Delaware History

Abbreviated as DE by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Delaware is known as The First State (the first state) since the 7 of December of 1787, he became the first of the 13 original states to ratify the United States Constitution and joined the Union. The name of the state comes from the Delaware River, as it is located on the banks of this river and its estuary, the Delaware Bay. The origin of the name Delaware, meanwhile, comes from Thomas West Tercero, Baron de La Warr, who was Governor of Virginia between 1610 and 1618.


The Lenni Lenape tribe, later known to the British as the Delaware, occupied the current state territory before the arrival of European settlers. As their settlements began to encroach on their lands, these towns gradually moved into Pennsylvania, Ohio, and eventually beyond the Mississippi River.

From 1609 – 1787

The first known European to visit Delaware was the English explorer Henry Hudson, who located the Delaware River in 1609. A year later, when the English adventurer Samuel Argall entered the bay, he named the region after the Governor of Virginia, Lord De La Warr. The first permanent settlement, Fort Christina (now Wilmington), was founded in 1638 by a group of Swedish settlers. The region was an area of ​​commercial competition for Swedish and Dutch interests. Later, former members of the Dutch West Indies Company encouraged the King of Sweden, Gustav Adolf II, to colonize it; the resulting colony was called New Sweden. Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Holland considered it a commercial rival, so he occupied New Sweden in 1655 and renamed it New Amstel. The Dutch were followed by the English, who took these colonies in 1664. The continuing shortage of labor led to the use of slaves, generating a lucrative trade that increased until it was banned by the state in 1776. In 1776, at the start of the American Revolution, officers from all three Delaware counties met at New Castle., in order to organize a state government. The state was created, and the name Delaware, which was already widely used to designate the region, was officially adopted. The same year, Delaware adopted its first Constitution, with John McKinly as its first governor.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Delaware, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Delaware.

The only armed conflict between the Americans and the British that occurred exclusively within Delaware was recorded on a bridge. The flag of the United States (Stars and Stripes) is believed to have been raised in battle for the first time in this conflict. Delaware was the scene of only one battle during the War of Independence, the Battle of Brandywine, on September 11, 1777, in Delaware and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where American troops tried unsuccessfully to prevent British troops from continuing their advance against Philadelphia The next day the British occupied Wilmington, captured John McKinly, and occupied the city for a month, although they maintained control of the Delaware River for most of the rest of the war, hindering state trade and encouraging settlers loyal to the British, especially in the county of Sussex, carrying out various acts of sabotage and attacks against American troops and militias. Various military raids by Delaware’s second governor, Caesar Rodney, kept settlers loyal to the British in check.

The 22 of February of 1779, Delaware ratified the Articles of Confederation. Seven years later, on December 7, 1787, Delaware ratified the Constitution of the United States of America, thus being the first American state to do so, and therefore officially the first state in the Union.

From 1812 – 1980

During the Anglo-American War of 1812, British ships patrolled the waters of Delaware Bay, shelled the port of Lewes, and carried out raids along the Chesapeake coast. At that time, the arms industry was already of great importance to the state’s economy, largely due to the gunpowder factory built near Wilmington in 1802 by the French-American industrialist Eleuthère Irénée Du Pont de Nemours. This was the origin of Delaware’s most important industry, the Du Pont Chemical Company.

Increasingly oriented to trade with the north, Delaware remained within the Union during the American Civil War, despite the fact that many of the state’s residents were Confederate sympathizers. After this war, the natives of the state abandoned their settlements and, in their place, groups of Irish and German Catholics settled. After World War II, the racial structure of the population altered with the settlement of the black population in urban areas, and the Delaware economy benefited from the expansion of the chemical, automotive, petrochemical, synthetic, and banking industries during the following years, for which entered a phase of economic prosperity. Rail lines were built, the state’s agricultural sector prospered, and Delaware began a phase of rapid industrialization. In 1897, Delaware adopted its current Constitution. The phase of economic prosperity lasted until the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Depression caused a great economic recession in the state, causing indebtedness, suspension of payments and closing of factories and commercial institutions, unemployment and misery. These effects would diminish throughout the end of the decade, thanks to socio-economic measures, such as assistance programs and public assistance programs. The Second World War ended the economic recession, and Delaware would continue to industrialize rapidly, with the construction of various petrochemical industries in the state, until the decade of 1960.

In 1980, a new amendment to the Delaware Constitution limited government spending, which could not exceed 95% of the government budget. In 1981, the Financial Center Development Act was passed, in response to Delaware’s slump in economic growth during the late 1970s.. The decree significantly reduced the state’s tax regulation on financial companies, in terms of the interest that companies could collect from their clients. This attracted several financial institutions to Delaware, which settled mainly in Wilmington. This created large numbers of jobs, keeping the state’s unemployment rate low, spending on welfare for the needy, and keeping the state’s population growth high. With more income generated through taxes (primarily from income tax on a rapidly growing population), the Delaware government lowered the state income tax four times in the 1980s, without hurting the government budget.

Delaware History