Pennsylvania is inspirational. Pennsylvania was admitted to the Union of the United States of America on December 12, 1787. One of Pennsylvania’s nicknames is Keystone State. Some of the reason for this nickname comes from the state’s location and early history. Having religious freedom as a core principle was one of the concepts adopted by Pennsylvania and then the United States founders (several founders being from the state).
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as the state is officially known, is a state in the North, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Lake Erie followed by Canada borders Pennsylvania to the northeast. New York is at its northern border. On the east, its border is with New Jersey. Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia border the state from southeast to southwest. Ohio is to the west. The Delaware River is to the east and the Appalachian Mountains go through the middle of the state.
Harrisburg is the state capital. The state is divided into five regions: Allegheny Plateau, Ridge and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and the Erie Plain. The majority of the state has a humid continental climate. The area around Philadelphia has a humid subtropical climate. The whole state has cold winters and humid summers and experiences severe weather throughout the spring and summer and into the fall. In winter, snowfall amounts near Lake Erie and in the mountainous interior are greater.
American Indian Nations, including the Delaware and Iroquois, inhabited the area before European settlement. The Dutch took possession of the area, however the English also claimed it. In the first half of the 17th century the Dutch established the New Sweden Colony which controlled part of present-day Pennsylvania. The King of England in 1664 gave the Duke of York a land grant that included part of the land claimed by the Dutch. In 1672 the Dutch re-established their claim to the area. War and the Treaty of Westminster put the area back into British control. The King gave a land grant to William Penn to forgive what his father Admiral William Penn was owed. The King named it Pennsylvania. William Penn established a government with county commission and freedom of religion.
The Pennsylvania Colony and Benjamin Franklin created Colonial Script, paper money, in 1730. This was stopped in 1764 with the Currency Act. John Dickinson of Philadelphia wrote the Declaration of Rights and Grievances. The Founding Fathers had the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774. The Second Continental Congress, also there, wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence. The Articles of Confederation and next the Constitution were written.
Today, the executive branch of Pennsylvania’s state government is made up of the governor and four other elected officials. The legislature is a General Assembly made up of 50 Senators and 203 Representatives. The Judiciary has 60 judicial branches. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Counties are divided into municipalities that are either cities, boroughs, or townships.
Today, the economy of Pennsylvania is strong. Fifty Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state. In Pennsylvania agriculture ranks 19th in production. Mushrooms, apples, and Christmas trees are at the top. Tourists can visit the nation’s first zoo or others, fine museums, 121 state parks, amusement parks, festivals, or other notable places. Many major league professional and college sports teams attract fans. Minor league and semi-pro teams are in Pennsylvania, as well as, the Little League World Series, motorsports, horseracing, golf tournaments, and skateboarding’s LOVE Park.
From culinary institutes to snack food, Pennsylvania ranks at the top. It leads states in snack food manufacturing. Pretzels were introduced by a company from Pennsylvania. Potato chip manufacturing and the chocolate industry are huge. Many regional foods, like hoagies and strombolis, are associated with Philadelphia and other places in Pennsylvania. Be inspired! Have a bright day!