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States of the US


A map of PennsylvaniaA map of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania is located in the northeastern region of the United States. The state extends from the shores of Lake Erie—one of the the Great Lakes—in the northwest, to the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Delaware estuary in the southeast. The Appalachian Mountains stretch from southwest to northeast, covering more than half the state. Forming their southeastern flank are the Blue Mountains, broken by gaps cut by the Susquehanna, Schuylkill, Lehigh and Delaware rivers. The Allegheny Plateau, much dissected by river valleys, extends to the west of the Appalachians.

Susquehanna River, northern PennsylvaniaSusquehanna River, northern Pennsylvania

An Amish family riding in a buggy, Lancaster CountyAn Amish family riding in a buggy, Lancaster County


In 1681 King Charles II of England granted a land charter to the Quaker William Penn (1644–1718) to repay a debt of £16,000 (more than $3 million in today’s money) owed to William's father, Admiral William Penn. One of the largest land grants to any individual in history, it made Penn the world's largest private landowner, with over 45,000 square miles (120,000 square kilometres) to his name. Penn first called the area "New Wales", then "Sylvania" (Latin for "forests"), but the king insisted the name be changed to "Pennsylvania" in honour of the elder Penn.

Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, in the snowCathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, in the snow


The Pennsylvania German (or Pennsylvania “Dutch”), a dialect of German, is still in use as a first language among Old Order Amish and Mennonites, chiefly in the Lancaster County area.

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