The Middle Colonies had warm summers and cool winters and soil well-suited to growing crops. The mild climate combined with the fertile earth allowed small farms to flourish, and the Middle Colonies eventually became known as the Bread Basket.
The people of the Middle Colonies exported wheat, oats, barley and rye to New York and Philadelphia. There was also an abundance of iron ore, which was shipped to England. They also manufactured iron products, such as plows, tools, kettles and nails. The Middle Colonies also raised livestock and exported beef and pork. Philadelphia and New York became well-known trading centers, with Philadelphia in particular becoming an important shipbuilding center.
Farms in the Middle Colonies were anywhere between 50 and 150 acres with a house, barn, yard and fields. Some farms also had flour mills that ground wheat into flour before sending it to England.
The four colonies – New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey – were dominated by non-English European settlers. Because of this, no single religion was able to dominate the area, and attitudes grew to be more liberal, with an emphasis on religious freedom. The Middle Colonies were made up of Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans and Jews, in sharp contrast to the Northern Colonies, which were extremely Puritan.