PA a state in the northeastern US, which produces large amounts of steel and coal. It was one of the 13 original US states, and was an important centre in the fight to become independent from Britain during the American Revolutionary War. officially Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State (pop., 2000: 12,281,054), middle Atlantic region, U.S. It covers 45,333 sq mi (117,412 sq km); its capital is Harrisburg. The state is bounded on the north by Lake Erie and New York; on the east by New York and New Jersey; on the south by Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia; and on the west by the panhandle of West Virginia and by Ohio; the Delaware River forms part of the eastern boundary. The Monongahela River unites with the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. The area was inhabited by Indian peoples, including the Shawnee and Delaware, when Europeans arrived in the 17th century. In 1664 the English seized control of the region, and in 1681 the English king granted a charter to William Penn, who established a Quaker colony based on religious tolerance in 1682. Much of the fighting of the French and Indian War took place there. The first and second Continental Congresses met in Philadelphia, and the Declaration of Independence was signed there in 1776. One of the original states of the Union, it was the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787. During the American Civil War it was a centre of military activity (see Battle of Gettysburg). The postwar period brought great economic, industrial, and population growth, consolidating the state's position as a major commercial power. It is one of the most prosperous states, with an economy based on farming, mining, manufacturing, and high technology. The state continues to produce much of the nation's specialty steel and an abundance of coal. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are major ports with fine educational, cultural, and musical institutions. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Pennsylvania State University
a Mid-Atlantic state; one of the original 13 colonies one of the British colonies that formed the United States
a group of people living in the US state of Pennsylvania, who came from Germany in the 1600s and 1700s to find religious freedom, and still live in the style of that time. They wear very old-fashioned clothes, and do not have cars or other modern machines. They are Protestants, and include the Amish and the Mennonites Dutch
Former U.S. railroad. It was chartered in 1846 by the Pennsylvania legislature to build a line between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and its passenger service began two years later. By purchasing the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway in 1856, the company extended its service to Chicago. After the Civil War it expanded to St. Louis, Mo., and Cincinnati, Ohio, in the west and Norfolk, Va., in the south, with 10,000 mi (16,000 km) of track at its greatest extent. It began to lose money in the mid 20th century, and in 1968 it merged with its competitor, the New York Central, to form the Penn Central Transportation Co. Penn Central declared bankruptcy in 1970; its passenger service was taken over by Amtrak in 1971 and its assets by Conrail in 1976. See also J. Edgar Thomson
U.S. public state system of higher education with a main campus in University Park and numerous other campuses and locations, including the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey and the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. The university originated with the charter of the Farmers' High School in 1855 and was designated the commonwealth's land-grant college in 1862. It took its current name only in 1953. Research facilities include the Biotechnology Institute, the Center for Applied Behavioral Science, and the Center for Particle Science and Engineering
U.S. private university in Philadelphia, a traditional member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1740 as a charity school, it became an academy in 1753, with Benjamin Franklin as president of the first board of trustees. With the founding of the first medical school in North America (1765), it became a university. Today, in addition to its college of arts and sciences and its medical school, it includes a college of general studies and schools of business (the Wharton School), communication (the Annenberg School), education, engineering, fine arts, law, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and social work. Its institutes include the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology and the Phipps Institute of Genetics and Community Diseases. The University Museum (of archaeology and ethnology) is a teaching and research organization
() On March 4, 1681, Charles II of England granted a land tract to William Penn for the area that now includes Pennsylvania. Penn then founded a colony there as a place of religious freedom for Quakers, and named it for the Latin sylvania meaning "woods," thus "Pennsylvania."
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