Pennsylvania Overview

Pennsylvania Overview

Pennsylvania (in English: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania). It is a state of the United States of America, the second to be admitted by the Union. It has given its name to the Pennsylvania period in geology. It is also known as The Keystone State. Although the Swedes and the Dutch were the first European settlers, King Charles II of Englandgranted the territory to the English Quaker William Penn in 1681.



According to ehotelat, Pennsylvania was primarily occupied by the Algonquians and the Iroquois. In 1609, Henry Hudson explored the Delaware Bay area and proclaimed Dutch rights to this area. Later, the Dutch West India Company created the first settlements. In this same period, the English had already established fur trading posts, had conquered the territory around Delaware Bay, and by 1664 controlled all of New Holland.

In the 1670s, English Quakers settled in New Jersey, and in 1681 one of their leaders, William Penn, was granted a royal patent granting him ownership of the lands between New Jersey and Maryland, to which Penn christened Pennsylvania. In 1682, Penn founded Philadelphia and signed a treaty of friendship with the Indians.

The struggle between the French and English for control of western Pennsylvania sparked the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1754 – 1763), which ended in full British possession of the region.

In the early 1770s, discontent with the British government’s tax requirement fueled the desire for independence among the colonists. Pennsylvania was divided between the partisans of the British and the anti-British. In 1774, the first Continental Congress denounced British policy and approved a commercial boycott of English goods. Shortly before the session of the second Continental Congress began, which met in Philadelphia the following year, a confrontation broke out between settlers and British troops in Massachusetts., which caused the beginning of the American War of Independence. Conservative Pennsylvania Assembly continued to support the British Crown until in Julyof 1776, it adopted the Declaration of Independence, which Congress ratified two days later. Philadelphia became the capital of the new nation.

Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the Convention-approved Constitution. In the first half of the 19th century, Pennsylvania undertook an ambitious highway and canal construction program that strengthened the state’s position as the leading supplier of wood, coal, and iron to the world market. Later, the construction of a railway system was undertaken that connected the different regions of the state. The combination of coal, iron, oil, and a good communications network made Pennsylvania an important industrial center.

Periodic attacks took place in the southern third of the state during the American Civil War, and the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863 ended in Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.


Pennsylvania is 257 km long from north to south and 455 km from east to west. Of the total 119,282 km² of the state’s surface, 116,075 km² are land, 1,269 km² are inland waters and 1,940 km² correspond to the waters of Lake Erie. Pennsylvania is the 33rd state by area in the United States.

The borders of the state are the so – called Mason-Dixon Line (39 ° 43 ‘N) in the south, the Delaware River in the east, 80 ° 31’ W in the west, and the parallel 42 ° N in the north, except of a small segment at the end of the western part, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie. Pennsylvania borders six other states:

  • New York to the north.
  • New Jersey to the east.
  • Delaware and Maryland to the southeast.
  • Southwest West Virginia.
  • Ohio to the west.

Major cities

Harrisburg: it is the capital, it is located in the central region of the Commonwealth on the Susquehanna River.

Philadelphia: It is located in the southeast of the state.

Pittsburgh: It is located in the southwest of the state.


Pennsylvania’s geographic diversity also results in a wide variety of climates. Among the two major climate zones, the southeastern corner of the state has the warmest climate. Greater Philadelphia is at the southern tip of the humid continental climate zone, with some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate found in Delaware and Maryland to the south. Moving into the mountainous interior of the state, the weather becomes markedly colder, the number of cloudy days increases, and the amounts of winter snowfall are greater.

Most of the lowland areas of the interior have a moderate humid continental climate, with hot and humid summers and cold or very cold winters. The mountainous areas of the Appalachians have a more severe humid continental climate, with colder, snowier winters and somewhat colder summers. The southeastern area has a humid subtropical climate with somewhat milder winters.

Economic development

The gross domestic product of Penssylvania in 2007 was 531,110 million dollars. By per capita income, Pennsylvania, at $ 35,153, ranks 42nd among the 50 US states.

Philadelphia in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, Erie on the shores of Lake Erie in the northwest of the state, the Wyoming Valley region to the northeast, and the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan region in the center are urban centers of manufacturing, with the rest of the Commonwealth which remains much more rural; This dichotomy affects state politics and economy. Most located in suburbs like King of Prussia. Pennsylvania is a leader in the financial and insurance industry. Pittsburgh is home to seven Fortune 500 companies, including US Steel, PPG Industries, HJ Heinzand Alcoa. In all, Pennsylvania is home to fifty Fortune 500 companies.

As in the United States as a whole and in most of its states, the largest private company by number of employees in the Commonwealth is Wal-Mart, followed by the University of Pennsylvania, United Parcel Service, and Giant Food. The largest manufacturing company by number of employees in the state is Merck.


In 2002 Penssylvania occupied the nineteenth position of the country in agricultural production, but stands first mushrooming, third in the production of trees Christmas and eggs, fourth in nurseries, milk, corn for silage and viticulture.


Education in Pennsylvania can be divided into universities, secondary and elementary education. Some of its best universities are:

University of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State University.

Temple University.

University of Pittsburgh.

Lincoln University.

Drexel University.


Pennsylvania is home to many teams that participate in the national leagues of professional sports: the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL, the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association, the Erie Bayhawks in the NBA Development League, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL and the Philadelphia Soul in the Arena Football League.

These teams have accumulated 7 World Series: (Pirates 5, Phillies 2), 14 National Leagues, 3 NFL pre- Super Bowl championships (Eagles), 6 Super Bowls (Steelers), 1 Arena Bowl championship (Soul), 2 championships NBA (76ers) and 4 Stanley Cupwinners (Flyers 2, Penguins 2).

The football university is very popular in the state. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers won nine national championships (1915, 1916, 1918, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937,and 1976) and were undefeated in 8 seasons (1904, 1910, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1937 and 1976).

The Penn State Nittny Lions with their coach Joe Paterno won two national championships (1982 and 1986) and were undefeated in five seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994).

Penn State plays its games in the largest stadium in the United States, Beaver Stadium, with a capacity for 107,282 spectators.

Other college teams in the state won national football titles: Lafayette College (1896) and the University of Pennsylvania (1895, 1897, 1904, and 1908).

The basketball college is also very popular in Pennsylvania, especially in the Philadelphia area where five universities (known as the Big Five) have a long tradition in NCAA Division I basketball. The following state universities have earned national college basketball titles: La Salle University (1954), Temple University (1938), University of Pennsylvania (1920 and 1921), University of Pittsburgh (1928 and 1930), and Villanova University (1985).

Arnold Palmer, one of the leading professional golfers of the 20th century, is originally from Latrobe, and Jim Furyk, one of the leading professional golfers of the 21st century, grew up near Lancaster.


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