Profile of the Middle Colonies
The colony held an attraction in the old world for its almost utopian ideals of
Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about the Middle Colonies of Colonial America. America probably got it's notion of being a melting pot from the Middle Colonies. Unlike the more religiously monochromatic New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were made up of a variety of Europeans from all over the continent, living in a proximity they never had in the old world, as well as African slaves, and Native American tribes of various language groups. Hence there was a potpourri of religious perspectives as well, albeit mostly of the Christian persuasion. Although at this time these different denominations were considered distinctly if not radically different faiths. Because of their central location these colonies became trading hubs and the cities of New York and Philadelphia grew quickly. Also these colonies were the crossroads of ideas and they tempered the divergent thoughts and cultures of the Southern and New England colonies, becoming a philosophical middle ground as well. It was a place of relative tolerance and openness and has continued to be so still today.One particular religious movement, the Quakers benefited in this region. They settled in Pennsylvania because the tract of land was given as repayment of a debt by Charles the Second to William Penn, a noted Quaker. This colony was founded on religious freedom and acceptance as well as the idea that everyone was equal. The colony held an attraction in the old world for its almost utopian ideals of passivism, friendship, and equality. So, many skilled and educated people came here to settle. The Quakers had already established themselves in New Jersey, and New Sweden, which became Delaware, was in their realm of influence.Many ideals and ideas of this movement made it's way into the American psyche and Philadelphia was properly at the time a hub of political thought and activity as well as a major influence on the continent. The city of Philadelphia was quite an achievement at the time. Named after the Greek word for the love of brothers or friends, it was designed by William Penn in response to the over-crowded medieval cities of the old world. Not only did the founders desire and design a liberal society they planned wide streets, squares, and many open spaces that exemplified the openness to nature and innovation that would thrive in these colonies. It rightly became the first capitol and the epicenter of political activism that would form the United States. For excellent, insightful, and interesting information on history check us out at About dot com.