largest city in the colonies. Many delegates to the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention had to travel long distances to reach Philadelphia. Those traveling by land would use the post roads, shown in red on this map. The 800-mile trip from Georgia could take two or three weeks.


Questions for Map 1

1. Why do you think most colonists considered themselves "British" as opposed to "American" in 1775?

2. Shade in the three sections of the colonies using different colors. In which section is Pennsylvania located?

3. Locate Philadelphia. Why might the city have been chosen to host the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention?

4. What means of travel would have been available to delegates to get to Philadelphia? How long might it have taken delegates from the South to reach the city? What do you think this indicates about the degree of interest in the issues being considered?

5. Approximately how many miles is it from your city to Philadelphia? How long might it take you to get there by car today?

* The small image on this screen will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 1, but be aware that the file may take as much as 57 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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