Known as the Garden State, New Jersey became famous in the 18th century for its fertile land. Today, it is one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. Its high urban density contrasts sharply with the rugged hills of the northwest, enormous pine forests in the southeast, and lush horse country in the south-central part of the state. While it remains a popular destination for vacationers, New Jersey has paid a heavy price for its urbanization, including environmental pollution, dirt, noise, and congested roads. The state is a mix of conservative and progressive, parochial and cosmopolitan.
Ethnic diversity is a distinctive characteristic of New Jersey. Most residents are white. After the Civil War, African Americans began to flee the South and migrate north. Now, over one tenth of the state’s population is African American. New Jersey also has a large Hispanic population, led by Mexicans. Other late twentieth century immigrants include different Latin American groups. As a result, the state has a diverse population.
The State of New Jersey has a unique judiciary system. The state has separate courts of law and equity, each with a judge to oversee the cases. In the Municipal Court, traffic tickets, minor criminal offenses, and small civil matters are handled. However, if a defendant is involved in a criminal matter, they will be tried in Superior Court. While the municipal courts are often the most convenient option for minor offenses, they can be a more expensive and lengthy process.
Before the arrival of the Dutch, the state was occupied by Native Americans. Settlements began along the Hackensack River and the Arthur Kill, and people from New York and New England came to settle in the area. In 1664, Lord John Berkley sold half of his colony to Quakers in England. The Quakers settled in the Delaware Valley region, and William Penn was entrusted with the other half. Eventually, England regained control over the state, but despite this, the state was briefly divided into two – East Jersey and West Jersey. Until Lewis Morris took over the governorship of the state in 1738, New Jersey and New York shared authority until the American Revolution.
The weather in New Jersey varies. It is cold in winter, and temperatures often drop below freezing. In some years, winters in New Jersey are mild, but occasionally there are snowstorms. The weather is usually milder in March and April. In early May, temperatures begin to rise and flowers start blooming. A trip to New Jersey’s shore is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset. In addition, the state has the most boardwalks along the ocean.
The state’s urban area is large, but geographically small. The five largest cities in New Jersey are all less than 20 square miles in area. In addition, four of the top five largest cities are all under 70 square miles. Only two counties in New Jersey have populations greater than a million people. This makes New Jersey one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. Its largest metropolitan area is composed of over 50 million people.