Delaware became a permanent settlement in 1638. The colony was founded by Peter Minuit, who named the colony New Sweden. It functioned as part of the New Netherlands. The Dutch acquired New Netherlands after battling the Swedes in 1655. The English acquired the colony from Denmark in 1664.
Following its acquisition, New Sweden was renamed Delaware. Until 1703, Delaware was part of the Pennsylvania colony, as William Penn wanted his colony to have ocean access. It was governed by Pennsylvania until the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Delaware became the first of the former colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787.