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New Jersey

New Jersey, state in the Middle Atlantic region of eastern United States; bordered by New York to the north; the Hudson River, New York Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; and Delaware Bay and the Delaware River (which separates New Jersey from Delaware and Pennsylvania) to the south and west.

Land and climate

New Jersey has 4 main land regions. The mountainous Appalachian Ridge and Valley region, in New Jersey's extreme northwest, is the state's most rugged section. Just south of there is the New England Upland, also called the Highlands, which is a rocky, narrow plateau. The Piedmont, only a fifth of New Jersey's land area, is where most of the state's people and industries are located; this region has many large rivers. Atlantic Coastal Plain, which occupies the southern three-fifths of the state, is a flat or gently rolling lowland. Its eastern half is covered by forests and salt marshes called the Pine Barrens; its western half is a fertile truck-farming area. Two great rivers, the Delaware and the Hudson, flow along New Jersey's borders. The Delaware Water Gap, formed by the Delaware River as it cuts through the Kittatinny Mountains, is one of the most scenic areas in the East. Many beaches and seaside resorts, including Atlantic City and Asbury Park, line the Atlantic coast. New Jersey has warm to hot summers and cold winters. Principal cities are Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson.


New Jersey is a leading indusrial state. Its chief industrial products are chemicals, processed foods, electronic and electrical equipment, nonelectrical machinery, printed materials, and fabricated metal products. Service industries, including tourism, account for a large share of the state's income, agriculture and mining for a small share. Chief crops are greenhouse and nursery products, milk, tomatoes and other vegetables, peaches, blueberries, cranberries, corn, and hay; chief livestock products are eggs, beef cattle, and hogs.


New Jersey's present constitution was adopted in 1947. The governor serves a 4-year term. The state's legislature consists of 40 senators serving 2- or 4-year terms and 80 General Assembly members serving 2-year terms. In the U.S. Congress, New Jersey is represented by 2 senators and 13 representatives.


The Lenni-Lenape lived in the area when the first European explorers arrived in the 1500s. Dutch and Swedish traders who arrived in the 1630s were the first European settlers. England won control of the area in 1664. New Jersey, one of the original 13 colonies, became a prosperous farming area. The site of some of the American Revolution's major battles, New Jersey became the nation's third state in 1787. During the Civil War, New Jersey contributed thousands of soldiers to the Union cause, but many of its residents sympathized with the South. Through the 1800s, New Jersey's importance as an industrial and transportation center grew. Widespread unemployment during the Depression was relieved by industrial resurgence during World War II. In the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, New Jersey struggled with the problems of aging and overcrowded urban centers, toxic wastes and other pollution, and heavy taxes.



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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Nebular hypothesis to Norse mythology