There were conflicts between the British and the Dutch regarding control of land that would eventually become part of Pennsylvania but these conflicts were resolved in favor of the British in 1667 despite there being few, if any, actual British settlers in the area under contention.
In 1681 King Charles II granted land to William Penn to repay a debt owed to William’s father, Admiral William Penn. This was one of the largest land grants to an individual in history. The King named it Pennsylvania (literally “Penn’s Woods”) in honor of the Admiral.
When the Founding Fathers of the United States convened in Philadelphia in 1774, 12 colonies sent representatives to the First Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress, which also met in Philadelphia, in May 1775, drew up and signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, but when that city was captured by the British, the Continental Congress escaped westward, meeting at the Lancaster courthouse on Saturday, September 27, 1777, and then to York.
There they and its primary author, John Dickinson, drew up the Articles of Confederation that formed 13 independent colonies into a new nation. Later, the Constitution was written, and Philadelphia was once again chosen to be cradle to the new American Nation.
The Constitution was drafted and signed at the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall, and the same building where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
The Battle of Gettysburg, the major turning point of the Civil War, took place near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania was also the home of the first commercially drilled oil well. In 1859, near Titusville, Pennsylvania, Edwin Drake successfully drilled the well, which led to the first major oil boom in United States history.
At the beginning of the 20th century Pennsylvania’s economy centered on steel production, logging, coal mining, textile production and other forms of industrial manufacturing.
Pennsylvania’s 2016 total gross state product of $719.8 billion ranks the state 6th in the nation. If Pennsylvania were an independent country, its economy would rank as the 19th-largest in the world. Philadelphia is home to six Fortune 500 companies; it is a leader in the financial and insurance industries. Pittsburgh is home to eight Fortune 500 companies, including U.S. Steel, PPG Industries, and H.J. Heinz. In all, Pennsylvania is home to fifty Fortune 500 companies.
Transportation and Trade:
Pennsylvania has seven major airports: Philadelphia International, Pittsburgh International, Lehigh Valley International, Harrisburg International, Erie International, University Park Airport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International.
The port of Pittsburgh is the second-largest inland port in the United States and the 18th-largest port overall;
the Port of Philadelphia is the 24th-largest port in the United States.
Pennsylvania’s only port on the Great Lakes is located in Erie.
Now for the part that we have all been waiting for and have patiently slogged through the rest of this blog to get to: the flag.