Delaware is a US state. Not only is it part of the Thirteen Colonies, but the first state to ratify the American Constitution.

Delaware is the second smallest state in the United States of America. It is located on the east coast and is characterized by a landscape with numerous forests and rivers. The nickname is The First State because Delaware was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to sign the constitution in 1787. The capital of the state is Dover which is also one of the biggest cities.

Delaware State Bird and Flower

Delaware as a Dutch and Swedish colony in ancient times

In the early days, the indigenous tribes Lenape and Susquehanna lived in Delaware. The first Spaniards and Portuguese came to the coasts of the small state in the 16th century. Under the direction of David Pietersen de Vries, the first settlers from Europe arrived in Delaware as a trading company in 1631 and built a Dutch trading post, which only existed until the following year. Indians had completely wiped out the settlement in de Vries’ absence. Subsequently, the area was a Swedish colony until, after around 15 years under Stuyvesant’s leadership, it came back under the rule of the Netherlands.

Delaware as an English colony

The designation Delaware has its origin in the title of the second governor of Virginia, who was Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. In 1664 the English conquered Delaware, which subsequently belonged to the English colonies for more than 100 years. In 1861, William Penn received the province of Pennsylvania from the then king. It was criticized that this was not on the coast and that an important refuge was missing if there were to be battles with other colonies. Penn then applied to the royal family to give him the territory by the sea. In 1862 the land was given to him after his arrival in America.

Delaware’s road to independence

1776 was a significant year in Delaware’s history. Thirteen British colonies in the states announced their autonomy from Great Britain in the declaration of independence and formed an independent confederation of states. Delaware was one of these colonies and split from Pennsylvania two months later. A new American constitution was passed in September 1787. On December 7th of the same year, Delaware became the first of the colonies to sign the constitution. However, racial segregation was an issue well into the 20th century. Slavery was abolished late, and mixed marriage was allowed in 1967.

Largest Counties in Delaware by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Delaware are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Sussex County 3,098 km2
2 Kent County 2,072 km2
3 New Castle County 1,279 km2