The Colony of New Jersey in the 18th Century
Colonialism played a significant role in the development of many regions worldwide. The colonizers exercised power over another country by subjugating people and taking control of their political and economic territories. The result of such subjugation could be beneficial or disadvantageous. There were colonies which were able to take advantage of the colonial practice while there were others who were did not benefit from such act. Moreover, immigrants were a common fixture in new colonies since colonialism involved the transfer of a certain population in a new territory, which later on became permanent settlers in that colony (Kohn, 2006).
Suppose I am an 18th century immigrant, securing a permanent settlement in the then New Jersey colony is perhaps an opportunity for me to gain my own land at a low price and to obtain a good paying job. New Jersey is located between Hudson and Delaware Rivers. It was granted by the Duke of York during 1664 to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Both men established the capital, Elizabethtown, which guaranteed settlers to have liberty in terms of trade, assembly, religion, and conscience. Because of the said rights, it would be preferable for an immigrant like me to settle in the said province. After the province was officially divided into two areas, the East Jersey and West Jersey, New Jersey grew dramatically in different perspectives (History of New Jersey, 2009).
The large settlements and the establishment of various congregations catapulted the region’s cultural diversity and eventually became a middle-class society that is economically equal. Likewise, New Jersey is an important industrial base for areas like agriculture, iron and glassware making as well as in transportation. The strong farming background contributed in the increase of the region’s population. Traditional agriculture which produces abundant fruit trees is a good source of income, while its well cultivated gardens are landmarks that attract many immigrants.
The industry of mining also gave New Jersey an edge over the other colonies. Copper and iron are just few of the minerals that can be found in New Jersey that contribute to the region’s commercial industry. In addition, since the region is situated between Philadelphia and New York, transportation is needed in order to transport goods between the two cities. The introduction of the Jersey wagon, which is a large vehicle with a cloth top, can be considered as America’s first indigenous vehicle. Not only is the wagon used for product transportation, it is also used as a stage wagon and a vehicle for transporting people (Lazzerni, 2006).
Apparently, the colony of New Jersey in the 18th century offers different opportunities for many immigrants. With the region’s economic, religious and political freedom at that time, it is easy to say that permanent settlement in New Jersey would be a good choice. Likewise, the legitimacy of colonialism in New Jersey during the said era provided a positive impact in the advancement of the region in various perspectives.
History of New Jersey. (2009). How stuff works? Retrieved February 5, 2009 from
Kohn, M. (09 May 2006). Colonialism. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved
February 5, 2009 from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/colonialism/.
Lazzerni, R. (2006). The history of New Jersey. Kindred Trails. Retrieved February 5, 2009