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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: "The Keystone State"
Capital Harrisburg
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 33rd
119,283 kmē
116,074 kmē
3,208 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 6th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date
Revolutionary War
December 12, 1787
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
39°43'N to 42°N
74°43'W to 80°31'W
255 km
455 km
979 meters
335 meters
0 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-PA

Pennsylvania is a commonwealth and one of the states of the United States of America. It has given its name to the Pennsylvanian time period in geology. Pennsylvania is called the Keystone[?] State.

Although Swedes and Dutch were the first European settlers, the Quaker William Penn named Pennsylvania for the latin phrase meaning "Penn's woodlands", in honor of his father. Today, two major cities dominate the state -- Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, and a thriving metropolitan area, and Pittsburgh, a busy inland river port. Pennsylvania is one of the nation's most historic states. Philadelphia is often called the cradle of the American Nation. It was here that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drawn up by the founding fathers. The Pocono Mountains and the Delaware Water Gap provide popular recreational activities. The Pennsylvania Dutch region in south-central Pennsylvania is another favorite of sightseers. Some Pennsylvania German and Dutch groups, including the Amish and the Mennonites, are called the Plain People; they live and dress as their ancestors did, with no modern conveniences.

USS Pennsylvania was named in honor of this state.

Table of contents


Before the state existed, the area was home to the Delaware, Susquehanna, Shawnee and other native american tribes.

In 1643, it was settled by Sweden, but control later passed to Netherlands, and then to Britain.

On March 4, 1681, Charles II of England granted a land charter to William Penn for the area that now includes Pennsylvannia. Penn then founded a colony there as a place of religious freedom for Quakers, and named it for the Latin phrase meaning "Penn's woods".

In 1704 the "three lower counties" New Castle, Kent, and Sussex gained a separate legislature, and in 1710 a separate executive council, to form the new colony Delaware.

Pennsylvania and Delaware were two of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution of 1776. Pennsylvania became the second state on December 12, 1787 (five days after Delaware became the first).

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most important figures in Pennsylvania's history, although he was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Law and Government

The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg and its current governor is Ed Rendell (Democrat). Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators are Rick Santorum (Republican) and Arlen Specter[?] (Republican).

The origin of Pennsylvania's government is unique as it was based on consensus (as with Quakers) rather than voting.

Geography See: List of Pennsylvania counties

Pennsylvania is bordered on the north and northeast by New York, on the east, across the Delaware River by New Jersey, on the south by Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia, on the west by Ohio, and on the northwest by Lake Erie. The Delaware, Susquehanna, Monongahela, Allegheny[?], and Ohio Rivers are the major rivers of the state. The capital is Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania is 180 miles north to south and 310 miles east to west. The total land area is 44,817 square miles, 739,200 acres (1,239 square miles) of which are bodies of water. It is the 33rd largest state in the United States. The highest point of 2,213 feet above sea level is at Mt. Davis[?]. The lowest point is 0 feet above sea level on the Delaware River. Pennsylvania is in the Eastern time zone.


Pennsylvania's 1999 total gross state product was $383 billion, placing it 6th in the nation and its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $29,539, 18th in the nation. Its agricultural outputs are dairy products, poultry, cattle, nursery stock, mushrooms, hogs, and hay. Its industrial outputs are food processing, chemical products, machinery, electric equipment, and tourism.

As of 2000, the population was 12,281,054. When Pennsylvania became a state in 1787, it had a population of about 300,000.

Important Cities and Towns

Pennsylvania is also the site of Gettysburg, the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, the major battle of the American Civil War, and of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The Keystone[?] State
State Animal:Whitetail Deer
State Beverage:Milk
State Bird:Ruffed Grouse
State Capital:Harrisburg
State Dog:Great Dane
State Fish:Brook Trout
State Flower:Mountain Laurel
State Insect:Firefly
State Song:Pennsylvania
State Tree:Hemlock


Colleges and Universities

Professional Sports Teams

External link

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