Penn's Woods:

Pennsylvania, the Twelfth Colony

The Beginnings-

The Pennsylvania Colony was classified as one of the Middle Colonies. The Pennsylvania Colony was founded in 1682 by William Penn and his fellow colonists. The Province of Pennsylvania was an English colony in North America that existed from 1682 until 1776, when it joined the other 12 of the 13 colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

A Religious 'Mixing Pot'-

Penn quickly established a government based on religious freedom for the Quakers. Quakers did not believe in the strict rules imposed by the Puritan church. They believed that people could have a direct relation with God, rather than one mediated by a minister. The colony’s religious tolerance soon attracted German and Scottish immigrants, and promoted more peaceful relations with local Indians.

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What's in a Name?-

The latin word 'Sylvania' meaning woodland, together with Penn created the the unique name “Pennsylvania”.

Named by Penn, Philadelphia, a major colonial city in Pennsylvania, combined the Greek words for love (phileo) and brother (adelphos), creating the city's nickname of “the city of brotherly love.”

Economy-

The colony exported agricultural products and natural resources which were exploited by Great Britain, but were also able to manufacture iron ore products such as plows, tools, kettles, locks, and nails.

Pennsylvania was often referred to as a breadbasket colony because it grew so many crops, especially wheat. The wheat was ground into flour in flour mills then shipped to England.

Very Important Person-

Although born in Boston, Philadelphia claims Ben Franklin as one of its sons as the renowned statesman, scientist, writer and inventor moved to the city at the age of 17. Responsible for many civic improvements, Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731 and organized the Union Fire Company in 1736.

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Government-

In 1682, Penn published his "frame of government," which was to be submitted to the people of the colony for approval. In 1683 this was amended and a charter of liberties granted which made Pennsylvania almost fully a representative democracy. The right of appointment of judicial and executive officers, which was reserved by the proprietors of the other colonies, was surrendered by William Penn to the people, and the government consisted of the proprietor and the Assembly, with no intermediate council, as in Maryland and elsewhere. Yet, liberal as this constitution was, the people soon demanded further concessions and privileges, and Penn, in his last visit to his province, granted a new charter, still more liberal, and conferring greater powers upon the people, who from this time forward possessed a very full measure of political liberty.