Brief timeline of the history of the state of Delaware
  • Early 17th century: Dutch and Swedish explorers visit the area that would become Delaware.

  • 1631: Dutch establish the settlement of Zwaanendael near present-day Lewes, but it is destroyed by Native Americans the following year.

  • 1638: Swedish settlers establish a colony called New Sweden along the Delaware River, including Fort Christina (now Wilmington). It becomes the first permanent European settlement in Delaware.

  • 1655: The Dutch capture New Sweden, and the area comes under Dutch control.

  • 1664: The English take control of the Delaware region, including present-day Delaware, as part of their New Netherland acquisition.

  • 1682: Delaware becomes part of the newly established Pennsylvania colony led by William Penn.

  • 1704: Delaware separates from Pennsylvania and forms its own assembly, becoming a separate entity known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware."

  • 1776: Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787, and is subsequently known as "The First State."

  • 19th century: Delaware's economy relies heavily on agriculture, particularly wheat and corn production. It also becomes an important center for shipbuilding and trade.

  • 1861-1865: During the American Civil War, Delaware remains in the Union but is divided in its loyalty, with some residents supporting the Confederacy.

  • Early 20th century: Delaware's economy diversifies with the growth of chemical manufacturing and the establishment of DuPont, one of the world's largest chemical companies.

  • 1951: The Delaware Memorial Bridge, connecting Delaware and New Jersey, is opened, promoting transportation and economic development.

  • Present: Delaware is known for its business-friendly environment, hosting many corporations' headquarters due to its advantageous corporate laws. It is also recognized for its tax-free shopping and its coastal resorts, such as Rehoboth Beach.

This timeline offers a glimpse into the history of Delaware, from its early European exploration and colonization to its role as a pivotal state in the formation of the United States. The state has a rich cultural and economic heritage that continues to evolve in the present day.