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Middle Colonies

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Katarina Bentley

on 15 October 2014

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Transcript of Middle Colonies

The "Breadbasket"
The Middle Colonies had fertile soil like the Southern Colonies as well as a longer growing season than the New England Colonies. This made the Middle Colonies almost ideal for farming, including wheat, fruits, and vegetables. Farmers could transport their goods using wide rivers like the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. The Middle Colonies produced so much food that they were known as the "Breadbasket" of Colonial America. Some examples were barley, wheat, corn, oats, and rye.
Founding of the Middle Colonies
The Diversity of the Middle Colonies
The Middle Colonies were more diverse than both the Southern Colonies and the New England Colonies. They neither relied completely on agriculture nor did they rely completely on manufacturing. The Middle Colonies produced plenty of wheat and grain, so much so that Pennsylvania eventually became known as “America’s Breadbasket”. The Middle Colonies also ended up manufacturing many different products and, as a result, produced quite a bit of iron, flour, and paper, although not in such large quantities as they produced wheat. Not only that, but the people who ended up populating the Middle Colonies came from a very diverse set of backgrounds. There were people from England, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and France. All of these people had different skills, and so the Middle Colonies as a whole was able to take advantage this and make itself efficient in many different fields of work. Not only were the colonists from different countries of origin, but they also represented many different sects of Christianity, such as the Quakers, the Mennonites, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians. Thus many different ideas from all over Europe ended up in the Middle Colonies.
William Penn's "Holy Experiment"
In 1682, William Penn arrived in what he named Pennsylvania. The capitol of his colony was Philadelphia, which means "City of Brotherly Love." Penn made pamphlets in different languages and distributed them in England and the rest of Europe to attract settlers. Settlers from Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, Wales, Sweden and Switzerland soon began to arrive. To Penn, his colony (Pennsylvania) was a "holy experiment." Creating a colony in which people from different Christian religious backgrounds could live peacefully together was his goal. As a Quaker himself, Penn could have been expected to extend his invitation to his fellow Quakers, but he instead extended his invitation to any Christian living in Europe. Penn wrote his Frame of Government for Pennsylvania that same year. This granted the colony an elected assembly, and provided for freedom of religion.
Manufacturing and Iron
Manufacturing helped shape the Middle Colonies, though not as much as agriculture did. They had paper mills, saw mills, and textile factories. Many silversmiths and blacksmiths would forge iron tools and sell them both inside and outside of the Middle Colonies. Many Germans were skilled at making such items, so they set up many shops and mills, mostly in Pennsylvania. The Middle Colonies produced plows, tools, iron ore blocks, kettles, nails, paper, clocks and locks. The Middle Colonies exported fur, cloth, brick, paper, lumber, wheat, iron bars and some cattle. In time, Philadelphia became the manufacturing center of the colonies. Rivers that ran throughout the colonies were very important to trade in the colonies. People who wanted to trade could go to markets and buy and sell goods. The rivers also made it easy to trade with Native Americans (Mostly furs). Iron was abundant in the middle colonies so people mined for it to make profits. Also, trees were abundant so they made saw mills to cut the logs up to make lumber. The abundance of lumber and iron made tool making (usually by silversmiths or blacksmiths) a very popular occupation. One of the most common tools was the scythe because of the high amount of wheat. The scythe was a simple tool to cut wheat. The popular jobs in the Middle Colonies were tailors, brick makers, silversmiths and farmers.
The Middle Colonies
In conclusion, our group thinks these points best represent and cover the important events of the Middle Colonies in Colonial America: The backgrounds of the settlers, the manufactured goods, the wheat and other products the farmers grew, and Penn's so-called "holy experiment". So, how did the colonists develop their own way of life with strong roots in the past? They decided to have a representative government, they had more religious toleration and they most importantly wanted to be free. Most settlers kept strong roots from the past by retaining their religious, ethnic and cultural traditions. But the settlers developed their own way of life through the rich resources of the new land. In the new land the settlers were able to prosper by the merit of their own work. In the new land they were free from the noble caste system which had limited their options in the old world. In the colonies people had a chance and especially since the middle colonies provided farming (easy to get land), more religious toleration (people felt welcomed) and other job opportunities in manufacturing.
The Middle Colonies were made up of four colonies: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a Quaker, so that people could be safe from religious persecution. Delaware's first settlers were from Sweden, then Netherlands took control in the 1650's, but they lost it to England. New York was originally called New Netherland. Then King Charles II granted the land to his brother, James II (also known as the Duke of York), who it was named after. New Jersey was established in 1665 when it split from southern New York. It was first a proprietary colony but later in 1702, it got a new charter stating that it was a royal colony. Three important rivers in the Middle Colonies were the Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna Rivers, which flowed throughout the Middle Colonies. These rivers made it easy to trade fur with the Native Americans and also helped give efficient energy to different types of mills.
The Middle Colonies
Abhimanyu Banerjee
Lennon Barrow
Katarina Bentley
Col Stinson

-Diversity of the Middle Colonies
(Abhimanyu Banerjee)

-William Penn's "Holy Experiment"
(Katarina Bentley)

-Manufacturing, Economy and Iron in the Middle Colonies
(Col Stinson)

-Agriculture of the Middle Colonies
(Lennon Barrow)
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