Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1618 and is the second state which accepted the constitution of the USA. The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg. The most important and biggest cities are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The nickname of the state is “The Keystone State”, since it is located in the middle of the 13 original states. Pennsylvania is one of the Mid-Atlantic States, next to New York and New Jersey.
Pennsylvania plays an important role in the history of the USA. The declaration of independence (1787) and the constitution (1878) have been signed and approved in Pennsylvania.
During the Civil War one of the famous battles took place in Gettysburg, where Abraham Lincoln delivered the “Gettysburg Address”.
Today Pennsylvania is a diversified travel destination. Visitors are offered metropolises, nature, beaches and mountain landscapes, culture and arts, vineyards and the best restaurants of the country. Nowhere else in the USA you will find so many historical sites and sights.
Originally Pennsylvania was home of the Iroquois and Susquehanna (eradicated by the colonists). Swedish colonists settled in Pennsylvania in 1643, later on it was controlled by Great Britain.
Since 1671 William Penn travelled through Europe advertising the Quaker colonies in the New World.
In 1681 Karl II of England granted a huge territory to the Quakers and announced William Penn governor. That event caused a wave of immigration and lead to the first Quaker state.
The Continental Congress resided in Pennsylvania 1774/1775, where the declaration of Independence was signed July, 4th 1776 in the Independence Hall (then State House).
The US constitution was ratified in 1787. Pennsylvania was the second state accepting the constitution and therewith becoming a state of the Union. During 1790 until 1800 Pennsylvania was capital of the USA and supported the north of the USA during the Civil War.
Pennsylvania is an out-and-out paradise of nature: the state consists of about 8500 km2 protected woodland and 6100 km2 sanctuaries for animals, where you can go hiking or look out for animals in the wild. Additionally thousands of lakes, rivers and creeks offer lots of water sports. Although in Pennsylvania you can choose between different possibilities of winter sport, the highest point is Mount Davis, which is just 979 meters above sea level.
Most of the population descend from European immigrants like Germany, Italy and Ireland, but otherwise you will find all kinds of nationalities in Pennsylvania.
Among the Pennsylvanian Germans some religious groups stand out from the crowd. Due to their isolation, they not only kept their lifestyle, but also the German dialect: the Pennsylvanian German.