Formation of the Middle Colonies:
The middle colonies were formed by joining the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware colonies. Henry Hudson was one of the first people to visit what would later be called the middle colonies in 1609. After the discovery was made, the Dutch colonized what they called New Netherlands, later renamed New York. There was a large surge of people all joining in the middle colonies which is what I believe was so special about the area, it was a place that allowed the sharing of ideas and culture and that was not an easy thing to find at the time.
William Penn was born in 1644 as a Quaker. In london at the time, his religious beliefs were not widely accepted. King Charles II owed William a large sum of money. Instead of being payed back in money, William Penn was granted the Pennsylvania colonies in march of 1681. The Penn family was a very prominent and important family. None of them were Quakers except for William, so they were willing to do anything to remove him from their presence. So they sent home off to the New World. Shortly there after, in April of 1681, the first laws and government rules were written up. William Penn named them The First Frame of Government. The government system was one of the first tries at a citizen election system.
Constitutions in the Middle Colonies:
The Delaware colony was founded by Peter Minuit in 1938. The Delaware colony was named after the Delaware river which was first explored in 1915. Like the Pennsylvania constitution, The Delaware colony believed in an election system. They were also very passionate about religious an cultural freedom. The constitution for the Delaware colonies reads,
“ART. 26. No person hereafter imported into this State from Africa ought to be held in slavery under any presence whatever; and no negro, Indian, or mulatto slave ought to be brought into this State, for sale, from any part of the world.” - Delaware Colony Constitution
There is was a similar act in each one of the colonies constitution, this common belief of Democracy and freedom brought the Middle Colonies together. This constitutional belief that slavery should and will not be permitted comes into play many times in U.S history including the Civil War. The original Middle Colonies belief that all men are created equal is seen today in the Declaration of Independence. The Colonies that form the Middle Colonies all had a section speaking about equality and prohibiting the enslavement of any man or women. These beliefs were also spoken about in the Pennsylvania Constitution:
"That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety." - Pennsylvania Colony Constitution.
The Declaration of the thirteen colonies
The thirteen colonies all based their constitution off the original beliefs that the Middle Colonies had. The Middle Colonies paved the way for a constitution that believed in the equality and freedom of every man and woman.
During the time the Middle Colonies were being established, the natives were also thriving in the area. They were living without the fear of newcomers taking their land. Rather than forcing them out, the colonists established boundaries. The colonists had come from many different places and all joined together in the middle colonies along side the natives living there at the time.
The Dutch inhabited most of the New Netherlands (New York) colonies in 1626. The New Netherlands colony was the first of the middles colonies to be established. New Jersey was the first of the Middle Colonies to be established by Quakers in specific.