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New Jersey Colony Printable Reading Comprehension


This page describes the history of the New Jersey Colony. Did you know Bergen, now Jersey City, was the first established town in New Jersey?


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New Jersey Colony

13 Colonies


New Jersey Colony Activities on

New Jersey Colony Reading Comprehension Online – This is an online reading comprehension exercise with ten questions. Students get immediate feedback. Appropriate for grades 4-7.
Nww Jersey Colony Printable Reading Comprehension – This is a two-page printable reading comprehension exercise. The first page contains the text and the second page contains the multiple choice questions. Appropriate for grades 5-8.
Middle Colonies Informational Sheet – Informational printable with a map that details the geographic, climatic, economic, and religious conditions in the Southern Colonies
New Jersey Today – This is a beautiful interactive, clickable map of Rhode Island that allows kids to click on its cities, landmarks, and places of interest, to learn in-depth information about their histories.

History of New Jersey Colony


New Jersey’s early colonial history is similar to New York’s. Like New York, the area was first colonized by Dutch settlers around 1613. The colony was called New Netherland, and included parts of modern-day New York and New Jersey. In 1660, the town of Bergen became the first established town in the New Jersey portion of New Netherland. Today, it is a large city named Jersey City.

By 1664, the British had claimed the entire region and had driven the Dutch out. New Netherland was renamed New Jersey and New Amsterdam was renamed New York. Although King Charles originally gave the region to his brother, the Duke of York, eventually, he decided to divide the region and gave the land between the Hudson and Delaware River (New Jersey) to two of his friends, Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton.

Carteret and Berkeley began attracting people to the area by offering land and guaranteeing religious freedom. In return for the land, the settlers were supposed to pay a yearly tax called a quitrent. The quitrents proved hard to collect, which prompted the sale of the land to the Quakers in 1673. Upon the sale, New Jersey was divided in West Jersey and East Jersey. However, by 1702, the two divisions were united as the royal colony of New Jersey.