also known as the Keystone State covers
an area of just over 46,000 square miles
and has a population of almost 13
million people. Pennsylvania is bordered
on the east by New
Jersey, on the east and north by
York, on the west by Ohio
and on the south by Delaware,
Virginia and Maryland.
Euro-American history of Pennsylvania
officially begins in 1631 when the
Dutch established a settlement at what
is present day Lewes
Delaware. The Dutch and the
British claimed lands along both sides
of the Delaware River. After a war with
the Netherlands that ended in 1667 the
British took over the territory of the
New Netherlands which included parts of
Another war between Britain and the Dutch reverted the territory back to the Dutch. Finally in 1674 the area return to British rule when the Third Anglo-Dutch war ended.
In order to repay a debt owed to his family, Charles II granted William Penn a land charter that included much of what is now Pennsylvania. Penn, a Quaker, instituted a policy of freedom of religion in his colony, a first for the British colonies and copied widely.
Pennsylvania's impact on American history continued through the 18 century. The First and Second Continental Congresses were held in Philadelphia.
The Declaration of
Independence and the Articles of
Confederation were drawn up and signed
in Philadelphia. Beyond Colonial times
Pennsylvania was the site of Civil War
battles the most famous of which is
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