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Honoring The States: The 2nd State - Pennsylvania...

Pennsylvania is the second state of the 13 original states to ratify the federal Constitution in 1787. It is the 5th most populous state in the US with over 13 million people. Pennsylvania has been one of the most important industrial centers for coal, steel, and railroads. Pennsylvania is known as "The Keystone State". The architectural term "Keystone", is a term that refers to a stone that holds all other stones in an arch together. It is the name that shows how crucial this state is to the US. The very first hospital and university of the country were built in Pennsylvania. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both signed there as well. The state bird is the Ruffed Grouse, the state tree is the Eastern Hemlock, and the state flower is the Mountain Laurel.

Before European settlement, the Erie, Honniasont, Huron, Leni Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee, Susquehannock, (and some others that are unknown), were the original tribes that first inhabited Pennsylvania. From 1497 - 1664, the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish came over by ship to take land. Land was "claimed" for the Kings. A great large portion of land in Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn on March 4, 1681 by King Charles II of England. He owed Penn's father money, and this was his way of paying off the debt and settling the balance of the loan. The King named the colony after William's father, Admiral Sir Penn. William Penn laid out plans for a "Great City on a River", had road surveys made, set up townships, and created a blueprint that was unique and that also honored the "natives" so that "no man shall... wrong any Indian". By 1768, all of Pennsylvania had been purchased except for the northwestern third. When William Penn died, he gave the land to his sons, John and Thomas, who sold all parts of the land without the consent of those who lived on it. The boarder of Pennsylvania and Delaware was not established until the mid-18th century with the drawing of the "Mason-Dixon Line". Most of the Indigenous Americans migrated west due to battles and too much disharmony in living with the Europeans. Today, there are still Lenape people in Pennsylvania that are working to preserve their history, language, and culture.


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