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Pennsylvania, the "Keystone State"

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Although Swedes and Dutch were the first European settlers, William Penn, a Quaker, named Pennsylvania in honor of his father by combining the name Penn and the Latin term sylvania, which translates as "woodlands", to come up with "Penn's woodlands." Pennsylvania was the second of the original 13 states of the Union (1787). Today, two major cities dominate the state -- Philadelphia, home of the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, and a thriving metropolitan area, and Pittsburgh, a busy inland river port. Pennsylvania is one of the nation's most historic states. Philadelphia is often called the cradle of the American Nation. It was here that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drawn up by the founding fathers. The Pocono Mountains and the Delaware Water Gap provide popular recreational activities. The Pennsylvania Dutch region in south-central Pennsylvania is another favorite of sightseers. Some Pennsylvania Dutch groups, including the Amish and the Mennonites, are called the Plain People; they live and dress as their ancestors did, with no modern conveniences. 

Obwohl die ersten europäischen Siedler Schweden und Holländer waren, wurde das Gebiet von dem Quäker William Penn zu Ehren seines Vaters benannt. Er verband den Namen Penn und das lateinische Wort sylvania (Wald, Waldgebiet) und erschuf so "Penns Wald". Pennsylvania war der zweite der ursprünglichen 13 Staaten, die sich zu einem Verbund zusammenschlossen (1787). Heute dominieren zwei Städte den Staat - Philadelphia, Heimat der Freiheitsglocke, Constitution Hall und eine rasch wachsende Metropole, und Pittsburgh, ein geschäftiger Flusshafen im Landesinneren. Pennsylvania ist einer der geschichtsträchtigsten Bundesstaaten des Landes. Philadelphia wird oft als Wiege der Nation bezeichnet. Hier wurden u.a. die Unabhängigkeitserklärung und die Verfassung verfasst. Die Pocono Mountains und der Delaware Water Gap sind ein beliebtes Feriengebiet. Die Region der Pennsylvania Dutch im südlichen Landesinnern ist ein weiterer Anziehungspunkt für Touristen. Einige Gemeinschaften, wie die Amish und die Mennoniten, die zu den Pennsylvania Dutch zählen, werden ĄPlain People", einfache Leute, genannt. Sie haben Lebensstil und Kleidung ihrer Vorfahren beibehalten und leben ohne die Errungenschaften der modernen Welt.


Governor: Edward G. Rendell, D (to Jan. 2011)
Senators: Robert P. Casey, Jr., D (Jan. 2007 to Jan. 2013); Arlen Specter, R (to Jan. 2011)
House of Representatives: 19 districts | Search by zip code

Population (July 2005):
12,430,000; National Rank: 6; Percent change since April 2000: 1.2%
Land Area: 44,820 sq mi. (116,083 sq km); National Rank:
10 largest cities (2005 est): Philadelphia, 1,463,281; Pittsburgh, 316,718; Allentown, 106,992; Erie, 102,612; Reading, 80,855; Scranton, 73,120; Bethlehem, 72,895; Lancaster, 54,757, Harrisburg, 47,472, Altoona, 47,176

Total Gross State Product 2005 prel. (billions of current dollars): 487.2
Per Capita Personal Income 2005:
$34,897; National Rank: 18
State Exports 2005 (millions of dollars):
22,271; National Rank: 9
Dairy products, poultry, cattle, nursery stock, mushrooms, hogs, hay.
Industry: Food processing, chemical products, machinery, electric equipment, tourism.

State of Pennsylvania Official Homepage
· Project VoteSmart
· State and Local Government on the Internet

· Pennsylvania Profile - Fedstats
· U.S. Census Bureau: 2000 Data for the State of Pennsylvania
· U.S. Census Bureau: State Data Centers: Pennsylvania

· Pennsylvania - Regional Accounts Data


· Photo Tour
· Stately Knowledge

· Pennsylvania


State of Pennsylvania Tourist Office
· Map (MapQuest)
State of Pennsylvania: State Parks

For High School Students
· State Report
· Discover Pennsylvania
Explore the States

Teacher Resources
ProTeacher: Lessons by State: Pennsylvania

Link Lists
· Federal, State & Local Government Site
Pennsylvania (Google)
Pennsylvania (Yahoo)

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
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Updated: May 2008