Delaware | Wikipedia audio article

Delaware | Wikipedia audio article


Delaware ( (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’s largest city is Wilmington. The state 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”.==Etymology==
The state was named after the Delaware River, which in turn derived its name from Thomas
West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577–1618) who was the ruling governor of the Colony of Virginia
at the time Europeans first explored the river. The Delaware Indians, a name used by Europeans
for Lenape people indigenous to the Delaware Valley, also derive their name from the same
source. The surname de La Warr comes from Sussex and
is of Anglo-Norman origin. It came probably from a Norman lieu-dit La
Guerre. This toponymic could derive from the Latin
word ager, from the Breton gwern or from the Late Latin varectum (fallow). The toponyms Gara, Gare, Gaire (the sound
[ä] often mutated in [æ]) also appear in old texts cited by Lucien Musset, where the
word ga(i)ra means gore. It could also be linked with a patronymic
from the Old Norse verr.==Geography==Delaware is 96 miles (154 km) long and ranges
from 9 miles (14 km) to 35 miles (56 km) across, totaling 1,954 square miles (5,060 km2), making
it the second-smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island. Delaware is bounded to the north by Pennsylvania;
to the east by the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean; and
to the west and south by Maryland. Small portions of Delaware are also situated
on the eastern side of the Delaware River sharing land boundaries with New Jersey. The state of Delaware, together with the Eastern
Shore counties of Maryland and two counties of Virginia, form the Delmarva Peninsula,
which stretches down the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The definition of the northern boundary of
the state is unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and
Pennsylvania was originally defined by an arc extending 12 miles (19.3 km) from the
cupola of the courthouse in the city of New Castle. This boundary is often referred to as the
Twelve-Mile Circle. This is the only nominally circular state
boundary in the United States.This border extends all the way east to the low-tide mark
on the New Jersey shore, then continues south along the shoreline until it again reaches
the 12-mile (19 km) arc in the south; then the boundary continues in a more conventional
way in the middle of the main channel (thalweg) of the Delaware River. To the west, a portion of the arc extends
past the easternmost edge of Maryland. The remaining western border runs slightly
east of due south from its intersection with the arc. The Wedge of land between the northwest part
of the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921,
when Delaware’s claim was confirmed.===Topography===
Delaware is on a level plain, with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation. Its highest elevation, located at Ebright
Azimuth, near Concord High School, is less than 450 feet (140 m) above sea level. The northernmost part of the state is part
of the Piedmont Plateau with hills and rolling surfaces. The Atlantic Seaboard fall line approximately
follows the Robert Kirkwood Highway between Newark and Wilmington; south of this road
is the Atlantic Coastal Plain with flat, sandy, and, in some parts, swampy ground. A ridge about 75 to 80 feet (23 to 24 m) in
elevation extends along the western boundary of the state and separates the watersheds
that feed Delaware River and Bay to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west.===Climate===
Since almost all of Delaware is a part of the Atlantic coastal plain, the effects of
the ocean moderate its climate. The state lies in the humid subtropical climate
zone. Despite its small size (roughly 100 miles
(160 km) from its northernmost to southernmost points), there is significant variation in
mean temperature and amount of snowfall between Sussex County and New Castle County. Moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware
Bay, the southern portion of the state has a milder climate and a longer growing season
than the northern portion of the state. Delaware’s all-time record high of 110 °F
(43 °C) was recorded at Millsboro on July 21, 1930. The all-time record low of −17 °F (−27
°C) was also recorded at Millsboro on January 17, 1893.===Environment===
The transitional climate of Delaware supports
a wide variety of vegetation. In the northern third of the state are found
Northeastern coastal forests and mixed oak forests typical of the northeastern United
States. In the southern two-thirds of the state are
found Middle Atlantic coastal forests. Trap Pond State Park, along with areas in
other parts of Sussex County, for example, support the northernmost stands of bald cypress
trees in North America.===Environmental management===
Delaware provides government subsidy support for the clean-up of property “lightly contaminated”
by hazardous waste, the proceeds for which come from a tax on wholesale petroleum sales.===Adjacent states===
Pennsylvania (north) New Jersey (east)
Maryland (west and south)==History=====Native Americans===
Before Delaware was settled by European colonists, the area was home to the Eastern Algonquian
tribes known as the Unami Lenape, or Delaware, who lived mostly along the coast, and the
Nanticoke who occupied much of the southern Delmarva Peninsula. John Smith also shows two Iroquoian tribes,
the Kuskarawock & Tockwogh, living north of the Nanticoke & they may have held small portions
of land in the western part of the state before migrating across the Chesapeake Bay. The Kuskarawocks were most likely the Tuscarora. The Unami Lenape in the Delaware Valley were
closely related to Munsee Lenape tribes along the Hudson River. They had a settled hunting and agricultural
society, and they rapidly became middlemen in an increasingly frantic fur trade with
their ancient enemy, the Minqua or Susquehannock. With the loss of their lands on the Delaware
River and the destruction of the Minqua by the Iroquois of the Five Nations in the 1670s,
the remnants of the Lenape who wished to remain identified as such left the region and moved
over the Alleghany Mountains by the mid-18th century. Generally, those who did not relocate out
of the state of Delaware were baptized, became Christian and were grouped together with other
persons of color in official records and in the minds of their non-Native American neighbors.===Colonial Delaware===The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle
in present-day Delaware in the middle region by establishing a trading post at Zwaanendael,
near the site of Lewes in 1631. Within a year all the settlers were killed
in a dispute with area Native American tribes. In 1638 New Sweden, a Swedish trading post
and colony, was established at Fort Christina (now in Wilmington) by Peter Minuit at the
head of a group of Swedes, Finns and Dutch. The colony of New Sweden lasted for 17 years. In 1651 the Dutch, reinvigorated by the leadership
of Peter Stuyvesant, established a fort at present-day New Castle, and in 1655 they conquered
the New Sweden colony, annexing it into the Dutch New Netherland. Only nine years later, in 1664, the Dutch
were conquered by a fleet of English ships by Sir Robert Carr under the direction of
James, the Duke of York. Fighting off a prior claim by Cecil Calvert,
2nd Baron Baltimore, Proprietor of Maryland, the Duke passed his somewhat dubious ownership
on to William Penn in 1682. Penn strongly desired access to the sea for
his Pennsylvania province and leased what then came to be known as the “Lower Counties
on the Delaware” from the Duke. Penn established representative government
and briefly combined his two possessions under one General Assembly in 1682. However, by 1704 the Province of Pennsylvania
had grown so large that their representatives wanted to make decisions without the assent
of the Lower Counties and the two groups of representatives began meeting on their own,
one at Philadelphia, and the other at New Castle. Penn and his heirs remained proprietors of
both and always appointed the same person Governor for their Province of Pennsylvania
and their territory of the Lower Counties. The fact that Delaware and Pennsylvania shared
the same governor was not unique. From 1703 to 1738 New York and New Jersey
shared a governor. Massachusetts and New Hampshire also shared
a governor for some time.Dependent in early years on indentured labor, Delaware imported
more slaves as the number of English immigrants decreased with better economic conditions
in England. The colony became a slave society and cultivated
tobacco as a cash crop, although English immigrants continued to arrive.===American Revolution===
Like the other middle colonies, the Lower Counties on the Delaware initially showed
little enthusiasm for a break with Britain. The citizenry had a good relationship with
the Proprietary government, and generally were allowed more independence of action in
their Colonial Assembly than in other colonies. Merchants at the port of Wilmington had trading
ties with the British. So it was that New Castle lawyer Thomas McKean
denounced the Stamp Act in the strongest terms, and Kent County native John Dickinson became
the “Penman of the Revolution.” Anticipating the Declaration of Independence,
Patriot leaders Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney convinced the Colonial Assembly to declare
itself separated from British and Pennsylvania rule on June 15, 1776. The person best representing Delaware’s majority,
George Read, could not bring himself to vote for a Declaration of Independence. Only the dramatic overnight ride of Caesar
Rodney gave the delegation the votes needed to cast Delaware’s vote for independence. Initially led by John Haslet, Delaware provided
one of the premier regiments in the Continental Army, known as the “Delaware Blues” and nicknamed
the “Blue Hen’s Chicks.” In August 1777 General Sir William Howe led
a British army through Delaware on his way to a victory at the Battle of Brandywine and
capture of the city of Philadelphia. The only real engagement on Delaware soil
was the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, fought on September 3, 1777, at Cooch’s Bridge in New
Castle County, although there was a minor Loyalist rebellion in 1778. Following the Battle of Brandywine, Wilmington
was occupied by the British, and State President John McKinly was taken prisoner. The British remained in control of the Delaware
River for much of the rest of the war, disrupting commerce and providing encouragement to an
active Loyalist portion of the population, particularly in Sussex County. Because the British promised slaves of rebels
freedom for fighting with them, escaped slaves flocked north to join their lines.Following
the American Revolution, statesmen from Delaware were among the leading proponents of a strong
central United States with equal representation for each state.===Slavery and race===
Many colonial settlers came to Delaware from Maryland and Virginia, where the population
had been increasing rapidly. The economies of these colonies were chiefly
based on tobacco culture and were increasingly dependent on slave labor for its labor-intensive
cultivation because of a decline in working class immigrants from England. Most of the English colonists had arrived
as indentured servants, under contracts to work as laborers for a fixed period to pay
for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured
servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid, and the working classes often lived
closely together. Most of the free African-American families
in Delaware before the Revolution had migrated from Maryland to find more affordable land. They were descendants chiefly of relationships
or marriages between white servant women and enslaved, servant or free African or African-American
men. Under slavery law, children took the social
status of their mothers, so children born to white women were free, regardless of their
paternity, just as children born to enslaved women were born into slavery. As the flow of indentured laborers to the
colony decreased with improving economic conditions in England, more slaves were imported for
labor and the caste lines hardened. By the end of the colonial period, the number
of enslaved people in Delaware began to decline. Shifts in the agriculture economy from tobacco
to mixed farming resulted in less need for slaves’ labor. In addition local Methodists and Quakers encouraged
slaveholders to free their slaves following the American Revolution, and many did so in
a surge of individual manumissions for idealistic reasons. By 1810 three-quarters of all blacks in Delaware
were free. When John Dickinson freed his slaves in 1777,
he was Delaware’s largest slave owner with 37 slaves. By 1860, the largest slaveholder owned 16
slaves.Although attempts to abolish slavery failed by narrow margins in the legislature,
in practical terms, the state had mostly ended the practice. By the 1860 census on the verge of the Civil
War, 91.7% of the black population were free; 1,798 were slaves, as compared to 19,829 “free
colored persons”.An independent black denomination was chartered in 1813 by freed slave Peter
Spencer as the “Union Church of Africans”. This followed the 1793 establishment in Philadelphia
of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by Richard Allen, which had ties to the Methodist
Episcopal Church until 1816. Spencer built a church in Wilmington for the
new denomination. This was renamed as the African Union First
Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, more commonly known as the A.U.M.P. Church. In 1814, Spencer called for the first annual
gathering, known as the Big August Quarterly, which continues to draw members of this denomination
and their descendants together in a religious and cultural festival. Delaware voted against secession on January
3, 1861, and so remained in the Union. While most Delaware citizens who fought in
the war served in the regiments of the state, some served in companies on the Confederate
side in Maryland and Virginia Regiments. Delaware is notable for being the only slave
state from which no Confederate regiments or militia groups were assembled. Delaware essentially freed the few slaves
that were still in bondage shortly after the Civil War, but rejected the 13th, 14th, and
15th Amendments to the Constitution; the 13th Amendment was rejected on February 8, 1865,
the 14th Amendment was rejected on February 8, 1867, and the 15th Amendment was rejected
on March 18, 1869. Delaware officially ratified the 13th, 14th,
and 15th amendments on February 12, 1901.==Demographics==The United States Census Bureau estimates
that the population of Delaware was 952,065 people on July 1, 2016, a 6.0% increase since
the 2010 United States Census.===Ancestry===
According to the 2010 United States Census, Delaware had a population of 897,934 people. The racial composition of the state was: 68.9% White American (65.3% Non-Hispanic White,
3.6% White Hispanic) 21.4% Black or African American
0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native 3.2% Asian American
0.0% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 3.4% some other race
2.7% Multiracial AmericanEthnically, Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 8.2% of the
population. Delaware is the sixth most densely populated
state, with a population density of 442.6 people per square mile, 356.4 per square mile
more than the national average, and ranking 45th in population. Delaware is one of five states that do not
have a single city with a population over 100,000 as of the 2010 census, the other four
being West Virginia, Vermont, Maine and Wyoming. The center of population of Delaware is in
New Castle County, in the town of Townsend.As of 2011, 49.7% of Delaware’s population younger
than one year of age belonged to minority groups (i.e., did not have two parents of
non-Hispanic white ancestry). In 2000 approximately 19% of the population
were African-American and 5% of the population is Hispanic (mostly of Puerto Rican or Mexican
ancestry).===Birth data===
Note: Births in table don’t add up because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity
and by their race, giving a higher overall number. Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic
origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin
may be of any race.===Languages===
As of 2000 91% of Delaware residents age 5 and older speak only English at home; 5% speak
Spanish. French is the third most spoken language at
0.7%, followed by Chinese at 0.5% and German at 0.5%. Legislation had been proposed in both the
House and the Senate in Delaware to designate English as the official language. Neither bill was passed in the legislature.===Religion===As of 2014, Delaware is mostly Christian. Although Protestants account for almost half
of the population, the Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in the state. The Association of Religion Data Archives
reported in 2010 that the three largest denominational groups in Delaware by number of adherents
are the Catholic Church at 182,532 adherents, the United Methodist Church with 53,656 members
reported, and non-denominational Evangelical Protestant with 22,973 adherents reported. The religious body with the largest number
of congregations is the United Methodist Church (with 158 congregations) followed by non-denominational
Evangelical Protestant (with 106 congregations), then the Catholic Church (with 45 congregations). The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and
the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware oversee the parishes within their denominations. The A.U.M.P. Church, the oldest African-American denomination
in the nation, was founded in Wilmington. It still has a substantial presence in the
state. Reflecting new immigrant populations, an Islamic
mosque has been built in the Ogletown area, and a Hindu temple in Hockessin. Delaware is home to an Amish community that
resides to the west of Dover in Kent County, consisting of 9 church districts and between
1,200 and 1,500 people. The Amish first settled in Kent County in
1915. In recent years, increasing development has
led to the decline in the number of Amish living in the community.A 2012 survey of religious
attitudes in the United States found that 34% of Delaware residents considered themselves
“moderately religious,” 33% “very religious,” and 33% as “non-religious.”===Sexual orientation===
A 2012 Gallup poll found that Delaware’s proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
adults stood at 3.4 percent of the population. This constitutes a total LGBT adult population
estimate of 23,698 people. The number of same-sex couple households in
2010 stood at 2,646. This grew by 41.65% from a decade earlier. On July 1, 2013, same-sex marriage was legalized,
and all civil unions would be converted into marriages.==Economy=====
Affluence===According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing
International, Delaware had the ninth-largest number of millionaires per capita in the United
States, with a ratio of 6.20 percent.===Agriculture===Delaware’s agricultural output consists of
poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products and corn.===Industries===
As of October 2015, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.1%.The state’s largest employers
are: government (State of Delaware, New Castle
County) education (University of Delaware, Delaware
Technical & Community College) banking (Bank of America, M&T Bank, JPMorgan
Chase, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank) chemical, pharmaceutical, technology (E.I.
du Pont de Nemours & Co., AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Agilent Technologies)
healthcare (Christiana Care Health System, Bayhealth Medical Center, Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children) farming, specifically chicken farming in Sussex
County (Perdue Farms, Mountaire Farms, Allen Family Foods)
retail (Walmart, Walgreens, Acme Markets)Dover Air Force Base, located next to the state
capital of Dover, is one of the largest Air Force bases in the country and is a major
employer in Delaware. In addition to its other responsibilities
in the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command, this air base serves as the entry
point and mortuary for American military personnel and some U.S. government civilians who die
overseas.====Industrial decline====
Since the mid-2000s, Delaware has seen the departure of the state’s automotive manufacturing
industry (General Motors Wilmington Assembly and Chrysler Newark Assembly), the corporate
buyout of a major bank holding company (MBNA), the departure of the state’s steel industry
(Evraz Claymont Steel), the bankruptcy of a fiber mill (National Vulcanized Fibre),
and the diminishing presence of Astra Zeneca in Wilmington.In late 2015, DuPont announced
that 1,700 employees, nearly a third of its footprint in Delaware, would be laid off in
early 2016. The merger of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
and Dow Chemical Company into DowDuPont took place on September 1, 2017.===Incorporation in Delaware===More than 50% of all U.S. publicly traded
companies and 63% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware. The state’s attractiveness as a corporate
haven is largely because of its business-friendly corporation law. Franchise taxes on Delaware corporations supply
about one-fifth of its state revenue. Although “USA (Delaware)” ranked as the world’s
most opaque jurisdiction on the Tax Justice Network’s 2009 Financial Secrecy Index, the
same group’s 2011 Index ranks the USA fifth and does not specify Delaware. In Delaware, there are more than a million
registered corporations, meaning there are more corporations than people.===Food and drink===
Title 4, chapter 7 of the Delaware Code stipulates that alcoholic liquor only be sold in specifically
licensed establishments, and only between 9:00 am and 1:00 am. Until 2003, Delaware was among the several
states enforcing blue laws and banned the sale of liquor on Sunday.==Transportation==The transportation system in Delaware is under
the governance and supervision of the Delaware Department of Transportation, also known as
“DelDOT”. Funding for DelDOT projects is drawn, in part,
from the Delaware Transportation Trust Fund, established in 1987 to help stabilize transportation
funding; the availability of the Trust led to a gradual separation of DelDOT operations
from other Delaware state operations. DelDOT manages programs such as a Delaware
Adopt-a-Highway program, major road route snow removal, traffic control infrastructure
(signs and signals), toll road management, Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, the Delaware
Transit Corporation (branded as “DART First State”, the state government public transportation
organization), among others. In 2009, DelDOT maintained 13,507 lane miles
of roads, totaling 89 percent of the state’s public roadway system; the remaining public
road miles are under the supervision of individual municipalities. This far exceeds the United States national
average of 20 percent for state department of transportation maintenance responsibility.===Roads===One major branch of the U.S. Interstate Highway
System, Interstate 95 (I-95), crosses Delaware southwest-to-northeast across New Castle County. In addition to I-95, there are six U.S. highways
that serve Delaware: U.S. Route 9 (US 9), US 13, US 40, US 113, US 202, and US 301. There are also several state highways that
cross the state of Delaware; a few of them include Delaware Route 1 (DE 1), DE 9, and
DE 404. US 13 and DE 1 are primary north-south highways
connecting Wilmington and Pennsylvania with Maryland, with DE 1 serving as the main route
between Wilmington and the Delaware beaches. DE 9 is a north-south highway connecting Dover
and Wilmington via a scenic route along the Delaware Bay. US 40, is a primary east-west route, connecting
Maryland with New Jersey. DE 404 is another primary east-west highway
connecting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland with the Delaware beaches. The state also operates two toll highways,
the Delaware Turnpike, which is I-95, between Maryland and New Castle and the Korean War
Veterans Memorial Highway, which is DE 1, between Wilmington and Dover. A bicycle route, Delaware Bicycle Route 1,
spans the north-south length of the state from the Maryland border in Fenwick Island
to the Pennsylvania border north of Montchanin. It is the first of several signed bike routes
planned in Delaware.Delaware has around 1,450 bridges, 95 percent of which are under the
supervision of DelDOT. About 30 percent of all Delaware bridges were
built before 1950, and about 60 percent of the number are included in the National Bridge
Inventory. Some bridges not under DelDOT supervision
includes the four bridges on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which are under the jurisdiction
of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is under the
bi-state Delaware River and Bay Authority. It has been noted that the tar and chip composition
of secondary roads in Sussex County make them more prone to deterioration than asphalt roadways
found in almost the rest of the state. Among these roads, Sussex (county road) 236
is among the most problematic.===Ferries===There are three ferries that operate in the
state of Delaware: Cape May–Lewes Ferry crosses the mouth of
the Delaware Bay between Lewes, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey. Woodland Ferry is a cable ferry that crosses
the Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford. Forts Ferry Crossing connects Delaware City
with Fort Delaware and Fort Mott, New Jersey===
Rail and bus===Amtrak has two stations in Delaware along
the Northeast Corridor; the relatively quiet Newark Rail Station in Newark, and the busier
Wilmington Rail Station in Wilmington. The Northeast Corridor is also served by SEPTA’s
Wilmington/Newark Line of Regional Rail, which serves Claymont, Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing,
and Newark. Two Class I railroads, Norfolk Southern and
CSX, provide freight rail service in northern New Castle County. Norfolk Southern provides freight service
along the Northeast Corridor and to industrial areas in Edgemoor, New Castle, and Delaware
City. CSX’s Philadelphia Subdivision passes through
northern New Castle County parallel to the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. Multiple short-line railroads provide freight
service in Delaware. The Delmarva Central Railroad operates the
most trackage of the short-line railroads, running from an interchange with Norfolk Southern
in Porter south through Dover, Harrington, and Seaford to Delmar, with another line running
from Harrington to Frankford. The Delmarva Central Railroad connects with
two shortline railroads, the Delaware Coast Line Railroad and the Maryland and Delaware
Railroad, which serve local customers in Sussex County. CSX connects with the freight/heritage operation,
the Wilmington and Western Railroad, based in Wilmington and the East Penn Railroad,
which operates a line from Wilmington to Coatesville, Pennsylvania. The last north-south passenger train through
the main part of Delaware was the Pennsylvania Railroad’s The Cavalier, which ended service
from Philadelphia through the state’s interior in 1951.The DART First State public transportation
system was named “Most Outstanding Public Transportation System” in 2003 by the American
Public Transportation Association. Coverage of the system is broad within northern
New Castle County with close association to major highways in Kent and Sussex counties. The system includes bus, subsidized passenger
rail operated by Philadelphia transit agency SEPTA, and subsidized taxi and paratransit
modes. The paratransit system, consisting of a statewide
door-to-door bus service for the elderly and disabled, has been described by a Delaware
state report as “the most generous paratransit system in the United States.” As of 2012, fees for the paratransit service
have not changed since 1988.===Air===As of 2016, there is no scheduled air service
from any Delaware airport, as has been the case in various years since 1991. Various airlines had served Wilmington Airport,
with the latest departure being Frontier Airlines in April 2015.Delaware is centrally situated
in the Northeast megalopolis region of cities along I-95. Therefore, Delaware commercial airline passengers
most frequently use Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Baltimore-Washington International
Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) for domestic
and international transit. Residents of Sussex County will also use Wicomico
Regional Airport (SBY), as it is located less than 10 miles (16 km) from the Delaware border. Atlantic City International Airport (ACY),
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
(DCA) are also within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of New Castle County. The Dover Air Force Base of the Air Mobility
Command is in the central part of the state, and it is the home of the 436th Airlift Wing
and the 512th Airlift Wing. Other general aviation airports in Delaware
include Summit Airport near Middletown, Delaware Airpark near Cheswold, and Delaware Coastal
Airport near Georgetown.==Law and government==
Delaware’s fourth and current constitution, adopted in 1897, provides for executive, judicial
and legislative branches.===Legislative branch===The Delaware General Assembly consists of
a House of Representatives with 41 members and a Senate with 21 members. It sits in Dover, the state capital. Representatives are elected to two-year terms,
while senators are elected to four-year terms. The Senate confirms judicial and other nominees
appointed by the governor. Delaware’s U.S. Senators are Tom Carper (Democrat)
and Chris Coons (Democrat). Delaware’s single U.S. Representative is Lisa
Blunt Rochester (Democrat).===Judicial branch===
The Delaware Constitution establishes a number of courts: The Delaware Supreme Court is the state’s
highest court. The Delaware Superior Court is the state’s
trial court of general jurisdiction. The Delaware Court of Chancery deals primarily
in corporate disputes. The Family Court handles domestic and custody
matters. The Delaware Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction
over a limited class of civil and criminal matters.Minor non-constitutional courts include
the Justice of the Peace Courts and Aldermen’s Courts. Significantly, Delaware has one of the few
remaining Courts of Chancery in the nation, which has jurisdiction over equity cases,
the vast majority of which are corporate disputes, many relating to mergers and acquisitions. The Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme
Court have developed a worldwide reputation for rendering concise opinions concerning
corporate law which generally (but not always) grant broad discretion to corporate boards
of directors and officers. In addition, the Delaware General Corporation
Law, which forms the basis of the Courts’ opinions, is widely regarded as giving great
flexibility to corporations to manage their affairs. For these reasons, Delaware is considered
to have the most business-friendly legal system in the United States; therefore a great number
of companies are incorporated in Delaware, including 60% of the companies listed on the
New York Stock Exchange. Delaware was the last U.S. state to use judicial
corporal punishment, in 1952.===Executive branch===The executive branch is headed by the Governor
of Delaware. The present governor is John Carney (Democrat),
who took office January 17, 2017. The lieutenant governor is Bethany Hall-Long. The governor presents a “State of the State”
speech to a joint session of the Delaware legislature annually.===Counties===
Delaware is subdivided into three counties; from north to south they are New Castle, Kent
and Sussex. This is the fewest among all states. Each county elects its own legislative body
(known in New Castle and Sussex counties as County Council, and in Kent County as Levy
Court), which deal primarily in zoning and development issues. Most functions which are handled on a county-by-county
basis in other states – such as court and law enforcement – have been centralized
in Delaware, leading to a significant concentration of power in the Delaware state government. The counties were historically divided into
hundreds, which were used as tax reporting and voting districts until the 1960s, but
now serve no administrative role, their only current official legal use being in real-estate
title descriptions.===Politics===The Democratic Party holds a plurality of
registrations in Delaware. Until the 2000 presidential election, the
state tended to be a Presidential bellwether, sending its three electoral votes to the winning
candidate since 1952. This trend ended in 2000 when Delaware’s electoral
votes went to Al Gore by 20-percentage points. In 2004, John Kerry won Delaware by eight-percentage
points. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican
John McCain in Delaware by 25-percentage points. Obama’s running mate was Joe Biden, who had
represented Delaware in the United States Senate since 1973. Obama carried Delaware by 19-percentage points
in 2012. In 2016, Delaware’s electoral votes went to
Hillary Clinton by 11-percentage points. Delaware’s swing to the Democrats is in part
due to a strong Democratic trend in New Castle County, home to 55 percent of Delaware’s population
(the two smaller counties have only 359,000 people between them to New Castle’s 535,000). New Castle has not voted Republican in a presidential
election since 1988. In 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2016, the Republican
presidential candidate carried both Kent and Sussex but lost by double-digits each time
in New Castle, which was a large enough margin to swing the state to the Democrats. New Castle also elects a substantial majority
of the legislature; 27 of the 41 state house districts and 14 of the 21 state senate districts
are based in New Castle. The Democrats have held the governorship since
1993, having won the last seven gubernatorial elections in a row. Democrats presently hold seven of the nine
statewide elected offices, while the Republicans hold two statewide offices, State Auditor
and State Treasurer.===Freedom of information===Each of the 50 states of the United States
has passed some form of freedom of information legislation, which provides a mechanism for
the general public to request information of the government. In 2011 Delaware passed legislation placing
a 15 business day time limit on addressing freedom-of-information requests, to either
produce information or an explanation of why such information would take longer than this
time to produce.===Government revenue===
Delaware has six different income tax brackets, ranging from 2.2% to 5.95%. The state does not assess sales tax on consumers. The state does, however, impose a tax on the
gross receipts of most businesses. Business and occupational license tax rates
range from 0.096% to 1.92%, depending on the category of business activity. Delaware does not assess a state-level tax
on real or personal property. Real estate is subject to county property
taxes, school district property taxes, vocational school district taxes, and, if located within
an incorporated area, municipal property taxes. Gambling provides significant revenue to the
state. For instance, the casino at Delaware Park
Racetrack provided more than US$100 million to the state in 2010.In June 2018, Delaware
became the first US state to legalize sports betting following the Supreme Court ruling
to repeal The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).===Voter registration=====
Municipalities==Wilmington is the state’s largest city and
its economic hub. It is located within commuting distance of
both Philadelphia and Baltimore. All regions of Delaware are enjoying phenomenal
growth, with Dover and the beach resorts expanding at a rapid rate.==Education==Delaware was the origin of Belton v. Gebhart,
one of the four cases which were combined into Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme
Court of the United States decision that led to the end of officially segregated public
schools. Significantly, Belton was the only case in
which the state court found for the plaintiffs, thereby ruling that segregation was unconstitutional. Unlike many states, Delaware’s educational
system is centralized in a state Superintendent of Education, with local school boards retaining
control over taxation and some curriculum decisions. As of 2011, the Delaware Department of Education
had authorized the founding of 25 charter schools in the state, one of them being all-girls.All
teachers in the State’s public school districts are unionized. As of January 2012, none of the State’s charter
schools are members of a teachers union. One of the State’s teachers’ unions is Delaware
State Education Association (DSEA), whose President as of January 2012 is Frederika
Jenner.===Colleges and Universities===
Delaware College of Art and Design Delaware State University
Delaware Technical & Community College Drexel University at Wilmington
Goldey-Beacom College University of Delaware — Ranked 63rd in
USA and in top 201–250 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings
2018) Wesley College
Widener University School of Law Wilmington University==
Sister cities and states==Delaware’s sister state in Japan is Miyagi
Prefecture.==Media=====
Television===The northern part of the state is served by
network stations in Philadelphia and the southern part by network stations in Baltimore and
Salisbury, Maryland. Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV, maintains
a news bureau in downtown Wilmington. Salisbury’s ABC affiliate, WMDT covers Sussex
and lower Kent County; while CBS affiliate, WBOC-TV, maintains bureaus in Dover and Milton. Few television stations are based solely in
Delaware; the local PBS station from Philadelphia (but licensed to Wilmington), WHYY-TV, maintains
a studio and broadcasting facility in Wilmington and Dover, Ion Television affiliate WPPX is
licensed to Wilmington but maintains their offices in Philadelphia and their digital
transmitter outside of that city and an analog tower in New Jersey, and MeTV affiliate WDPN-TV
is licensed to Wilmington but maintains their offices in New Jersey and their transmitter
is located at the antenna farm in Philadelphia. In April 2014, it was revealed that Rehoboth
Beach’s WRDE-LD would affiliate with NBC, becoming the first major network-affiliated
station in Delaware.==Tourism==In addition to First State National Historical
Park, Delaware has several museums, wildlife refuges, parks, houses, lighthouses, and other
historic places. Rehoboth Beach, together with the towns of
Lewes, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island, comprise Delaware’s beach
resorts. Rehoboth Beach often bills itself as “The
Nation’s Summer Capital” because it is a frequent summer vacation destination for Washington,
D.C. residents as well as visitors from Maryland, Virginia, and in lesser numbers, Pennsylvania. Vacationers are drawn for many reasons, including
the town’s charm, artistic appeal, nightlife, and tax free shopping. According to SeaGrant Delaware, the Delaware
Beaches generate $6.9 billion annually and over $711 million in tax revenue.Delaware
is home to several festivals, fairs, and events. Some of the more notable festivals are the
Riverfest held in Seaford, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin formerly held at various locations
throughout the state since 1986, the Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, the Bethany Beach
Jazz Funeral to mark the end of summer, the Apple Scrapple Festival held in Bridgeville,
the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, the Sea
Witch Halloween Festival and Parade in Rehoboth Beach, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film
Festival, the Nanticoke Indian Pow Wow in Oak Orchard, Firefly Music Festival, and the
Return Day Parade held after every election in Georgetown. In 2015, tourism in Delaware generated $3.1
billion, which makes up of 5 percent of the state’s GDP. Delaware saw 8.5 million visitors in 2015,
with the tourism industry employing 41,730 people, making it the 4th largest private
employer in the state. Major origin markets for Delaware tourists
include Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg, with
97% of tourists arriving to the state by car and 75% of tourists coming from 200 miles
(320 km) or less.==Culture and entertainment=====
Festivals======
Sports===Professional Teams
As Delaware has no franchises in the major American professional sports leagues, many
Delawareans follow either Philadelphia or Baltimore teams. In the WNBA, the Washington Mystics enjoy
a major following due to the presence of Wilmington native and University of Delaware product
Elena Delle Donne. The University of Delaware’s football team
has a large following throughout the state with the Delaware State University and Wesley
College teams also enjoying a smaller degree of support. Delaware is home to Dover International Speedway
and Dover Downs. DIS, also known as the Monster Mile, hosts
two NASCAR race weekends each year, one in the late spring and one in the early fall. Dover Downs is a popular harness racing facility. It is the only co-located horse and car-racing
facility in the nation, with the Dover Downs track inside the DIS track. Delaware is represented in USA Rugby League
by 2015 expansion club, the Delaware Black Foxes. Delaware has been home to professional wrestling
outfit Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). CZW has been affiliated with the annual Tournament
of Death and ECWA with its annual Super 8 Tournament. Delaware’s official state sport is bicycling.==Delaware Native Americans==
Delaware is also the name of a Native American group (called in their own language Lenni
Lenape) that was influential in the colonial period of the United States and is today headquartered
in Cheswold, Kent County, Delaware. A band of the Nanticoke tribe of American
Indians today resides in Sussex County and is headquartered in Millsboro, Sussex County,
Delaware.==Namesakes==
Several ships have been named USS Delaware in honor of this state.==Delawareans====See also==Index of Delaware-related articles
Outline of Delaware==Notes

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