Delaware [dɛʹləwɛr], abbreviated DE, US state; 5,300 km2,
967,200 residents (2018).Delaware is on the Atlantic coast. The capital is
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Delaware. State Map.
Delaware, for the most part, lies within the Atlantic coastal plain and has
an average height of only 18 m above sea level, the lowest of any state in the
United States. Most of the land area is therefore extremely flat. Only a small
area in the far north, the Piedmont Plateau, lies within the Appalachian
highlands. The southernmost part of the coastline, between the southern boundary
of Maryland and Cape Henlopen, faces the Atlantic and forms a narrow sandy
beach. Along the Delaware Bay further to the north, the coast is often woody,
and natural ports are missing.
Delaware. Marsh landscape at Lewes in southeastern
Most of the landscape is sandy and monotonous, interrupted only by woodlands
and rivers. An important boundary line in the north is the east-west Chesapeake
and Delaware Canal. The scenic landscape north of it has the state's highest
point, Elbright Road, at 135 meters above sea level. The soil is especially in
the north a nutritious, sand-mixed mud, which gives good harvests when well
The climate in Delaware is humid, temperate with hot summers and mild
winters. The average temperature in Wilmington is +1 °C for January and 27 °C in
July, but is 3-4 °C higher in the southern part. The rainfall is on average 1
125 mm per year.
Of the state's residents, just over 22 percent are African Americans and just
over 70 percent white, descendants of immigrants from many European countries. The majority of the population lives in a limited area in the
northernmost part of Delaware. More than half reside in the suburbs of the
largest city, Wilmington (71,900 residents, 2016).
Delaware has a distinct industrial appearance, but agriculture is
nevertheless of great importance. More than half the area is arable land. Corn
and soybeans are the most important crops. The neighboring metropolitan regions
constitute a market for growing fresh vegetables and for milk production. The
biggest role, however, plays the breeding of poultry. Broiler production
accounts for 2/3 of agricultural income.
The industry is concentrated to the north, with Wilmington as the center. The
chemical industry is the dominant industry. The Du Pont Group is the largest
and, in addition to its head office, also has several manufacturing units in
Delaware. Other major chemical companies have also been located here. The
products include artificial fibers, dyes, plastics and synthetic rubber. There
is also a large pharmaceutical industry, such as AstraZeneca. Furthermore, there
is heavy industry such as steel industry and oil refinery.
Delaware has an excellent transportation location. The northern part of the
state is crossed by New York / Philadelphia and Baltimore / Washington DC
traffic connections The Chesapeake and Delaware canal, which is part of the
Intracoastal Waterway system and which can also be operated by ocean-going
vessels, is of great economic importance. It significantly shortens the
Baltimore-Philadelphia waterway. Wilmington has Delaware's largest port. The
State University, University of Delaware, is located in Newark.
Tourism and gastronomy
Delaware's geographical location contributes to tourism and travel business
being one of the state's most important sources of income. Along the Atlantic
coast are a number of popular swimming and holiday resorts, such as Rehoboth
Otherwise, there are various small towns with interesting colonial
settlements, etc. New Castle and the capital Dover, as well as the big
city Wilmington, which is particularly interesting from a Swedish point of
view. In Fort Christina National Historic Landmark, in memory of the Swedish
colonization in 1638, there is one of the oldest in-service Protestant churches
in America (Holy Trinity Church, inaugurated in 1699) as well as a knot-timbered
blockhouse erected (partially) during the Swedish era.
A rich mix of seafood and fish, the latter from the sea as well as from the
lower course of the Delaware River, belongs to the state's natural conditions
and together with the relatively rich harvests provides a varied kitchen, which,
however, is not characterized by any major characteristics or subtleties.
The location between New York and Washington means that the international
cuisine has penetrated with full force and almost erased the original features
such as long cook on meat and beans and a rich pie culture. Nevertheless, fresh,
freshly cooked flatfish, mussel soup with vegetables, asparagus with chopped
eggs and cranberry pie are still desirable elements in the menu.
The first permanent European settlement in D's area was made up of Swedish
immigrants, who in 1638 founded the New Sweden colony around Fort Christina (now
Wilmington). D. was Swedish colony until 1655 and Dutch 1655-64. Subsequently,
D. was taken over by England and later became part of Pennsylvania. In 1776, D.
declared himself a state. D. is sometimes called The First State, which
refers to the fact that it was the first of the 13 Union states to ratify the
new constitution after the North American War of Independence (December 7,
1787). Slavery was allowed, but D. was one of the four slave states that
remained in the Union during the Civil War.
Northern D. was industrialized early, and especially the chemical industry
became important. Financially, D. has had a positive development and belongs to
the leading states in terms of per capita income. Politically, Republicans
dominated from the beginning of the 20th century, but after 1936 the influence
of Democrats has increased, and today the parties are relatively even. The name
D. goes back to a Virginia governor in the early 17th century, Lord De la Warr.