Portal:Delaware

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Introduction

Flag of Delaware.svg

Delaware (/ˈdɛləwɛər/ (About this sound listen)) is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeastern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the north by Pennsylvania, and to the east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.

Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. It is the second smallest and sixth least populous state, but the sixth most densely populated. Delaware is divided into three counties, the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County is more industrialized.

Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, and has since been known as "The First State".

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Magnolia Circle with Memorial Hall in the background at the University.

The University of Delaware (UD) is the largest university in the U.S. state of Delaware. The main campus is located in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes and Georgetown. It is medium-sized — approximately 16,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students. Although UD receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant and urban-grant state-supported research institution, it is also privately chartered. At present, the school's endowment is valued at about $1.2 billion US. The University of Delaware was called a "Public Ivy" in Greene's Guides published in 2001. In 2007, UD was ranked No. 15 nationally in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine list of the 100 best public institutions of higher education. The University of Delaware was also ranked 15th best value for in state students and 10th best value for out of state students.

The school from which the university grew was founded in 1743, making it one of the oldest in the nation. However, the University of Delaware was not chartered as an institution of higher learning until 1833. Its original class of 10 students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom would go on to sign the Declaration of Independence.

The school has particularly substantial engineering, science, business, education, and agriculture programs, with world-class programs in business, chemical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, drawing as it does from the historically strong presence of the nation's chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the state of Delaware. In 2006, UD's engineering program was ranked number 10 in the nation by The Princeton Review. It is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation.

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Did you know?

  • ...that American Indian poet and Delaware-native James Dillet Freeman is referred to as the "poet laureate to the moon"? His 1941 "Prayer for Protection" was taken aboard Apollo 11 in July 1969 by Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and a microfilm of his 1947 "I Am There" was left on the moon by James B. Irwin on Apollo 15.
  • ...that according to a survey by the National Science Foundation, Delaware has more doctoral-level (Ph.D.) scientists and engineers, as a percentage of the population, than any other state? Delaware also has a higher rate of patent awards, per person, than any other state.

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William Penn

William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his treaty with the Lenape Indians.

William Penn wrote Pennsylvania's first constitution. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the 1787 United States Constitution. Additionally, Penn advocated for a union of all the English colonies of North America. His writings on the subject inspired Benjamin Franklin to develop and propose a unified government for the Thirteen Colonies, the Albany Plan of Union, in 1754. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply, and included a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates," in his voluminous writings.

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