Presentation on theme: "THE MIDDLE COLONIES: PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, DELAWARE Commerce, Diversity, and Toleration."— Presentation transcript:
THE MIDDLE COLONIES: PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, DELAWARE Commerce, Diversity, and Toleration
Where are the Middle Colonies?
Economic Opportunity, Social Mobility The ability to work in a variety of fields – particularly in the merchant class or among skilled laborers – allowed for economic prosperity and social mobility in the Middle Colonies. Unlike the South, people born into poverty were often able to acquire skills and move up socially.
In the middle colonies, the principle crop grown was wheat. Small farmers grew huge crops for export. The wheat was used to feed the Caribbean islands, where so much of the land under cultivation was devoted to sugar cane that there was not enough acreage to grow food crops. Small Farmers, Exporting Wheat
Shipbuilding and the shipping trade were opportunities to make large profits in major cities like Philadelphia, Wilmington, or New York City. The constant export of wheat to the Caribbean – and the promise of return trips with cane sugar, molasses, and rum – insured that shipping companies would be profitable. Shipbuilding, Trade, and Centers of Commerce
Blacksmiths, silversmiths, coopers, cobblers, and cart wrights – all skilled positions which could command high wages. The ability to demand higher wages was essential to the establishment of the middle class in the colonies. Middle Class of Artisans and Skilled Workers
The Middle Colonies were a multi-national region. The Dutch had originally claimed New York. German and Scots-Irish immigrants dominated Pennsylvania. Delaware was once known as New Sweden, and Swedish immigration was common in PA, DE, and NJ. Each of these groups brought a distinctive religion, as well. English, Dutch, Swedish, German, Scots-Irish, …
In addition to the Church of England, Catholics, German Pietists, Quakers, and even non-Christian faiths emerged in the Middle Colonies. In this region, the extreme diversity of the population required that religious toleration prevail. Religious Diversity
There was practically no social mobility in the Southern Colonies. But in the Middle Colonies, it was possible to rise from extreme poverty to enjoy a prosperous lifestyle. The ability to rise from poor circumstances to prosperity is social mobility. Greater Social Mobility
A Quaker, William Penn sought to create a society which was founded on principles of equality for all men, religious freedom, and pacifism. After signing a treaty with the local Indians, Penn encouraged immigration from abroad, but remained devoted to the principles of religious toleration, equality, and pacifism. William Penn’s “Holy Experiment”
Land ownership in Pennsylvania and most of the other Middle Colonies was relatively easy to achieve. In order to vote, men had to be Christian and own at least 50 acres of land in PA. Since many artisans and skilled laborers made their living without owning large tracts of land, they were prevented from voting. Land Ownership and Voting Rights
In all of the Middle Colonies, the idea of religious toleration was celebrated. Not only was each denomination allowed to practice it’s own faith; but also, tolerance of other’s faiths was established as a social norm. Religious Freedom