The Foundations of American Nationality

By Evarts Boutell Greene | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
EXPANSION IN THE MIDDLE PROVINCES

AFTER the reunion of the two Jerseys in 1701, there were four provinces between New England and Maryland. New York and New Jersey were royal governments while Pennsylvania and Delaware were governed by William Penn. The population of these colonies was still very small. In 1989, there were perhaps 40,000 in all, of whom about half were in New York. Leaving the political boundaries out of account for a moment, these early settlements fell mainly within two circles, each with a radius of about fifty miles. One circle, with the southern tip of Manhattan as its center, included most of the inhabitants of New York and East New Jersey. The other, similarly drawn from the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, took in most of the settlers in Pennsylvania, West New Jersey, and Delaware. Outside of these two circles, centering about New York city and Philadelphia respectively, the chief outposts were Albany on the Hudson, the eastern part of Long Island, which had much in common with New England, and a few settlements on Delaware Bay.

The Middle colonies in 1689.

During the first half of the eighteenth century, this section grew faster than any other, until in 1760 the total was about 400,000 ten times the figure for 1689. Pennsylvania forged rapidly ahead of New York and now stood with Massachusetts and Virginia as one of the three largest continental colonies. The two central regions about the cities of New York and Philadelphia still had a large proportion

Rapid Expansion.

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