Middle Colonies Facts

Middle Colonies Facts
The Middle Colonies included Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. These colonies were created to be more tolerant to various religious beliefs, and the population grew to include a variety of backgrounds such as Italian, Germans, Dutch, French, Danes, Swedish, Norwegians, Poles, and Portuguese. King Charles II gave his brother James, the Duke of York, the land between New England and Virginia in 1664. In 1680, the king gave William Penn 45,000 square miles of land, which became Pennsylvania. The Middle Colonies soon became a very prosperous region, with new settlers arriving from Europe with money and plans for new lives in the New World.
Interesting Middle Colonies Facts:
In 1664 New Netherland was absorbed by the English and renamed New York. Most of the inhabitants stayed and helped to create the diversity in the city that remains today.
William Penn grew Pennsylvania to a population of nearly 9,000 people in the first five years. Philadelphia grew into a thriving city.
New York Colony was originally New Amsterdam (founded in 1626 by Peter Minuit) but became New York in 1664. It was named New York after the Duke of York, King James II's brother.
Delaware Colony was established in 1638 by Peter Minuit.
Pennsylvania was founded in 1682 by William Penn, after having been granted the land in 1680 by the king.
New Jersey Colony was established in 1664 by English colonists.
Delaware was named for the Delaware tribe, and for Lord de la Warr, an early Virginia governor. Pennsylvania was named for its founder William Penn and for the word 'sylvania' which means 'forest'. New Jersey was named after the English Isle of Jersey.
Major towns in New York Colony included New York City and Albany. Major cities in Delaware Colony included Wilmington and Georgetown. Major towns in New Jersey Colony included Trenton and Princeton. Major towns in Pennsylvania Colony included Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York.
Major industry in the Middle Colonies included farming, forest and timber, coal, furs and iron ore.
The Middle Colonies produced a large amount of wheat, corn, pork, and beef, among other trade goods.
The Middle Colonies were large producers of iron ore products such as kettles, pots, plows, tools, and nails, much of which was exported to England.
Many of the immigrants to the Middle Colonies paid their way to the New World. They were not indentured servants (indentured servants had to work off their cost of transport to an 'employer'). They often had sufficient money to begin their new lives. This led to prosperity among the new American residents.
Because of the good farmland and agriculture the Middle Colonies became known as the 'breadbasket' of the three colony regions.
Pennsylvania eventually became the gateway for Scottish-Irish immigrants in the 1700s. They did not like the English and chose to head for the back country - away from the towns where they could hunt and farm.
Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey all became states in December, 1787, and New York became a state in July of 1788.


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