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Definition of NEW JERSEY
state E United States ∗ Trenton area 7787 square miles (20,168 square kilometers), pop 8,791,894
— New Jer·sey·an\-ən\noun
— New Jer·sey·ite\-ˌīt\noun
geographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
State, eastern U.S. Area: 7,813 sq mi (20,236 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 8,707,739. Capital: Trenton. New Jersey lies on the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The Hudson River forms its northeastern boundary; the Delaware River, its western boundary. Before European colonization, the region was inhabited by Delaware Indian tribes. Although it was sighted by Giovanni Verrazzano and Henry Hudson, it was first settled by Dutch and Swedish traders. It was the site of numerous battles during the American Revolution, including one led by Gen. George Washington in 1776, after crossing the Delaware (see Battles of Trenton and Princeton). It was the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Between the Revolutionary and Civil wars, it underwent tremendous industrialization, abetted by the construction of canals and, later, railways. Although known as the Garden State, a name influenced by its 18th-century agricultural fertility, its economy is based primarily on manufacturing, and it has many research facilities and laboratories. Tourism, led by Atlantic City, is also important. Chief cities include Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth.