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The Pennsylvania Colony was an English colony (1681-1776) that belonged to the 13 original colonies situated along the Atlantic coast of North America. These colonies were further divided into three geographic areas, which included the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. The Pennsylvania Colony was classified under the Middle Colonies, alongside New York Colony, Delaware Colony, and New Jersey Colony. It likewise rebelled against Great Britain and was declared an American state.
See the fact file below for more information on the Pennsylvania Colony or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Pennsylvania Colony worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COLONY
- Before the arrival of the Europeans, numerous native tribes already lived in Pennsylvania. Some of these tribes were the Erie, Honniasont, Huron, Iroquois (particularly Seneca and Oneida), Leni Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee, and Susquehannock.
- During the European exploration, the land area, which eventually became the Pennsylvania Colony, had been in conflict for many years between the English, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Swedes. Many explorers had claimed ownership of the territory, including Christopher Columbus (circa 1492), John Cabot (circa 1497), Giovanni da Verrazzano (circa 1524), and Henry Hudson, who was working for the Dutch East India Company (circa 1609).
- By 1643, Governor Johan Printz arrived at Tinicum Island, near what is now Philadelphia’s airport, where he established Fort Elfsborg and Fort New Gothenburg. A small park displaying a statue of Printz was built as a way to commemorate the location, which also marked the first permanent European settlement in Pennsylvania.
FOUNDING AND NAMING OF THE COLONY
- At the time, King Charles II of England owed Admiral Sir William Penn $80,000. As payment of this debt, the king granted the large area in the New World, now known as Pennsylvania, to the son of the admiral, also named William Penn.
- On March 4, 1681, the establishment of Pennsylvania as a colony, which covered 40,000 square miles, was affirmed to William Penn under the royal charter of King Charles II.
- At first, Penn decided to name the territory New Wales. However, a Welsh member of England’s Privy Council disagreed, so Penn called it Sylvania, a Latin word that means woods. In honour of the admiral, the king changed and formed the name Pennsylvania (Penn’s Woods).
LIFE IN THE COLONY
- Also known as the Province of Pennsylvania, the colony had a very rich landscape, including coastal plains, mountains, plateau areas, and lowlands.
- Since the Middle Colonies had a mild climate with warm summers and balanced winters, farming and agriculture easily flourished in Pennsylvania.
- Its natural resources likewise included iron ore, timber, furs, coal, and forest. The colony manufactured iron ore products, including tools, kettles, ploughs, locks, nails, and large blocks of iron that were exported to England alongside other products from farmworkers.
- The agricultural industry also invested in livestock farming, wheat, corn, and dairy. Moreover, its land area grew flax, hemp, and rye. The farms usually covered 50 to 150 acres, with a house, barn, yard, and fields.
- The manufacturing industry included textile making, shipbuilding, and papermaking.
- During the founding of the colony, Penn convinced people to migrate with a condition to pay 40 shillings per hundred acres and shares of 5,000 acres for 100 pounds.
- Following this, emigration suddenly increased. People came from England, Ireland, Wales, Holland, and Germany.
- This spike in emigration unfortunately included enslaved people of African descent, who were brought to Pennsylvania mainly by the English, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish because slavery became legal in the colony and even free African-Americans were discriminated against.
- Quakers, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and many others enjoyed religious freedom in the Pennsylvania Colony.
- It is also said that fair treatment was given to Indians, having no debts and taxes, and that fair negotiations with the natives existed, which further encouraged growth within the colony.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COLONY
- Pennsylvania was known as an economic stronghold in Colonial America primarily due to its strategic location in the Middle Colonies, which was suitable for many great ports that served as a way to bring immigrants from Europe.
- In April 1682, the Frame of Government, Pennsylvania Colony’s first constitution, was drafted, which created the upper house and lower house of the legislature. In 1683, the second Frame of Government was approved by the assembly.
- In 1696, Penn came back to Pennsylvania after being arrested in England many times for disloyalty. During this time, he established the Charter of Privileges, which was passed by 1701. Penn died in 1718.
- The colony’s known cities included Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York. It was also recognized for famous landmarks such as the Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg, and Valley Forge.
- Since its establishment, Pennsylvania was a governed proprietary colony, but it changed at the start of the American Revolution. It was declared as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on December 12, 1787, becoming one of America’s first 13 states.
- When the war ended, Pennsylvania was second to ratify the American Constitution, following Delaware.
Pennsylvania Colony Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Pennsylvania Colony across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Pennsylvania Colony worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Pennsylvania Colony which was an English colony (1681-1776) that belonged to the 13 original colonies situated along the Atlantic coast of North America. These colonies were further divided into three geographic areas, which included the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. The Pennsylvania Colony was classified under the Middle Colonies, alongside New York Colony, Delaware Colony, and New Jersey Colony. It likewise rebelled against Great Britain and was declared an American state.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Pennsylvania Colony Facts
- Locating Pennsylvania Colony
- Find the Words
- Naming of the Colony
- Establishment of the Colony
- Life in the Colony
- William Penn
- Notable Cities
- Historical Significance
- Pennsylvania Today
- In a Nutshell
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Link will appear as Pennsylvania Colony Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 5, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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