The human history of New Jersey began millennia ago with the settlement of the area by Native Americans. European contact began with the exploration of the Jersey Shore by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524, At the time of European contact, the area was populated by many tribes of the Lenape. The New Jersey region soon came under the control of the Swedes and the Dutch resulting in a struggle in which the Dutch were victorious. However, the Dutch colony of New Netherlands was seized by the English in 1664. New Jersey was one of the Thirteen Colonies that broke off from Britain in the American Revolution, adopting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Becoming a state upon the formation of the United States, New Jersey saw significant action during the American Revolutionary War. New Jersey's delegates signed the Articles of Confederation in 1779 and Princeton acted as the nation's capital for four months in 1783. In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the United States Constitution. In the 19th century, New Jersey cities led the nation into the Industrial Revolution and provided soldiers for many of the wars the United States fought, including 88,000 soldiers for the American Civil War. The state became a component of the Underground Railroad. The state's transportation system continued to improve with the construction of canals and more rail lines that helped industrialization further develop.
New Jersey is a US state.