World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

History of Pennsylvania

Article Id: WHEBN0000665460
Reproduction Date:

Title: History of Pennsylvania  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Agriculture in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania in the American Revolution, Crime in Pennsylvania, Potter County, Pennsylvania
Collection: History of Pennsylvania, History of the United States by State
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

History of Pennsylvania

The Birth of Pennsylvania depicts William Penn receiving Pennsylvania's royal charter from King Charles II of England. Penn founded the colony in 1681 as a refuge for Quakers.

The history of Pennsylvania as a political entity began in 1681 when William Penn received a royal charter from King Charles II of England, but human activity in the region precedes that date. Before Pennsylvania was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Lenape, Susquehannock, Iroquois, Erie, Shawnee and other Native American tribes. Most of these tribes were driven off or reduced to remnants as a result of new diseases such as smallpox that arrived long before any permanent colonists. Pennsylvania was first colonized by Swedish and Dutch settlers in the 17th century, before the English took control of the colony in 1667. In 1681, William Penn established a colony based on religious tolerance; it and its chief city, Philadelphia (the first planned city), was settled by many Quakers. In the mid-eighteenth century, the colony attracted many German and Scots-Irish immigrants

Pennsylvania played a central role in the American Revolution, and Philadelphia served as the nation's capital for much of the 19th century. Starting in the 18th century and continuing into the 20th century, Pennsylvania was the second most populous state in the country, and Philadelphia was the second most populous city in the nation. Pennsylvania also expanded its borders into what is now known as northwestern, northeastern, and southwestern Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh grew into one of America's largest and most prominent cities. During the Civil War, Pennsylvania played an important role in the Union's victory. After the war, Pennsylvania grew into a Republican stronghold and a major manufacturing and transportation center. After the Great Depression and World War II, Pennsylvania moved towards the service industry and became a swing state.


  • Pre-Columbian era 1
  • Early colonization 2
  • British colonial period 3
  • American Revolution and early government 4
  • Westward expansion and land speculation 5
  • Early 19th century 6
  • Civil War 7
  • Post–Civil War to the Roaring Twenties 8
  • The Great Depression and World War II 9
  • Post-war to present 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
    • Surveys 13.1
    • Pre 1900 13.2
    • Since 1900 13.3
    • Economic and labor history 13.4
    • Primary sources 13.5
  • External links 14

Pre-Columbian era

Lappawinsoe of the Lenape, painted by Gustavus Hesselius in 1735. The Lenape inhabited southeastern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's history of human habitation extends to thousands of years before the foundation of the Province of Pennsylvania. Archaeologists generally believe that the first settlement of the Americas occurred at least 15,000 years ago during the last glacial period, though it is unclear when humans first entered the area known as Pennsylvania. There is an open debate in the archaeological community regrading when the ancestors of Native Americans expanded across the two continents down to the tip of South America, with possibilities ranging between 30,000 and 10,500 years ago.[1] The Meadowcroft Rockshelter contains the earliest known signs of human activity in Pennsylvania, and perhaps all of North America,[2] as it contains the remains of a civilization that existed over 10,000 years ago and possibly pre-dated the Clovis culture.[3][2] By 1000 C.E., in contrast to their nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors, the native population of Pennsylvania had developed agricultural techniques and a mixed food economy.[4]

By the time that European colonization of the Americas began, several Native American tribes inhabited the region.[3] The Lenape spoke an Algonquin language, and inhabited an area known as the Lenapehoking, which consisted of southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of the surrounding states. The Shawnee also spoke an Algonquin language, and inhabited various parts of Pennsylvania. The Susquehannock spoke an Iroquoian language and inhabited areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributary rivers. The powerful Iroquois Confederacy was centered in New York, but also exerted influence in Pennsylvania and other areas in the Eastern United States and Canada. Other tribes also lived in Pennsylvania, including the Eries, the Mahican, and the Conoy.[3] Like the other indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Native Americans of Pennsylvania suffered from a massive loss in population caused by disease following the beginning of the Columbian Exchange in 1492.[5] The Monongahela culture of southwestern Pennsylvania suffered such large losses that it was nearly extinct by the time Europeans arrived in the region in the 17th century.[6]

Early colonization

The locations of New Netherland (magenta) and New Sweden (blue) in the 17th century. New Sweden was later absorbed by the New Netherland, before the latter was conquered by the English during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

Long-term European exploration of the Americas commenced after the 1492 expedition of Christopher Columbus, and the 1497 expedition of John Cabot is credited with discovering continental North America for Europeans. European exploration of the North America continued in the 16th century, and the area now known as Pennsylvania was mapped by the French and labeled L'arcadia, or "wooded coast", during Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage in 1524.[7] Even before large-scale European settlement, the Native American tribes in Pennsylvania engaged in trade with Europeans, and the fur trade was a major motivation for the European colonization of North America.[6] The fur trade also sparked wars among Native American tribes, including the Beaver Wars, which saw the Iroquois Confederacy rise in power. In the 17th century, the Dutch, Swedish, and British all competed for southeastern Pennsylvania, while the French expanded into parts of western Pennsylvania.

In 1638, the Kingdom of Sweden, then one of the great powers in Europe, established the colony of New Sweden in the area of the present-day Mid-Atlantic states. The colony was established by Peter Minuit, the former governor of New Netherland, who established the fur trading colony over the objections of the Dutch. New Sweden extended into modern-day Pennsylvania, and was centered on the Delaware River with a capital at Fort Christina (near Wilmington, Delaware). In 1643, New Sweden Governor Johan Björnsson Printz established Fort Nya Gothenburg, the first European settlement in Pennsylvania, on Tinicum Island. Printz also built his own home, The Printzhof, on the island.

In 1609, the Dutch Republic, in the midst of the Dutch Golden Age, commissioned Henry Hudson to explore North America. Shortly thereafter, the Dutch established the colony of New Netherland to profit from the North American fur trade. In 1655, during the Second Northern War, the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant captured the New Sweden. Though Sweden never again controlled land in the area, several Swedish and Finnish colonists remained, and with their influence came America's first log cabins.

The Kingdom of England had established the Colony of Virginia in 1607 and the adjacent Colony of Maryland in 1632. England also claimed the Delaware River watershed based on the explorations of John Cabot, John Smith, and Francis Drake. The English named the Delaware River for Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the Governor of Virginia from 1610 until 1618. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667), the English took control of the Dutch (and former Swedish) holdings in North America. At the end of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the 1674 Treaty of Westminster permanently confirmed England's control of the region.

Following the voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier, the French established a permanent colony in New France in the 17th century to exploit the North American fur trade. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the French expanded New France across present day Eastern Canada into the Great Lakes region, and colonized the areas around the Mississippi River as well. New France expanded into western Pennsylvania by the 18th century, as the French built Fort Duquesne to defend the Ohio River valley. With the end of the Swedish and Dutch colonies, the French were the last rivals to the British for control of the region that would become Pennsylvania. France was often allied with Spain, the only other remaining European power with holdings in continental North America. Beginning in 1688 with King William's War (part of the Nine Years' War), France and England engaged in a series of wars for dominance over Northern America. The wars continued until the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, when France lost New France.

British colonial period

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. Penn was the son of a prominent admiral and a Quaker.

On March 4, 1681, Charles II of England granted the Province of Pennsylvania to William Penn to settle a £16,000[8] (around £2,100,000 in 2008, adjusting for retail inflation)[9] debt the king owed to Penn's father. Penn founded a proprietary colony that provided a place of religious freedom for Quakers. Penn named the colony Pennsylvania after his family, Penn, and the Latin word for "woods," sylvania. Penn landed in North America in 1682, and founded the colonial capital, Philadelphia, that same year.

In addition to English Quakers, Pennsylvania attracted several other ethnic and religious groups, many of whom were fleeing persecution and the religious wars. Welsh Quakers settled a large tract of land north and west of Philadelphia, in what are now Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties. This area became known as the "Welsh Tract", and many cities and towns were named for points in Wales. The colony's reputation of religious freedom and tolerance also attracted significant populations of German, Scots-Irish, Scottish, and French settlers. Many of the settlers worshiped a brand of Christianity disfavored by the government of their homeland; Huguenots, Puritans, Catholics, and Calvinists all migrated to Pennsylvania. Other groups, including Anglicans and Jews, migrated to Pennsylvania, while Pennsylvania also had a significant African-American population by 1730. Additionally, several Native American tribes and settlers of Swedish and Dutch origin continued to live in the region.[3][10]

In order to give his new province access to the ocean, Penn had leased the proprietary rights of the King Charles II's brother, James, Duke of York, to the "three lower counties" (now the state of Delaware) on the Delaware River. In Penn's Frame of Government of 1682, Penn established a combined assembly by providing for equal membership from each county and requiring legislation to have the assent of both the Lower Counties and the Upper Counties. The meeting place for the assembly alternated between Philadelphia and New Castle. In 1704, after disagreements between the upper and lower counties, the lower counties began meeting in a separate assembly. Pennsylvania and Delaware continued to share the same royal governor until the American Revolutionary War, when both Pennsylvania and Delaware became states.[10]

Penn died in 1718, and was succeeded as American Philosophical Society, the Union Fire Company, and the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. By the start of the American Revolution, Philadelphia was the largest city in British North America.[11]

The 1750 possessions of Britain (pink), France (blue), and Spain (orange). The French would lose their North American possessions to England after the French and Indian War.

The western portions of Pennsylvania were among disputed territory between the colonial British and French during the Battle of Jumonville Glen in 1754. Washington retreated to Fort Necessity and surrendered to a larger French force at the Battle of Fort Necessity. In 1755, the British sent Braddock Expedition to capture Fort Duquesne, but the expedition ended in failure after the British lost the Battle of the Monongahela near present-day Braddock, Pennsylvania. In 1758, the British sent the Forbes Expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. The French won the Battle of Fort Duquesne, but after the battle the outnumbered French force demolished Fort Duquesne and retreated from the area. Fighting in North America had mostly come to an end by 1760, but the war continued until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Britain's victory in the war helped secure Pennsylvania's frontier, as the Ohio Country came under formal British control. Though New France was no more, the French would deal their British rivals a major blow in the American Revolution by aiding the rebel cause.

During the French and Indian War, Pennsylvania settlers experienced raids from Indian allies of the French. The settlers' pleas for military relief were stymied by a power struggle in Philadelphia between Governor Robert Morris and the Pennsylvania Assembly. Morris wanted to send military forces to the frontier, but the Assembly, whose leadership included Benjamin Franklin, refused to grant the funds unless Morris agreed to the taxation of the proprietary lands, the vast tracts still owned by the Penn family and others. The dispute was finally settled, and military relief sent, when the owners of the proprietary lands sent 5,000 pounds to the colonial government, on condition that it was considered a free gift and not a down payment on taxes.[12]

Shortly after the end of the French and Indian War, Native Americans attempted to drive the British out of Ohio country in Pontiac's Rebellion. The war, which began in 1763, saw heavy fighting in western Pennsylvania. Following the start of the rebellion, Native Americans in the region started the Siege of Fort Pitt (Fort Pitt had been built on the previous site of Fort Duquesne). The native forces were defeated in the Battle of Bushy Run. The war lasted until 1766, when the British made peace with Pontiac. During the war, the British government passed the Proclamation Act. The act barred Americans from any settling west of the Appalachians, and reserved that territory for the Native Americans. Fighting between Native Americans and Americans in present-day Pennsylvania continued in Lord Dunmore's War and the Revolutionary War. Native American tribes ceased to pose a military threat to European settlers in Pennsylvania after the conclusion of the Northwest Indian War in 1795.[13]

American Revolution and early government

The Thirteen Colonies and the Indian Reserve in 1775. Settlement of the Indian Reserve was prohibited by the English crown, which sparked resentment among Americans.

Pennsylvania's residents generally supported the protests common to all Articles of Confederation were written and adopted in Philadelphia, and Philadelphia continued to serve as the capital of the fledgling nation until the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783. Notable Pennsylvanians who supported the Revolution include Benjamin Franklin, John Dickinson, Robert Morris, Anthony Wayne, James Wilson, and Thomas Mifflin. However, Pennsylvania was also home to numerous Loyalists, including Joseph Galloway, William Allen, and the Doan Outlaws.[14]

After elections in May 1776 returned old guard Assemblymen to office, the James Cannon as prominent members. The convention proclaimed a new constitution on September 28, 1776 and called for new elections.[15]

Elections in 1776 turned the old assemblymen out of power. But the new constitution lacked a governor or upper legislative house to provide checks against popular movements. It also required test oaths, which kept the opposition from taking office. The constitution called for a unicameral legislature or Assembly. Executive authority rested in a Supreme Executive Council whose members were to be appointed by the assembly. In elections during 1776, radicals gained control of the Assembly. By early 1777, they selected an executive council, and Thomas Wharton, Jr. was named as the President of the Council. This constitution was never formally adopted, so government was on an ad-hoc basis until a new constitution could be written fourteen years later.

In 1780, Pennsylvania passed a law that provided for the gradual abolition of slavery, making Pennsylvania the first state to pass an act to abolish slavery (although Vermont had also previously abolished slavery).[16] Children born after that date to slave mothers were considered legally free, but they were bound in indentured servitude to the master of their mother until the age of 28. The last slave was recorded in the state in 1847.

Six years after the adoption of the President of the United States on March 4, 1789. After the passage of the Residence Act, Philadelphia again served as the capital of the nation from 1790-1800, before the capital was permanently moved to Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania ratified a new state constitution in 1790; the constitution replaced the executive council with a governor and a bicameral legislature.

Westward expansion and land speculation

Land purchases from Native Americans in the 17th and 18th centuries

Pennsylvania's borders took definitive shape in the decades before and after the Revolutionary War. The Mason–Dixon line established the borders between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and was later extended to serve as the border between Pennsylvania and Virginia (except for what is now West Virginia's northern panhandle). Although some settlers proposed the creation of the state of Westsylvania in the area that now contains Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania retained control of the region. The first Treaty of Fort Stanwix and the Treaty of Fort McIntosh[13] saw Native Americans relinquish claims on present-day southwestern Pennsylvania. The Treaty of Paris (1783) granted the United States independence, and also saw Great Britain give up its land claims in the neighboring Ohio Country, although most these lands ultimately became new states under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. In the second Treaty of Fort Stanwix, Pennsylvania gained control of northwestern Pennsylvania from the Iroquois League. The New York–Pennsylvania border was established in 1787. Pennsylvania purchased the Erie Triangle from the federal government in 1792. In 1799, the Pennamite–Yankee War came to an end, as Pennsylvania kept control of the Wyoming Valley despite the presence of settlers from Connecticut.

Pennsylvania and the competing land claims of other states

After the United States government granted land to Revolutionary War soldiers for military service, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a general land act on April 3, 1792. It authorized the sale and distribution of the large remaining tracts of land east and west of the Allegheny River in hopes of sparking development of the vast territory. The process was an uneven affair, prompting much speculation but little settlement. Most veteran soldiers sold their shares sight unseen under market value, and many investors were ultimately ruined. The East Allegheny district consisted of lands in Potter, McKean, Cameron, Elk, and Jefferson counties, at the time worthless tracts. West Allegheny district was made up of lands in Erie, Crawford, Warren, and Venango counties, relatively good investments at the time.

Three major land companies participated in the land speculation that followed. Holland Land Company and its agent, Theophilus Cazenove, acquired 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) of East Allegheny district land and 500,000 acres (2,000 km2) of West Allegheny land from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice James Wilson. The Pennsylvania Population Company and its President, Pennsylvania State Comptroller General John Nicholson, controlled 500,000 acres (2,000 km2) of land, mostly in Erie County and the Beaver Valley. The North American Land Company and its patron, Robert Morris, held some Pennsylvania lands but was vested mostly in upstate New York, former Iroquois territory.[18]

The George Washington led a militia into Western Pennsylvania to put down the rebellion, although most rebels returned home before the militia arrived.

Early 19th century

Stephen Decatur, a 19th-century naval commander who served with distinction in the War of 1812 and other engagements

Pennsylvania, one of the largest states in the country, always had the second most electoral votes from 1796 to 1960. From 1789 to 1880, the state only voted for two losing presidential candidates: Thomas Jefferson (in 1796) and Andrew Jackson (in the unusual 1824 election). The Democratic-Republicans dominated the state for most of the First Party System, as the Federalists experienced little success in the state after the 1800 election. Pennsylvania generally supported Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party in the Second Party System (1828-1854), although the Whigs won several elections in the 1840s and 1850s. The Anti-Masonic Party was perhaps Pennsylvania's most successful third party, as it elected Pennsylvania's only third-party governor (Joseph Ritner) and several congressmen in the 1830s.

Several Pennsylvanians fought in the War of 1812, including Jacob Brown, John Barry, and Stephen Decatur. Decatur, who served in both Barbary Wars and the Quasi-War, was one of America's first post-Revolution war heroes. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry earned the title "Hero of Lake Erie" after building a fleet at Erie, Pennsylvania and defeating the British at the Battle of Lake Erie. Pennsylvanians such as David Conner fought in the Mexican-American War, and Pennsylvania raised two regiments for the war. Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot earned national prominence for the Wilmot Proviso, which would have banned slavery in territory acquired from Mexico.[19]

Philadelphia continued to be one of the most populous cities in the country, and it was the second largest city after New York for most of the 19th century. In 1854, the Act of Consolidation consolidated the city and county of Philadelphia. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the Franklin Institute were founded during this period. Philadelphia served as the home of the Bank of North America and its successors, the First and Second Bank of the United States, all three of which served as the central bank of the United States. Philadelphia was also home to the first stock exchange, museum, insurance company, and medical school in the new nation.[11]

A locomotive in 1848. Pennsylvania became an important railroad center during the 19th century.

Settlers continued to cross the Allegheny Mountains. Pennsylvanians built many new roads, and the National Road cut through Southwestern Pennsylvania.[20] Pennsylvania also saw the construction of thousands of miles or rail, and the Pennsylvania Railroad became one of the largest railroads in the world.[20] Pittsburgh grew into an important town West of the Alleghenies, although the Great Fire of Pittsburgh devastated the town in the 1840s. In 1834, Pennsylvania completed construction on the Main Line of Public Works, a railroad and canal system that stretched across southern Pennsylvania, connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1812, Harrisburg was named the capital of the state, providing a more central location than Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania had established itself as the largest food producer in the country by the 1720s, and Pennsylvania agriculture experienced a "golden age" from 1790 to 1840. In 1820, agriculture provided 90 percent of the employment in Pennsylvania. Farm equipment manufacturers sprang up across the state as inventors across the world pioneered new equipment and techniques, and Pennsylvanians such as Frederick Watts were a part of this scientific approach to farming. Although Pennsylvania farmers lost some of their political power as other industries emerged in the state, but even in the 2000s agriculture remains one of Pennsylvania's major industries.[21]

In 1834, Governor Department of Education to oversee these schools. In 1857, the Normal School Act laid the foundation for the creation of normal schools to train teachers.[22]

Several Pennsylvania politicians gained national renown. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania served as the nation's first House of Representatives. Albert Gallatin served as the Secretary of the Treasury from 1801-1814. Democrat James Buchanan, the first and only President of the United States from Pennsylvania, took office in 1857 and served until 1861.

Civil War

Map of the USA and the CSA during the Civil War. Pennsylvania was a key member of the Union.

Prior to and during the

  • Pennsylvania State Archives web site
  • View the Pennsylvania State Archives Online
  • Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Publications
  • 1776 Constitution text
  • Pennsylvania Indian Tribes Listing of Indian tribes with a historical presence in Pennsylvania
  • Boston Public Library, Map Center. Maps of Pennsylvania, various dates.

External links

  • Vincent P. Carocci, A Capitol Journey: Reflections on the Press, Politics, and the Making Of Public Policy In Pennsylvania. (2005) memoir by senior aide to Gov Casey in 1990s excerpts online
  • Casey, Robert P. Fighting for Life: The Story of a Courageous Pro-Life Democrat Whose Own Brush with Death Made Medical History. Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing (1996). Autobiography. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8499-1224-5, ISBN 978-0-8499-1224-5.
  • W. E. B. Du Bois; The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (1899) online edition
  • Albert Cook Myers; ed., Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630–1707, (1912) online edition

Primary sources

  • Aurand, Harold W. Coalcracker Culture: Work and Values in Pennsylvania Anthracite, 1835-1935 2003
  • Blatz, Perry. Democratic Miners: Work and Labor Relations in the Anthracite Coal Industry, 1875-1925. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
  • Binder, Frederick Moore. Coal Age Empire: Pennsylvania Coal and Its Utilization to 1860. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1974.
  • Chandler, Alfred. "Anthracite Coal and the Beginnings of the 'Industrial Revolution' in the United States", Business History Review 46 (1972): 141-181. in JSTOR
  • Davies, Edward J., II. The Anthracite Aristocracy: Leadership and Social Change in the Hard Coal Regions of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1800–1930 (1985).
  • DiCiccio, Carmen. Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1996
  • Dublin, Thomas, and Walter Licht, The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century Cornell University Press, (2005). ISBN 0-8014-8473-1.
  • Lauver, Fred J. "A Walk Through the Rise and Fall of Anthracite Might", Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine 27#1 (2001) online edition
  • Lewis, Ronald L. Welsh Americans: A History of Assimilation in the Coalfields (U. of North Carolina Press, 2008) online
  • Powell, H. Benjamin. Philadelphia's First Fuel Crisis. Jacob Cist and the Developing Market for Pennsylvania Anthracite. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978.
  • Sullivan, William A. The Industrial Worker in Pennsylvania, 1800-1840 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1955 online edition
  • United States Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, 1902–1903, Report to the President on the Anthracite Coal Strike of May–October, 1902 By United States Anthracite Coal Strike (1903) online edition
  • Wallace, Anthony F.C. St. Clair. A Nineteenth-Century Coal Town's Experience with a Disaster-Prone Industry. (1981)
  • Warren, Kenneth. Triumphant Capitalism: Henry Clay Frick and the Industrial Transformation of America (1996).
  • Warren, Kenneth. Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901-2001 (2002)
  • Williamson, Harold F. and Arnold R. Daum. The American Petroleum Industry: The Age of Illumination, 1859-1899 (1959)

Economic and labor history

  • Bodnar, John; Immigration and Industrialization: Ethnicity in an American Mill Town, 1870–1940, (1977), on Steelton online edition
  • Heineman; Kenneth J. A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh, 1999 online edition
  • Keller, Richard C., "Pennsylvania's Little New Deal," in John Braeman et al. eds. The New Deal: Volume Two - the State and Local Levels (1975) pp 45–76
  • Lamis, Renée M. The Realignment of Pennsylvania Politics since 1960: Two-Party Competition in a Battleground State (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009) 398 pp. ISBN 978-0-271-03419-5
  • McGeary, M. Nelson. Gifford Pinchot: Forester-Politician (1960) Republican governor 1923–1927 and 1931–1935

Since 1900

  • Barr, Daniel P. A Colony Sprung from Hell: Pittsburgh and the Struggle for Authority on the Western Pennsylvania Frontier, 1744-1794 (Kent State University Press, 2014); 334 pp.
  • Buck, Solon J., Clarence McWilliams and Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck. The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania (1939), social history online edition
  • Dunaway, Wayland F. The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania (1944) online edition
  • Higginbotham, Sanford W. The Keystone in the Democratic Arch: Pennsylvania Politics, 1800-1816 (1952)
  • Illick Joseph E. Colonial Pennsylvania: A History (1976) onlineedition
  • Ireland, Owen S. Religion, Ethnicity, and Politics: Ratifying the Constitution in Pennsylvania (1995)
  • Kehl, James A. Boss Rule in the Gilded Age: Matt Quay of Pennsylvania (1981) onlineedition
  • Klees, Fredric. The Pennsylvania Dutch (1950)
  • Klein, Philip Shriver. Pennsylvania Politics, 1817-1832: A Game without Rules (1940)
  • McCullough, David. The Johnstown Flood (1987)
  • Mueller, Henry R. The Whig Party in Pennsylvania (1922)
  • Shade, William G. "'Corrupt and Contented': Where Have All the Politicians Gone? A Survey of Recent Books on Pennsylvania Political History, 1787-1877." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (2008): 433-451. in JSTOR; historiography
  • Snyder, Charles Mccool. The Jacksonian Heritage: Pennsylvania Politics, 1833-1848 (1958) online edition
  • Tinkcom, Harry Marlin. The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania, 1790-1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response (1950) online edition
  • Wood, Ralph. et al. The Pennsylvania Germans (1942) online edition
  • Wulf, Karin. Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia. Cornell University Press, 2000 online edition

Pre 1900

  • Miller, Randall M. and William A. Pencak, eds. Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth (2002) detailed scholarly history
  • Beers, Paul B. Pennsylvania Politics Today and Yesterday (1980)*
  • Klein, Philip S and Ari Hoogenboom. A History of Pennsylvania (1973).
  • Weigley, Russell. Philadelphia: A 300-Year History (1982)


Further reading

  1. ^ "Paleoindian Period – 16,000 to 10,000 years ago". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ancient Pa. Dwelling Still Dividing Archaeologists
  3. ^ a b c d "Pennsylvania on the Eve of Colonization". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Late Woodland Period in the Susquehanna and Delaware River Valleys". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Snow, Dean R. (1996). "Mohawk demography and the effects of exogenous epidemics on American Indian populations". Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 15: 160–182.  
  6. ^ a b c d "Contact Period (1500-1763)". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 
  7. ^ "16th Century Pennsylvania Maps"
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Governors, ed. (1916). "Samuel Carpenter". Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Governors, Volume 1. pp. 180–181. 
  9. ^ Measuring Worth
  10. ^ a b "The Quaker Province: 1681-1776". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "The American Revolution". Explore PA History. WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Parkman, Francis. Montcalm and Wolfe (1884). Reprinted in France and the and England in North America, Volume 2, New York: The Library of America, 1983. pp. 1076-1083.
  13. ^ a b "Chapter 4: Dispossession, Dispersal, and Persistence". Explore PA Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  14. ^ (1985)The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789Middlekauff, Robert. , p 550.
  15. ^ "Pennsylvania Constitution", Doc Heritage website
  16. ^ "Constitution of Vermont (1777)". Chapter I, Article I: State of Vermont. 1777. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  17. ^ Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution of 1787
  18. ^ Buck, Solon J. and Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck. The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939. 2nd paperback reprint, 1979, pp. 206-213; Stevens, Sylvester K. Pennsylvania: The Heritage of a Commonwealth, Vol. I, West Palm Beach: American Historical Co., 1968, pp. 323-325; Bausman, Joseph Henderson. History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania and Its Centennial Celebration, Knickerbocker Press, 1904, p. 1230
  19. ^ "From Independence to the Civil War: 1776-1861". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Crossing the Alleghenies". Explore PA History. WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Agriculture and Rural Life". Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Chapter Two: Staying the "Battle Axe of Ignorance": The Rise of Public Education". Explore Pa WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Chapter One: Pennsylvania Democrats". Explore WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "The Era of Industrial Ascendancy: 1861–1945". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c Morgan, Alfred L. (April 1978). "The Significance of "Pennsylvania s 1938 Qubernatorial £lection". 102, No.2. pp. 184–210. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  26. ^ Reichley, A. James (2000). The Life of the Parties. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 127–131. 
  27. ^ a b "Chapter One: 1. Pennsylvania's Bosses and Political Machines". Explore PA WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Chapter Four: From the Progressive Era to the Great Depression". Explore WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  29. ^ a b "Chapter 2: Pennsylvania Under the Reign of Big Business". Explore WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  30. ^ "Overview: Labor's Struggle to Organize". Explore WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Overview: Science and Invention". Explore WITF. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Governor George Howard Earle III". State historic preservation office. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "George H. Earle III Historical Marker". Explore PA WITF. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania State Authority Act," R. L. T., University of Pennsylvania Law Review and American Law Register, Vol. 85, No. 5 (Mar., 1937), pg. 518 [2]
  35. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.111
  36. ^ "Maturity: 1945-2011". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  37. ^ Cohen, Micah. "In Pennsylvania, the Democratic Lean Is Slight, but Durable". Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  38. ^ Ashok K. Dutt, and Baleshwar Thakur, City, Society, and Planning (Concept Publishing Company, 2007) pp 55-56
  39. ^ Kraus, Scott. "No end in sight to Valley's population growth". Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  40. ^  


See also

The state was hard-hit by the decline and restructuring of the steel industry and other heavy U.S. industries during the late 20th century. With job losses came heavy population losses, especially in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. With the end of mining and the downturn of manufacturing, the state has turned to service industries. Pittsburgh's concentration of universities has enabled it to be a leader in technology and healthcare. Similarly, Philadelphia has a concentration of university expertise. Healthcare, retail, transportation, and tourism are some of the state's growing industries of the postindustrial era. As in the rest of the nation, most residential population growth has occurred in suburban rather than central city areas, although both major cities have had significant revitalization in their downtown areas.[38] Pittsburgh lost its place among the top ten most populous cities in the United States after the 1940s, while Philadelphia is now the fifth largest city after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. Philadelphia anchors the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country, while Pittsburgh is the center of the twenty-second largest metro area in the country. The growth of the Lehigh Valley has made it one of the seventy most populous metro areas in the country,[39] while Pennsylvania also has six other metro areas among the top 200 most populous American metro areas. Philadelphia forms part of the Northeast megalopolis and is associated with the Northeastern United States, while Pittsburgh is part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis and is often associated with the Midwestern United States and the Rust Belt.

The Republican lock on Pennsylvania was permanently broken in the era after World War II, and Pennsylvania became a somewhat less powerful state in terms of electoral votes and number of House seats. Pennsylvania adopted its fifth and current constitution in 1968; the new constitution established a unified judicial system and allows governors and the other statewide elected officials to serve two consecutive terms.[36] Between 1954 and 2012, each party consistently won two straight gubernatorial elections before ceding control to the other party. In presidential elections, the Republican Party won Pennsylvania in seven of the eleven elections between 1948 and 1988, but Democrats have won the state in every presidential election from 1992 to 2012. When Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey won Pennsylvania's electoral votes in 1968, he became the first non-Republican since 1824 to win Pennsylvania's votes without winning the presidential election. After having the second most electoral votes since the 18th century, Pennsylvania was eclipsed in electoral votes by California in 1964. Texas and Florida also now have more electoral votes, while New York also has more electoral votes and Illinois has the same number of electoral votes (and a slightly larger population). As of 2014, Pennsylvania is generally considered to be an important swing state in both presidential and congressional elections, and Pennsylvania has a Cook PVI of D+1. Since the 1990s, Republicans have usually controlled both houses of the legislature, while candidates from both parties have been elected to the statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, and auditor general. Democrats generally win the cities and Republicans win the rural areas, with the suburbs voting for both parties and often acting as the key swing areas.[37]

The 2012 presidential election result in Pennsylvania. The election is typical of 21st century elections in that the Democrat won several eastern counties and Allegheny County, while the Republican carried most other counties in the state.

Post-war to present

Pennsylvania manufactured 6.6 percent of total United States military armaments produced during Hap Arnold, Jacob Devers, and Carl Spaatz. During the war, over one million Pennsylvanians served in the armed forces, and more Medals of Honor were awarded to Pennsylvanians than to individuals from any other state.[24]

Earle signed the Pennsylvania State Authority Act in 1936, which would purchase land from the state and add improvements to that land using state loans and grants. The state expected to receive federal grants and loans to fund the project under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Kelly v Earle, found the Act violated the state constitution.[34] This prevented the state from receiving federal funds for Works Progress Administration projects and making it difficult to lower the extremely high unemployment rate. Pennsylvania, with its large industrial labor force, suffered heavily during the Great Depression.[24]

General Army Chief of Staff and key post-war figure.

[25] As with much of the rest of the country, Democrats were much more successful in Pennsylvania during the

A 1935 WPA poster. The WPA employed millions of Americans during the Great Depression.

The Great Depression and World War II

Thousands of Pennsylvanians volunteered during the Spanish–American War, and many Pennsylvanians fought in the successful campaign against the Spanish in the Philippine Islands. Pennsylvania was an important industrial center in World War I, and the state provided over 300,000 soldiers for the army. Pennsylvanians Tasker H. Bliss, Peyton C. March, and William S. Sims all held important commands during the war. Following the war, the state suffered the effects of the Spanish Flu.[24]

Education continued to be a major issue in the state, and the state constitution of 1874 guaranteed an annual appropriation for education.[24] School attendance became compulsory in 1895, and by 1903, school districts were required to either have their own high schools or pay for their residents to attend another high school.[24] Two of Pennsylvania's largest public schools were founded in the mid-to-late 19th century. The Pennsylvania State University was founded in 1855, and in 1863 the school became Pennsylvania's land-grant university under the terms of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. Temple University in Philadelphia was founded in 1884 by Russell Conwell, originally as a night school for working-class citizens. Other schools, such as Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Duquesne University, La Salle University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Saint Francis University, Saint Joseph's University, and Villanova University were also founded in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Western University of Pennsylvania had been operating since 1787, but the school changed its name to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. Additionally, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was founded in 1879 as the flagship American Indian boarding school.

. Allegheny, while Pittsburgh rose to the eighth spot after annexing second most populous city in the United States had passed Philadelphia as the Chicago By 1910, [24], becoming America's first "efficiency engineer."scientific management pioneered the field of Frederick Winslow Taylor [24] as a financial capital.New York City Philadelphia became one of the leading medical science centers in the nation, although it no longer rivaled [31] Even before the Civil War, Pennsylvania had emerged as a center of scientific discovery, and the state, led by its two major urban centers, continued to be a major place of innovation. The state continued to innovate, as Pennsylvanians invented the first iron and steel

During this period, the United States was the destination of millions of immigrants. Previous immigration had mostly come from western and northern Europe, but during this period Pennsylvania experienced heavy immigration from southern and eastern Europe.[24] As many new immigrants were Catholic and Jewish, they changed the demographics of major cities and industrial areas. Pennsylvania and New York received many of the new immigrants, who entered through New York and Philadelphia and worked in the developing industries. Many of these poor immigrants took jobs in factories, steel mills, and coal mines throughout the state, where they were not restricted because of their lack of English. The availability of jobs and public education systems helped integrate the millions of immigrants and their families, who also retained ethnic cultures. Pennsylvania also experienced the Great Migration, in which millions of African Americans migrated from the southern United States to other locations in the United States. By 1940, African Americans made up almost five percent of the state's population.[24]

The growth of industry eventually provided middle-class incomes to working-class households, after the development of labor unions helped them gain living wages. However, the rise of unions led to a rise of Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Coal Strike of 1902. Eventually, the eight hour day was adopted, and the "coal and iron police" were banned.[30][24]

Hazleton coal miners in 1900. Coal mining was a major economic activity in Pennsylvania in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The era after the Civil War, known as the Gilded Age, saw the continued rise of industry in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was home to some of the largest steel companies in the world, as Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Steel Company and Charles M. Schwab founded the Bethlehem Steel Company. Other titans of industry, such as John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould, also operated in the state. In the latter half of the 19th century, the U.S. oil industry was born in western Pennsylvania, which supplied the vast majority of kerosene for years thereafter. As the Pennsylvanian oil rush developed, the oil boom towns, such as Titusville, rose and fell. Coal mining was also a major industry in the state. In 1903, Milton S. Hershey began construction on a chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania; The Hershey Company would become the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. The Heinz Company was also founded during this period. These huge companies exercised a large influence on the politics of Pennsylvania; as Henry Demarest Lloyd put it, oil baron John D. Rockefeller "had done everything with the Pennsylvania legislature except refine it."[29][27] Pennsylvania created a Department of Highways and engaged in a vast program of road-building, while railroads continued to see heavy usage.[24]

Gifford Pinchot, the first head of the United States Forest Service and a progressive Republican Governor

The Pennsylvania Republican party was led by a series of bosses, including founder Simon Cameron, his son J. Donald Cameron, Matthew Quay, and Boies Penrose.[25] Quay in particular was one of the dominant political figures of his era, as he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and helped place Theodore Roosevelt on the 1900 Republican ticket.[26] Following Penrose's death in the 1920s, no one boss dominated the state party, but Pennsylvania Republicans continued to be significantly more powerful than the Democrats until the 1950s.[25] Although the party bosses dominated politics, the Republicans also had a reform movement that challenged the power of the bosses.[27] Many Pennsylvanians supported the Progressive movement, including Philander C. Knox, Gifford Pinchot, and John Tener.[28] Several new state agencies were established during this time, including the Department of Welfare and the Department of Labor and Industry.[24] Pennsylvanians twice rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have granted women the right to vote, but the state was one of the first to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote nationwide.[24]

Following the Civil War, the Republican Party exercised strong control over politics in the state, as Republicans won almost every election during the Third Party System (1854–1894) and the Fourth Party System (1896–1930). Pennsylvania remained one of the most populous states in the Union, and the state's large number of electoral votes helped Republicans dominate presidential elections from 1860 to 1928. Only once during that period did Pennsylvania vote for a presidential candidate that was not a Republican (the lone exception was former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912). The Republican Party was nearly as dominant in gubernatorial elections, as Robert E. Pattison was the lone non-Republican to win election as governor between 1860 and 1930. In the 1870s, Pennsylvanians embraced the constitutional reform movement that was sweeping across several states, and Pennsylvania passed a new constitution in 1874.[24] The state created the office of lieutenant governor and made the offices of state auditor and state treasurer into elective offices.[24] The term of the Governor of Pennsylvania was extended to four years, but the governor was prohibited from serving two consecutive terms.[24]

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War and boss of the state Republican Party. Cameron founded a party machine that controlled Pennsylvania well into the 20th century.

Post–Civil War to the Roaring Twenties

Pennsylvania's Winfield Scott Hancock, John Hartranft, and John F. Reynolds. Governor Andrew Curtin strongly supported the war and urged his fellow governors to do the same, while former Pennsylvania Senator Simon Cameron served as Secretary of War before his removal.

Pennsylvania was the target of several raids by the Confederate States Army. J.E.B. Stuart made cavalry raids in 1862 and 1863; John Imboden raided in 1863 and John McCausland in 1864, when his troopers burned the city of Chambersburg. However, easily the most famous and important military engagement in Pennsylvania was the Battle of Gettysburg, which is considered by many historians as the major turning point of the American Civil War. The battle, called "the high water mark of the Confederacy," was a major union victory in Eastern theater of the war, and the Confederacy was generally on the defensive following the battle. Dead from this battle rest at Gettysburg National Cemetery, established at the site of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. A number of smaller engagements were also fought in the state during the Gettysburg Campaign, including the battles of Hanover, Carlisle, Hunterstown, and the Fairfield.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.