Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles the U. S. Is 50 states strong today, but it began as 13 small colonies. It all started with Virginia when wealthy London businessman asked the British king to set up shop in what was known as the New World. 104 British colonists settled in Jamestown, performing the first permanent American colony. Next up, Massachusetts. Founded after being established by the pilgrims who sailed the Mayflower to Plymouth. Six years later, New York was pioneered by the Dutch, who called it New Amsterdam, Maryland, which became home to Puritans, Quakers and Catholics who didn't always get along, was established in 16 34. Maryland was followed by Connecticut, when 100 Puritans left Massachusetts to start a new colony in Hartford and Rhode Island, which was originally called Red Island by the Dutch Delaware. New Hampshire, which at various points were part of Maryland and Massachusetts, came next. Virginian Colonists established North Carolina 10 years before South Carolina was granted a charter forming one Carolina colony until 17 12. New Jersey was first settled in 16 64 though the small future Garden state was actually two parts for nearly 40 years. Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn in 16 81 in payment for dead the British King, old pen's father. That leaves Georgia, which was established as a penal colony for English debtors and a buffer zone between the British colonies and Florida, which was controlled by the Spanish. Spain held onto Florida until 18 21 a full 45 years after the original 13 colonies became the United States of America.