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Province of Pennsylvania

Province of Pennsylvania

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The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America
British America
For American people of British descent, see British American.British America is the anachronistic term used to refer to the territories under the control of the Crown or Parliament in present day North America , Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana...

 by William Penn
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

 on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II. The name Pennsylvania, which translates roughly as "Penn's Woods", was created by combining the Penn surname (in honor of William's father, Admiral Sir William Penn) with the Latin word sylvania
Sylvania
Sylvania literally means "forest land" in Latin. The term can be used in a variety of contexts:- Companies :*Sylvania , a brand of consumer electronics sold by Funai which include popular items such as the & the ....

, meaning "forest land". The colony's charter remained in the hands of the Penn family until the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 was created and became one of the original thirteen states. For a short time after this event the Williamson family took over Pennsylvania but later lost power.

Government


The colonial government, established in 1682 by Penn's Frame of Government
Frame of Government of Pennsylvania
The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania was a constitution for the Province of Pennsylvania, a proprietary colony granted to William Penn by Charles II of England. In 1682 Penn, while still in England, drafted the first version of the Frame of Government to supplement the colony's royal charter...

, consisted of an appointed Governor, the proprietor (Penn), a 72-member Provincial Council, and a larger General Assembly. The General Assembly, also known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, was the largest and most representative branch of government, but had little power.

Succeeding Frames of Government, also known as the Charter of Privileges, were produced in 1683, 1696 and 1701. The fourth Frame (Charter of Privileges) remained in effect until the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. At that time, the Provincial Assembly was deemed too moderate by the revolutionaries, who ignored the Assembly and held a convention which produced the Constitution of 1776
Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 was the state's first constitution following the Declaration of Independence, and has been described as the most democratic in America. It was drafted by Robert Whitehill, Timothy Matlack, Dr. Thomas Young, George Bryan, James Cannon, and Benjamin Franklin...

 for the newly established Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, creating a new General Assembly
Pennsylvania General Assembly
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. In colonial times , the legislature was known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. Since the Constitution of 1776, written by...

 in the process.

Religious freedom and prosperity


William Penn
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

 and his fellow Quakers heavily imprinted their religious values on the early Pennsylvanian government. The Charter of Privileges extended religious freedom to all monotheists and government was initially open to all Christians. Until the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 Pennsylvania had no militia, few taxes and no public debt. It also encouraged the rapid growth of Philadelphia into America's most important city, and of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Pennsylvania Dutch Country refers to an area of southeastern Pennsylvania, United States that by the American Revolution had a high percentage of Pennsylvania Dutch inhabitants. Religiously, there was a large portion of Lutherans. There were also German Reformed, Moravian, Amish, Mennonite and...

 hinterlands, where German (or "Deitsch") religious and political refugees prospered on the fertile soil and spirit of cultural creativeness. Among the first groups were the Mennonites, who founded Germantown
Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Germantown is a neighborhood in the northwest section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, about 7–8 miles northwest from the center of the city...

 in 1683; and the Amish, who established the Northkill Amish Settlement
Northkill Amish Settlement
The Northkill Amish Settlement was established in 1740 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. As the first identifiable Amish community in the new world, it was the foundation of Amish settlement in the Americas.-Settlement:...

 in 1740. 1751 was an auspicious year for the colony. Pennsylvania Hospital
Pennsylvania Hospital
Pennsylvania Hospital is a hospital in Center City, Philadelphia, affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Health System . Founded on May 11, 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond, it was the first hospital in the United States...

, the first hospital in the British American colonies, and The Academy and College of Philadelphia
The Academy and College of Philadelphia
The Academy and College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, is considered by many to have been the first American academy. It was founded in 1749 by Benjamin Franklin....

, the predecessor to the private University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

, both opened.

Relations with Native Americans


The Charter of Privileges mandated fair dealings with Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. This led to significantly better relations with the local Native tribes (mainly the Lenape
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 and Susquehanna
Susquehannock
The Susquehannock people were Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans who lived in areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributaries from the southern part of what is now New York, through Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Susquehanna in Maryland at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay...

) than most other colonies had. The Quakers had previously treated Indians with respect, bought land from them voluntarily, and had even representation of Indians and Whites on juries. According to Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

, the Shackamaxon Treaty was "the only treaty between Indians and Christians that was never sworn to and that was never broken." The Quakers also refused to provide any assistance to New England's Indian wars.

In 1737, the Colony exchanged a great deal of its political goodwill with the native Lenape
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 for more land. The colonial administrators claimed that they had a deed dating to the 1680s in which the Lenape-Delaware had promised to sell a portion of land beginning between the junction of the Delaware River
Delaware River
The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States.A Dutch expedition led by Henry Hudson in 1609 first mapped the river. The river was christened the South River in the New Netherland colony that followed, in contrast to the North River, as the Hudson River was then...

 and Lehigh River
Lehigh River
The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

 (near present Wrightstown, Pennsylvania) "as far west as a man could walk in a day and a half." This purchase has become known as the Walking Purchase
Walking Purchase
The Walking Purchase was a purported 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the Lenape . By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres and forced the Lenape to vacate it...

. Although the document was most likely a forgery, the Lenape did not realize that. Provincial Secretary James Logan set in motion a plan that would grab as much land as they could possibly get and hired the three fastest runners in the colony to run out the purchase on a trail which had been cleared by other members of the colony beforehand. The pace was so intense that only one runner actually completed the "walk," covering an astonishing 70 miles (112.7 km). This netted the Penns 1200000 acres (4,856.2 km²) of land in what is now northeastern Pennsylvania, an area roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 in the purchase. The area of the purchase covers all or part of what are now Pike
Pike County, Pennsylvania
-National protected areas:* Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area * Middle Delaware National Scenic River * Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River -Demographics:...

, Monroe
Monroe County, Pennsylvania
-National protected areas:* Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area * Middle Delaware National Scenic River -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there are 176,567 people, 49,454 households, and 36,447 families residing in the county. The population density was 228 people per square mile...

, Carbon
Carbon County, Pennsylvania
As of the census of 2000, there were 58,802 people, 23,701 households, and 16,424 families residing in the county. The population density was 154 people per square mile . There were 30,492 housing units at an average density of 80 per square mile...

, Schuylkill
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
-Notable people:*Boxing heavyweight great Muhammad Ali had his training camp in Deer Lake.*Charles Justin Bailey, commanding general of the 81st Division in World War I, was born in Tamaqua on June 21, 1859....

, Northampton
Northampton County, Pennsylvania
As of the 2010 census, the county was 86.3% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.2% were two or more races, and 3.8% were some other race. 10.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.As of the census of...

, Lehigh
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
-Climate:Most of the county's climate is considered to fall in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is almost uniformly distributed throughout the year....

 and Bucks counties
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
- Industry and commerce :The boroughs of Bristol and Morrisville were prominent industrial centers along the Northeast Corridor during World War II. Suburban development accelerated in Lower Bucks in the 1950s with the opening of Levittown, Pennsylvania, the second such "Levittown" designed by...

. The Lenape tribe fought for the next 19 years to have the treaty annulled, but to no avail. The Lenape-Delaware were forced into the Shamokin and Wyoming Valleys, which were already overcrowded with other displaced tribes.

Limits on further settlement



As the colony grew, colonists and British military forces came into conflict with Natives in the Western half of the state. Britain fought for control of the neighboring Ohio Country
Ohio Country
The Ohio Country was the name used in the 18th century for the regions of North America west of the Appalachian Mountains and in the region of the upper Ohio River south of Lake Erie...

 with France during the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

, and following the British victory the territory was formally ceded to them in 1763 and became part of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

.

With the war just over and Pontiac's War beginning, the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 banned colonization beyond the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 in an effort to prevent settlers invading lands which the Native Americans considered their own. This proclamation affected Pennsylvanians and Virginians the most, as they had been racing towards the poor lands surrounding Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt (Pennsylvania)
Fort Pitt was a fort built at the location of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.-French and Indian War:The fort was built from 1759 to 1761 during the French and Indian War , next to the site of former Fort Duquesne, at the confluence the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River...

 (modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

).

Slavery


Despite Quaker opposition to slavery, by 1730 colonists had brought about 4,000 slaves into Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780
An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery
An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, passed by the Pennsylvania legislature on 1 March 1780, was the first attempt by a government in the Western Hemisphere to begin an abolition of slavery....

 was the first attempt to abolish slavery in the colonies and what would become the United States. (The 1777 Constitution of the Vermont Republic
Constitution of the Vermont Republic
The Constitution of Vermont was Vermont's constitution when it existed as the independent Vermont Republic or, more correctly, the Commonwealth of Vermont, from 1777 to 1791. The official title of the document was simply the Constitution of Vermont. The constitution was adopted in 1777 when Vermont...

 prohibited slavery in the territory, but did not provide a mechanism for freeing those already enslaved.) The U.S. Census of 1790 for Pennsylvania showed that the number of African-Americans had increased to about 10,000, of whom about 6,300 had received their freedom in Pennsylvania.

Famous colonial Pennsylvanians

  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

     moved to Philadelphia at age 17 in 1723; during his later years he was Pennsylvania's most famous citizen. Among his accomplishments was founding in 1751 The Academy and College of Philadelphia
    The Academy and College of Philadelphia
    The Academy and College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, is considered by many to have been the first American academy. It was founded in 1749 by Benjamin Franklin....

    , the predecessor to the private University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
    The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

    . Franklin was also a strong advocate for a state militia, creating his own extra-legal militia when the state assembly would not during King George's War
    King George's War
    King George's War is the name given to the operations in North America that formed part of the War of the Austrian Succession . It was the third of the four French and Indian Wars. It took place primarily in the British provinces of New York, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Nova Scotia...

    .
  • Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean
    Thomas McKean was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of...

     was born in New London, Pennsylvania
    New London Township, Pennsylvania
    New London Township is a township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,631 at the 2010 census. It was the birthplace of U.S...

    . He was an officer in the Continental Army
    Continental Army
    The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

     during the American Revolution, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the second President of the U.S. Congress under the Articles of Confederation
    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

    , Acting President of Delaware, and Chief Justice and Governor of Pennsylvania.
  • Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris
    Gouverneur Morris , was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a native of New York City who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation. Morris was also an author of large sections of the...

    , one of the leading minds of the American Revolution, lived in New York City during most of the colonial period, but moved to Philadelphia to work as a lawyer and merchant during the Revolution.
  • Robert Morris
    Robert Morris (merchant)
    Robert Morris, Jr. was a British-born American merchant, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution...

    , moved to Philadelphia around 1749 at about age 14. He was known as the Financier of the Revolution, because of his role in securing financial assistance for the American Colonial side in the Revolutionary War. In 1921, Robert Morris University
    Robert Morris University
    Robert Morris University is a private, coeducational university in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1921, the school was named for Robert Morris, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and helped finance the ensuing war with the British.-History:Robert Morris...

     was founded and named after him.
  • Thomas Paine
    Thomas Paine
    Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

     emigrated to Philadelphia in 1774 at Benjamin Franklin's urging. His tract, Common Sense
    Common Sense (pamphlet)
    Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Common Sense, signed "Written by an Englishman", became an immediate success. In relation to the population of the Colonies at that time, it had the largest...

    , published in 1776, was arguably the most famous and influential argument for the Revolution. He was also the first to publicly champion the phrase "United States of America."
  • William Penn
    William Penn
    William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

    , the colony's founder and son of naval Admiral Sir William Penn
  • Arthur St. Clair
    Arthur St. Clair
    Arthur St. Clair was an American soldier and politician. Born in Scotland, he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office...

     moved to Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania in 1764. He served as a judge in colonial Pennsylvania, a general in the Continental Army
    Continental Army
    The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

    , and a President under the Articles of Confederation
    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

    .
  • James Wilson
    James Wilson
    James Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution...

     moved to Philadelphia in 1765 and became a lawyer; he signed the Declaration of Independence
    Declaration of independence
    A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

     and wrote or worked on many of the most difficult compromises in the U.S. Constitution, including the Three-Fifths Compromise
    Three-fifths compromise
    The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves would be counted for representation purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the...

    , which defined slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of census-taking, number of members to be elected to U. S. House of Representatives, and government appropriations.
  • Peggy Shippen
    Peggy Shippen
    Peggy Shippen, or Margaret Shippen , was the second wife of General Benedict Arnold...

    , daughter of prominent Philadelphia merchant Edward Shippen and wife of Benedict Arnold
    Benedict Arnold
    Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...


See also

  • Restoration colony
    Restoration colony
    A restoration colony was one of a number of land grants in North America given by King Charles II of England in the latter half of the 17th century, ostensibly as a reward to his supporters in the Stuart Restoration. The grants marked the resumption of English colonization of the Americas after a...

  • Walking Purchase
    Walking Purchase
    The Walking Purchase was a purported 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the Lenape . By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres and forced the Lenape to vacate it...

  • List of colonial governors of Pennsylvania
  • Independence Hall
    Independence Hall
    Independence Hall is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets...

    , originally the Pennsylvania State House
  • Great Wagon Road
    Great Wagon Road
    The Great Wagon Road was a colonial American improved trail transiting the Great Appalachian Valley from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and from there to Georgia....

  • Cambria, Pennsylvania
    Cambria, Pennsylvania
    Cambria was a Welsh colony in Pennsylvania, founded during the 18th century and given a Latin name meaning "Wales"....

  • Welsh Tract
    Welsh Tract
    The Welsh Tract, also called the Welsh Barony, was a portion of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania settled largely by Welsh-speaking Quakers. It covers 40,000 acres to the west of Philadelphia...


Secondary sources


External links