THE MIDDLE COLONIES
The middle colonies were made by the Dutch
and Swedish to expand trade, earn profit from land sales, and receive
religious freedom. These colonies consist of present day New York,
New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. They are called the middle
colonies since they were located between the southern colonies
and New England.
The settlers came to America to practice their religion freely
without persecution from England- many of the people became Quakers in the colonies. Quakers were Protestant reformers, and they believed that all people are equal in God's sight. The Quakers refused to pay taxes and serve in the army. They influenced the middle colonies by their beliefs and actions toward the government and church.
Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn when he was given a charter for that area in 1680. The land was named Penn's Woodlands, after William Penn, and was later called Pennsylvania.
Delaware was likewise founded by William Penn in 1638, when he requested the land from the Duke of York. Unlike Pennsylvania, Delaware was led by Swedish settlers and inhabited by the Lower Countries. Both Delaware and Pennsylvania were founded to expand trade.
New Jersey was founded by the leaders George Carteret and John Berkeley in 1664. The colonies were established mainly to make a profit from land sales and to gain religious and political freedom.
New York was founded in 1624 by Peter Minuit when the rivalry between England and the Netherlands brought war in Europe. It was named New York in honor of the Duke of York, who granted land to explorers for the Americas.
The Middle Colonies were also referred to as the breadbasket colonies because they exported so much grain. Because of the mild weather and long harvest season, the middle colonies produced enough crops to make a profit- something the other colonies could not do. The townspeople all did the work- even the children. The women really did a lot of work. They made clothes, prepared food and also worked outside. Children shared the labors.
The colonists in the middle colonies worked hard to make their colony a success.