Pennsylvania Colony: Start Settling

By: Dharani Balakumar

Why Should You Settle in Pennsylvania Colony?


  • Pennsylvania was the type of colony that was surprisingly liberal, promoted individual rights, had peaceful relations, and had religious tolerance.
  • Pennsylvania is religiously tolerance. Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and more had religious freedom. Penn had established for Quakers to have religious freedoms, and the religious tolerance of the colony attracted more immigrants, like Germans and the Scottish. The Quakers allowed for direct relation with God and did not believe in all the Puritan’s strict rules.
  • There is peaceful relations with local Indians; therefore, there is less violence.
  • Pennsylvania was governed as a propriety colony; the government consisted of the proprietor and the Assembly.
  • The Frame of Government was Pennsylvania’s first constitution, which put in place a upper and lower house of legislature. The second Frame of Government was approved in 1683.
  • The Charter of Privileges was signed in 1701. The charter was surprisingly liberal, granting individual rights and giving the unicameral legislature the right to start legislation, select their speaker, and decided qualifications.
  • Trade mainly included wheat and corn, but there was also rye, hemp, and flax. There was also the production of iron ore, lumber, textiles, fur, and shipbuilding.

European Countries

  • Holland, Sweden, and England claimed areas of the land in Pennsylvania.
  • Henry Hudson claimed Delaware Bay area for the Dutch in 1609 to create ports.
  • The first permanent settlement by Europeans in Pennsylvania was by New Sweden Company, who built forts in the area.
  • The Dutch troops under New Amsterdam’s Governor took control of Swedish colony in 1655 until the British Duke of York seized control of the land in 1664.
  • King Charles II gave the land of Pennsylvania to William Penn as payment for the debt he owed to Penn’s father, Admiral Sir William Penn. Penn named it New Wales and then Sylvania. Finally, the name was changed to Pennsylvania, in honor of the admiral. The Great Seal confirmed Pennsylvania’s founding on January 5, 1681.
  • When Penn founded the colony, he wanted religious freedom for Quakers.

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The Pennsylvania colony is located in the Middle Colonies, above Maryland and Delaware, below New York, and to the west of New Jersey. The geography included plateaus to Lake Erie lowlands, coastal plains, and mountains. The land had fertile soil. The location allowed for mild climate that were good for farming. Natural resources included timber, fur, coal, and iron ore. Trade included agricultural products and natural resources. Iron ore was important in the economy because it allowed for many manufactured iron ore products, like plows, kettles, and locks. As a breadbasket colony, the geography and climate was helpful to grow crops, particularly wheat.

Major Events


  • In 1664, the British Duke of York takes control of Dutch colonies, including Pennsylvania.
  • The first antislavery resolution in America is agreed to by Germantown Quakers in 1688.
  • A major event included the signing of the Great Seal on January 5, 1681, which founded Pennsylvania.
  • The Charter of Privileges was signed by Penn on October 28, 1701.
  • In 1712, the importing of slaves was banned by the Pennsylvania Assembly.
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Key People


  • William Penn majorly influenced Pennsylvania. He created Quaker principles that allowed for their religious freedom, which led to the religious tolerance in the region. He also took measures to have peaceful relations with the Indians. He also adopted the Charter of Privileges, influencing the political aspect.
  • Ole Bull purchased lots of land. He convinced others to cross the Atlantic to farm and trade.
  • Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, publisher, scientist, and philosopher; he changed the social ways by promoting independence, which led to the idea of social mobility. He is an important figure in American history, and invented the lightning rod.

Come Settle in Pennsylvania Colony!