What Was the First State in the U.S.?
When discussing the history of the United States, one question that often comes up is: “What was the first state?” The answer to this query is Delaware. Located on the East Coast of the United States, Delaware holds the distinction of being the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, earning it the nickname “The First State.” This article will delve deeper into the history of Delaware and explore the reasons behind its significant role in the formation of the United States.
Delaware’s Early History
Before European settlers arrived, the land that is now Delaware was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Lenape and Nanticoke. Dutch, Swedish, and English explorers made contact with these tribes in the early 1600s, leading to European colonization.
Delaware was initially settled by the Dutch in 1631, who established a trading post at Zwaanendael (present-day Lewes). However, the Dutch presence in the region was short-lived, as the English quickly seized control in 1664. The English established the Delaware Colony, which was initially governed as part of the Province of New York before becoming a separate entity in 1704.
Delaware’s Role in the American Revolution
During the American Revolution, Delaware played a crucial role in the fight for independence. In 1776, Delaware became the first state to break away from British rule by declaring independence from Great Britain. This bold move set the stage for other colonies to follow suit, leading to the formation of the United States of America.
Delaware’s status as the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution further solidified its place in American history. On December 7, 1787, Delaware unanimously ratified the Constitution, becoming the first state to do so. This act paved the way for other states to join the Union, and Delaware’s commitment to the Constitution is celebrated to this day.
While Delaware is the first state, it is also one of the smallest states in terms of land area and population. Despite its size, Delaware boasts a vibrant economy, with a strong presence in finance, banking, and the chemical industry. Its favorable business climate has attracted numerous corporations, contributing to its economic prosperity.
Delaware also offers a rich cultural experience. The state is home to several historically significant sites, including Fort Delaware, which played a role in the Civil War, and the Nemours Estate, an opulent mansion built by Alfred I. du Pont. Additionally, Delaware’s scenic coastline and beautiful beaches attract tourists year-round.
Q: Why is Delaware called “The First State”?
A: Delaware is called “The First State” because it was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 7, 1787.
Q: Were there any other states before Delaware?
A: No, Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, making it the first state in the United States.
Q: What is Delaware known for?
A: Delaware is known for its historical significance, being the first state, as well as its strong presence in the finance and banking sectors. It is also famous for its beautiful coastline and beaches.
Q: How did Delaware’s early history shape its role in the American Revolution?
A: Delaware’s early history as a Dutch and English colony, as well as its strategic location, made it a key player in the American Revolution. Its declaration of independence from British rule set an example for other colonies and paved the way for the formation of the United States.
Q: What is Delaware’s current economy like?
A: Delaware’s economy thrives in industries such as finance, banking, and the chemical industry. The state has a favorable business climate and attracts corporations due to its business-friendly policies.
In conclusion, Delaware holds the distinction of being the first state in the United States. Its early history, role in the American Revolution, and status as the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution have solidified its place in American history. Despite its small size, Delaware boasts a vibrant economy and offers a rich cultural experience.