The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a state located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States of America.
Pennsylvania has been known as the Keystone State since 1802, based in part upon its central location among the original Thirteen Colonies forming the United States. It was also a keystone state economically, having both the industry common to the North, making such wares as Conestoga wagons and rifles, and the agriculture common to the South, producing feed, fiber, food, and tobacco.
Another one of Pennsylvania's nicknames is the Quaker State; in colonial times, it was known officially as the Quaker Province, in recognition of Quaker William Penn's First Frame of Government constitution for Pennsylvania that guaranteed liberty of conscience. Pennsylvania translates to "Penn's woods" and was named after the father of William Penn, the founder of the colony. Quakers faced when they opposed religious ritual, taking oaths, violence, war and military service, and what they viewed as ostentatious frippery.
Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km) of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's largest city and is home to a major seaport and shipyards on the Delaware River.
The Mason–Dixon line (or "Mason and Dixon's Line") is a demarcation line between four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (then part of Virginia). It was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. The Mason–Dixon line is often symbolically viewed as a cultural boundary between the Northern United States and the Southern United States (Dixie).
Maryland and Pennsylvania both claimed the land between the 39th and 40th parallels according to the charters granted to each colony. The 'Three Lower Counties' (Delaware) along Delaware Bay moved into the Penn sphere of settlement, and later became the Delaware Colony, a satellite of Pennsylvania.
In 1732 the proprietary governor of Maryland, Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, signed an agreement with William Penn's sons which drew a line somewhere in between, and also renounced the Calvert claim to Delaware. But later Lord Baltimore claimed that the document he signed did not contain the terms he had agreed to, and refused to put the agreement into effect. Beginning in the mid-1730s, violence erupted between settlers claiming various loyalties to Maryland and Pennsylvania. The border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland would be known as Cresap's War. (Read more...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Mid-State Regional Airport (pictured) is a Keystone Opportunity Zone to promote economic growth, but, to protect the Pennsylvania state park and forest it was formed from, cannot legally expand?
- ... that the 1852 Lombard Street Riot capped thirteen years of recurring racial violence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
- ... that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama refused to hand out street money, a political tactic common in Philadelphia, during the 2008 Pennsylvania primary?
- ... that when the YMCA of Berwick was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1883, the majority of the organization's trustees were current executives of Jackson and Woodin Manufacturing Company?
- ... that of the 30 covered bridges that once stood in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, only Forksville, Hillsgrove, and Sonestown remain, all of which were built in 1850?
William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English, North American colony and the future U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his treaty with the Lenape Indians. Well ahead of his time, Penn wrote and urged for a Union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply, and included a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates," in his voluminous writings.
Penn was born in London in 1644, the son of Admiral Sir William Penn and Margaret Jasper, the daughter of a Rotterdam merchant. His father served in the Royal Navy (controlled by parliament) during the English Civil War and was rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with estates in Ireland. Later, though, his father took part in the restoration of Charles II and was knighted by him. Penn was educated at Chigwell School, by private tutors in Ireland and then at Christ Church, Oxford. (Read more...)
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