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The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were four of the thirteen colonies in British America, located between the New England Colonies
New England Colonies
and the Southern Colonies. Along with the Chesapeake Colonies, this area now roughly makes up the Mid-Atlantic states
Mid-Atlantic states
(though with the notable exception of Vermont, which is reckoned with New England). The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were very similar to the New England colonies in their stature[further explanation needed]. Much of the area was part of New Netherland
New Netherland
until the Danish exerted their control over the region. The British captured much of the area in their war with the Dutch around 1664, and the majority of the conquered land became the Province of New York. But The Duke of York
Duke of York
and the King of England would later grant others ownership of the land which would become the Province of New Jersey
New Jersey
and the Province of Pennsylvania. The Delaware Colony later separated from Pennsylvania, which was founded by William Penn. The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
had lots of fertile soil, which allowed the area to become a major exporter of wheat and other grains. The lumber and shipbuilding industries enjoyed success in the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
because of the abundant forests, and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
saw moderate success in the textile and iron industry. The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were the most ethnically and religiously diverse British colonies in North America; they had settlers from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and German states. The good farm land was much cheaper than in Europe. With the new arrivals came various Protestant denominations, which were protected in the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
by written freedom of religion laws. This tolerance was very unusual and distinct from the situation in other British colonies.

Contents

1 History 2 Province of New Jersey 3 Province of Pennsylvania 4 Province of New York 5 Delaware
Delaware
Colony 6 Geography 7 Industry 8 Politics 9 Demographics

9.1 English colonists 9.2 Labor 9.3 Religion

10 See also 11 Notes 12 References

12.1 Primary sources

13 Historiography

History[edit] The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were explored by Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
on a journey into the Hudson River
Hudson River
and Delaware
Delaware
Bay in 1609. The Dutch soon claimed the land. Although the Swedes and the Dutch fought over the land in the 1630s through the ultimately the Dutch claimed the land, calling it New Netherland.[1] In the 1660s, the English largely conquered this land from the Dutch, renaming the area New York after the Duke of York, James II.[2][3]. Province of New Jersey[edit] Main articles: Bergen, New Netherland
New Netherland
and Province of New Jersey

Map showing the borders of West New Jersey
New Jersey
(left) and East New Jersey (right)

King Charles II renamed the land west of the Hudson River
Hudson River
New Jersey and gave the region between New England and Maryland to his brother, the Duke of York
Duke of York
(later King James II of England) as a proprietary colony.[2] James II later granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware
Delaware
River to two friends who had been loyal to him through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret
Sir George Carteret
and Lord Berkeley of Stratton. This land grant became the Province of New Jersey.[4][5] In 1665, the Concession and Agreement was written in an effort to entice settlers to New Jersey. This document provided for religious freedom, no taxes without assembly approval, and a governor appointed by the proprietors.[6] The first governor appointed in this way was Philip Carteret, who founded Elizabethtown. Colonists were required to pay annual quit-rent taxes. On March 18, 1674, after encountering difficulty collecting the taxes, Lord Berkeley sold his share in the colony to Edward Byllynge, a Quaker businessman from London.[7] This sale divided New Jersey
New Jersey
into East Jersey
East Jersey
and West Jersey; however, the border between the two was not agreed upon until the Quintipartite Deed in 1676. From 1701 to 1765, colonists skirmished in the New York- New Jersey
New Jersey
Line War over disputed colonial boundaries. On April 15, 1702, Queen Anne united West and East Jersey
East Jersey
into one Royal Colony, the Province of New Jersey.[8] Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon became the royal colony's first governor. After Hyde was recalled to England in 1708 over charges of graft, bribery, and corruption, the governor of New York was charged to also preside over New Jersey.[8] Finally, in 1738, King George II appointed a separate governor, Lewis Morris, to run New Jersey.[4] The Provincial Congress of New Jersey, made up of elected delegates, formed in January 1776 to govern the colony. The Congress had Royal Governor William Franklin
William Franklin
arrested on June 15, declaring him "an enemy to the liberties of this country".[9] On July 2, 1776, New Jersey enacted the New Jersey
New Jersey
State Constitution, soon after having empowered delegates to the Continental Congress, on June 21, to join in a declaration of independence. The United States Declaration of Independence ended their colonial status.[5] Province of Pennsylvania[edit] Main article: Province of Pennsylvania

Chester Courthouse in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
was built in 1724

King Charles II granted the land for the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Colony to William Penn
William Penn
on March 4, 1681 as payment for a debt the crown owed his family.[10] Penn wrote the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
before departing for the colony, which called for religious tolerance towards many groups, including the Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
and local natives.[11] As a proprietary colony, Penn governed Pennsylvania, yet its citizens were still subject to the English crown and laws.[11][12] Penn's cousin William Markham served as the first colonial deputy governor.[10][12] Demarcated by the 42nd parallel north
42nd parallel north
and 39th parallel north, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
was bordered by the Delaware
Delaware
River and the colonies of New York, Maryland, and New Jersey.[12] In 1704, Dutch land given to Penn by the Duke of York
Duke of York
was separated and once again became part of the Delaware
Delaware
Colony.[11] From 1692 to 1694, revolution in England deprived Penn of the governance of his colony. The Pennsylvania Assembly took this opportunity to request expanded power for elected officials, led by David Lloyd. Upon visiting the colony in 1669 and 1701, Penn eventually agreed to allow their Charter of Privileges to be added to the constitution.[12] When the British banned western expansion in 1764, fighting among colonists and against the natives swelled. In 1773, Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair
ordered the arrest of a Virginian officer who was commanding troops against armed settlers loyal to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanian revolutionary sentiment continued to grow, and Philadelphia, the largest city in America, soon became the meeting place of the Continental Congress. The publication of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 by locally elected revolutionaries concluded the history of the Colony, and began the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Province of New York[edit] Main articles: Province of New York
Province of New York
and New Netherland The first Dutch settlements in the New York area appeared around 1613. The English captured the New Netherland
New Netherland
Colony from the Dutch in 1664, renaming it the Province of New York
Province of New York
after the King's brother, the Duke of York
Duke of York
(later King James II).[3] The Dutch recaptured the colony in July 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, but gave it back to the English under the Treaty of Westminster in exchange for Suriname. The Duke of York
Duke of York
never governed the colony himself: he instead appointed governors, councils, and other officers to run the government. Richard Nicolls served as the first governor of New York. In 1665, the Province of New Jersey
New Jersey
split from New York; however, the New York- New Jersey
New Jersey
Line War continued until the final borders were decided in 1769, and approved by the legislatures and the King in 1772 and 1773 respectively. A Colonial Assembly convened in October 1683, making New York the last colony to have an assembly. A constitution was drafted and passed on October 30, 1683, giving the colonists many rights, including the rights to no taxation without representation. However, upon learning of the constitution, James II declared it void.[3] When the Duke of York
Duke of York
became King James II of England, New York became a royal province. In May 1688 the province briefly became part of the Dominion of New England. When James II was overthrown, the citizens of New York rebelled against the Royal Governor in Leisler's Rebellion.[13] When Henry Sloughter became governor in March 1691, the rebellion was crushed and its leader, Jacob Leisler
Jacob Leisler
was arrested, tried, and executed for treason. New York's charter and constitution were reinstated soon after. In April 1775, American patriots formed the New York Provincial Congress
New York Provincial Congress
to replace the assembly. Governor William Tryon
William Tryon
and all royal officials were forced from the colony on October 19, 1775. Colonial status ended for the new state with the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
in July 1776. Delaware
Delaware
Colony[edit] Main article: Delaware
Delaware
Colony Delaware
Delaware
changed hands between the Dutch and Swedes between 1631 and 1655. The Dutch maintained control of Delaware
Delaware
until 1664, when Sir Robert Carr took New Amstel
New Amstel
for the Duke of York, renaming it New Castle.[14] A Deputy of the Duke governed Delaware
Delaware
from 1664 to 1682.[14] When William Penn
William Penn
received his land grant of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
in 1681, he received the Delaware
Delaware
area from the Duke of York, and dubbed them "The Three Lower Counties on the Delaware
Delaware
River".[15] In 1701, after he had troubles governing the ethnically diverse Delaware territory, Penn agreed to allow them a separate colonial assembly.[14] Geography[edit] The partly unglaciated Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
enjoyed fertile soil vastly different from the nearby New England Colonies, which contained more rocky soil. Because of the large grain exports resulting from this soil, the colonies came to be known as the Bread Basket Colonies. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
became a leading exporter of wheat, corn, rye, hemp, and flax,[12] making it the leading food producer in the colonies, and later states, between the years of 1725 and 1840.[16] Broad navigable rivers of relaxed current like the Susquehanna River, the Delaware River, and the Hudson River
Hudson River
attracted diverse business. Fur trappers moved along these rivers, and there was enough flow to enable milling with water wheel power. Industry[edit] Abundant forests attracted both the lumbering and shipbuilding industries to the Middle Colonies. These industries, along with the presence of deep river estuaries, led to the appearance of important ports like New York and Philadelphia. While the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
had far more industry than the Southern Colonies, it still did not rival the industry of New England. In Pennsylvania, sawmills and gristmills were abundant, and the textile industry grew quickly. The colony also became a major producer of pig iron and its products, including the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
long rifle and the Conestoga wagon. Other important industries included printing, publishing, and the related industry of papermaking.[12][17] Politics[edit] The Middle Colonies’ political groups began as small groups with narrowly focused goals. These coalitions eventually grew into diverse and large political organizations, evolving especially during the French and Indian War.[18] The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were generally run by Royal or Proprietary Governors and elected Colonial Assemblies. Many Middle Colony constitutions guaranteed freedom of religion and forbade taxation without representation. Royal governors were arrested or overthrown on more than one occasion, most notably when New Jersey
New Jersey
arrested its governor and during Leisler's Rebellion
Leisler's Rebellion
in New York. Growing unrest in the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
eventually led the region to become the meeting place for the Continental Congress, and a center for revolution.[19] However, there were numerous pockets of neutrals and Loyalists.[20] Demographics[edit] The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
tended to mix aspects of the New England and Southern Colonies. Landholdings were generally farms of 40 to 160 acres (16–65 hectares), owned by the family that worked it. In New York's Hudson Valley, however, the Dutch patroons operated very large landed estates and rented land to tenant farmers.[21] Ethnically, the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were more diverse than the other British colonial regions in North America and tended to be more socially tolerant. For example, in New York, any foreigner professing Christianity was awarded citizenship, leading to a more diverse populace. As a consequence, early German settlements in the Americas concentrated in the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
region. Indentured servitude
Indentured servitude
was especially common in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York in the eighteenth century, though fewer worked in agriculture.[22] German immigrants favored the Middle Colonies. German immigration greatly increased around 1717, and many immigrants began coming from the Rhineland. They were erroneously labeled the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Dutch (the German word for German is "Deutsch"), and comprised one-third of the population by the time of the American Revolution. The industry and farming skills they brought with them helped solidify the Middle Colonies' prosperity. They were noted for tight-knit religious communities, mostly Lutheran but also including many smaller sects such as the Moravians, Mennonites and Amish[23] The Scotch-Irish began immigrating to the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
in waves after 1717. They primarily pushed farther into the western frontier of the colonies, where they repeatedly confronted the Indians.[24] Other groups included the French Huguenots, Welsh, Dutch, Swedes, Swiss, and Scots Highlanders.[25] English colonists[edit] When the English took direct control of the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
around 1664, many Quakers
Quakers
from Rhode Island
Rhode Island
had already been pushed into the region by Puritans, while Episcopalian businessmen settled in Philadelphia
Philadelphia
and New York City. Welsh Quakers, Baptists
Baptists
and Methodists settled in the Welsh Tract
Welsh Tract
of Pennsylvania. While some Welsh colonists like Roger Williams, left to found Rhode Island, Anne Hutchinson
Anne Hutchinson
founded a seed settlement in New York. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
was not initially counted as part of New England, having been excluded from the New England Confederation, but later joined the Dominion of New England. Thus, the definition of the Middle Colonies sometimes changed and overlapped with Rhode Island's colonial boundaries. After joining the Dominion of New England, however, Rhode Island was permanently thought of as a New England colony. New York's initial possession of parts of Maine ensured a close relationship with other New England colonies like Vermont
Vermont
and a continuing New England influence in the colony.[20] Both William Penn
William Penn
and the Lords Baltimore encouraged Irish Protestant immigration, hoping they could obtain indentured servants to work on their estates and on colonial developments.[20] Often areas of the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
displayed prevalent Irish cultural influence.[20] Labor[edit] Labor was always in short supply. The most common solution was indentured servitude of young whites. These were teenagers in Britain or Germany whose parents arranged for them to work for families in the colonies until age 21, in exchange for their ocean passage. The great majority became farmers or farm wives.[26] By the mid-eighteenth century, African American slaves comprised 12% of the population of New York. Most were house servants in Manhattan, or farmworkers on Dutch estates.[27] Religion[edit] The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
were the religiously diverse part of the British Empire, with a high degree of tolerance. The Penn family were Quakers, and the colony became a favorite destination for that group as well as German Lutherans, German Reformed and numerous small sects such as Mennonites, Amish
Amish
and Moravians, not to mention Scotch Irish Presbyterians. The Dutch Reformed were strong in upstate New York and New Jersey, and Congregationalists were important in Long Island. The First Great Awakening
First Great Awakening
invigorated religiosity and helped stimulate the growth of Congregational, Methodist and Baptist churches. Non-British colonists included Dutch Calvinist, Swedish Lutherans, Palatine Mennonites, and the Amish.[28] See also[edit]

Mid-Atlantic New England Colonies Southern Colonies Chesapeake Colonies Colonial United States

Notes[edit]

^ Jaap Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America (2nd ed. Cornell University Press; 2009) ^ a b Turner (1948), 83. ^ a b c Kammen (1996), 71-72. ^ a b Streissguth (2001), 96. ^ a b John E. Pomfret, Colonial New Jersey: A History (1973) ^ Berkeley and Carteret (1664). ^ Gerlach (2002), 384. ^ a b Elson (1904), 148. ^ Skemp (1990), 192. ^ a b Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Society of Governors (1916), 180-181. ^ a b c Penn (1682). ^ a b c d e f Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
State History. ^ Jerome R. Reich, Leisler's Rebellion: A Study of Democracy in New York, 1664-1720 (1953) ^ a b c Faragher (1990), 106-108 ^ State of Delaware
Delaware
(A Brief History) (2007). ^ Ebeling (1979) ^ Edwin J. Perkins, The Economy of Colonial America (1988) ^ Greene (1997), 709. ^ Jensen (1968), 461-468. ^ a b c d Fischer (1992), 972. ^ Sung Bok Kim, "A New Look at the Great Landlords of Eighteenth-Century New York," William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 27, No. 4 (Oct., 1970), pp. 581-614 in JSTOR ^ Westerkamp (1998), 452. ^ A. G. Roeber, Palatines, Liberty, and Property: German Lutherans
Lutherans
in Colonial British America
British America
(1998) ^ James Graham Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History (1989) ^ Stephan Thermstrom, ed. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980) ^ Marcus Jernegan, Laboring and Dependent Classes in Colonial America, 1607-1783 (1931) ^ Ira Berlin and Leslie Harris, Slavery in New York Some work in the fields of plantations.(2005) ^ Patricia U. Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America (2003)

References[edit]

Bod, Wayne. "The Middle Colonies." in Louise A. Breen, ed., Converging Worlds: Communities and Cultures in Colonial America (2013): 219+. Bodle, Wayne, “The Mid-Atlantic and the American Revolution,” Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
History 82#2 (Summer 2015), 282–99. Channing, Edward (1908). A History of the United States: vol. 2, A Century of Colonial History, 1660-1760. MacMillan.  Doyle, John Andrew. English Colonies in America: Volume IV The Middle Colonies (1907) online Ebeling, Walter (1979). The Fruited Plain: The Story of American Agriculture. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03751-9. Retrieved 22 February 2010.  Faragher, John Mack, ed. (1990) The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. New York: Sachem Publishing Associates, Inc. Fischer, David Hackett (1992). Albion's Seed. Oxford UP. ISBN 0-19-506905-6.  Greene, Jack P (1997). "Political Partisanship in the Middle American Colonies: 1700-1776". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Cambridge: MIT Press. 27 (4).  Illick, Joseph E. Colonial Pennsylvania: A History (1976) Kammen, Michael (1996). Colonial New York: A History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510779-1.  Landsman, Ned. Crossroads of Empire: The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
in British North America (Johns Hopkins University Press; 2010) 248 pages Munroe, John A. Colonial Delaware: A History (2003) Penn, William (February 2, 1683). "Frame of Government of Pennsylvania". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 11, 2011.  " Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
State History: The Quaker Province: 1681-1776". Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2009.  Skemp, Sheila (1990). William Franklin: son of a patriot, servant of a king. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505745-7. Retrieved 4 May 2009.  Slavery: Growth in Colonial America. Detroit: UXL of the Gale Group. 2003.  State of Delaware
Delaware
(A Brief History). State of Delaware. 2007-01-21. Streissguth, Thomas (2001). New Jersey. Lucent Books.  Tanner, Edwin Platt (1908). The Province of New Jersey
New Jersey
1664-1738. New York City: Columbia University. Retrieved 4 May 2009.  Tiedemann, Joseph S. "A Tumultuous People: The Rage for Liberty and the Ambiance of Violence in the Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
in the Years Preceding the American Revolution," Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
History Volume 77, Number 4, Autumn 2010, pp. 387–431 in Project MUSE Tiedemann, Joseph S. “Interconnected Communities: The Middle Colonies on the Eve of the American Revolution,” Pennsylvania History, 76 (Winter 2009), 1–41. Turner, F.C. (1948). James II. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode.  "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009.  Westerkamp, Marilyn (1998). The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History. Houghton Mifflin. 

Primary sources[edit]

Gerlach, Larry (editor) (2002). " New Jersey
New Jersey
in the American Revolution, 1763-1783: A Documentary History" (PDF). New Jersey Historical Commission. Retrieved July 13, 2017. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

Historiography[edit]

Bodle, Wayne. "Themes and Directions in Middles Colonies Historiography, 1980–1994", William and Mary Quarterly, July 1994, Vol. 51 Issue 3, pp. 355–88. JSTOR 2947435. Bodle, Wayne. "The "Myth of the Middle Colonies" Reconsidered: The Process of Regionalization in Early America", Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 113, No. 4 (Oct. 1989), pp. 527–548. JSTOR 20092405. Greenberg, Douglas. "The Middle Colonies
Middle Colonies
in Recent American Historiography", William and Mary Quarterly, July 1979, Vol. 36 Issue 3, pp. 396–427. JSTOR 1943383.

v t e

The Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
of Colonial America

New England Colonies Middle Colonies Chesapeake Colonies Southern Colonies

Connecticut Delaware Georgia Maryland Massachusetts Bay New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Pennsylvania Rhode Island
Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations South Carolina Virginia

Early English colonial entities

Carolina East Jersey Maine New England New Haven Plymouth Saybrook

.