Located in the northeastern United States, Pennsylvania's neighbors are New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, West Virginia, and Lake Erie.

The state's name literally means "Penn's woods," after its founder William Penn. Penn was a Quaker who established Pennsylvania in 1682 as a British colony. His purpose was to create a government of religious tolerance for members of his and other minority religions.

Pennsylvania's capital city is Harrisburg, and its largest city is Philadelphia. Its nickname is the Keystone State.

Outside the cities, the eastern and central portions of the state are highly agricultural; some of this agriculture is done in traditional fashion by the Amish, who really have their work cut out for them since the area is quite hilly. The west of the state is part of the heavily industrialized and polluted rust belt, although Pittsburgh has been getting better in recent years.

The liquor laws are draconian.

Also a large area of the city of Exeter in the UK. This was William Penn's personal estate until he moved to the New World whereupon he left the land to the city, which named it in honour of Penn's new colony. This is the only example I can think of of an area in Britain being named after a place in America as opposed to the other way around.

Just as an adendum to Anark's w/u:

While "Pennsylvania" is Latin for "Penn's Woods," the Penn in question is not William Penn the settler, but Admiral William Penn, Knight, his father. William Penn the Younger was a Quaker who had spent much of his life hiding in Ireland to escape the persecution of his religion (he had also been expelled from Oxford). King Charles II owed Penn's late father a favor, so in 1682 he decided to give Penn a section of land in the New World, where Penn could take his fellow Quakers and set up shop, thus staying out of the king's hair. Charles suggested naming the land Penn's Woods, but Penn the Younger made sure that this refered not to himself, but to his father the Admiral, as naming the land after himself would be deemed an uncharacteristic act for a Quaker.

Of course, what Charles ignored and Penn later had to deal with was the fact that Pennsylvania was already inhabited by the Leni Lenapi (Delaware Indians) and some Swedish settlers in what is now South Philly. Penn was able to set up a deal with the Leni Lenapi, promising that his people would not go out past what is now Berks County; the tribe accepted this, and they agreed to live in peace (until the Scotch-Irish started to encroach on the Lenapi hunting grounds, killing any Indian they saw--nice neighbors, huh?). The Swedes just wanted to fish and be left alone.

Penn set up Pennsylvania as a colony where religous freedom would be practiced, not only for the Quakers, but for all people. This lead to a huge influx of Catholics, Jews, and non-Anglican Protestants. However, the Quakers did retain most of the political power. He established Philadelphia as the capital in 1683, in the area which is now Center City.


United States of America

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