Royal Colonies
versus corporate or proprietary


The 13 English colonies began as either corporate colonies or proprietary colonies. Corporate colonies had a charter granted by the English monarch to stockholders. Proprietary colonies were owned by an individual proprietor or by a small group of proprietors under a charter from the monarch. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia were founded as corporate colonies. The other nine colonies were established as proprietary colonies.

In 1624, the English monarch began to change the colonies into royal colonies. Such colonies were under the direct control of the monarch. By the end of the colonial period, only Connecticut and Rhode Island remained corporate colonies, and just Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were still proprietary. The other eight colonies had become royal colonies.

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