Delaware Colony was originally part of Pennsylvania and was ceded to the state in 1682. William Penn hoped to join the two colonies to give Pennsylvania access to the ocean, and Delaware was given its own assembly in 1704.
The first settlement by Europeans occurred in 1631 when the Dutch arrived in the area. A settlement was established at Fort Christina in 1638 by Sweden. Delaware became part of New York in 1664 when it was ceded to the English, and it remained part of New York until 1682 when it was given to William Penn. Though it gained some independence in 1704, Pennsylvania continued to govern the colony up until the end of the Revolutionary War. Delaware takes its name from Thomas West, 12th baron de la Warr; the name became official in 1776.