For the period before 1760, the distinguishing characteristics of a Mid-Atlantic region have always been hard to define. Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware are usually described in terms of social, ethnic, and religious pluralism. But pluralism is inherently problematic as a unifying concept for colonies composed of countless fractious local communities and groups. Other efforts to find coherence are just as vexed by a collection of communities that virtually no one in the seventeenth or early eighteenth century on either side of the ocean seems to have recognized as a region. Recent turns toward continental and Atlantic frameworks for interpreting colonial North American history make unifying factors for these colonies all the more elusive and indeed undermine the entire concept of region as an interpretive category.


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pp. 260-281
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