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What were the Middle Colonies?

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Quick Answer

The Middle Colonies were Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. These states comprised the middle region of the United States in pre-Revolutionary War America.

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The early settlers of the Middle Colonies heavily relied on farming and the fur industry for their economic survival. Fertile soil was brought by glaciers from the North. Being located farther south, the planting season was much longer, bringing with it ample sunlight and rain. The farmers used a convenient mode of transportation by traveling down the wide rivers of Delaware and Hudson, to carry their goods to the markets where their harvests were sold. They also had access to wildlife and often hunted and trapped wild animals.

The Middle Colonies were more diverse compared to the New England colonies and the South colonies. The English, Swedes, French, Dutch, Germans, Finns and other ethnic European groups lived in proximity to each others. The region was also settled by Native Americans, such as the Algonquin and the Iroquois tribes. Aside from being a melting pot of various ethnicities, these mid-states had an assortment of religious institutions. There were a number of Lutherans, Quakers, Presbyterians, Dutch Calvinists and Mennonites, which prevented one faith from prevailing over another. The Middle Colonies were not as cohesive as the other colonies because of ethnic and religious differences.

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