The Middle Colonies were found between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies. They represent a nice balance of climate in warm and cold seasons. The climate of the Mid-Atlantic region is characterized by being relatively mild through the year, with high temperatures in the summer months and rainfall primarily concentrated in thunderstorms. The average temperature throughout July and August is 74 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 57% of days throughout the year sunny. This article discusses in-depth the weather conditions and location factors of middle colonies.
What are Middle Colonies?
The middle colonies were centered from the North New England Colonies and South Southern Colonies. The Middle Colonies had four states, including New York, founded in 1626 (NY), Delaware founded in 1638 (DE), New Jersey founded in 1664 (NJ), and Pennsylvania founded in 1682 (PA). Of the 13 colonies that became the United States of America, they make up some of the youngest colonies of the original 13 colonies.
The melting pot
Americans have long been known to pride themselves on their rich diversity in pre-Revolutionary America during the middle colonies. The middle colonies contained a sizable percentage of Native American tribes and Algonkian and Iroquois language groups. Enslaved Africans were also present in the early years.
As a result, the Middle Colonies have always been known as the Melting Pot. This nickname originated in the mid 19th century to describe New York City and its immigrant population. A melting pot in the middle colonies means that they are very diverse in nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities because there are many people from different backgrounds.
The middle colonies had deep, rich soil. The fertile soil was good for farming.
Geography of middle colonies
The Middle Colonies’ geography starts with New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. New York and Pennsylvania were significantly larger than New Jersey and Delaware, enabling them to dominate the colonial region.
Important Middle Colonies’ geographic features were the coastline, inland rolling hills, large stands of forest, and a mountainous western border. They also owned good coastal harbors for shipping.
The middle colonies had long, wide rivers that shipped goods to other colonies. The Hudson River and the Delaware River were two of their main rivers, which helped New York and Philadelphia send and receive imports and exports.
The geographical location of middle colonies, its rivers, mountains, sunny and rainy seasons made it the ideal place for farming. They also had natural resources like iron, ore, and wood from the forests and fertile farmlands. The soil was glacial soil with many minerals that helped crops thrive. The variety in geography and geographic features were key to the Middle Colonies’ economic success.
Agriculture and Economy Middle Colonies
Agriculture in Middle Colonies
The Middle Colonies represented a balance with a climate with warm and cold seasons. They had a mild climate with warm summers and mild winters. Longer summers gave more sun and lots of rain. Due to more sunny and rainy weather, the growing seasons were longer.
The balance between the weather’s deep rich fertile soil made the middle countries ideal for farming and growing food crops. Middle Colonies focused on crops like wheat, rye, corn (maize), and other grains with plenty left to feed the colonies and export to the British empire. Therefore middle colonies were also called breadbasket colonies.
With two of the main rivers Hudson River and the Delaware River, many long and wide rivers were used for agriculture. The fertile lands helped farmers to raise livestock, including pigs and cows.
The economy in Middle Colonies
Middle colonies served as important distribution centers in the English mercantile system. Thanks to the ideal weather condition, they could sell and export extra crops to others. Many farmers built flour mills. They ground wheat into flour and shipped it to England.
Many artisans were good at making products by hand in the middle colonies. Some artisans included blacksmiths, coopers, and cobblers. Children and young men became apprentices and worked with the master artisans, learning the trade with the hopes of earning a living by this trade someday.
The climate of middle colonies
A notable characteristic of the middle colonies is their seasonal climate. They had a mild climate with warm summers and mild winters. Longer summers gave more sun and lots of rain. With two of the main rivers Hudson River and Delaware river, the land ranged from coastal plains, hills, and mountains further inland.
The weather is moderate throughout the year in the coastal region of the middle colonies. The area is influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and has a climate similar to that of southern England. So the weather in the winter is mild, and summer is warm with high humidity.
In general, the climate of the middle colonies ranges from 71 to 32 degrees. In summer, the average temperature is 74 degrees, and 57% of the days are sunny.
How did people in middle colonies adjust to the weather?
People in middle colonies built brick buildings due to the amount of clay along the riverbanks. Some houses were two-and-a-half to three stories high with steep roofs having shops and homes at the same building. However, houses towards the countryside were made of logs and chinked with moss or mud. They spend a lot of time in these houses.
When outdoor air temperatures dropped during the hot weather, they would open their houses to the cool breezes and store up coolness for the next day in the dirt or stone floors and the massive fireplace and chimney. They drank a lot of water to keep themselves hydrated. They did simple lifestyle changes like wearing light clothing to stay cool during the hot summer months.
Middle colonies did not have heaters to heat them during winter. So they used clothing to keep people warm. People wore thick layers of woolen clothing and often slept in them along with flannel nightshirts and caps on the coldest nights.
Before winter, they stock an ample supply of wood for the fireplace’s flames. On extremely cold nights, people slept near the fireplace. Rich people used heavy wool bed rugs and additional blankets to the bed.
As lifestyle changes, they become very active during winter. To remove the snow, some people hired horse-drawn carts and shovelers to work in conjunction with the plows, moved the plowed snow, and dumped it into rivers.