The Province of Pennsylvania or the Pennsylvania Colony is a British colony in North America proclaimed by William Penn on March 4, 1681. The colony became the forerunner of the modern state of Pennsylvania . The province lasted until September 3, 1783 .
Main languages: English, German ( Pencil-German dialect ).
Currency: pound sterling and piastre .
The colony administration, formed in 1682 under the framework constitution developed by Penn, consisted of the governor, the owner of the colony (Penn), a provincial council of 72 delegates, and an even larger General Assembly . The latter, also known as the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania, was the largest and most representative member of the colonial administration, but its powers were very limited.
Subsequent constitutions, also known as Charter of Privileges, were published in 1683, 1696 and 1701. The fourth operated before the American Revolution . At that time, the provincial assembly seemed too moderate to the rebels. The revolutionaries gathered in a separate congress, at which the Constitution of 1776 was proclaimed for the newly created community of Pennsylvania. Then the formation of a new General Assembly began.
Religious Freedoms and Welfare
The religious views of William Penn and his Quaker associates left a strong imprint on the activities of the early colonial administration. Privilege charters extended religious freedom to all monotheists . Initially, any Christian could become a member of the administration.
Before the Franco-Indian War, Pennsylvania had no army or public loans ; taxes were relatively few. In such circumstances, Philadelphia quickly turned into one of the most important American cities; areas in the southeast of the colony, the places of compact residence of Pennsylvania Germans, also achieved significant development. Among the latter, one can note the Mennonite groups (which already founded the Germantown settlement in 1683) and the Amish , who created their first community in North America on the lands of Pennsylvania. A special place in the history of the colony occupies 1751: then the Pennsylvania Hospital (the first in British North America) and the Academy and College of Pennsylvania , the predecessors of the University of Pennsylvania , were opened.
The Privileges Charter prohibited the use of unfair practices in transactions with the indigenous population . This led to a significant improvement in relations with local tribes (mainly from the Delaware and Husky ). The Indians, whom the Quakers respected, agreed to sell the land to the aliens for settlement. According to Voltaire , the agreement concluded in the Indian village of Shakamaxon was "the only agreement between the Indians and Christians, which no one swore to abide by and which they never violated"  . The Quakers, in turn, refused to help the New England colonists in their wars with the natives.
However, in 1737, Pennsylvania changed good neighborly relations in favor of land grabs. The authorities of the colony announced, as if back in the 1680s. An agreement was signed between the colonists and the Delaware, according to which the latter promised to sell the new settlers the territory that stretched from the confluence of the Delaware and Lehai rivers "to the west to a distance that a pedestrian could cover in one and a half days." Although the document was most likely a falsification, the Indians could not recognize it. According to the results of the “race” organized by the authorities, the colony acquired 1.2 million acres of land (4900 km²), which have now become part of northeastern Pennsylvania. Over the next nineteen years, the Delaware fought in vain for the cancellation of the "treaty." The Indians were forced to leave their settled lands and move to the Shamokin and Wyoming valleys already occupied by other "displaced" tribes.
- Rothbard M. Pennsylvania's Anarchist Experiment.
- Franklin, Benjamin Historical Overview of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1956). Date of treatment September 7, 2012. Archived October 19, 2012.
- Rothbard, Murray Pennsylvania's Anarchist Experiment: 1681–1690 (Link unavailable) . LewRockwell.com (2005). Date of treatment September 7, 2012. Archived on September 6, 2012. (eng.)
- Illick Joseph E. Colonial Pennsylvania: A History (1976 )