The Middle Colonies

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What were the problems of the pre-Revolutionary American middle colonies?  

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Some of the middle colonies’ advantages proved to be challenges as well. The colonies of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware are notable for their religious diversity. Unlike continental Europe, people of various faiths, such as Quakers, Mennonites, Lutherans, Dutch Calvinists, and Presbyterians, lived in close proximity. The presence of so many religions made it impossible for just one faith to become dominant. This diversity led to greater religious tolerance than was seen in the firmly Puritan New England region, for example. However, this melting pot of religions also forced the middle colonies to confront the complexities of granting religious freedom to all.

Additionally, the advantage of having fertile farm land in the region bolstered the middle colonies’ economy. However, colonists had to meet the challenge of making the best use of the climate and land. The Northern part of the region, New York and New Jersey, was better suited to manufacturing because of the shorter growing season and cooler temperatures, while Pennsylvania and Delaware were better suited for farming. Thus, the middle colonies had to face the challenge of having a diversified economy.

Another problem was interaction with Native American tribes. At first, relations were friendly with the nearby Iroquois and Delaware tribes, who welcomed trade. However, colonists expanded westward as their population grew, encroaching upon Native American land. Later, during the French and Indian War, Native American tribes allied with the French against the British and attacked colonists throughout Pennsylvania.  

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The middle colonies faced several problems. One problem was the threat of attack by the Native Americans. Some of the Native Americans viewed the arrival of the Europeans as a threat and attacked their settlements. The people of the middle colonies always lived in fear of being attacked by the Native Americans.

Another problem these people faced was getting to know the land where the colonies were established. The land in the northern part of the middle colonies wasn’t as good for farming as the land in the southern part of the middle colonies. They had to learn which economic activities worked best in different areas of the colonies.

There was always the threat of difficult weather conditions. The winters could be extremely cold while the summers could be very hot. Extreme weather events also could harm the crops that the farmers were growing. There were times when the people of the middle colonies were not able to successfully deal with such extreme weather conditions.

There were many problems the people of the middle colonies had to overcome in order to successfully live in this area.

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