Middle Colonies

Middle Colonies - History of 'The Middle Colonies' in the Colonial Period!

What Were the Middle Colonies?

The Colonies that were known as the Middle Colonies were Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvanian and New Netherlands which would become New York after the British conquered the Dutch colony.

Delaware Colony

The Delaware colony was constantly changing hands between the Dutch and Swedes Read more about the Delaware Colony >>

New Jersey Colony

New Jersey Colony became one of the famous British 13 colonies Read more about the New Jersey Colony >>

New York Colony

New York Colony - History of 'New York Colony' in the Colonial Period! Read more about the New York Colony >>

Pennsylvania Colony

The Colony and Province of Pennsylvania was set up and ruled over by William Penn Read more about the Pennsylvania Colony >>

List of Middle Colonies

  • New Amsterdam ‘1626’ – Became New York ‘1664’.
  • New Jersey ‘1664’.
  • Pennsylvania ‘1682’.
  • Delaware ‘1704’.

The middle colonies was the area known as the ‘Mid-Atlantic States’ of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The middle colonies were located located between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies.

If we add what are known as ‘Chesapeake Colonies‘ as well we get all the Middle Colonies!

The Chesapeake Colonies were all located around the Chesapeake Bay. The were the Colony and Dominion of Virginia – which became the ‘Commonwealth of Virginia’ and the Province of Maryland – which later became ‘Maryland’.

History of the Middle Colonies Fast Facts

1609 – The Dutch East India Company employ Henry Hudson to Explore the area.
1609 – Hudson Explores the regions around New York and Delaware Bay.
1610 – Dutch explore and Charter the area in greater detail until around 1616 .
1613 – The First Dutch settlements are established.
1614 – New Netherlands’ appears on Maps of the Region.
1638 – New Sweden is established in the region around Delaware Bay.
1655 – The Dutch reclaim the area from Sweden.
1664 – British troops take large parts of the region from the Dutch.
1667 – Britain changes name from ‘New Amsterdam’ to ‘New York’ after the ‘Duke of York’.
1673 – The Dutch briefly re-take the area but Britain regains control.
1674 – The Treaty of Westminster is signed bringing to an end the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
1675 – The Third Anglo-Dutch War Ends.

The 13 Colonies were all British Colonies and the Middle Colonies were a subset of the 13 British colonies.

The thirteen colonies Included

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

Interesting Fact about the Middle Colonies

Did You know that William Penn the Famous Writer and Quaker was the person who founded Pennsylvania colony and the Province of – ‘Penn’ ‘Sylvania’ – Sylvania means “forest land”, and comes from the Classical Latin word silva (forest).

Mid Atlantic States Facts

Along with the Chesapeake Colonies, this area now roughly makes up the Mid-Atlantic states. Much of the area was part of New Netherlands until the British 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 known as ‘The Province of New York’.

The Duke of York and the King of England would later grant others ownership of the land which would become the Province of New Jersey and the Province of Pennsylvania.

The Delaware Colony later separated from Pennsylvania, which was founded by William Penn.

What Made the Middle Colonies so Popular with for New Settlers

How did the Middle Colonies became Prosperous

The Middle Colonies were a heavily forested region, hence the name Penn (William Penn) – Sylvania (Forest Land) which provided a great supply of wood for the lumber and shipbuilding industries. Land was cheaper to buy for the settlers as well and the iron and textile industries based in Pennsylvania were also fairly successful.

The Middle Colonies had very good fertile soil and the area became a major exporter of wheat and many different grains.

Religious Freedom and People of the Middle Colonies

The Middle colonies were a good mix of people from different countries that brought their own unique ideas and history to the area, people from England, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany all settled in the middle colonies.

This mix of people brought with it different cultures, attitudes and religious beliefs. The Settlers which included Protestants and other religions, found the freedom to express themselves in the middle colonies as there was the freedom of religion written into their laws. This freedom of religion was not possible in their native countries and surprisingly even other ‘British Colonies’ did not grant this freedom.