Located in the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is a state in eastern United States. At the confluence of the Shenandoah and the Potomac rivers, Harpers Ferry was the site of a famous raid during the Civil War.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, straddles the Mid-Atlantic region, the Northeastern region, and the Appalachian region of the United States. Delaware borders the state to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
|QUICK FACTS ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA|
There's disagreement among archaeologists about when the first humans came to Pennsylvania, but they have found artifacts that are at least 19,400 years old. Thousands of years ago, Native American tribes like the Lenape, Susquehannocks, Erie, Seneca, and Oneidas lived in what is now Pennsylvania.
The British colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a member of a Christian group called the Quakers. People of different denominations flocked to Penn's colony because it offered religious freedom. There was an influx of German immigrants, including Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish. The Pennsylvania Dutch are descendants of these settlers, who eventually developed their own dialect.
The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 as the French and English fought for control of the land. While the English won, they became indebted as a result of the war. They recouped the money by taxing the colonists, which many people didn't think was fair. The Revolutionary War began in 1775 as a result of anger over this action.
Two Continental Congresses were held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1775. Following the decision to go to war with Britain, representatives from each of the colonies met for the second time. In this time frame, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. A year later, George Washington led a group of colonial forces called the Continental Army across the Delaware River and to a crucial victory in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania became the second state in the United States after the war ended in 1787.
During the Civil War, Pennsylvania backed the Union. At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863, one of the most significant battles took place. A major turning point toward victory in the war was marked by the Union victory at this battle.
Black bears, elk, red foxes, and white-tailed deer are among Pennsylvania's mammals. The skies are filled with golden eagles and peregrine falcons, while reptiles such as eastern spiny softshell turtles, northern coal skinks, and venomous eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes live on land and slither through the brush. There are also amphibians in Pennsylvania, including the Allegheny Mountain dusky salamander and the Valley and Ridge salamander.
Over half of Pennsylvania is covered in forests, including eastern white pine, red maple, sycamore, and eastern hemlock (the state tree). There are many wildflowers in the state, including wild bergamots, black-eyed Susans, and Penngift Crownvetches.
Coal mining is a major industry in Pennsylvania. Additionally, it has the largest reserves of anthracite coal (a very hard, pure variety) in the country.