New Jersey – A Small State With Big Dreams

New Jersey is a small state, but one that has plenty to offer. It’s the birthplace of musical legends like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra, and is home to world-class universities and leading technology and pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Merck. The state has lots of natural beauty, from sandy beaches to the pine forests in the Pine Barrens, and is famous for its delicious seafood, particularly clams harvested off the Atlantic Coast.

The state’s first residents were the Delaware Indians, who lived here as long as 10,000 years ago. After the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, small trading colonies sprang up along the coast. Henry Hudson sailed into Newark Bay in 1609. Although the Dutch and Swedish settlers claimed the land, it became part of the British Empire in 1776. The state was among the original 13 colonies and it joined the United States in December of 1787, becoming the third state.

During the industrial revolution in the 1800s, New Jersey flourished. Factories opened in cities like Trenton, Paterson and Camden, attracting workers from Europe. The state’s agriculture also grew, with farmers in the southern Inner Coastal Plain growing fruits, vegetables and tobacco. New canals and railroads helped industry grow, allowing the state to become a leader in manufacturing.

When anti-British feelings erupted during the Revolutionary War, about one-third of New Jersey’s residents supported the rebels, and about one-third supported England and the other third remained neutral. Many battles between the British and American armies were fought in New Jersey. After the Civil War, the state continued to prosper as more factories opened in northern New Jersey, while South Jersey stayed mostly rural and grew its agricultural industries.

In the 21st century, the state has diversified, with high-tech industries and research centers developing in Newark and other cities. New Jersey has a high population of college graduates, and is an important transportation hub with its airports, highways and train lines. The New Jersey Turnpike, which opened in 1951, allows for speedy car travel between North Jersey leading into New York City and South Jersey leading into Philadelphia. The state’s two light rail systems – the Hudson-Bergen and River Lines – are helping to revitalize urban areas.

People who live in new jersey say it’s a great place to raise kids, with good schools and safe neighborhoods. But they also warn that the state can be crowded and hectic, especially in its busy cities. Other reviewers mention that the state’s culture is diverse and vibrant, and that there are plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment.