Pennsylvania [penslve in ʹnjə], abbreviated PA, state of
northeastern United States; 119,000 km2, 12.8 million inhabitants
(2018), of which about half live in the two metropolitan areas of Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh.Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 states of the United
States. The capital is Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania. State Map.
The western two-thirds of Pennsylvania are occupied by a plateau landscape,
made up of horizontally stored rocks, degraded to a hilly landscape with an
average height of about 500 m asl.
Pennsylvania. Northern Pennsylvania consists of a
hilly landscape. In the Worlds End State Park, this type of landscape is
To the east of this area is a series of ridges with hard sandstones and sinks
with more easily eroded slates. At the far east is the flat Piedmont
Plateau. The northern parts of Pennsylvania have been covered by inland ice and
have mainly moraine soils. The limited coastal plains around Philadelphia and
Lake Erie have fertile, cultivated lands.
Pennsylvania has a humid climate with an average rainfall of 500–800 mm. The
average temperature in January is ± 0 °C in Philadelphia, somewhat lower in
Pittsburgh. The average temperature in July is 24 °C and 22 °C respectively.
Pennsylvania has recently had weak population growth. The proportion of
whites is 83 percent. Of Pennsylvania's residents, about 85 percent live in
metropolitan regions, of which Philadelphia (6.1 million, 2016) and Pittsburgh
(2.3 million) are the largest.
Although more than half of the acreage is wooded and over 1/4 of arable land,
Pennsylvania is primarily one of America's leading industrial states. However,
agriculture is important, and Pennsylvania has a versatile production of meat,
dairy and mushrooms.
Pennsylvania's large coal resources were essential for the state's industrial
development, especially for the very extensive iron and steel industry in
Pittsburgh, Bethlehem and Johnstown. This has had major problems in recent
decades, as have some other industries in the state, but Pennsylvania still has
a very versatile manufacturing (such as food, pharmaceuticals and machinery).
Pennsylvania. Bethlehem steel mill was built in
1886 and closed in 1995. During its heyday it was the second largest steel mill
in the United States. In 2009, a casino was opened in parts of the steel plant's
The state's transport network is well developed.
Tourism and gastronomy
Most of the state's tourists go to metropolitan areas, such as Pittsburgh,
Harrisburg and Lancaster. The latter city is the center of the Pennsylvania
Dutch Country, ie. the state's "German" (Dutch is a distortion of Deutsch 'German')
region, which is known for its strong element of religious groups, mainly Amish,
with their different culture and age-old customs.
Pennsylvania. Horse carriages used by Amish for
sale in a market in Bart, just south of Lancaster.
However, the biggest destination is Philadelphia. The city's wide range of
cultural and commercial activities is complemented there by a host of famous
memorials from American history, such as the Independence National Historic Park
(for example, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell and Congress Hall. Philadelphia
also has the Swedish church of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes).
Pennsylvania. The church Gloria Dei in Philadelphia
was erected in 1698–1700 by the Swedish kittens from New Sweden.
Around the city there are also a number of battlefields from the War of
Independence, for example Brandywine (1777), which attracts many
visitors. Pennsylvania's most famous and visited military establishment dates
from the Civil War. In Gettysburg (south of Harrisburg) a bloody battle was
fought in 1863, and there a few months later Abraham Lincoln gave a famous
speech. Several places, museums etc. reflect the colonization and the industrial
revolution. For example, iron production can be studied in Hopewell (northeast
of Lancaster) and in Scranton (including coal mining).
Pennsylvania. Hopewell's blast furnace is now a
well-preserved 19th-century mining monument in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The world's first major oil discovery was made at Titusville in the northwest
of the state. Although Pennsylvania's historic appeal is most often highlighted,
the state also has a lot to offer nature and outdoor lovers. The opportunities
for activities such as fishing, hiking and skiing are good. Also, a drive along
the Delaware River within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area can
include great nature experiences.
To a greater extent than anywhere else in the United States, old recipes
still live in Pennsylvania, because the state was early populated by traditional
religious sects. The food is called Dutch cooking. Schnitz und
Kneppe are dried apple rings served with dumplings and bacon, and chicken
potpie is chicken stew with a blanket of pasta dough. Pickled
vegetables, sauerkraut, mushrooms or fruit (pickles) are served for the
most basic dishes. A common middle or breakfast dish is corn fritters,
corn stains, which have roots in the Amish sect and in the Native American
population. Popular desserts are the raisin pie funeral pie and the
traditional shoofly pie, flavored with molasses or corn syrup.
In the 1640s, Pennsylvania was colonized by the first Europeans, Swedes and
Dutch, but in 1664 England took control of the area. It was acquired in 1681 by
the farmer William Penn. He created a society based on religious tolerance and
attracted colonists from many different countries. Pennsylvania played a central
role during the North American War of Independence (1775-83) and in 1787 was the
second state to ratify the United States Constitution. The abundance of coal
created extensive industrial growth, built on iron and steel production, which
together with well-functioning agriculture made Pennsylvania during the 19th
century one of the richest and most prosperous states in the Union. Republicans
have long been the dominant party, but since the 1930s, Democrats have been