The history of Delaware as a political entity dates back to the early colonization of North America by European-American settlers. It is made up of three counties established since 1638, before the time of William Penn. Each had its own settlement history. Their early inhabitants tended to identify more closely with the county than the colony or state. Large parts of southern and western Delaware were thought to have been in Maryland until 1767. All of the state has existed in the wide economic and political circle of Philadelphia.