The Middle Colonies for Kids: The Breadbasket colonies
The Middle Colonies were composed of what is today the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Because the soil was rich in the Middle colonies, farmers were able to grow more grain than they could use. They began selling grain to other colonies and to England, shipping out of the big ports in Philadelphia and New York. Because of this, the middle colonies became known as the Breadbasket colonies.
The Middle Colonies were more cosmopolitan and tolerant than the New England colonies. A lot of the success of Pennsylvania and Delaware is owed to William Penn. Under his guidance, Philadelphia became a fabulous city, with broad, tree-shaded streets, stone and brick houses, and a bustling port. Manhattan flourished under the Dutch. The Germans were probably the best farmers in the Middle Colonies.
The middle colonies were enriched by the culture of people from all over Europe, including Quakers, Scots, Irish, Dutch, French, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, and more. Farms flourished and craftsmen established successful businesses.