46,055 sq mi
| 7.25 USD per hour (Jan 1, 2014)|
Hersheypark, Eastern State Penitentiary
Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Pocono Mountains
Pennsylvania State University (University Park), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh), University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh), Temple University (Philadelphia)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania German: Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, and the Great Lakes region. The state borders Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and Ontario, Canada to the northwest, New York to the north and New Jersey to the east. The Appalachian Mountains run through the middle of the state.
Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest, the 6th most populous, and the 9th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The states five most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, and Reading. The state capital is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km) of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. The state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States.
Pennsylvania is 170 miles (274 km) north to south and 283 miles (455 km) east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles (119,282 km2), 44,817 square miles (116,075 km2) are land, 490 square miles (1,269 km2) are inland waters, and 749 square miles (1,940 km2) are waters in Lake Erie. It is the 33rd largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km) of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary.
The boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line (39° 43 N) to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31 W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Pennsylvania borders six other states: New York to the north; New Jersey to the east; Delaware to the southeast; Maryland to the south; West Virginia to the southwest, and Ohio to the west. Pennsylvania also shares a water border with the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest across Lake Erie. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean.
It has the cities of Philadelphia, Reading, Lebanon and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton in the central east (known as the Lehigh Valley), the tri-cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton in the northeast, and Erie in the northwest. Williamsport serves as the commonwealths north-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the central region of the commonwealth.
The state has 5 regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau, Ridge and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and the Erie Plain.
Before the Commonwealth was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Delaware (also known as Lenni Lenape), Susquehannock, Iroquois, Eriez, Shawnee, and other American Indian Nations. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America. The Dutch were the first to take possession, which has impact on the history of Pennsylvania.
By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had started the settlement of the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden heated up the issue by establishing the New Sweden Colony, centered on Fort Christina, on the site of present day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (Parts of present Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) but settled few colonists there.
On March 12, 1664, King Charles II of England gave James, Duke of York a grant that included all of the lands included in the original Virginia Company of Plymouth Grant as well as other lands. This grant was – again – in conflict with the Dutch claim for New Netherland, which included parts of todays Pennsylvania.
On June 24, 1664, The Duke of York sold the portion of his large grant that included present day New Jersey to John Berkeley and George Carteret for a proprietary colony. The land was not yet in British possession, but the sale boxed in the portion of New Netherland on the West side of the Delaware River. The British conquest of New Netherland was commenced on August 29, 1664, when New Amsterdam was coerced to surrender, facing the cannons on British ships in New York Harbor. This conquest continued, and was completed in October 1664, when the British captured Fort Casimir in what today is New Castle, Delaware.
The Peace of Breda between England, France and the Netherlands confirmed the British conquest on July 21, 1667, although there were temporary reversions.
On September 12, 1672, as part of the Third Anglo—Dutch War, the Dutch re-conquered New York Colony/New Amsterdam, the Dutch established three County Courts which went on to become original Counties in present day Delaware and Pennsylvania. The one that later transferred to Pennsylvania was Upland. This was partially reversed on February 9, 1674, when the Treaty of Westminster ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War, and reverted all political situations to the status quo ante bellum. The British retained the Dutch Counties with their Dutch names. By June 11, 1674, New York reasserted control over the outlying colonies, including Upland, but the names started to be changed to British names by November 11, 1674. Upland was partitioned on November 12, 1674, producing the general outline of the current border between Pennsylvania and Delaware.
On February 28, 1681, Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn to repay a debt of £16,000 (around £2,100,000 in 2008, adjusting for retail inflation) owed to Williams father, Admiral William Penn. This was one of the largest land grants to an individual in history. The King named it Pennsylvania in honor of William Penn. Penn, who originally called it New Wales, then Sylvania, was embarrassed at the change, fearing that people would think he had named it after himself, but King Charles would not rename the grant. Penn established a government with two innovations that were much copied in the New World: the county commission and freedom of religious conviction.
What had been Upland on what became the Pennsylvania side of the Pennsylvania-Delaware Border was renamed as Chester County when Pennsylvania instituted their colonial governments on March 4, 1681. The Quaker leader William Penn had signed a peace treaty with Tammany, leader of the Delaware tribe, beginning a long period of friendly relations between the Quakers and the Indians. Additional treaties between Quakers and other tribes followed. The treaty of William Penn was never violated.
Pennsylvanias 2013 total gross state product (GSP) of $644 billion ranks the state 6th in the nation. If Pennsylvania were an independent country, its economy would rank as the 18th largest in the world. On a per-capita basis, Pennsylvanias per-capita GSP of $47,274 (in chained 2009 dollars) ranks 26th among the 50 states.
Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine is the typical and traditional fare of the Pennsylvania Dutch. According to one writer, "If you had to make a short list of regions in the United States where regional food is actually consumed on a daily basis, the land of the Pennsylvania Dutch in and around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania would be at or near the top of that list," mainly because the area is a cultural enclave of Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine reflects influences of the Pennsylvania Dutchs German heritage, agrarian society, and rejection of rapid change.
Soups, often featuring egg noodle, are characteristic of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Pennsylvanian Dutch homes have traditionally had many broths on hand (vegetable, fish, poultry, and meat) from the saving of any extra liquids available: "The Pennsylvania Dutch developed soup making to such a high art that complete cookbooks could be written about their soups alone; there was an appropriate soup for every day of the year, including a variety of hot and cold fruit soups." Soups were traditionally divided into different categories, including Sippli or "little soup" (a light broth), Koppsupper or "cup soups"; Suppe (thick, chowder soups, often served as a meal with bread), and Gschmorte (a soup with no broth, often like a Brieh or gravy).
Pennsylvania Dutch soups are often thickened with a starch, such as mashed potatoes, flour, rice, noodles, fried bread, dumplings, or Riwwels or rivvels (small dumplings described as "large crumbs" made from "rubbing egg yolk and flour between the fingers"), from the German verb for "to rub."
In his book Yo Mama Cooks Like a Yankee, author Sharon Hernes Silverman calls Pennsylvania the snack food capital of the world. It leads all other states in the manufacture of pretzels and potato chips. The Sturgis Pretzel House introduced the pretzel to America, and companies like Anderson Bakery Company, Intercourse Pretzel Factory, and Snyders of Hanover are leading manufacturers in the Commonwealth. Two of the three companies that define the U.S. potato chip industry are based in Pennsylvania: Utz Quality Foods, which started making chips in Hanover, Pennsylvania in 1921, and Wise Foods which started making chips in Berwick in 1921 (the third, Lays Potato Chips, is a Texas company). Other companies such as Herrs Snacks, Martins Potato Chips, Snyders of Berlin (not associated with Snyders of Hanover) and Troyer Farms Potato Products are popular chip manufacturers.
The U.S. chocolate industry is centered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, with Mars, Godiva, and Wilbur Chocolate Company nearby, and smaller manufacturers such as Ashers in Souderton, and Gertrude Hawk Chocolates of Dunmore. Other notable companies include Just Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, makers of Hot Tamales, Mike and Ikes, the Easter favorite marshmallow Peeps, and Boyer Brothers of Altoona, Pennsylvania, which is well known for its Mallo Cups. Auntie Annes Pretzels began as a market-stand in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and now has corporate headquarters in Lancaster City. Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch foods include chicken potpie, ham potpie, schnitz un knepp (dried apples, ham, and dumplings), fasnachts (raised doughnuts), scrapple, pretzels, bologna, chow-chow, and Shoofly pie. Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., headquartered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, specializes in potato bread, another traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food. D.G. Yuengling & Son, Americas oldest brewery, has been brewing beer in Pottsville since 1829.
Among the regional foods associated with Philadelphia are cheesesteaks, hoagie, soft pretzels, Italian water ice, Irish potato candy, scrapple, Tastykake, and strombolis. In Pittsburgh, tomato ketchup was improved by Henry John Heinz from 1876 to the early 20th century. Famous to a lesser extent than Heinz ketchup are the Pittsburghs Primanti Brothers Restaurant sandwiches, pierogies, and city chicken. Outside of Scranton, in Old Forge there are dozens of Italian restaurants specializing in pizza made unique by thick, light crust and American cheese. Erie also has its share of unique foods, including Greek sauce and sponge candy. Sauerkraut along with pork and mashed potatoes is a common meal on New Years Day in Pennsylvania.