Mid-Atlantic states

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Mid-Atlantic Region
US Mid-Atlantic states.png
Regional statistics
Composition

Delaware Delaware
Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Maryland Maryland
New Jersey New Jersey
New York New York
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
Virginia Virginia
West Virginia West Virginia

Area
 - Total

191,308.5 sq mi (495,486.74 km²)
Population
- Total

- Density

57,303,316 (2008 est.)[1]

299.53/sq mi (116/km²)
Largest city New York City New York City (pop. 8,246,310[2])
GDP $2.962 trillion (2007)[3]
Metropolitan Areas Baltimore–Washington

Philadelphia–Wilmington
Norfolk–Virginia Beach
New York–Newark
Pittsburgh
Richmond-Petersburg

The Mid-Atlantic, also called Middle Atlantic states or the Mid-Atlantic states, form a region of the United States generally located between New England and the South Atlantic States. Its exact definition differs upon source, but the region often includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. When discussing climate, Connecticut (especially southern Connecticut) is often included with the mid Atlantic region. The Mid-Atlantic has played an important role in the development of American culture, commerce, trade, and industry.[4]

It has been called "the typically American" region by Frederick Jackson Turner. Religious pluralism and ethnic diversity have been important elements of Mid-Atlantic society from its settlement by Dutch, Swedes, English Catholics, and Quakers through to the period of English rule, and beyond. After the American Revolution, the Mid-Atlantic region hosted each of the historic capitals of the United States, including the current federal capital, Washington D.C.

In the early part of the 19th century, New York and Pennsylvania overtook Virginia as the most populous states and the New England states as the country's most important trading and industrial centers. Large numbers of German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, and other immigrants transformed the region, especially coastal cities such as New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Baltimore, but also interior cities such as Pittsburgh, Albany, and Buffalo.

New York City, with its skyscrapers, subways, and headquarters of the United Nations, emerged in the 20th century as an icon of modernity and American economic and cultural power. By the 21st century, the coastal areas of the Mid-Atlantic were thoroughly urbanized.

The Northeast Corridor and Interstate 95 link an almost contiguous sprawl of suburbs and large and small cities, forming the Mid-Atlantic portion of the Northeast megalopolis, one of the world's most important concentrations of finance, media, communications, education, medicine, and technology.

The Mid-Atlantic is a relatively affluent region of the nation, having 43 of the 100 highest-income counties in the nation based on median household income and 33 of the top 100 based on per capita income. Most of the Mid-Atlantic states rank among the 15 highest-income states in the nation by median household income and per capita income.

Defining the Mid-Atlantic[edit]

A USGS Fact Sheet interpretation of the Mid Atlantic.[5]

There are differing interpretations as to the composition of the Mid-Atlantic. Sometimes, the nucleus is considered to consist of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, with additional states possibly included.[6] Other sources consider New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to be the core Mid-Atlantic states, with others sometimes included.[7] For example, since the 1910 census, the Mid-Atlantic Census Division has included New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, which combined with the New England Division, comprised the Northeast Census Region.[8] A United States Geological Survey publication describes the Mid-Atlantic Region as all of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, along with the parts of New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina that drain into the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.[9]

West Virginia and parts of Virginia are atypical of this region in several ways. They are the only states to lie primarily within the Southern American dialect region,[10] and the major religious tradition in both states is Evangelical Christian, 31% in Virginia and 36% in West Virginia.[11] Although a few of West Virginia's eastern panhandle counties are considered part of the Washington, D.C. MSA, the major portion of the state is rural, and there are no major or even large cities.[12]

The "typically American" region[edit]

Middle Atlantic States - 1883 Monteith map.jpg

An 1897 map displays an inclusive definition of the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.

Frederick Jackson Turner wrote in 1893 about the important role the Mid-Atlantic or "Middle region" had played in the formation of the national American culture, and defined it as "the typical American region".[13]

The Middle region, entered by New York harbor, was an open door to all Europe. The tide-water part of the South represented typical Englishmen, modified by a warm climate and servile labor, and living in baronial fashion on great plantations; New England stood for a special English movement-- Puritanism. The Middle region was less English than the other sections. It had a wide mixture of nationalities, a varied society, the mixed town and county system of local government, a varied economic life, many religious sects. In short, it was a region mediating between New England and the South, and the East and the West. It represented that composite nationality which the contemporary United States exhibits, that juxtaposition of non-English groups, occupying a valley or a little settlement, and presenting reflections of the map of Europe in their variety. It was democratic and nonsectional, if not national; "easy, tolerant, and contented;" rooted strongly in material prosperity. It was typical of the modern United States. It was least sectional, not only because it lay between North and South, but also because with no barriers to shut out its frontiers from its settled region, and with a system of connecting waterways, the Middle region mediated between East and West as well as between North and South. Thus it became the typically American region. Even the New Englander, who was shut out from the frontier by the Middle region, tarrying in New York or Pennsylvania on his westward march, lost the acuteness of his sectionalism on the way.

The Frontier in American History

History[edit]

Shipping and trade have been important to the Mid-Atlantic economy since the beginning of the colonial era.

The explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European since the unenduring Norse colonization of the Americas to have explored the Atlantic coast, travelling from what is now called The Carolinas to Newfoundland. He entered what is now called Lower New York Bay in 1524, greeted by what are presumed to have been the Lenape in canoes, the Native American people who long inhabited that area. Henry Hudson later extensively explored that region in 1609 and claimed it for the Dutch, who then created a fur-trading post in Albany in 1614. Jamestown, Virginia was the first permanent English colony in North America seven years earlier in 1607.

From early colonial times, the Mid-Atlantic region was settled by a wider range of European people than in New England or the South. The Dutch New Netherland settlement along the Hudson River in New York and New Jersey, and for a time, New Sweden along the Delaware River in Delaware, divided the two great bulwarks of English settlement from each other. The original English settlements in the region notably provided refuge to religious minorities, Maryland to Roman Catholics, and Pennsylvania to Quakers and the mostly Anabaptist Pennsylvania Dutch. In time, all these settlements fell under English colonial control, but the region continued to be a magnet for people of diverse nationalities.

The area that came to be known as the Middle Colonies served as a strategic bridge between the North and South. The New York and New Jersey campaign during the American Revolutionary War saw more battles than any other theater of the conflict. Philadelphia, midway between the northern and southern colonies, was home to the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates who organized the American Revolution. The same city was the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the United States Constitution in 1787, while the United States Bill of Rights was drafted and ratified, and the first Supreme Court of the United States sat for the first time, in the first capital under the Constitution at New York City.

While early settlers were mostly farmers, traders, and fishermen, the Mid-Atlantic states provided the young United States with heavy industry and served as the "melting pot" of new immigrants from Europe. Cities grew along major ports, shipping routes, and waterways. Such flourishing cities included New York City and Newark on opposite sides of the Hudson River, Philadelphia on the Delaware River, and Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay.

Cities and urban areas[edit]

Metropolitan Areas[edit]

Metropolitan Areas with more than 1,000,000 people:

Large cities[edit]

Cities with more than 200,000 people:

State capitals[edit]

Politics of the Mid-Atlantic states[edit]

Parties
Nonpartisan Federalist Democratic-Republican National Republican Democratic Whig Know Nothing Republican Constitutional Union Progressive
  • Bold denotes election winner.
Presidential electoral votes in the Mid-Atlantic states since 1789
Year Delaware Washington, D.C. Maryland New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Virginia West Virginia
1789 Washington No election Washington Washington Deadlocked Washington Washington No election
1792 Washington No election Washington Washington Washington Washington Washington No election
1796 Adams No election Adams Adams Adams Jefferson Jefferson No election
1800 Adams No election Jefferson Adams Jefferson Jefferson Jefferson No election
1804 Pinckney No election Jefferson Jefferson Jefferson Jefferson Jefferson No election
1808 Pinckney No election Madison Madison Madison Madison Madison No election
1812 Clinton No election Madison Clinton Clinton Madison Madison No election
1816 King No election Monroe Monroe Monroe Monroe Monroe No election
1820 Monroe No election Monroe Monroe Monroe Monroe Monroe No election
1824 Jackson No election Jackson Jackson Adams Jackson Crawford No election
1828 Adams No election Adams Adams Jackson Jackson Jackson No election
1832 Clay No election Clay Jackson Jackson Jackson Jackson No election
1836 Harrison No election Harrison Harrison Van Buren Van Buren Van Buren No election
1840 Harrison No election Harrison Harrison Harrison Harrison Van Buren No election
1844 Clay No election Clay Clay Polk Polk Polk No election
1848 Taylor No election Taylor Taylor Taylor Taylor Cass No election
1852 Pierce No election Pierce Pierce Pierce Pierce Pierce No election
1856 Buchanan No election Fillmore Buchanan Frémont Buchanan Buchanan No election
1860 Breckinridge No election Breckinridge Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Bell No election
1864 McClellan No election Lincoln McClellan Lincoln Lincoln No election Lincoln
1868 Seymour No election Seymour Seymour Seymour Grant No election Grant
1872 Grant No election Hendricks Grant Grant Grant Grant Grant
1876 Tilden No election Tilden Tilden Tilden Hayes Tilden Tilden
1880 Hancock No election Hancock Hancock Garfield Garfield Hancock Hancock
1884 Cleveland No election Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Blaine Cleveland Cleveland
1888 Cleveland No election Cleveland Cleveland Harrison Harrison Cleveland Cleveland
1892 Cleveland No election Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Harrison Cleveland Cleveland
1896 McKinley No election McKinley McKinley McKinley McKinley Bryan McKinley
1900 McKinley No election McKinley McKinley McKinley McKinley Bryan McKinley
1904 Roosevelt No election Parker Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Parker Roosevelt
1908 Taft No election Bryan Taft Taft Taft Bryan Taft
1912 Wilson No election Wilson Wilson Wilson Roosevelt Wilson Wilson
1916 Hughes No election Wilson Hughes Hughes Hughes Wilson Hughes
1920 Harding No election Harding Harding Harding Harding Cox Harding
1924 Coolidge No election Coolidge Coolidge Coolidge Coolidge Davis Coolidge
1928 Hoover No election Hoover Hoover Hoover Hoover Hoover Hoover
1932 Hoover No election Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Hoover Roosevelt Roosevelt
1936 Roosevelt No election Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt
1940 Roosevelt No election Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt
1944 Roosevelt No election Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt Roosevelt
1948 Dewey No election Dewey Dewey Dewey Dewey Truman Truman
1952 Eisenhower No election Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Stevenson
1956 Eisenhower No election Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower
1960 Kennedy No election Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy Nixon Kennedy
1964 Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson
1968 Nixon Humphrey Humphrey Nixon Humphrey Humphrey Nixon Humphrey
1972 Nixon McGovern Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon
1976 Carter Carter Carter Ford Carter Carter Ford Carter
1980 Reagan Carter Carter Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Carter
1984 Reagan Mondale Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan
1988 Bush Dukakis Bush Bush Dukakis Bush Bush Dukakis
1992 Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Bush Clinton
1996 Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Clinton Dole Clinton
2000 Gore Gore Gore Gore Gore Gore Bush Bush
2004 Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Bush Bush
2008 Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama McCain
2012 Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Romney

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  2. ^ "2005–2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  3. ^ "News Release: GDP by State". Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  4. ^ "United States. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica.". Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  5. ^ Earl A. Greene et al. "Ground-Water Vulnerability to Nitrate Contamination in the Mid-Atlantic Region". USGS Fact Sheet FS 2004-3067. 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2013.Note: Although the locator map appears to exclude part of northwestern Pennsylvania, other more detailed maps in this article include all of the state.
  6. ^ "Word Net Definition". Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  7. ^ ""The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. "Middle Atlantic States" entry"". Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  8. ^ "Census Regions and Divisions of the United States". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  9. ^ Earl A. Greene et al. "Ground-Water Vulnerability to Nitrate Contamination in the Mid-Atlantic Region". USGS Fact Sheet FS 2004-3067. 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2013. Note: Although the locator map appears to exclude part of northwestern Pennsylvania, other more detailed maps in this article include all of the state.
  10. ^ Labov, William, Sharon Ash and Charles Boberg, Atlas of North American English: Phonetics, Phonology and Sound Change, Mouton de Gruyter, 2005 Southern Regional Map
  11. ^ PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life
  12. ^ U.S. Census 2000 Report
  13. ^ Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Robert Marzec. The Mid-Atlantic Region: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004)