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The first people to live on the land now known as New Jersey were the Delaware Indians. They lived here starting at least 10, years ago. Anywhere from 8, to 20, Delaware Indians lived in the area when the first Europeans arrived. Their name means "original people" or "genuine people. Though they were considered one tribe, the Delaware Indians didn't act as one unified group. Instead, they lived in small communities made up mostly of extended family members. The men would hunt or fish during the day.
Depending on the season they might search for clams off the Jersey shore or hunt in the woods. The women worked in the gardens. They grew squash, beans, sweet potatoes, and corn. Europeans called them the Delaware Indians. He sailed along the coast and anchored off Sandy Hook.
Although Hudson was British, he worked for the Netherlands, so he claimed the land for the Dutch. It was called New Netherlands. Small trading colonies sprang up where the present towns of Hoboken and Jersey City are located. Bergen, founded inwas New Jersey's first permanent European settlement. In the Dutch lost New Netherlands when the British took control of the land and added it to their colonies.
They divided the land in half and gave control to two proprietors: Sir George Carteret who was in charge of the east side and Lord John Berkley who was in charge of the west side. Carteret had been governor of the Isle of Jersey. Berkeley and Carteret sold the land at low prices and allowed the settlers to have political and religious freedom. As a result, New Jersey was more ethnically diverse than many other colonies. Primarily a rural society, the colony grew to have aboutpeople.
Eventually, governing power was transferred back to England. For many years, New Jersey shared a royal governor with New York. The governorship was finally split in when New Jersey got its own governor, Lewis Morris. In the years before the Revolution, anti-British feelings spread throughout the state. About one-third of the people living here supported the rebels, one-third supported England, and one-third remained neutral.
In New Jersey declared itself an independent state and ed the colonial side in the Revolutionary War. New Jersey was an important state during the Revolutionary War because of its location near the center of the thirteen colonies and between New York City and Philadelphia. Because of this, more battles were fought in New Jersey than in any other state.
The Americans and British fought battles, both large and small, here. Many people consider the Battle of Trenton to be the turning point of the Revolution.
Washington and his troops spent the rest of the winter in Morristown, and the United States was well on its way to victory. They thought no one would fight during winter, so the British and Hessian soldiers in New Jersey divided into camps to stay until spring. Trenton was considered the most desirable post, and it went to the Hessian soldiers as a reward for their good service.
The Hessians used the Old Barracks in Trenton as a headquarters. The British didn't chase Washington across the Delaware River because it was full of blocks of ice that made it dangerous to cross. The Hessians didn't patrol along the river because they thought Washington couldn't cross back. But in December, Washington and his men decided to cross. Washington's men had to push away blocks of ice from the boat's path while paddling hard to fight the strong current.
Once across, Washington decided to separate and surprise the Hessians in Trenton from two sides. The plan worked, and the patriots captured prisoners while only four American soldiers were wounded. InNew Jersey became the third state to ratify the U. Constitution and the first state to the Bill of Rights.
InTrenton officially became the state capital of New Jersey. William Livingston became New Jersey's first state governor. New Jersey grew and prospered during the early s. New factories sprung up throughout the state. Paterson became a textile center and later became known for producing trains and silk.
Trenton produced clay products, iron, and steel. Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, and Passaic all became major manufacturing centers in the s. New canals and railro helped industry grow. Europeans came by the thousands to New Jersey to work in the factories. South Jersey remained rural for the most part, growing the crops to feed the urban areas nearby. Railro were important in helping the South Jersey seashore areas expand.
InNew Jersey's population of nearly half a million and the industries in which most of those people worked were concentrated in the north. During the Civil War, New Jersey provided 31 regiments groups of soldiersincluding cavalry soldiers on horseback and infantry soldiers on foot. Over 25, New Jersey men fought for the Union, and New Jersey soldiers participated in almost every major Eastern battle. After the Civil War, the industrial revolution was under way, and New Jersey continued to grow.
More factories opened, and cities like Trenton, Newark, Paterson, and Camden got bigger as immigrants from Europe came to work in them. Railro were laid to connect the cities and to transport materials.
At first, most immigrants came from Ireland and Germany. Later, people came from Italy and from countries throughout Eastern Europe. In half the state's population was born or had parents who were born outside the United States. As city populations grew, farm populations shrank. With so many people working in factories, issues like child labor and protection for workers became important. The popularity of these reforms brought Woodrow Wilson to power as governor in He left office in to become President of the United States and is the only New Jersey governor to become president.
As both governor and president Wilson supported welfare reforms to protect workers and to keep companies from becoming too big. The state's economic expansion had a lot to do with the genius of its inventors. Thomas Edison is probably most famous. Among his thousands of inventions, including the light bulb, Edison helped develop the motion picture while working in New Jersey. Fort Lee became the motion picture capital of the world in the early s. Unfortunately, the Great Depression of the s hit New Jersey hard, bringing massive unemployment.
The state rebounded during World War II in the s as New Jersey's electronics and chemical industries began large-scale operations. In the mids, people began moving back into the rural areas from the overcrowded cities.
A of transportation projects helped better connect New Jersey. The history of air travel has close ties to New Jersey. Newark Airport expanded its passenger and cargo services in In the s, it became one of the world's busiest airports. Today New Jersey is recognized for its present as well as its past. While remembering its proud history, New Jersey will continue to be the setting for many of the great events of the future.
A Short History of New Jersey. Revolution In the years before the Revolution, anti-British feelings spread throughout the state.Trenton New Jersey looking for a decent girl
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