AP US History Outlines – The Restoration Colonies

After the end of the Cromwell era in Britain, Charles II, who was restored to the throne, gave his supporters large tracts of land in the New World. The colonies that were developed on these parcels of land are known and the Restoration Colonies, and form an important part of US history.

New York

James, the brother of Charles II, took a group of British ships and forced the Dutch out of New York. James moved cautiously, and initially created a legal code called the ‘Duke’s Laws’ that only applied to Englishmen. New York grew slowly and was ruled autocratically. It was hardly the important commercial center that it is today.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Colony was owned by Quakers and developed to become quite successful. Generous land grants, limited freedom of religion and a representative assembly fueled migration to this colony.


Pennsylvania was owned by William Penn, who advertised the advantages of moving to his colony throughout Europe. Pennsylvania also became an economic success and expanded quickly. Penn was quite tolerant, and his colony had relatively good relations with the nearby Indian tribes. Ironically, it was this toleration brought people to Pennsylvania that didn’t care about Indian rights, creating conflicts.


The colony of Carolina (which had a constitution that was drafted by John Locke) developed two distinct population centers and eventually split in half. The two resulting colonies, North Carolina and South Carolina, had different economic bases. North Carolina generally grew tobacco for transport to Virginia and later export to Europe. South Carolina, on the other hand, grew largely food crops. This food was then sold to feed the expanding slave populations in the Caribbean.