Pennsylvania State Facts, Symbols and History
Pennsylvania Fast Facts
Capital: Harrisburg (popularity). 47,196 (2010 est.)
Pennsylvania population: 12,763,536 ( 2012 est.) (6th)
The Pennsylvania Quarter The Pennsylvania Quarter, the 2nd quarter in the 50 State Quarters® Program series, features the “Commonwealth” statue, outline of the state, state motto, “Dignity, Liberty, Independence” and keystone.The Commonwealth statue is an allegorical female figure. Her right hand is outstretched as a gesture of kindness, and her left hand holds the symbolism justice of the mace of the ribbon. The keystone image honors the state’s moniker.On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania became a National Second State.
Language: English, others
Largest Cities: (by population) Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton
Name: Pennsylvania was named by William Penn and King Charles II in 1681. Penn suggested Sylvania, meaning woodland. The King added Penn to Sylvania in honor of Penn’s father, Admiral William Penn.
Statehood: December 12, 1787 (2nd state)
Symbols of Pennsylvania
- Animal: white-tailed deer
- Bird: Maned grouse
- Dog: Great Dane
- Fish: char
- Flag of Pennsylvania
- Flower: mountain laurel
- Motto: “Dignity, freedom and independence”
- Nickname: Keystone State
- Song: “Pennsylvania”
- State seal
Pennsylvania (Commonwelath of Pennsylvania) is a US state with a population of 12,773,801 (data for 2013). Ethnic origin (according to a 2003 survey): German – 27.66%, Irish – 17.66%, Italian – 12.82%, English – 8.89%, Polish – 7.20%. See cities and towns in Pennsylvania.
The first European settlers in what is now Pennsylvania were the Swedes and the Dutch. In 1681, King Charles II of England gave the young English Quaker William Penn a large area west of the Delaware River. In 1682, Penn founded a colony of refuge for Protestants of the “Society of Friends” (the official name of the Quakers) and others persecuted for their faith. In honor of Penn’s father, an admiral in the Royal Navy, the colony was named Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania – in Latin Penn Silvania – Wooded land of Penn.
At the same time, William Penn, who professed the idea of brotherly love between fellow believers, founded the city, which he came up with the name Philadelphia, which in ancient Greek means the City of Brotherly Love.
- AbbreviationFinder: Demonstrates how the two-letter acronym of PA stands for Pennsylvania and a list of frequently used abbreviations related to the state of Pennsylvania.
For half a century the experiment was successful, but then, as a result of skirmishes with the Indians, many colonists of Irish and German origin died. The Quakers (unlike the Puritans in New England) refused to oppose force to the Indians, because they could not compromise their moral principles – rejection of wars and violence, religious tolerance – and were forced to leave the political scene of the colony.
In 1751, the first hospital in the British colonies was opened in Pennsylvania, and the first university, the University of Pennsylvania, was founded. In 1790, Pennsylvania was the first North American state to pass an emancipation law.
Pennsylvania actively participated in the Revolutionary War. In 1776, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (the official name of the state) was adopted. Then in Philadelphia the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by the Second Continental Congress and Pennsylvania, along with twelve other former North American colonies of Great Britain, formed the United States of America.
Pennsylvania, like Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Virginia, is an official state, governed by a bicameral legislature that includes 50 members of parliament, elected every four years, and 203 members of the house of representatives, elected every two years. Since the 1950s Democratic and Republican parties are represented in approximately equal proportions. The governor is elected for a four-year term and can be re-elected at the end of the term only once. The judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court, which is represented by the Chairman of the Supreme Court and 6 members of the court, all of whom are elected for a ten-year term. At the local level, Pennsylvania is made up of 66 districts, each governed by three justices of the peace.