The Atlantic Coastal Plain is split into the Mid-Atlantic and the South Atlantic Coastal Plains. The Mid-Atlantic states were developed more heavily than their southern counterparts, while the South Atlantic states developed more slowly due to their agricultural foundation.
The Mid-Atlantic region has been developed heavily due to both shipping and trade since the Colonial era. Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to explore the region since the Norse, but the region was later explored by Henry Hudson, who claimed it for the Dutch in 1609. Jamestown, Virginia, was the first English colony in the region, but it did not last. The first European settlers were mostly farmers, traders and fishermen, but the region would eventually become known for its heavy industry. Large cities developed along the region's major ports, such as New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The economy of the South Atlantic region was heavily based on cotton and tobacco production, which for a long time was dependent on slave labor. In turn, the region remained considerably more rural than its northern counterpart, although cities did develop early on, such as Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. Much of the region was damaged considerably during the Civil War, with Reconstruction lasting from 1863 to 1877. For most of the South Atlantic states' history, the population was split between Caucasians and African-Americans. The population in modern times is much more diverse, with an influx of Caribbean and Hispanic people.