est. 1682

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Brief History

The colony of Pennsylvania was founded as an English colony in 1682 by William Penn and a group of religiously tolerant Quakers in Philadelphia. It was originally named the Providence of Pennsylvania after William Penn and 'sylvania' meaning forest land, but it was later shortened to just Pennsylvania. It was founded mainly with religious freedom in mind for the Quakers but it also proved to be very valuable for trade and profits from it's land and natural resources.

Walkthrough of Events

1681: King Charles II granted Pennsylvania to William Penn.

1682: William Penn arrived in Pennsylvania and plotted Philadelphia. He also created the first three counties: Philadelphia, Bucks, and Chester. The very first Assembly was held.

1683: William Penn signed a peace treaty with the Lenape Indians.

1688: The Quakers in Germantown accepted the first antislavery motion in America.

1701: William Penn drew up a Charter of Privileges which established religious freedom for Pennsylvania.

1712: Pennsylvania banned slave imports.

1731: Benjamin Franklin opened the very first library in America.

1737: In the Walking Purchase, Pennsylvania purchased a large amount of Indian lands from the Lenape Indians.

Why Settle Here?

Pennsylvania is a very tolerant and equal society. Founded by the Quakers, Pennsylvania was founded for religious freedom and tolerance so ideally anyone can live here and practice their religion without consequences. It is also rich in natural resources and farmland. Nicknamed a breadbasket colony, Pennsylvania has proven to be a very important farming colony and produces vast amounts of wheat as well as a multitude of other foods and resources. It has a mild climate that adds to the growth and greatness of its agriculture and industry. In conclusion, Pennsylvania is a good place to live, work, and thrive.
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Why Pennsylvania?

William Penn and the group of Quakers that founded this colony did so mainly for the idea of religious freedom and tolerance. England saw Pennsylvania as rich with valuable natural resources and farming and woodland. Both groups could receive what they wanted; the Quakers received religious freedom and England saw countless opportunities for trade and profits from its abundance of resources and land.

Location and Trade/Industry

Because Pennsylvania is a landlocked colony in the Mid-Atlantic or Middle Colonies and has a vast amount of forest and woodland as well as farmland, it strives off of it's large farming industry. Pennsylvania is often referred to as a breadbasket colony because it is a major farming colony and provides vast amounts of wheat. Along with its mixed farming, Pennsylvania provides a good trading market for timber, fur, coal, and especially iron ore and iron ore products. Its mild climate of warm summers and mild winters suit the farming and industry that strives in Pennsylvania.

Type of Colony

Pennsylvania was governed by a Proprietary Government by 1775 and is a diverse colony that is a part of the Mid-Atlantic or Middle colonies.
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There is no predominant religion. Pennsylvania was founded based on religious tolerance and freedom by the Quakers. Catholics, Quakers, Jews, etc. all live in Pennsylvania. It's a great place to live and strive in equality.


The colonial government in Pennsylvania is a Proprietary and is made up of the proprietor, William Penn, an appointed Governor, a Provincial Counsel, and a General Assembly. The General Assembly in Pennsylvania is called the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly.

Key Figures

William Penn along with the Quakers are very important to the founding of Pennsylvania. Without them, Pennsylvania wouldn't be the successful or religiously free place that it is known to be today.

Benjamin Franklin is also a very important person for Pennsylvania. He introduced the very first library of America in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he chartered the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.

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