The "Betsy Ross" Flag (In Service 1777) became the First Flag of our Nation after gaining independence from England
How it all began:
Colonist began arriving from several different Countries; primarily of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch and German descent. In 1607, Jamestown (now Virginia) became the first permanent settlement to be recognized as a Colony. In 1620 the Pilgrims arrived and set up a settlement in Plymouth which eventually became the Colony of Massachusetts.  Despite harsh weather conditions, Malaria, Yellow Fever and the Plague, settlers still traveled to North America. As the population and interest grew, disputes began to take place over territorial rights and the Colonies boundaries; which led to a war between England and France (The French and Indian War; 1754-1763). England was victorious and gained control of the existing Colonies. The Colonies were then broken into 3 basic establishments based upon their location, agriculture and industries.

THE New England Colonies
New Hampshire
Rhode Island

 Religions: Primarily Puritan
Major Exports: Ships, Wood, Fish, Grains

The New England Colonies were known for farming and fishing. Boston served as a major port for importing and exporting goods to and from England. Most Colonist were self sufficient and relied on their crops to feed their families.
THE Middle Colonies
 New York 
New Jersey
Religions: Quaker, Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish
Major Exports: Grains

The Middle Colonies were mainly agricultural and industrial.
Many types of grains were grown by the Middle Colonies that were traded with England as well.  Industrial opportunities included the production of iron and many types of fabrics.
THE Southern Colonies
North Carolina
South Carolina
Religions: Primarily Baptist and Angelican
Major Exports: Tobacco, Indigo, Grains

The Southern Colonies were heavily into agriculture and farming. Many profitable staples included rice, greens and tobacco.

Religious Beliefs of the Colonist:
Some left England in pursuit of Religious Freedom.  Colonies passed laws of Religious Toleration, meaning that the people of the Colonies could practice their religion of choice without repercussion or harm from others.  The Pilgrims and Quakers were a most notable part of this religious movement.
Population of the Colonist: 
Despite harsh conditions, illness and extreme weather, Loyalist fled England to inhabit the new land.  In the early 1600's, the population was a mere 1700 Colonist.  By the early 1700's, the population grew to almost 300,000.  By the mid 1700's, the population began to substantially increase and reached almost 3,000,000 Colonist by 1776.
The Revolution:
(Revolutionary War; 1775-1783)
Colonist began to get upset with the rule of England, mainly in part due to higher taxes being imposed on them. Conflict and frustrations began to build. England recognized this resistance and tried to separate the Colonies by imposing sanctions and closing ports unless higher taxes were paid. This in fact pulled all of the Colonies together. Revolutionaries then took control of the Colonial Governments in 1775, established the Second Continental Congress and then formed the Continental Army. Members of this new Congress were declared traitors by the King. The Second Continental Congress rebelled and declared their independence as a new Nation and formally rejected the British monarchy. By 1778 the French formally entered the war against the British, and eventually so would Spain and the Dutch Republic. In 1783, after several defeats, the British agreed to the "Treaty of Paris", which recognized America as a sovereign Nation.

The British Empire

The "Colonial Red Ensign Flag" (1707); the first official 
flag to fly over the Colonies while under British rule

A Timeline Of The Events And Opposition

THE Original 13 Colonies
(With Date Of Establishment)
Virginia 1607
Massachusetts 1620
New Hampshire 1623
Maryland 1634
Connecticut 1635
Rhode Island 1636
Delaware 1638
North Carolina 1653
South Carolina 1663
New Jersey 1664
New York 1664
Pennsylvania 1682
Georgia 1732 

The 13 Colonies Map

Boundary Map Source: U.S, Geological Survey

The Oldest Street in America:
Elfreth's Alley, opened in 1702, is the oldest known still inhabited street in America.  The first homes were built between 1725 and 1727.  The street was established by two craftsman, Arthur Wells and John Gilbert, and was named after a very well known 18th century blacksmith named Jeremiah Elfreth.  Located in the city of Philadelphia, it served as both an  industrial complex and a home for many carpenters, printers and craftsmen of all trades.  Benjamin Franklin also once lived in one of its homes.  Its location next to the waterfront made it ideal for many industries. During the 18th and 19th century, the alley became surrounded by industrial buildings.  It is preserved today by the Elfreth's Alley Association; set up to preserve its buildings and 300+ year old history.  Today, the street's official name is Cherry Street; due to a street-name simplification program.

Elfreth's Alley; the oldest street in America