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Americans from the Delaware tribe lived in New Jersey when Europeans
explorers first arrived.
They built villages along the Delaware River, spending most of
their time hunting and planting corn, beans, and other crops for food.
da Verrazano was the first to explore the coast of New Jersey in 1524
In 1609, Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River and claimed New
Jersey and New York for the Dutch.
Many other Dutch explorers followed.
In 1614, Cornelius May discovered the Delaware River.
1630, Dutch settlement of New Jersey began along the Hudson River.
Due to Indian attacks, the first permanent town, Bergen, wasn’t
established until 1660.
Swedish fur traders began settling southern New Jersey in 1638,
but were quickly forced out of the area by the Dutch.
gained control of New Jersey in 1664, when soldiers arrived from
colonies along the Atlantic Ocean.
Many settlers arrived as land was sold inexpensively with the
promise of political and religious freedom.
In 1674, a Quaker colony arrived.
Two years later, the colony was divided into West and East
After land disputes caused rioting in the 1690s, England again
united the two colonies into one colony.
the 1760s, colonists began protesting high taxation and trade
restrictions by England.
In 1774, colonists from New Jersey burned a supply of tea from a
British ship in what became known as the Greenwich Tea Burning.
As the Revolutionary War began in 1775, New Jersey’s loyalties
were split; many fought for independence while others fought for
important battles were fought in New Jersey, most importantly the
battles of Trenton in 1776, Princeton in 1777, and Monmouth in 1778.
George Washington and his troops spent two winters in Morristown.
New Jersey also was home to two temporary national capitals in
Princeton and Trenton.
1776, New Jersey claimed independence from Great Britain.
Two years later it adopted the Articles of Confederation.
Finally, on Dec. 18, 1787, New Jersey became the 3rd state of the
Union as it ratified the U.S. Constitution.
Trenton became the capital in 1790.
Jersey became a massive industrial center during the early 1800s.
Trenton, Camden, Passaic, Jersey City and Newark all became major
Mills in Paterson created textiles and later specialized in silk.
Industries increased as transportation expanded by railroad and
Thousands came from Europe to work in the factories.
many sympathized with the South, New Jersey soldiers fought for the
Union during the Civil War (1861-1865).
After the war, several large corporations moved to New Jersey.
The state then passed several laws that restricted business
monopolies and provided workers’ compensation and a public utilities
World War I (1914-1918), thousands of soldiers left for Europe from the
New Jersey factories made chemicals.
Soldiers trained at Fort Dix.
When the Great Depression hit in 1929, factories closed and many
lost their jobs.
World War II (1939-1945) helped the economy begin to recover.
Factories opened to build airplane engines and warships.
Electronic and chemical industries expanded greatly during this
the war, New Jersey’s population shifted away from the cities to rural
The New Jersey Turnpike was completed in 1952, linking the state
to New York City and Philadelphia.
The Garden State Parkway soon followed in 1955, running along the
New Jersey coastline.
stricken and overcrowded cities led to riots during the 1960s.
New Jersey’s state government started rebuilding inner cities.
Several bonds were issued to provide money for better government
The Pinelands National Reserve was established to protect plants,
animals, land, and water.
1969, a state lottery was approved to raise money for education.
Several schools were built or expanded.
Gambling casinos were also allowed in 1977, to raise money for
the disabled and the elderly.