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Delaware in the 20th century


Brandywine region Delaware
Brandywine region Delaware

After the war the state’s industrial output continued to increase, although shipbuilding and some other wartime industries declined in importance. New chemical research centers were developed, and in 1956 a modern mechanized oil refinery began production near Delaware City. Wilmington continued to grow as an industrial center, and new industries were also established in smaller cities throughout the state, especially around Wilmington and Dover. In addition, Kent County benefited economically from the development of Dover Air Force Base, and Sussex County benefited from the improvement and expansion of its resort facilities and from the development of an extensive and lucrative poultry industry that supplied the East Coast. Commerce expanded with the completion of the Delaware Memorial Bridge to New Jersey in 1951.

During the 1950s, Delaware’s population growth made it one of the fastest growing states on the eastern seaboard. Wilmington itself lost population, but its suburbs grew and spread into adjoining states. Population growth remained rapid in the 1960s but slowed drastically in the 1970s.

Recent Political Developments


Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats commanded a reliable majority of voters in Delaware after the 1930s. In national presidential elections the Democratic and Republican candidates have carried Delaware about equally. In state elections, the Democrats have frequently won control of both houses of the legislature.

The governorship has shifted between the two parties, and few governors have been reelected. During the early 1960s there were continued demands for reapportionment of the legislature. New Castle County wanted greater representation on the basis of its greatly increased population. After the courts in the case of Sincock v. Roman, 1962, decided that the existing apportionment was in conflict with the U.S. Constitution, the general assembly in 1964 passed a new and more equitable law. This too was successfully challenged in court, leading to another apportionment law in 1968. Under this new law, New Castle County was assigned about two-thirds of the state legislators, with the suburbs of Wilmington showing the greatest gain. "Delaware" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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