The Delawares, calling themselves Leni-Lenape or "real men," originally occupied the basin of the Delaware River and were the most important of several tribes that spoke an Algonkian language. Under the pressure of white settlement, they began to drift westward to the Wyoming Valley, to the Allegheny and, finally, to eastern Ohio. Many of them took the French side in the French and Indian War, joined in Pontiac's War, and fought on the British side in the Revolutionary War. Afterward, some fled to Ontario and the rest wandered west. Their descendants now live on reservations in Oklahoma and Ontario. The Munsees were a division of the Delawares, who lived on the upper Delaware River, above the Lehigh River.
The Susquehannocks were a powerful Iroquoian-speaking tribe who lived along the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania and Maryland. An energetic people living in Algonkian-speaking tribes' territory, they engaged in many wars. In the end, they fell victim to new diseases brought by European settlers, and to attacks by Marylanders and by the Iroquois, which destroyed them as a nation by 1675. A few descendants were among the Conestoga Indians who were massacred in 1763 in Lancaster County.
The Shawnees were an important Algonkian-speaking tribe who came to Pennsylvania from the west in the 1690s, some groups settling on the lower Susquehanna and others with the Munsees near Easton. In the course of time they moved to the Wyoming Valley and the Ohio Valley, where they joined other Shawnees who had gone there directly. They were allies of the French in the French and Indian War and of the British in the Revolution, being almost constantly at war with settlers for forty years preceding the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. After Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers (1794), they settled near the Delawares in Indiana, and their descendants now live in Oklahoma.
The Iroquois Confederacy of Iroquoian-speaking tribes, at first known as the Five Nations, included the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. After about 1723 when the Tuscaroras from the South were admitted to the confederacy, it was called the Six Nations. The five original tribes, when first known to Europeans, held much of New York State from Lake Champlain to the Genesee River. From this central position they gradually extended their power. As middlemen in the fur trade with the western Indians, as intermediaries skilled in dealing with the whites, and as the largest single group of Indians in northeastern America, they gained influence over Indian tribes from Illinois and Lake Michigan to the eastern seaboard. During the colonial wars their alliance or their neutrality was eagerly sought by both the French and the British. The Senecas, the westernmost tribe, established villages on the upper Allegheny in the 1730s. Small groups of Iroquois also scattered westward into Ohio and became known as Mingoes. During the Revolution, most of the Six Nations took the British side, but the Oneidas and many Tuscaroras were pro-American. Gen. John Sullivan's expedition up the Susquehanna River and Gen. Daniel Brodhead's expedition up the Allegheny River laid waste to their villages and cornfields in 1779 and disrupted their society. Many who had fought for the British moved to Canada alter the Revolution, but the rest worked out peaceful relations with the United States under the leadership of such chiefs as Cornplanter. The General Assembly recognized this noted chief by granting him a tract of land on the upper Allegheny in 1791.
Other Tribes, which cannot be identified with certainty, occupied western Pennsylvania before the Europeans arrived, but were eliminated by wars and diseases in the 17th century, long before the Delawares, Shawnees and Senecas began to move there. The Eries, a great Iroquoian-speaking tribe, lived along the south shore of Lake Erie, but were wiped out by the Iroquois about 1654. The Mahicans, an Algonkian-speaking tribe related to the Mohegans of Connecticut, lived in the upper Hudson Valley of New York but were driven out by pressure from the Iroquois and from the white settlers, some joining the Delawares in the Wyoming Valley about 1730 and some settling at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Two Algonkian-speaking tribes, the Conoys and the Nanticokes, moved northward from Maryland early in the 18th century, settling in southern New York, and eventually moved west with the Delawares, with whom they merged. The Saponis, Siouan-speaking tribes from Virginia and North Carolina, moved northward to seek Iroquois protection and were eventually absorbed into the Cayugas. In the latter part of the 18th century there were temporary villages of Wyandots, Chippewas, Missisaugas, and Ottawas in western Pennsylvania.European Background and Early Settlements
The English based their claims in North America on the discoveries of the Cabots (1497), while the French pointed to the voyage of Verrazano in 1524. The Spanish claim was founded on Columbus' discovery of the West Indies, but there is evidence that Spanish ships sailed up the coast of North America as early as 1520. It is uncertain, however, that any of these explorers touched land that became Pennsylvania. Captain John Smith journeyed from Virginia up the Susquehanna River in 1608, visiting the Susquehannock Indians. In 1609 Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the Dutch service, sailed the Half Moon into Delaware Bay, thus giving the Dutch a claim to the area. In 1610 Captain Samuel Argall of Virginia visited the bay and named it for Lord de la Warr, governor of Virginia. After Hudson's time, the Dutch navigators Cornelis Hendricksenm (1616) and Cornelis Jacobsen (1623) explored the Delaware region more thoroughly, and trading posts were established in 1623 and in later years, though not on Pennsylvania soil until 1647.
The Colony of New Sweden, 1638-1655
The Swedes were the first to make permanent settlement, beginning with the expedition of 1637-1638, which occupied the site of Wilmington, Delaware. In 1643 Governor Johan Printz of New Sweden established his capital at Tinicum Island within the present limits of Pennsylvania, where there is now a state park bearing his name.
Dutch Dominion on the Delaware, 1655-1664, and the Duke of York's Rule, 1664-1681
Trouble broke out between the Swedes and the Dutch, who had trading posts in the region. In 1655 Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherlands seized New Sweden and made it part of the Dutch colony. In 1664 the English seized the Dutch possessions in the name of the Duke of York, the king's brother. Except when it was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673-1674, the Delaware region remained under his jurisdiction until 1681. English laws and civil government were introduced by The Duke of Yorke's Laws in 1676.
William Penn and the Quakers
Penn was born in London on October 24, 1644, the son of Admiral Sir William Penn. Despite high social position and an excellent education, he shocked his upper-class associates by his conversion to the beliefs of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, then a persecuted sect. He used his inherited wealth and rank to benefit and protect his fellow believers. Despite the unpopularity of his religion, he was socially acceptable in the king's court because he was trusted by the Duke of York, later King James II. The origins of the Society of Friends lie in the intense religious ferment of 17th century England. George Fox, the son of a Leicestershire weaver, is credited with founding it in 1647, though there was no definite organization before 1668. The Society's rejections of rituals and oaths, its opposition to war, and its simplicity of speech and dress soon attracted attention, usually hostile.
King Charles II owed William Penn £16,000, money which Admiral Penn had lent him. Seeking a haven in the New World for persecuted Friends, Penn asked the King to grant him land in the territory between Lord Baltimore's province of Maryland and the Duke of York's province of New York. With the Duke's support, Penn's petition was granted. The King signed the Charter of Pennsylvania on March 4, 1681, and it was officially proclaimed on April 2. The King named the new colony in honor of William Penn's father. It was to include the land between the 39th and 42nd degrees of north latitude and from the Delaware River westward for five degrees of longitude. Other provisions assured its people the protection of English laws and, to a certain degree, kept it subject to the government in England. Provincial laws could be annulled by the King. In 1682 the Duke of York deeded to Penn his claim to the three lower counties on the Delaware, which are now the state of Delaware.
The New Colony
In April 1681, Penn made his cousin William Markham deputy governor of the province and sent him to take control. In England, Penn drew up the First Frame of Government, his proposed constitution for Pennsylvania. Penn's preface to First Frame of Government has become famous as a summation of his governmental ideals. Later, in October 1682, the Proprietor arrived in Pennsylvania on the ship Welcome. He visited Philadelphia, just laid out as the capital city, created the three original counties, and summoned a General Assembly to Chester on December 4. This first Assembly united the Delaware counties with Pennsylvania, adopted a naturalization act and, on December 7, adopted the Great Law, a humanitarian code that became the fundamental basis of Pennsylvania law and which guaranteed liberty of conscience. The second Assembly, in 1683, reviewed and amended Penn's First Frame with his cooperation and created the Second Frame of Government. By the time of Penn's return to England late in 1684, the foundations of the Quaker Province were well established.
In 1984, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn were made the third and fourth honorary citizens of the United States, by act of Congress. On May 8, 1985, the Penns were granted honorary citizenship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Population and Immigration
Although William Penn was granted all the land in Pennsylvania by the King, he and his heirs chose not to grant or settle any part of it without first buying the claims of Indians who lived there. In this manner, all of Pennsylvania except the northwestern third was purchased by 1768. The Commonwealth bought the Six Nations' claims to the remainder of the land in 1784 and 1789, and the claims of the Delawares and Wyandots in 1785. The defeat of the French and Indian war alliance by 1760, the withdrawal of the French, the crushing of Chief Pontiac's Indian alliance in 1764, and the failure of all attempts by Indians and colonists to live side by side led the Indians to migrate westward, gradually leaving Pennsylvania.
English Quakers were the dominant element, although many English settlers were Anglican. The English settled heavily in the southeastern counties, which soon lost frontier characteristics and became the center of a thriving agricultural and commercial society. Philadelphia became the metropolis of the British colonies and a center of intellectual and commercial life.
Thousands of Germans were also attracted to the colony and, by the time of the Revolution, comprised a third of the population. The volume of German immigration increased after 1727, coming largely from the Rhineland. The Pennsylvania Germans settled most heavily in the interior counties of Northampton, Berks, Lancaster and Lehigh, and neighboring areas. Their skill and industry transformed this region into a rich farming country, contributing greatly to the expanding prosperity of the province.
Another important immigrant group was the Scotch-Irish, who migrated from about 1717 until the Revolution in a series of waves caused by hardships in Ireland. They were primarily frontiersmen, pushing first into the Cumberland Valley region and then farther into central and western Pennsylvania. They, with immigrants from old Scotland, numbered about one-fourth of the population by 1776.
Despite Quaker opposition to slavery, about 4,000 slaves were brought to Pennsylvania by 1730, most of them owned by English, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish colonists. The census of 1790 showed that the number of African-Americans had increased to about 10,000, of whom about 6,300 had received their freedom. The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 was the first emancipation statute in the United States.
Many Quakers were Irish and Welsh, and they settled in the area immediately outside of Philadelphia. French Huguenot and Jewish settlers, together with Dutch, Swedes, and other groups, contributed in smaller numbers to the development of colonial Pennsylvania. The mixture of various national groups in the Quaker Province helped to create its broad-minded tolerance and cosmopolitan outlook.
Pennsylvania's political history ran a rocky course during the provincial era. There was a natural conflict between the proprietary and popular elements in the government which began under Penn and grew stronger under his successors. As a result of the English Revolution of 1688 which overthrew King James II, Penn was deprived of his province from 1692 until 1694. A popular party led by David Lloyd demanded greater powers for the Assembly, and in 1696 Markham's Frame of Government granted some of these. In December 1699, the Proprietor again visited Pennsylvania and, just before his return to England in 1701, agreed with the Assembly on a revised constitution, the Charter of Privileges, which remained in effect until 1776. This gave the Assembly full legislative powers and permitted the three Delaware counties to have a separate legislature.
Deputy or lieutenant governors (addressed as "governor") resided in Pennsylvania and represented the Penn family proprietors who themselves remained in England until 1773. After 1763, these governors were members of the Penn family. From 1773 until independence, John Penn was both a proprietor and the governor.
William Penn's heirs, who eventually abandoned Quakerism, were often in conflict with the Assembly, which was usually dominated by the Quakers until 1756. One after another, governors defending the proprietors' prerogatives battered themselves against the rock of an Assembly vigilant in the defense of its own rights. The people of the frontier areas contended with the people of the older, southeastern region for more adequate representation in the Assembly and better protection in time of war. Such controversies prepared the people for their part in the Revolution.
The Colonial WarsEconomics
As part of the British Empire, Pennsylvania was involved in the wars between Great Britain and France for dominance in North America. These wars ended the long period when Pennsylvania was virtually without defense. The government built forts and furnished men and supplies to help defend the empire to which it belonged. The territory claimed for New France included western Pennsylvania. The Longueuil and Celoron expeditions of the French in 1739 and 1749 traversed this region, and French traders competed with Pennsylvanians for Indian trade. The French efforts in 1753 and 1754 to establish control over the upper Ohio Valley led to the last and conclusive colonial war, the French and Indian War (1754-1763). French forts at Erie (Fort Presque Isle), Waterford (Fort LeBoeuf), Pittsburgh (Fort Duquesne) and Franklin (Fort Machault) threatened all the middle colonies. In 1753 Washington failed to persuade the French to leave. In the ensuing war, Gen. Braddock's British and colonial army was slaughtered on the Monongahela in 1755, but Gen. John Forbes recaptured the site of Pittsburgh in 1758. After the war, the Indians rose up against the British colonies in Pontiac's War, but in August 1763, Colonel Henry Bouquet defeated them at Bushy Run, interrupting the threat to the frontier in this region.
From its beginning, Pennsylvania ranked as a leading agricultural area and produced surpluses for export, adding to its wealth. By the 1750s an exceptionally prosperous farming area had developed in southeastern Pennsylvania. Wheat and corn were the leading crops, though rye, hemp, and flax were also important.
The abundant natural resources of the colony made for early development of industries. Arts and crafts, as well as home manufactures, grew rapidly. Sawmills and gristmills were usually the first to appear, using the power of the numerous streams. Textile products were spun and woven mainly in the home, though factory production was not unknown. Shipbuilding became important on the Delaware. The province early gained importance in iron manufacture, producing pig iron as well as finished products. Printing, publishing, and the related industry of papermaking, as well as tanning, were significant industries. The Pennsylvania long rifle was an adaptation of a German hunting rifle developed in Lancaster County. Its superiority was so well recognized that by 1776 gunsmiths were duplicating it in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. The Conestoga wagon was also developed in Lancaster County. Capable of carrying as much as four tons, it was the prototype for the principal vehicle for American westward migration, the prairie schooner.
Commerce and TransportationSociety and Culture
The rivers were important as early arteries of commerce and were soon supplemented by roads in the southeastern area. Stagecoach lines by 1776 reached from Philadelphia into the southcentral region. Trade with the Indians for furs was important in the colonial period. Later, the transport and sale of farm products to Philadelphia and Baltimore, by water and road, formed an important business. Philadelphia became one of the most important centers in the colonies for the conduct of foreign trade and the commercial metropolis of an expanding hinterland. By 1776, the province's imports and exports were worth several million dollars.
The Arts and Learning
Philadelphia was known in colonial times as the "Athens of America" because of its rich cultural life. Because of the liberality of Penn's principles and the freedom of expression that prevailed, the province was noted for the variety and strength of its intellectual and educational institutions and interests. An academy that held its first classes in 1740 became the College of Philadelphia in 1755, and ultimately grew into the University of Pennsylvania. It was the only nondenominational college of the colonial period. The arts and sciences flourished, and the public buildings of Philadelphia were the marvel of the colonies. Many fine old buildings in the Philadelphia area still bear witness to the richness of Pennsylvania's civilization in the 18th century. Such men of intellect as Benjamin Franklin, David Rittenhouse, John Bartram, and Benjamin West achieved international renown. Newspapers and magazines flourished, as did law and medicine. Pennsylvania can claim America's first hospital, first library, and first insurance company.
ReligionPennsylvania on the Eve of the Revolution
Quakers held their first meeting at Upland (now Chester) in 1675, and came to Pennsylvania in great numbers after William Penn received his Charter. Most numerous in the southeastern counties, the Quakers gradually declined in number but retained considerable influence. The Pennsylvania Germans belonged largely to the Lutheran and Reformed churches, but there were also several smaller sects: Mennonites, Amish, German Baptist Brethren or "Dunkers," Schwenkfelders and Moravians. Although the Lutheran Church was established by the Swedes on Tinicum Island in 1643, it only began its growth to become the largest of the Protestant denominations in Pennsylvania upon the arrival of Henry Metchior Muhlenberg in 1742. The Reformed Church owed its expansion to Michael Schlatter, who arrived in 1746. The Moravians did notable missionary work among the Indians. The Church of England held services in Philadelphia as early as 1695. The first Catholic congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1720, and the first chapel was erected in 1733; Pennsylvania had the second largest Catholic population among the colonies. The Scotch brought Presbyterianism; its first congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1698. Scotch-Irish immigrants swelled its numbers. Methodism began late in the colonial period. St. George's Church, built in Philadelphia in 1769, is the oldest Methodist building in America. There was a significant Jewish population in colonial Pennsylvania. Its Mikveh Israel Congregation was established in Philadelphia in 1740.
Philadelphia was the nation's capital during the Revolution, except when the British threat caused the capital to be moved, respectively, to Baltimore, Lancaster, and York. While Congress was sitting in York (October 1777 - June 1778), it approved the Articles of Confederation, the first step toward a national government. After the war, the capital was moved to New York, but from 1790 until the opening of the District of Columbia in 1800, Philadelphia was again the capital. In 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia.
The Declaration of Independence
The movement to defend American rights grew into the movement for independence in the meetings of the Continental Congress at Carpenters' Hall and the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. The spirit of independence ran high, as shown by spontaneous declarations of frontiersmen in the western areas and by the political events that displaced the old provincial government.
The War for Independence
Pennsylvania troops took part in almost all the campaigns of the Revolution. A rifle battalion joined in the siege of Boston in August 1775. Others fought bravely in the ill-fated Canadian campaign of 1776 and in the New York and New Jersey campaigns. The British naturally considered Philadelphia of key importance and, in the summer of 1777, invaded the state and captured the capital. The battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Whitemarsh were important engagements of this period. Following these battles, Washington went into winter quarters at Valley Forge from December 1777 to June 1778. News of the French alliance, which Benjamin Franklin had helped to negotiate, and the adoption of new strategy caused the British to leave Philadelphia in the spring of 1778. Frontier Pennsylvania suffered heavily from British and Indian raids until they were answered in 1779 by John Sullivan's and Daniel Brodhead's expeditions against the Six Nations Indians. Pennsylvania soldiers formed a major portion of Washington's army, and such military leaders as Arthur St. Clair, Anthony Wayne, Thomas Mifflin, and Peter Muhlenberg gave valuable service. Pennsylvania also aided in the creation of the Continental navy, many ships being built or purchased in Philadelphia and manned by Pennsylvania sailors. The Irish-born John Barry became first in a long list of Pennsylvania's naval heroes.
The Arsenal of IndependenceFounding a Commonwealth
The products of Pennsylvania farms, factories, and mines were essential to the success of the Revolutionary armies. At Carlisle a Continental ordnance arsenal turned out cannons, swords, pikes, and muskets. The state actively encouraged the manufacture of gunpowder. Pennsylvania's financial support, both from its government and from individuals, was of great importance. By 1780, the state had contributed more than $6 million to the Congress and, when the American states had reached financial exhaustion, ninety Philadelphians subscribed a loan of £300,000 to supply the army. Later, in 1782, the Bank of North America was chartered to support government fiscal needs. Robert Morris and Haym Salomon were important financial supporters of the Revolution.
A Pennsylvania Revolution
Pennsylvania's part in the American Revolution was complicated by political changes within the state, constituting a Pennsylvania revolution of which not all patriots approved. The temper of the people outran the conservatism of the Provincial Assembly. Extralegal committees gradually took over the reins of government, and in June 1776 these committees called a state convention to meet on July 15,1776.
The Constitution of 1776
The convention superseded the old government completely, established a Council of Safety to rule in the interim, and drew up the first state constitution, adopted on September 28, 1776. This provided an assembly of one house and a supreme executive council instead of a governor. The Declaration of Rights section has been copied in subsequent constitutions without significant change.
Many patriot leaders were bitterly opposed to the new Pennsylvania constitution. Led by such men as John Dickinson, James Wilson, Robert Morris, and Frederick Muhlenberg, they carried on a long fight with the Constitutional party, a radical group. Joseph Reed, George Bryan, William Findley, and other radicals governed Pennsylvania until 1790. Their most noteworthy accomplishments were the act for the gradual abolition of slavery (1780) and an act of 1779 which took over the public lands owned by the Penn family (but allowed them some compensation in recognition of the services of the founder). The conservatives gradually gained more strength, helped by the Constitutionalists' poor financial administration.
The Constitution of 1790Founding a Nation
By 1789 the conservatives felt strong enough to rewrite the state constitution, and the Assembly called a convention to meet in November. In the convention, both the conservative majority and the radical minority showed a tendency to compromise and to settle their differences along moderate lines. As a result, the new constitution embodied the best ideas of both parties and was adopted with little objection. It provided for a second legislative house, the State Senate, and for a strong governor with extensive appointing powers.
Pennsylvania and the United States ConstitutionPopulation and Immigration
Because of a lack of central power, as well as financial difficulties, the Articles of Confederation could no longer bind together the newly independent states. As a result, the Federal Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787. The structure that evolved remains the basis of our government today.
The Pennsylvania Assembly sent eight delegates to the Federal Convention. Four of these had been signers of the Declaration of Independence. The delegation included the venerable Benjamin Franklin, whose counsels of moderation on several occasions kept the convention from dissolving; the brilliant Gouverneur Morris, who spoke more often than any other member; and the able lawyer James Wilson, who, next to Madison of Virginia, was the principal architect of the Constitution. Pennsylvania's delegation supported every move to strengthen the national government and signed the finished Constitution on September 17. The conservatives in the Pennsylvania Assembly took swift action to call a ratifying convention, which met in Philadelphia on November 21. The Federalists, favoring ratification, elected a majority of delegates and, led by Wilson, made Pennsylvania the second state to ratify, on December 12,1787.
Large areas of the northern and western parts of the state were undistributed or undeveloped in 1790, and many other sections were thinly populated. The state adopted generous land policies, distributed free "Donation Lands" to Revolutionary veterans and offered other lands at reasonable prices to actual settlers. Conflicting methods of land distribution and the activities of land companies and of unduly optimistic speculators caused much legal confusion. By 1860, with the possible exception of the northern tier counties, population was scattered throughout the state. There was increased urbanization, although rural life remained strong and agriculture involved large numbers of people. The immigrant tide swelled because of large numbers of Irish fleeing the potato famine of the late 1840s and Germans fleeing the political turbulence of their homeland about the same time. As a result of the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780, the 3,737 African American slave population of 1790 dropped to 64 by 1840, and by 1850 all Pennsylvania African Americans were free unless they were fugitives from the South. The African American community had 6,500 free people in 1790, rising to 57,000 in 1860. Philadelphia was their population and cultural center.
Reaction Against the Federalist Party
From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. While Washington was president, the state supported the Federalist Party, but grew gradually suspicious of its aristocratic goals. From the beginning, Senator William Maclay of Pennsylvania was an outspoken critic of the party. When Thomas Jefferson organized the Democrat-Republican Party, he had many supporters in Pennsylvania. Thomas Mifflin, Pennsylvania's first governor under the Constitution of 1790, was a moderate who avoided commitment to any party but leaned toward the Jeffersonians. The Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania in 1794 hastened the reaction against the Federalists and provided a test of national unity. The insurrection was suppressed by an army assembled at Carlisle and Fort Cumberland and headed by President Washington. Partly as a result, Jefferson drew more votes than Adams in Pennsylvania in the presidential election in 1796. It was a foreboding sign for the Federalists, who were defeated in the national election of 1800.
Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democratic Dominance
In 1799 Mifflin was succeeded by Thomas McKean, a conservative Jeffersonian Democrat-Republican, who governed until 1808. McKean's opposition to measures advocated by the liberal element in his party led to a split in its ranks and an unsuccessful attempt to impeach him. His successor, Simon Snyder of Selinsgrove, represented the liberal wing. Snyder, who served three terms until 1817, was the first governor to come from common, nonaristocratic origins. In this period, the capital was transferred from Philadelphia to Lancaster in 1799 and finally to Harrisburg in 1812. During the War of 1812, Pennsylvanians General Jacob Brown and Commodore Stephen Decatur were major military leaders. Stephen Girard, Albert Gallatin, and Alexander James Dallas helped organize national war finances, and Gallatin served as peace commissioner at Ghent. Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet, which won the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, was built at Erie by Daniel Dobbins, a native Pennsylvanian. Today, the Historical and Museum Commission has extensively restored Perry's flagship, the U.S.S. Niagara, which may be appreciated by the public when visiting Erie. In 1820, a coalition of Federalists and conservative Democrats elected Joseph Hiester, whose non-partisan approach reformed government but destroyed his own coalition. The election of 1820 marked the end of the use of caucuses to select candidates and the triumph of the open conventions system. The Family Party Democrats elected the two succeeding governors, John Andrew Shulze and George Wolf (1823-1834), who launched the progressive but very costly Public Works system of state built canals. Attitudes toward President Andrew Jackson and his policies, especially that concerning the Second Bank of the United States, altered political alignments in Pennsylvania during this period. In 1834, Gov. Wolf signed the Free School Act which alienated many, including Pennsylvania Germans, so that the Democrats lost the next governorship to the Anti-Masonic Joseph Ritner who was supported by the Whig Party. In a dramatic speech, Thaddeus Stevens persuaded the Assembly not to repeal the Free School Law. But the Masonic investigations in the Assembly which followed were ludicrous, and the Democrat David R. Porter received five thousand more votes than Ritner in the 1838 election. Ritner's followers claimed fraud, and violence nearly erupted in the "Buckshot War," until several of Ritner's legislative followers bolted and placed Porter in office.
The Constitution of 1838
In 1837, a convention was called to revise the state's laws and draft a new constitution. The resulting constitution, in 1838, reduced the governor's appointive power, increased the number of elective offices, and shortened terms of office. The voters were given a greater voice in government and were better protected from abuses of power. However, free African Americans were disenfranchised. The burning of Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia, a center for many reform activities, in the same year, showed that the new constitution coincided with an awakened hostility toward abolition and racial equality.
Following the adoption of the new constitution in 1838, six governors followed in succession prior to the Civil War, two of whom were Whigs. State debts incurred for internal improvements, such as the canal system, almost bankrupted the state, until the Public Works were finally sold. The search for a sound banking and currency policy and the rising political career of James Buchanan dominated this period. It was marred by the tragic religious riots of the Native American Association at Kensington in 1844.
The annexation of Texas and the war with Mexico which ensued in 1846 were generally supported in Pennsylvania. More men enlisted than could be accepted by the armed forces, but many Pennsylvanians were opposed to any expansion of slavery into the territory taken from Mexico. David Wilmot of Bradford County became a national figure in 1846 by his presentation in Congress of the Wilmot Proviso opposing slavery's extension, and his action was supported almost unanimously by the Pennsylvania Assembly.
Pennsylvania and the Antislavery Movement
The Quakers were the first group to express organized opposition to slavery. Slavery slowly disappeared in Pennsylvania under the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780, but nationally the issue of slavery became acute after 1820. Many Pennsylvanians were averse to the return of fugitive slaves to their masters. Under an act of 1826, which was passed to restrain this, a Maryland agent was convicted of kidnapping in 1837, but the United States Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional in 1842. The state forbade the use of its jails to detain fugitive African Americans in 1847. The Compromise of 1850, a national program intended to quiet the agitation over slavery, imposed a new Federal Fugitive Slave Law, but citizens in Christiana, Lancaster County, rioted in 1851 to prevent the law from being implemented. Opposition to slavery and the desire for a high tariff led to the rise of the new Republican Party in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan was elected President because of a deadlock over the slavery issue among the other major politicians, and he then announced a policy of noninterference with slavery in the states and popular sovereignty in the federal territories. Because of controversy over the admission of Kansas as a state, Buchanan lost support of most Northern Democrats, and disruption within the Democratic Party made possible Abraham Lincoln's election to the Presidency in 1860. The Civil War followed. The expression "underground railroad" may have originated in Pennsylvania, where numerous citizens aided the escape of slaves to freedom in Canada. Anna Dickinson, Lucretia Mott, Ann Preston, and Jane Swisshelm were among Pennsylvania women who led the antislavery cause. Thaddeus Stevens was an uncompromising foe of slavery in Congress after he was reelected to the House of Representatives in 1859. Pennsylvania abolitionist leaders were both African American and white. African American leaders included those who made political appeals, like James Forten and Robert Purvis, underground railroad workers Robert Porter and William Still; publication activist John B. Vashon and his son George; and the organizer of the Christiana Riot of 1851 against fugitive slave hunters, William Parker.
African Americans made some cultural advances during this period. William Whipper organized reading rooms in Philadelphia. In 1794, Rev. Absolam Jones founded St. Thomas African Episcopal Church, and Rev. Richard Allen opened the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, both in Philadelphia. The first African American church in Pittsburgh (A.M.E.) was founded in 1822.
Courageous individual women worked not only for their own cause but also for other reforms, although the status of the whole female population changed little during this period. Catherine Smith, for example, manufactured musket barrels for the Revolutionary Army, and the mythical battle heroine Molly Pitcher was probably also a Pennsylvanian. Sara Franklin Bache and Ester De Berdt Reed organized a group of 2,200 Pennsylvania women to collect money, buy cloth, and sew clothing for Revolutionary soldiers. Lucretia Mott, a Quaker preacher and teacher, was one of four women to participate at the formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1833, and became president of the Female Anti-Slavery Society. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton she launched the campaign for women's rights at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Jane Grey Swisshelm, abolitionist and advocate of women's rights, used newspapers and lectures. In 1848, she launched her abolitionist paper, The Saturday Visiter, which featured antislavery propaganda and women's rights. Her essays influenced the state legislature to grant married women the right to own property, in 1848.
Disruption of the DemocracyIndustry
The political winds began to shift due to the Southern domination of the Democratic Party, rising abolition sentiment and a desire to promote Pennsylvania's growing industries by raising tariffs. In 1856, Pennsylvania took the lead in the organization of the new Republican Party, with former Democratic leader Simon Cameron throwing his support to the new party. Congressmen David Wilmot and Galusha Grow typified the national statesmanship of Pennsylvania in this period. In 1860 the Republicans emerged as the dominant party in the state and nation with the elections of Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin and President Abraham Lincoln.
By 1861, the factory system had largely replaced the domestic system of home manufacture, and the foundation of the state's industrial greatness was established. The change was most noticeable after 1840 because of a shift to machinery and factories in the textile industry. By 1860, there were more than two hundred textile mills. Leathermaking, lumbering, shipbuilding, publishing, and tobacco and paper manufacture also prospered in the 1800s.
Pennsylvania's outstanding industrial achievements were in iron and steel. Its production of iron was notable even in colonial times, and the charcoal furnaces of the state spread into the Juniata and western regions during the mid-1800s. Foundries, rolling mills, and machine shops became numerous and, by the Civil War, the state rolled about half the nation's iron, aiding the development of railroads. The Baldwin Works were established in Philadelphia in 1842, and the Bethlehem Company was organized in 1862. The Cambria Works at Johnstown were established in 1854 and, by the end of the Civil War, were the largest mills in the country. William Kelly, a native of Pittsburgh, is regarded as the inventor of the Bessemer process of making steel.
Although much importance is given to the discovery of gold in California, the discovery and development of Pennsylvania's mineral and energy resources far overshadowed that event. Cornwall, in Lebanon County, provided iron ore from colonial times, and ore was also found in many other sections of Pennsylvania in which the charcoal iron industry flourished. The use of anthracite coal began on a large scale after 1820 with the organization of important mining companies.
After the Revolution, the use of indentured servants sharply declined. The growth of industrial factories up to 1860, however, enlarged the gulf between skilled and unskilled labor, and immigrants were as much subordinated by this as they had been under indenture. Local, specialized labor unions had brief successes, especially in Philadelphia where in 1845 a city ordinance placed a ten-hour limit on the laborer's day. The state's mechanics' lien law of 1854 was another victory for the rights of labor.
The settlement of new regions of the state was accompanied by provisions for new roads. The original Lancaster Pike connecting Philadelphia with Lancaster was completed in 1794. By 1832, the state led the nation in improved roads, having more than three thousand miles. The National or Cumberland Road was a major route for western movement before 1850. Between 1811 and 1818 the section of this road in Pennsylvania was built through Somerset, Fayette, and Washington Counties. It is now Route 40.
Most of the state's major cities were built along important river routes. In the 1790s, the state made extensive studies for improving the navigation of all major streams, and canals began to supplement natural waterways. Canals extending the use of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers were chartered before 1815, and the Lehigh Canal was completed in 1838. The vast system named the State Works of Pennsylvania soon overshadowed privately constructed canals. The system linked the east and the west by 1834, but the expense nearly made the state financially insolvent. The benefits to the economic progress of distant regions, however, provided ample justification for the high cost.
Although canals declined rapidly with the advent of the railroad, Pennsylvania's ports and waterways remained active. The steamboat originated with experiments by John Fitch of Philadelphia from 1787 to 1790, and Lancaster County native Robert Fulton established it as a practical medium of transportation on the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers.
Rail transport began in 1827, operated at first by horse power or cables. The tracks connected anthracite fields with canals or rivers. The Columbia and Philadelphia Railroad, completed in 1834 as part of the State Works, was the first ever built by a government. Pennsylvania's first railroad built as a common carrier was the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad, completed in 1835.
Major railroads chartered in the state included the Philadelphia and Reading (1833) and the Lehigh Valley (1846, reincorporated 1853). However, the most important of all was the Pennsylvania Railroad, chartered April 13, 1846, and completed to Pittsburgh by 1852. It absorbed so many short railroad lines by 1860 that it had nearly a monopoly on rail traffic from Chicago through Pennsylvania. And whereas Pennsylvania had reached its maximum of 954 canal miles by 1840, total railroad trackage grew by 1860 to 2,598 miles. In miles of rail and in total capital invested in railroads, Pennsylvania led all other states on the eve of the Civil War.
The Constitution of 1790 provided the basis for a public system of education, and several acts were passed for that purpose. It was not until the Free School Act of 1834, however, that a genuinely democratic system of public schools was initiated. By 1865 the number of public schools had quadrupled. In 1852 a state association of teachers was organized. Five years later the Normal School Act was passed, and a separate government department was created for the supervision of schools. These were significant advances in social organization. Numerous private schools supplemented the public system. There also was a rapid development of academies, corresponding to modern high schools. Many academies received public aid.
The traditions of scientific inquiry established in Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin, David Rittenhouse, and the Bartrams continued. The American Philosophical Society was the first of many organizations founded in Philadelphia to encourage scientific work. The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 and the Franklin Institute in 1824. The American Association of Geologists, formed in Philadelphia in 1840, later grew into the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The scientific leadership of Pennsylvania was represented by many individuals, of whom only a few can be named. James Woodhouse (1770-1809) pioneered in chemical analysis, plant chemistry, and the scientific study of industrial processes. Isaac Hayes (1796-1879) of Philadelphia pioneered in the study of astigmatism and color blindness. The Moravian clergyman Lewis David von Schweinitz (1780-1834) made great contributions to botany, discovering more than twelve hundred species of fungi.
Literature and the Arts
Charles Brockden Brown of Philadelphia was the first American novelist of distinction and the first to follow a purely literary career. Hugh Henry Brackenridge of Pittsburgh gave the American West its first literary work in his satire Modern Chivalry. Philadelphia continued as an important center for printing with J. B. Lippincott taking the lead and, for magazines, with the publication of the Saturday Evening Post. Bayard Taylor, who began his literary career before the Civil War, published his most notable work in 1870-71-the famous translation of Goethe's Faust.
In architecture, the red brick construction of southeastern Pennsylvania was supplemented by buildings in the Greek Revival style. The New England influence was strong in the domestic architecture of the northern tier counties. Thomas U. Walter and William Strickland gave Pennsylvania an important place in the architectural history of the early 1800s. Walter designed the Treasury Building and the Capitol dome in Washington. The nation's first institution of art--the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts-was founded in Philadelphia in 1805, although by then, such painters as Gilbert Stuart, Benjamin West, and the Peale family had already made Philadelphia famous.
Philadelphia was the theatrical center of America until 1830, a leader in music publishing and piano manufacture, and the birthplace of American opera. William Henry Fry's Lenora (1845) was probably the first publicly performed opera by an American composer. Stephen Foster became the songwriter for the nation.
In the years between independence and the Civil War, religion flourished in the Commonwealth. In addition to the growth of worship, religion led the way to enlargement of the educational system. In this period, churches threw off European ties and established governing bodies in the United States. In 1789 John Carroll of Maryland became the first Catholic bishop in America. In 1820 the establishment of a national Lutheran synod was the last of the breaks from Europe by a major Protestant denomination. Some new churches were formed: Jacob Albright formed the Evangelical Association, a Pennsylvania German parallel to Methodism; Richard Alien formed the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816; and John Winebrenner founded the Church of God in Harrisburg in 1830. Isaac Leeser, who founded Conservative Judaism in America, did most of his important writing in Philadelphia in this period. Presbyterianism, which was the largest Protestant denomination before 1860, drifted westward and had its stronghold in western Pennsylvania. Quakers, although decreasing in number, led many humanitarian and reform movements. Although anti-Catholic riots occurred at Kensington in 1844, German and Irish immigrants enlarged the number of Catholics in the state.
The Civil War
During the Civil War, Pennsylvania played an important role in preserving the Union. Southern forces invaded Pennsylvania three times by way of the Cumberland Valley, a natural highway from Virginia to the North. Pennsylvania shielded the other northeastern states.
Pennsylvania's industrial enterprise and natural resources were essential factors in the economic strength of the northern cause. Its railroad system, iron and steel industry, and agricultural wealth were vital to the war effort. The shipbuilders of Pennsylvania, led by the famous Cramp Yards, contributed to the strength of the navy and merchant marine. Thomas Scott, as Assistant Secretary of War, directed telegraph and railway services. Engineer Herman Haupt directed railroad movement of troops and was personally commended by President Lincoln. Jay Cooke helped finance the Union cause, and Thaddeus Stevens was an important congressional leader. Simon Cameron was the Secretary of War until January 1862.
No man made a greater impression as a state governor during the Civil War than Pennsylvania's Andrew Curtin. At his first inaugural he denied the right of the South to secede and throughout the war was active in support of the national draft. In September 1862, he was the host at Altoona to a conference of northern governors which pledged support to Lincoln's policies.
Nearly 350,000 Pennsylvanians served in the Union forces, including 8,600 African American volunteers. At the beginning, Lincoln's call for 14 regiments of volunteers was answered by 25 regiments. In May 1861, the Assembly, at Curtin's suggestion, created the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps of 15 regiments enlisted for three years' service. They were mustered into the Army of the Potomac after the first Battle of Bull Run, and thousands of other Pennsylvanians followed them. Camp Curtin at Harrisburg was one of the major troop concentration centers of the war. Admiral David D. Porter opened the Mississippi and Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren made innovations in ordnance which greatly improved naval fire power. Army leaders from Pennsylvania were numerous and able, including such outstanding officers as George B. McClellan, George G. Meade, John F. Reynolds, Winfield S. Hancock, John W. Geary, and John F. Hartranft.
After the Battle of Antietam, General J.E.B. Stewart's cavalry rode around General George McClellan's army and reached Chambersburg on October 10, 1862. There they seized supplies and horses, burned a large storehouse, and then withdrew as rapidly as they had come.
In June 1863, General Robert E. Lee turned his 75,000 men northward on a major invasion of Pennsylvania. The state called up reserves and volunteers for emergency duty. At Pittsburgh the citizens fortified the surrounding hills, and at Harrisburg fortifications were thrown up on both sides of the Susquehanna. Confederate forces captured Carlisle and advanced to within three miles of Harrisburg; the bridge at Wrightsville had to be burned to prevent their crossing. These outlying forces were recalled when the Union army under General George G. Meade met Lee's army at Gettysburg. In a bitterly fought engagement on the first three days of July, the Union army threw back the Confederate forces, a major turning point in the struggle to save the Union. Not only was the battle fought on Pennsylvania soil, but nearly a third of General Meade's army were Pennsylvania troops. Governor Curtin led the movement to establish the battlefield as a memorial park.
In 1864, in retaliation for Union raids on Virginia, a Confederate force under General John McCausland advanced to Chambersburg and threatened to burn the town unless a large ransom was paid. The citizens refused, and Chambersburg was burned on July 20, leaving two-thirds of its people homeless and causing damage of almost two million dollars.
After the Civil War the Republican Party was dominant. The war was viewed as a victory for its principles. Conflicts between conservatives and liberals took place within the party. A series of political managers or bosses-Simon and J. Donald Cameron, Matthew Quay, and Boies Penrose-assured Republican control of the state, although reformers were shocked by their methods. These bosses sat in Congress. Other Republican leaders prevailed in most cities. From 1861 to 1883 Republicans held the governorship. Then, a factional split within the Republicans led to the election of Democrat Robert E. Pattison, and his reelection in 1891. After that, Republicans held the governor's office until 1935. The death of Senator Penrose in 1921 ended the era of Republican state bosses in Congress. Joseph R. Grundy of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1921-1932), were typical of Republican leadership after Penrose. While Pennsylvania's government was closely allied to industry and big business, it also spawned progressive programs. Governor Gifford Pinchot was a remarkable reformer. On balance, the Republican system's justification was that in assisting industry it fostered prosperity for all-"the full dinner pail." The enormous adjustments necessary for dealing with the unemployment and economic chaos of the 1930s led to the revival of the Democratic Party. Democrats captured Pittsburgh in 1933, and the administration of Governor George H. Earle (1935-1939) was modeled on the New Deal of President Roosevelt. But the state returned to Republican administration in 1940 and remained so until 1954.
The Constitution of 1874
The fourth constitution of the Commonwealth was partly a result of a nationwide reform movement in the 1870s and partly a result of specific corrections to the previous constitution. It provided for the popular election of judges, the State Treasurer, and the Auditor General. It created an office of Lieutenant Governor and a Department of Internal Affairs which combined several offices under an elected secretary. The head of the public school system received the title of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The General Assembly was required to provide efficient public education for no less than one million dollars per year. The Governor's term was lengthened from three to four years, but he could no longer succeed himself. He was empowered to veto individual items within appropriations bills. The membership of the General Assembly was increased, but its powers were limited by a prohibition of special or local legislation about certain specified subjects, a constitutional debt limit, and other restrictions. Sessions of the General Assembly became biennial.
New State Agencies
Although the new constitution was detailed, it provided flexibility in the creation of new agencies. Thus in 1873, even while the new constitution was being discussed, the Insurance Department was created to supervise and regulate insurance companies. In the following years many other agencies were created, sometimes as full-fledged departments and sometimes as boards, bureaus, or commissions, while existing agencies were often changed or abolished. For example, the Factory Inspectorship of 1889 became the Department of Labor and Industry in 1913. The Board of Public Charities (1869), the Committee on Lunacy (1883), the Mothers' Assistance Fund (1913), and the Prison Labor Commission (1915) were consolidated into the Department of Welfare in 1921. By 1922 there were 139 separate state agencies, demonstrating the need for simplification, consolidation and reorganization. The Administrative Codes of 1923 and 1929 accomplished these goals. The judicial branch of government was also changed by the creation of the Superior Court in 1895 to relieve the mounting caseload of the Supreme Court.
The Spanish-American War
By 1895 the island of Cuba was in a state of revolution, its people desiring to break away from Spanish rule. News of harsh methods used to suppress Cuban outbreaks aroused anger in the United States. When the battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor, war became inevitable in 1898. Congressman Robert Adams of Philadelphia wrote the resolutions declaring war on Spain and recognizing the independence of Cuba. President McKinley's call for volunteers was answered with enthusiasm throughout the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania military leaders included Brigadier General Abraham K. Arnold and Brigadier General James M. Bell. Major General John R. Brooks, a native of Pottsville, served as military governor in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Although no Pennsylvania troops fought in Cuba, units from the Commonwealth saw action in Puerto Rico. A Pennsylvania regiment was the first American organization to engage in land combat in the Philippine Islands. It remained there for the Filipino Insurrection.
The First World WarPopulation
Pennsylvania's resources and manpower were of great value to the war effort of 1917-1918. The shipyards of Philadelphia and Chester were decisive in maintaining maritime transport. Pennsylvania's mills and factories provided a large part of the war materials for the nation. Nearly three thousand separate firms held contracts for war supplies of various types. Pennsylvanians subscribed to nearly three billion dollars worth of Liberty and Victory Bonds, and paid well over a billion dollars in federal taxes during the war. Civilian resources were organized through a State Defense Council with local affiliates. Pennsylvania furnished more than three hundred thousand men for the armed forces, and the 28th Division won special distinction. The Saint Mihiel drive and the Argonne offensive were among the famous campaigns of the war in which Pennsylvania troops took part. General Tasker H. Bliss, a native of Lewisburg, was appointed chief of staff in 1917, and later was made a member of the Supreme War Council and the American Peace Commission. He was succeeded as chief of staff by another Pennsylvania West Point graduate, General Peyton C. March, originally from Easton. Admiral William S. Sims, a Pennsylvania graduate of the Naval Academy, was in charge of American naval operations.
The status of women began to improve by the 1860s. In 1861, the first school for nurses in America opened in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania played a prominent part in the suffrage movement. Philadelphia was a hotbed of feminist agitation. In 1868 women in Philadelphia organized a Pennsylvania Women's Suffrage Association. On July 4, 1876, Susan B. Anthony read her famous "Declaration of Rights for Women" at the Washington statue in front of Independence Hall. Well-known Pennsylvania feminists such as Lucretia Mott, Ann Davies, Florence Kelley, Ann Preston, and Emma Guffey Miller were all active in the long battle which culminated in women receiving the vote.
The General Assembly approved a women's suffrage amendment to the state's Constitution in 1913 and again in 1915, but Pennsylvania's male voters rejected the amendment by fifty-five thousand votes. On June 4, 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was approved by Congress. Just ten days later, Pennsylvania became the seventh state to ratify it. By August 1920, the amendment became law and women could vote.
Florence Kelley was a Philadelphia-born lawyer and social worker who championed the fight for better working conditions for women and children. For thirty-two years she was the leader of the National Consumers League, which demanded consumer protection as well as improved working conditions. Isabel Darlington was the first female lawyer admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts.
Sarah C. F. Hallowell was active in the work of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition and in charge of a newspaper, the New Century, published by the Women's Executive Committee and staffed entirely by women who worked as editors, reporters, correspondents, and compositors.
When the ten greatest American painters of all time were exhibited in a special section of the Chicago Century of Progress Art Exhibition, Mary Cassatt was the only woman represented. Born in Allegheny City, she received her only formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This institution has always regarded her as one of its most important alumnae, granting her its gold medal of honor in 1914.
From 1893 to 1906, Ida Tarbell, from Erie, worked for the publisher S.S. McClure as a feature writer and editor of McClure's Magazine. It was during this time that she published her History of the Standard Oil Company, a muckraking account which brought her to the forefront of her profession.
Because of the Quakers' traditional high view of women's capabilities, Philadelphia had long been a center for female education. The founding of Women's Medical College there in 1850 led to the entrance of women into the medical profession. Hannah E. Myers Longshore was the first female with a medical degree to establish a successful private practice. Beaver College in Jenkintown was the first women's college of higher education in the state. Women were very successful in the teaching profession. Mollie Woods Hare pioneered in teaching the mentally retarded before World War 1. In 1887, Ella M. Boyce was made school superintendent of Bradford, the first woman to hold such a position in the United States.
Pennsylvanians played an important role in the development of the labor movement, and the Commonwealth was the site of some of the largest strikes in the history of American labor. William H. Sylvis, from Indiana County, was a founder of the Iron-Molders' International Union, and he later led the National Labor Union in 1868-69. Uriah Stephens of Philadelphia and Terence V. Powderly of Scranton were leaders of the Knights of Labor, the most important national union between 1871 and 1886. At their peak in the mid-1880s, the Knights had about seven hundred thousand members. Pennsylvanians played an important role in the formation of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers in 1876. Pennsylvania's anthracite miners in Schuylkill, Carbon and Northumberland Counties organized the Workingmen's Benevolent Association in 1868.
From the Civil War until 1877 a secret group named the Molly Maguires was powerful in the anthracite region, working for miners of Irish descent and sympathetic to a miners' union. In 1877 private resources led by railroad executive Franklin B. Gowen smashed the Mollies using a private force and the coal and iron police. But continued problems in the anthracite area gave rise to the United Mine Workers union. At first a union for skilled miners opposed to immigrant mine laborers, under the leadership of John Mitchell it grew to encompass all coal mine workers. The anthracite strike of 1902, in which President Theodore Roosevelt intervened, set the pattern for non-violent arbitration in labor relations. Alter Mitchell, John L. Lewis led the union for many years and membership spread throughout the bituminous areas. Intervention in the anthracite strikes of the 1920s by Governor Gifford Pinchot brought the 8-hour day but no permanent end to labor discontent; many customers began to shift to other heating sources at that time. In 1929 the coal and iron police were subjected to higher standards of conduct.
Pittsburgh was the scene of major violence and property destruction during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. Historically significant and violent strikes in the steel industry occurred at Homestead, Pennsylvania, in 1892 and throughout the greater Pittsburgh district and Monongahela River Valley in 1919. During the late 1930s, western Pennsylvania was a major center of strength in the formation of the Steel Workers Organization Committee (S.W.O.C.), which in 1942 became the United Steelworkers of America. Since the labor legislation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, unions have flourished and workers have received fairer treatment. It was a dispute over the right of S.W.O.C. to organize workers at the Aliquippa plant of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation that led, in 1936, to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the Wagner Labor Relations Act and its agency, the National Labor Relations Board. This was a major advance for the cause of labor.
The manufacture of steel and iron products was the largest single industry. The lives of Andrew Carnegie, Henry C. Frick, Charles M. Schwab, Eugene Grace and other "iron men" of Pennsylvania in large measure tell the story of modern American business. Concentrated for the most part in western Pennsylvania, but with important centers also at Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Lewistown, Carlisle, and Morrisville, Pennsylvania's steel industry furnished the rails for the nation's railway empire, the structural steel for its modern cities, and the armament for national defense.
The career of Andrew Carnegie, a Scotch immigrant, coincided with the rise of Pennsylvania's steel industry. Starting as a telegrapher for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he handled messages for the Army during the Civil War and entered railroad management thereafter. In 1873 he began to build new steel mills. His success in steel went on and on. Carnegie balanced his own success and ability by pledging to pay the world back through benevolent distribution of his wealth. In 1901 he sold Carnegie Steel Corporation to J. P. Morgan's new giant corporation, U.S. Steel, and spent the rest of his life managing his enormous charitable foundation.
Charles M. Schwab was born in Williamsburg in Blair County and attended St. Francis College. He taught himself metallurgy in a chemistry lab in his own basement and rose to be Carnegie's managing president. Schwab decided that he preferred to invest his own savings, so he bought Bethlehem Steel Company. He successfully advanced its interests until his death in 1939, making sure that the giant he had helped spawn, U.S. Steel, always had strong competition.
U.S. Steel Corporation was concentrated within a 100-mile radius around Pittsburgh. By sheer size it set industry standards, its ownership spilling over into the coal, coke, limestone and iron ore industries. By 1900, the steel industry had begun its inevitable migration west of Pennsylvania, but 60 percent of the nation's production still came from our state. This slipped below 50 percent by 1916, but our steel industry received new life as a result of World War 1. In the 1920s the growth of the auto industry gave steel renewed vigor, and World War II revived the industry once again. By that time, the aluminum industry was also growing in western Pennsylvania, where Andrew W. Mellon was the main financier of the giant Alcoa Corporation.
In the 19th century, textiles and clothing manufacturing, especially worsteds and silk, grew from a base in Philadelphia, so that the state led the nation in production by 1900. Willingness to invest in new technology and new styles was largely responsible. By the 1920s, competition from the South and overseas made inroads into textile production. In 1900 the state also led the nation in tanning leather.
Food processing grew into a major industry. 1905 was the year of the Hershey Chocolate factory and the incorporation of the H. J. Heinz Co. Henry J. Heinz, known as "The Good Provider," led a movement for model factories based on the principle that workers deserve clean, pleasant work conditions with some chance for sell-improvement. Also, he fought for federal legislation outlawing commercially processed foods that had false labels and harmful chemical adulterations. This culminated in the passage of federal legislation in 1906.
During this period, Pennsylvania dominated the manufacture of railroad equipment. In the 20th century, electrical equipment manufacture also became prominent. George Westinghouse was a leader in both these fields. His air brake, patented in 1869, revolutionized railroading and was followed by his numerous inventions of signals, switches, and other safety features for trains. His Union Switch and Signal Company was formed in Pittsburgh in 1882, and about that time he turned to improving natural gas transmission and control. Then he turned to improving the nation's utilization of electricity by perfecting a means for generating large amounts of power in a more practical form, alternating current. Eventually all his laboratory and manufacturing plants were moved out of Pittsburgh to nearby Turtle Creek Valley.
Representative of America's "Management Revolution" was the Philadelphia genius Frederick Winslow Taylor, who abandoned a law career because of poor eyesight and worked as a laboring mechanic. He excelled at organizing work shops. Soon he advanced to making improvements in the organization of major corporations like Bethlehem Steel, for which he worked from 1898 to 1901. While there he developed a revolutionary method for producing fine tool steel. He set up his own management consulting company in Philadelphia, becoming America's first efficiency engineer. His crowning achievement was the publication, in 1911, of Scientific Management.
Lumber, Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal
Pennsylvania has exercised leadership in the extractive industries of lumber, petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Many of the natural stands of timber were exhausted before conservation concepts were recognized. In the 1860s the state led the nation in lumber production, but by 1900 it had dropped to fourth. During that period, Williamsport's log boom on the Susquehanna had been the world's largest lumber pile. Twentieth-century timber conservation planning owes much to Gifford Pinchot, the nation's first professional forester.
Following the discovery of oil near Titusville in 1859, the production and marketing of Pennsylvania oil grew. The oil-producing counties extended from Tioga west to Crawford and south to the West Virginia line. By 1891 Warren, Venango and McKean Counties established leadership in production. Once practical methods of transmitting and burning natural gas were developed, Pennsylvania became a leading producer in that area, also. John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company was always foremost in the refining and marketing of petroleum. The early lead Pennsylvania had achieved in oil made the Keystone State the natural battleground for competing investors. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1868 and, as a result of a freight price rebate deal with the New York Central Railroad, it grew to be the world's largest refinery by 1870. To overwhelm Pennsylvania's small, independent refiners, he engaged in secret agreements with such powerful interests as the Pennsylvania Railroad. He allowed the independent refiners to survive--they finally merged into the Pure Oil Company just before 1900-as long as they did not undersell Standard Oil. The corporate organization of refiners in Pennsylvania before 1900 is one reason why the state has continued to be a leading refining area even though the raw petroleum is now almost entirely imported.
Anthracite coal was the main fuel used to smelt iron until the 1880s, when the manufacture of coke from bituminous coal was developed to a degree that it replaced anthracite. Coke was used both to smelt iron and to make steel from iron. But production of anthracite continued to increase because it was used for heating and other purposes. The bituminous and coke industries were responsible for the late 19th century industrial growth of western Pennsylvania; the iron ore deposits there would not alone have merited such growth. World War I caused two years (1917-1918) of the largest production of both types of coal the state has ever seen. In the 1920s a new coke-making process produced valuable by-products, making the old beehive coke ovens obsolete. The new coke plants were built, in many cases, outside of Pennsylvania. A declining market for coal in the 1920s caused business and labor problems. These increased in the 1930s during the nation's economic depression. Production demands in World War II revived the coal industry for those few years. In its heyday the industry was notorious for its dangers. Between 1902 and 1920 mine accident deaths occurred on an average of 525 per year.
The prosperous farms of the Pennsylvania Germans have always been a bulwark of our agricultural economy. The settlement and development of western and northern Pennsylvania initially occurred because of agriculture. Cereals and livestock continued to be the mainstays of the farmer. The rise of agricultural societies such as the Grange and of county fairs led to improvements in farm methods and machinery. Pennsylvania turned toward a market-oriented approach in the mid-1800s. While the number of farms has declined since 1900, farm production has increased dramatically to meet consumer demands.
After 1880, the pattern of increasing total area farmed in Pennsylvania, which began in the colonial period, ended. Total farm acreage has declined ever since, but this trend has been outweighed by improved farming methods. In 1874 a dairymen's association was formed; in 1876 a State Board of Agriculture was created which was made a department in 1895. In 1887 the federal government established an agricultural experiment station at the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, in Centre County (the predecessor of the Pennsylvania State University), and cooperation between the college's faculty and working farmers, so important for improving production, began. In 1895 a State Veterinarian was appointed, who eventually eliminated bovine tuberculosis. The nature of farm products changed because of competition from expanding agriculture in the West, distances from markets, and changing patterns of the American diet. The first statewide farm products show was held in Harrisburg in January 1907. The State Farm Show became an annual event beginning in 1917, and the present Farm Show Building was completed in 1931.
Pennsylvania pioneered in early rail development. By 1860 railroad mileage had increased to 2,598, and the Reading, Lehigh and Pennsylvania systems were developing. The Pennsylvania Railroad, chartered in 1846, reached Pittsburgh in 1852. Alexander Cassatt, Thomas Scott, and John A. Roebling, who was the surveyor of the Pennsylvania's route, were leaders in its development. After 1865 Pennsylvania extended its lines to New York, Washington, Buffalo, Chicago, and St. Louis, becoming one of the great trunk-line railroads of the nation, and developed a network of subsidiary lines within the state. The Reading and Lehigh Valley systems also expanded to become great carriers of freight and important links in the industrial economy of the Middle Atlantic region. Numerous smaller lines were built to serve districts or special purposes. For example, the Bessemer and Lake Erie carried Lake Superior ore to the steel mills of Pittsburgh. All the important trunk lines of the eastern United States passed through Pennsylvania and had subsidiary feeders within the state. At its peak, the Commonwealth had more than 10,000 miles of railroad track. By 1915 the state's railroads had ceased to expand, and after World War I both passenger and freight service were reduced.
Pennsylvania has a long tradition of urban public transport, beginning with horsecars in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the 1850s. The first of many Pittsburgh inclines-two of which operate today-opened in 1870. Philadelphia's first streetcar system began in 1892, and the Market Street Elevated train began operation in 1907. The Market Street subway, which is still in operation, was one of the first in the nation. Transit use increased steadily in Pennsylvania until the end of World War II.
Although 1,700 state-owned bridges were built before 1900, road building activity had lapsed during the canal and railroad era. It sprang anew with the advent of the automobile. Charles and Frank Duryea experimented with automobiles in Reading, and on March 24, 1898, Robert Allison of Port Carbon became the first purchaser of an automobile. Between 1903 and 1911 Pennsylvania took the lead in creating a modern road system, establishing a department of highways, requiring automobile licenses and taking over more than 8,000 miles of highway for maintenance and improvement. Operators' license fees, fines for violation of driving regulations, and a gasoline tax swelled the Motor Fund, making the motoring public the chief funder of the system. Most highway construction consisted of improvements to existing routes, including widening, laying hard surfaces, and relocating routes to eliminate sharp curves and grades. Repair garages and filling stations became numerous. The world's first "drive-in gas station" opened in Pittsburgh in 1913. An outstanding road was the Lincoln Highway. Designated in 1913, it connected the state's two largest cities and stretched from New York City to San Francisco. In 1916 the federal government instituted grants to states for highway construction, beginning a great primary highway construction effort which peaked in the 1930s. By 1928 the transcontinental system of U.S.-numbered, through highways was in use in Pennsylvania, and at about the same time an expanded state-numbered system came into being. Governor Gifford Pinchot promised in his 1930 campaign to "get the farmers out of the mud." The following year, the state took over 20,156 miles of township roads and began paving them, using light construction costing less than $7,000 a mile. As the economic depression deepened, this road-building program became an important means of providing relief work. Special federal programs also benefited the state's highways during the depression. In 1940 Pennsylvania opened the first high-speed, multi-lane highway in the country, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which set the pattern for modern super-highways throughout the nation. The Turnpike initially connected Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, and was later expanded from the western boundary to the Delaware River, as well as northward into the anthracite region.
AviationSociety and Culture
In 1925 Philadelphia Congressman Clyde Kelly introduced the Airmail Act which set the American aviation industry on the road to progress. In 1927 Governor Pinchot created a State Bureau of Aeronautics. In 1939 All American Aviation, a Pennsylvania company, was licensed to carry mail to 54 communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, and West Virginia. All American entered a period of rapid expansion and became Allegheny Airlines. By the beginning of World War II passenger service was still in its infancy, although the very reliable DC-3 plane had been developed. Hog Island was developed in the late 1930s, with city and federal WPA assistance, and became the Philadelphia International Airport.
Communication, Performing Arts and the Media
Philadelphia was the birthplace of many publications and served as the center of publishing in the early national period. By 1840 Pennsylvania was the home of more newspapers than any other state. In the 1900s economic pressures forced many newspapers and magazines into bankruptcy, failure, or consolidation. Today most cities have only one newspaper, although Philadelphia and Pittsburgh continue to support several dailies.
Telegraph and telephone spread rapidly after the Civil War. Following Samuel Morse's development of the telegraph in the 1840s, the state was interlaced by a network of telegraph lines. Alexander Graham Bell's telephone was first demonstrated publicly at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. By the end of the century, the telephone had become universal. Pennsylvanian Daniel Drawbaugh claimed to have invented a working telephone ten years before Bell, but his claim did not hold up in patent litigation. The Commonwealth now has thousands of miles of telegraph and telephone lines and almost 10 million telephones.
Pennsylvania played a key role in the development of a major 20th-century contribution to the dissemination of ideas and information-the radio. The first commercial broadcast station in the world was KDKA in Pittsburgh, which started daily schedule broadcasting on November 2, 1920. The first church service broadcast by radio occurred on KDKA a year later, and the first public address by radio was made by Herbert Hoover at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh in 1921. Radio quickly became a fixture in most homes, but lost its dominance in the broadcasting market with the advent of television in the 1950s.
Philadelphia, which had been the theatrical capital of America before 1830, continued to be a leader in music publishing and piano manufacture and was the birthplace of American opera. Edwin Forest, Joseph Jefferson, the Drews, and the Barrymores were important stage actors in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. The first all-motion-picture theater in the world was opened on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh on June 19, 1905, by John P. Harris and Harry Davis. The term "nickelodeon" was coined there. The Warner brothers began their careers in western Pennsylvania.
In 1857 The Normal School Act was passed, and a separate department was created for the supervision of public schools. In 1860 there were only six public high schools in the state. Beginning in 1887 the Assembly passed general laws authorizing the establishment of high schools. They had enrolled only 2 percent of the public school population when the state began to appropriate money for high schools in 1895. Ten years later the system was firmly established. By 1895 every school district was authorized to establish a high school. Initially high schools offered only two-year courses. Between 1913 and 1920 the state assumed control of all the normal schools, which were given college status in 1927. Probably the most important school legislation since 1834 was the Edmonds Act in 1921, which established minimum salary standards and qualifications for teachers and county superintendents, centralized teacher certification, set up a state Council of Education, provided for consolidation of rural schools, increased state aid to education, and made other improvements.
In 1790 there were only three institutions of university or college rank. Today there are almost two hundred institutions of higher education, a majority of which were founded after 1865. Most higher education before 1900 was sponsored by churches. The development of higher education for women, the broadening of the curriculum, and the decline of purely denominational control were important trends of the 20th century.
Science and InventionThe Second World War
Scientific leadership in Pennsylvania was exhibited by many individuals. Isaac Hayes (1796-1879) of Philadelphia pioneered in the study of astigmatism and color blindness. The four Rogers brothers of Philadelphia were a remarkable scientific family. James (1802-1852) and Robert (1813-1884) were noted chemists; William (1804-1882) was the state geologist of Virginia and later president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Henry (1808-1866) directed the first geological survey of Pennsylvania (1836-1847). Spencer Baird (1823-1887) of Reading was a leader in the natural sciences and the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Joseph Saxton (1799-1873) of Huntingdon was the father of photography in America.
Pennsylvanians also led in invention and the application of science in industry and daily life. John A. Roebling, who came to America in 1839 and spent most of his active life in Pennsylvania, led in the development of steel wire rope and steel bridges, and his engineering work was carried forward by his son Washington. William Kelly (1811-1888) exhibited leadership in invention. Edward G. Acheson (1856-1931), chemist and inventor, contributed to the development of carborundum as an abrasive and graphite as a lubricant. Henry P. Armsby (1853-1921), director of the Pennsylvania State University Agricultural Experiment Station, was internationally known for his contributions to nutritional science. Edgar Fahs Smith (1854-1928) of the University of Pennsylvania was a leading American chemist and helped to found the American Chemical Society. In the field of medicine, the Hahnemann Medical College, Jefferson Medical College, and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School made Philadelphia one of the outstanding medical centers of the nation. Medical colleges were established at the University of Pittsburgh in 1885 and at Temple University in 1901. These institutions made noteworthy contributions to medical science.
John A. Brashear (1840-1920) of Pittsburgh was important in the development of astronomical precision instruments, which made great contributions to knowledge. The inventor George Westinghouse (1846-1914), while not a native of the state, spent the greater portion of his life here. The earliest successful experiment of Thomas A. Edison with electric lighting was made in Sunbury. John R. Carson (1887-1940) and Dr. Harry Davis (1868-1931), of Pittsburgh, were notable for contributions to the development of radio. Elihu Thomson (1853-1937), one of the founders of General Electric, continued the Franklin tradition in electrical science. The world's first computer was developed at the University of Pennsylvania, in recent times, the engineering schools of the state's universities and such institutions as the Franklin Institute and the Mellon Institute have placed Pennsylvania in the forefront of modern industrial research and invention.
Altogether, there were 130 generals and admirals from Pennsylvania. More Medals of Honor were awarded to Pennsylvanians than to citizens of any other state. There were 40 military and naval installations in Pennsylvania, including two large camps, Indiantown Gap and Camp Reynolds. All the Army's doctors received training at Carlisle Barracks, and the Navy's photographic reconnaissance pilots were instructed at the Harrisburg Airport. The Philadelphia Navy Yard built two of the world's largest battleships and many lesser vessels. Among a dozen military depots in the state were Mechanicsburg Naval Supply Depot, Middletown Air Depot, Letterkenny Ordnance Depot, Frankford Arsenal, and the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot.
Pennsylvania's industrial resources made it the "Arsenal of America." Planes, tanks, armored cars, guns and shells poured out of its factories. Ships were launched in the Delaware and Ohio rivers and on Lake Erie. Steady streams of war goods flowed over its railroads and highways. Pennsylvania oil lubricated the machines of war, and its coal kept the steel mills going. Food from its fields fed war workers and soldiers. In total war production Pennsylvania ranked sixth among the states, in shipbuilding fifth, and in ordnance fourth. It furnished almost one-third of the nation's steel. More money was spent to expand production capacity in Pennsylvania than in any other state. Three hundred Pennsylvania firms were honored with production awards.
Pennsylvanians paid over two billion dollars a year in taxes and were second only to New Yorkers in the purchase of war bonds. Under the leadership of the State Council of Defense, more than a million and a half people were organized to protect the state against enemy attack and to aid in the war effort.
The median age has risen more in the years since 1980 than ever before and is now thirty-six years, higher than any other states except Florida and West Virginia. Women outnumber men by about one-half million.
The 1990 Census showed 9.17 percent of the population to be African American, including 40 percent of the population of Philadelphia, 15 percent of Dauphin County, and 11 percent of both Allegheny and Delaware Counties. People of Hispanic origin (regardless of race) comprised 1.95 percent of Pennsylvania's population. There are about 16,000 Native Americans.
The population growth pattern since 1980 has been one of increases in the eastern border counties other than Philadelphia and Delaware, in the southern tier counties as far west as Somerset, along the Susquehanna Valley, and in the other southeastern counties up to the line bordering the traditional anthracite producing counties. The only western Pennsylvania county to grow in population was Butler. Monroe and Pike Counties, formerly sparsely populated, grew at astonishing rates. Seven other counties increased by 10 percent or more between 1980 and 1990: Adams, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Perry, Union, and Wayne. Since 1980, remarkably high population growth has occurred in the eastern, non-industrial border areas, stimulated by improved interstate highways. Young workers with children and retired workers from New York, New Jersey, and Maryland have been attracted by lower living costs and a cleaner environment.
Health is a major concern of this population. Although the birth rate in Pennsylvania has gradually increased since 1980, the rate in 1994, 13 live births per thousand residents, was 15 percent below the national average. The birth pattern has changed since 1980 because of a marked decline in births to women under twenty-five and an increase in births to women age thirty-five to forty-four. Since 1960 the general fertility rate has declined by 43 percent. In comparing Pennsylvania birth and fertility rates with the United States rates back to 1950, Pennsylvania rates have been consistently lower, even during the "babyboom" years of 1950 through 1964.
In 1988 Pennsylvania finally dropped below the national average in infant mortality. It then shared with New Jersey the ranking of 22nd highest rate in the nation, 9.9 deaths in the first year of life per one thousand births. Although this achievement was eradicated by reverse trends in 1989, Pennsylvania again equaled the national average in 1990 when the state's lowest annual rate, 9.5, occurred. Statistics exist from 1975 for induced abortions to Pennsylvania residents occurring within the state. The peak rate was 23.1 per thousand women of childbearing age in 1980. The rate then declined, reaching 17 in 1988, rose in 1990, and fell to 15 in 1994.
Although it had long been higher than the national average, Pennsylvania's rate of deaths per thousand residents gradually declined to 10.0 in 1982. In 1994 it was 10.5, fifth highest in the nation (behind Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, and West Virginia). When adjusted for our aging population, however, our death rate almost exactly matches the national rate.
The state's ranking for the three most frequent causes of death in America - 1: heart disease, 2: cancer, 3: stroke - has remained the same since 1945. Together they account for two-thirds of deaths in Pennsylvania. However, cancer's share of deaths has consistently increased since 1950, while the other two have declined. All three have been higher than the U.S. average since 1950, as is appropriate for our older aged population. But death rates for external causes including accidental injury, homicide, pneumonia, and influenza have been lower than the nation's. In the 1980s Pennsylvania's suicide rate had risen to nearly match the U.S. rate, but is now significantly lower. A new category, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has risen to supplant accidental injuries as the fourth greatest killer. Deaths from syphilis and tuberculosis have decreased markedly in every decade since 1940, to the extent that they are now rare.
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have the sixth lowest state rate for persons not covered by health insurance. Our state is the ninth highest in the proportion of physicians to the general population, but in 1991 it had the ninth highest percentage of adult smokers.
The entire decade following World War II was a period of frequent labor strife. Fringe benefits for wage earners were points of heated dispute; they had scarcely been dreamt of before 1941. The steel strikes of 1952 and 1959-1960 required the intervention of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. The outcome in 1960 was a triumph for the Taft-Hartley Labor Relations Act which was less favorable to labor's power to bargain than the preceding Wagner Labor Act. Although the merger of the AFL and the CIO in 1955 gave organized labor more strength, the recessions of the 1970s prevented expansion of unionization into many manufacturing areas and may have diminished membership in traditional factory forces. Unionization of office workers, however, has gone on, in line with the increasing involvement of workers in the service sector of the economy. Pennsylvania is not considered to be among the right-to-work states. In 1970 the Public Employees Relations Act established collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers. Both state and federal programs have retrained workers who were laid off due to technological change. Today Pennsylvania has the sixth largest labor pool force in the nation, 5.89 million people. From 1976 through 1985 Pennsylvania's unemployment rate ran above the national rate, but from 1986 through 1990 it was below the national average. The state unemployment rate was 4.8% in November 1996, compared to a national rate of 5.0%.
In the post-World War II period, African American leaders in government have included State Budget Secretary Andrew W. Bradley, Pennsylvania Secretary of State C. Dolores Tucker, Speaker of the State House of Representatives K. Leroy Irvis, U.S. District Court Justice A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., and Chief Justice Robert N. C. Nix Jr. of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Many African Americans in the performing arts, such as Bill Cosby and Ernest "Chubby" Checker, were born in Pennsylvania and have pursued their careers here. David H. Bradley Jr. and John E. Wideman are forefront writers whose works touch on deeper themes of African American development.
The total sales receipts of the state's businesses owned by African Americans was the eighth largest in the nation. Pennsylvania was ninth among the states in the number of businesses owned by people of Hispanic origin.
After World War II, Pennsylvania women continued to add to their record of achievement. Rachel Carson, whose Silent Spring (1962) did much to awaken the nation to environmental dangers, was born in Springdale and educated at Chatham College. The theories of anthropologist Margaret Mead continue to provoke discussion and research in that field of science. Catherine Drinker Bowen's historical and biographical works have received general acclaim. Jean Collins Kerr, dramatist, and drama critic, has influenced a generation of cinema and television audiences. Actresses Lizabeth Scott and Grace Kelly were national idols in the 1950s. Hulda Magalhaes of Bucknell University has had a remarkable career in biological research and teaching. Kathryn O'Hay Granahan was the first female member of Congress from Philadelphia and the Treasurer of the United States from 1962 to 1966. Marianne Moore (1887-1972), who was educated at Bryn Mawr College and taught at the United States Indian School in Carlisle, was a famous poet and the winner of many international awards. Hilda Doolittle from Bethlehem, a renowned imagist poet, wrote many of her works between World War II and 1961.
Elizabeth Nath Marshall, four times mayor of York, was largely responsible for urban renewal there. The remarkable career of Genevieve Blatt included twelve years as Secretary of Internal Affairs and judgeship on the Commonwealth Court in 1972. In February 1975, the state's Commission for Women was created.
In 1987, Pennsylvania was sixth among the states in the number of business firms owned by women, and these generated over 29 billion dollars in sales and receipts. Our state in 1994 had the sixth largest number of women in the work force but rated 47th among the states in the ratio of women workers to total workers.
Industry and Commerce
Diversity came to Pennsylvania as the coal, steel, and railroad industries declined. Ironically, Pennsylvania's early preeminence in industrial development poses a major liability in plants and equipment. Its enormous capital investment, past and present, is in plants and equipment now less efficient than that of newer industrial areas. In steel, Pennsylvania's integrated mills are less efficient than the South's minimills and the new steel complexes abroad, especially since nature has placed western Pennsylvania at a geographic disadvantage to the Great Lakes-Midwest steel area in terms of iron ore deposits and water transportation. The proximity of steel plants to sources of ore and coal is not, however, as important a cost factor in corporate competition as it was forty years ago. Our steel industry began to contract in 1963, although we still lead the nation in specialty steel production. In 1995 Pennsylvania produced 9,092,986 short tons of raw steel, which was 8.66 percent of the nation's total production.
In value added from all manufacturing, an important economic indicator, Pennsylvania in 1992 was seventh among the states, with a figure of nearly 70 billion dollars, an increase of 21 percent since 1987. We were also seventh in value of shipped manufactured merchandise.
The tremendous consumer power of Pennsylvania is reflected in statistics for 1992. Our state is fifth in total retail sales receipts, over the last three decades gradually exceeding Illinois. It is fifth in the number of food retail stores and supermarkets and seventh in total sales receipts from shopping centers.
Among the fifty states, Pennsylvania in 1993 had the fourth largest state general revenue, although we were only 26th in the amount spent per capita (to each Pennsylvanian). In the amount of state indebtedness outstanding per capita we were 32nd. Statistics for 1992 show that Pennsylvania was sixth among the states in expenditures for research and development. In the breakdown of R&D spending, it was seventh in the total amount derived from industrial corporations and seventh in the amount derived from the federal government. The financial stability of the state is attested to by 1993 statistics. Pennsylvania was fifth among the states in insured commercial bank deposits and fourth in total assets of insured commercial banks. It was 14th in the number of bankruptcies in 1994.
The production and distribution of chemicals, food, and electrical machinery and equipment are important elements of Pennsylvania's industrial life. The state is also a leader in the cement industry, providing more than 10 percent of the nation's supply. Pennsylvania also produces quantities of clay products-brick, tile and fire clay-as well as glass, limestone and slate. However, by 1980 the apparels industry showed marked decline. Electronic data processing has increased tremendously, and computerization has improved many basic manufacturing and service processes.
The market for Pennsylvania's coal began to decline at the end of World War II. Oil and natural gas were regarded as so much more convenient that they replaced anthracite coal as a heating fuel. The 1959 Knox Mine flood disaster in Luzerne County foretold the end of deep mining in the anthracite region. In the 1960s the market revived because large amounts of coal were used to produce electric power. Mining methods became much more efficient during this period, but in 1969 the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act was passed, followed in 1971 by the Federal Clean Air Act. Safety measures required so much additional labor that productivity per worker fell dramatically. Pennsylvania's coal was at a disadvantage by cleanliness standards because of its high sulfur content. Although the two world oil crises of the 1970s revived the market for coal again, by 1980 cheap oil was once again available. Anthracite production is now so low that it is not a major industry, although production by reclamation methods has risen since 1989.
The past two decades have not been favorable to the Pennsylvania coal industry, with the state's share of national output shrinking from nearly 15 percent to under 6 percent. The decline illustrates both a slip in competitive position and the rising output nationwide, especially in the West. Indeed, as U.S. production has risen 71 percent since 1970, Pennsylvania output dropped by over 17 percent. West Virginia and Kentucky lead the Commonwealth by substantial production margins, and Wyoming, in first place, mined more than four times as much coal as Pennsylvania in 1995. A disconcerting proportion of this production decline has been felt by the surface mining portion of the industry since 1977, the year that the U.S. Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Production from the state's surface operations has fallen over 60 percent since its peak that year.
Reasons for the decline in Pennsylvania's bituminous coal output are many. They include loss of coking coal markets brought on by the steel industry's decline; less use of higher sulfur coals; and competitive disadvantages relative to neighboring coal-producing states caused by Pennsylvania's more stringent-and costly-environmental regulations. More loss of market share is expected as electric utilities struggle to comply with new emissions requirements stipulated by the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act's acid rain amendments. It is widely hoped, however, that emerging clean coal technologies, such as advanced flue gas scrubbers and fluidized bed combustion, will ultimately brighten the market horizon for higher sulfur Pennsylvania coals in the twenty-first century.
In 1994, Pennsylvania's nine nuclear plants produced over one-third of our electricity, placing us second to Illinois in total nuclear produced electricity. Many object to it as a health hazard and point to the nuclear plant accident on Three Mile Island in March 1979.
Although one of John D. Rockefeller's associates once joked that he could drink all the oil that was not produced in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania now barely produces one-thousandth of the nation's crude oil. Natural gas, however, is still a major product.
While the number of farms and the acreage farmed have generally declined over the past fifty years, farm production has increased dramatically due to technical improvements. The state government has fostered many agricultural developments. Pennsylvania's over 51,000 farms are the backbone of the state's economy. Pennsylvania is an important food distribution center, supplying farm and food products to markets from New England to the Mississippi River. Pennsylvania agriculture continues to grow stronger through the statewide efforts of farm and commodity organizations, agricultural extension services, strong vocational agricultural programs, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, all of which keep farmers informed of new developments and assist them in promoting and marketing farm products. Today, Pennsylvania farmers sell more than $3.6 billion in crop and livestock products annually, and agribusiness and food-related industries account for $39 billion in economic activity annually. Over four million acres of land are harvested crop land, and another four million acres are in farm woodlands and pastures. This is nearly one-third of the state's total land area. Agricultural diversity in the Commonwealth is demonstrated by the fact that Pennsylvania ranks among the top ten states in such varied products as milk, poultry, eggs, ice cream, pears, apples, grapes, cherries, sweet corn, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, maple syrup, cabbage, snap beans, Christmas trees and floriculture crops, pretzels, potato chips, sausage, wheat flour, and bakery products. The state is nineteenth in the nation in total farm income, although in total farm acreage it is thirty-seventh. In livestock Pennsylvania is ranked fifth in milk cows, seventeenth in total cattle, fifteenth in hogs, and twenty-fourth in sheep. It ranks seventh in noncitrus fruits.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike, which set the pattern for modern super-highways throughout the nation, was expanded from the western boundary to the Delaware River, as well as northward into the anthracite region. A far-reaching federal highway act was passed in 1956, authorizing the federal government to pay 90 percent of the costs of new roads connecting the nation's principal urban centers. More turnpike miles would probably have been built had it not been for the toll-free interstate highway system established by the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Pennsylvania took advantage of these funds to build an interstate system that today stretches along 1,588 miles. The most outstanding example of the system is Interstate 80, known as the Keystone Shortway, which is 313 miles long and transverses 15 northern Pennsylvania counties.
In 1993, Pennsylvania was eighth in total highway mileage, a mere 621 miles behind seventh ranked Michigan. Our state is also seventh in number of cars, sixth in number of all vehicles, and sixth in total vehicle miles driven. Pennsylvania is third in highway funds disbursed by the state, behind only Texas and California. We rank eighth in total number of gasoline service stations. In the ratio of highway fatalities to the number of motor vehicle miles traveled, Pennsylvania is sixth highest among the 50 states.
Waterways have always been of major importance to Pennsylvania. The state has three major ports: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie. The Port of Philadelphia complex, encompassing Philadelphia proper and four other cities along the Delaware River, is the largest freshwater port in the world and has the second largest volume of international tonnage in the United States. Located at the confluence of the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny Rivers, Pittsburgh has long been a center for barge transportation, especially of coal and limestone. Erie has been a major center for Great Lakes transportation, especially of steel and zinc, and is connected to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Constant expansion of passenger service has been the story of aviation in Pennsylvania since World War II. Today there are sixteen major airports, five of which have been granted international status. Instrument landing systems became standard at airports in all the smaller cities following the Bradford Regional Airport accidents of 1968-1969. In the 1970s, automated radar terminal systems were installed at all the major airports, to handle the increased volume of traffic with safety. The international airports of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are among the nation's twenty-nine major aviation terminals, and compete favorably with the others in total numbers of scheduled flights.
The expansion of All American Aviation to Allegheny Airlines, and then to U.S. Air, is typical of progress in the industry. The energy crises beginning in the late 1970s caused reorganization involving commuter lines, using smaller craft, operating as feeders from smaller cities to the major airports. Deregulation and the trend toward corporate mergers in the 1980s have caused further reorganization of the industry.
Two aircraft manufacturers prospered during this period. Piper Aircraft Corporation of Lock Haven outdistanced its competitors and produced America's most popular light airplane until the 1970s. Vertol Division of Boeing Corporation, successor to Piasecki Helicopter Corporation, located in Delaware County, was a major manufacturer of helicopters.
Because of its extensive service during World War II, the railroad industry in 1946 was financially more sound than it had been since 1920, but by the end of the 1950s it was losing ground rapidly to the enlarging trucking industry. Diesel engines and a few electrified systems replaced the coal-burning locomotives which had been the railroads' pulling units for a century. In 1962 the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central merged as the Penn Central Railroad, but it did not receive federal ICC approval until 1968, after having made extensive reductions in services and divestiture of assets. The new giant was bankrupt in 1970, the same year the federal government created Amtrak, a service system subsidizing passenger service on the major rail lines of the northeastern states. The federal government took control of the major freight lines in 1974 by the formation of Conrail, which subsidized 80 percent of the freight lines in Pennsylvania. Rail mileage was reduced by eliminating obsolete and unnecessary lines, typically those to now non-productive coal mines. The work force was reduced by a quarter and commuter service trains which were at first the responsibility of Conrail were gradually eliminated. In 1981 Conrail finally began to operate profitably, and in 1987 the federal government sold it to private stockholders. Although passenger service to smaller municipalities has been eliminated, faster travel is possible on the remaining routes. Seamless rails, cement ties, and the elimination of grade crossings have made this possible.
A major figure in the American literary scene, Pearl S. Buck (1872-1973), won both a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer Prize. She made her home in Perkasie. Christopher Morley (1890-1957) and John O'Hara (1905-1970) were other famous 20th century Pennsylvania novelists. Marquerite de Angelis (1889-1987) wrote and illustrated books that thrilled generations of children, such as Thee, Hannah! and Yonie Wondernose.
Among living writers associated with Pennsylvania are L. Sprague deCamp, science fiction author, and John Updike, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1982 for Rabbit Is Rich and received the 1983 Governor's Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award. James A. Michener, recipient of the 1981 Governor's Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award, is the author of forty books including the Pulitzer Prize winning Tales of the South Pacific. Poet Gerald Stern, born in Pittsburgh and now living in Easton, received the prestigious Lamont Poetry Prize for "Lucky Leaf", as well as a 1980 Hazlett Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1981, David Bradley's novel The Chaneysville Incident won acclaim as a profound and sensitive analysis of the African American male in American life. Jerry Spinelli, of Radnor and Melrose Park, has preserved adventure and imagination in his children's books with stories taking place in our contemporary culture.
Performing Arts and Media
Among the famous Pennsylvanians who starred in the movies were W. C. Fields, Gene Kelly, Joe E. Brown, Richard Gere, Tom Mix, Jack Palance, and James Stewart, who received the first Governor's Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award in 1980. In 1984 Bill Cosby received this award. From the 1930s until the late 1950s, audiences throughout the country thrilled to the romantic musical drama of two native Pennsylvanians, singers Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
In 1977, Pennsylvania began to be the site of the filming of an ever increasing number of major motion pictures. Slapshot and The Deer Hunter were among the first of these productions.
In the field of dance the Pennsylvania Ballet, founded by Barbara Weisberger in 1964, has an international reputation, and the Pittsburgh Ballet is also widely known. Band leaders Fred Waring and Les Brown distinguished themselves in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia has a worldwide reputation for the advanced study of music. Distinguished singers who are Pennsylvanians by birth or association include Louis Homer, Paul Athouse, Dusolina Giannini, Mario Lanza, Helen Jepson, Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, and Marian Anderson (who received the 1982 Governor's Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award). Leopold Stowkowski rose to fame as the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Victor Herbert was conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony during part of his career. Eugene Ormandy, conductor of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra for forty-four years, received the 1980 Hazlett Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts in the field of music. For twenty-five years the Philadelphia Orchestra has been chosen for extended summer performances at the Saratoga Springs, NY, Performing Arts Festival. The Pittsburgh Symphony is proud to have had Andre Previn (recipient of the 1983 Hazlett Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts) as its conductor. Samuel Barber, Peter Mennin, and Charles Wakefield Cadman are among the better-known Pennsylvania symphonic composers.
Television grew rapidly, and today Philadelphia is the fourth largest television market in the country and Pittsburgh is the 11th. Each city has three major network stations, a public broadcasting station, and smaller independent stations. WQED in Pittsburgh pioneered community-sponsored educational television when it began broadcasting in 1954.
In 1993, Pennsylvania was behind only Texas and California in the total number of daily newspapers and was fifth among the states in paid circulation of dailies and Sunday newspapers.
Pennsylvanians are typically religious. Although standards for enumerating followers differ greatly among the various religious bodies, confusing the statistics, it is estimated that 64.4 percent of the population adheres to some recognized religious faith. This places Pennsylvania among the top ten states in percentage of worshippers.
The Roman Catholic Church is by far the largest religious body. It has 3.88 million adherents, which is about 32 percent of the population. There are three Catholic archdiocese in Pennsylvania cities: one Latin Rite and one Byzantine Rite in Philadelphia and one Byzantine Rite in Pittsburgh.
The Lutherans and United Methodists are the two largest Protestant denominations, each having more than three-quarters of a million adherents. There are slightly less than a half million Presbyterian adherents. Three other denominations have over one hundred thousand: The United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the American Baptists. The Quakers, so important in colonial times, had only 13,174 adherents in 1980. Significant smaller Protestant denominations are: Christian Scientists, Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Assembly of God, Disciples of Christ, Church of the Brethren, Nazarene Church, Evangelical Congregational, and Church of God.
Philadelphia was the home of Bishop Richard Allen, who founded the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in 1816; today this is a leading Protestant denomination with churches around the world. African Americans in Pennsylvania have belonged to many of the same churches (both Protestant and Catholic) as whites. Nonetheless, predominantly African-American denominations include the African Methodist Episcopal and A.M.E. Zion Churches, and two National Baptist Conventions.
The Jewish religious population is divided among Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Reform Judaism. These four bodies have about 63,000 adherents in Pennsylvania, over half of them in Philadelphia. The secular Jewish population is much larger, being estimated as 347,000.
Reliable counts of the adherents to the twenty-one Eastern Orthodox churches do not exist. The largest of these denominations are the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Serbian Eastern Orthodox, and the Orthodox Church in America. In July 1990, His All Holiness Dimitrios I, Patriarch of 250 million Orthodox Christians around the world, visited the United States and participated in services at St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Allentown, and in the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox See in Johnstown. In addition to his efforts to unite all Orthodox Christians, his mission here emphasized the ongoing effort to reach an accord between his Church and Roman Catholics.
The German sects-the Mennonites and the Amish, for example-brought distinction to the Commonwealth through the appellation "Pennsylvania Dutch," but there are today more Plain People in Ohio and Indiana than there are in Pennsylvania. They are struggling to preserve their culture and religion in the face of technological change, popular fads and attitudes of the general American public.
School consolidation became a major goal after World War II. By 1968 the number of school districts had been compressed from over 2,000 to 742; today there are only 500. Centralization and improved spending had the desired effects. In the 1970s programs for exceptional and for disadvantaged students were becoming available, and the vocational-technical secondary school option assisted many youths in finding career areas. In 1974, Pennsylvania's Human Relations Commission ordered that racial imbalance in public schools be eliminated by the end of the year.
Today, education is one of the Commonwealth's most treasured assets. Total enrollment in its schools and learning institutions is declining, although not as much as it had in the mid-1980s. Because many adolescents drop out of school, there is a crisis in school attendance in children from age 5 through 17. Enrollment in institutions of higher education within the state, which is not as closely linked to the Pennsylvania population as the primary and secondary school student bodies, is growing, and the state ranks sixth in the country in this category. Adult, post-secondary education, much of which is technical education, is also increasing, whereas the vo-tech high schools, so popular in the 1970s, are experiencing more rapid enrollment decline than the standard high schools. The state's executive administration is striving to upgrade the quality of teaching and the students' level of learning, both of which are considered critical to the future of emerging generations. Outcome based education was adopted as a guiding principle in 1993.
Based on U.S. Census data, about 88 percent of the rising generation of Pennsylvanians can expect to complete four years of high school, and 22 percent to complete four years of college. Of the total population over twenty-four years of age, 65 percent have completed four years of high school and 14 percent have completed four years of college.
Two-Party StateThe Cold War, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Involvement, and Persian Gulf War
The New Deal, the rising influence of labor, and the growing urbanization of the state ended a long period of Republican dominance. In stride with the New Deal, the Democrats fielded a successful gubernatorial candidate in 1934, but the Republicans dominated the next four gubernatorial elections. The Democrats, however, took control of the two major cities, Pittsburgh in 1933 and Philadelphia in 1951, and achieved electoral majorities in seven of the eleven presidential elections from 1936 to 1976. In 1954 and 1958 the Democrats elected George M. Leader and David L. Lawrence successively as governors. They were followed in 1962 by Republican William Warren Scranton, and in 1966 by Republican Raymond P. Shafer. In 1970 the Democrats elected Milton Shapp and regained firm control of the legislature for the first time since 1936. Shapp became the first governor eligible to succeed himself under the 1968 Constitution, and he was reelected in 1974. In 1978 Republican Dick Thornburgh was elected governor. Within two years, the Republicans became the majority party when, in addition to the govemorship, they held both U.S. Senate seats, supported President Ronald Reagan's candidacy in 1980, and won majorities in both houses of the state legislature. In 1982 Thornburgh was reelected to a second term; President Ronald Reagan was reelected in 1984. In 1985 the Democrats became the majority party in the House of Representatives. In 1986 the Democrat Robert P. Casey of Scranton, a former State Auditor General, defeated Lieutenant Governor William W. Scranton III for the govemorship, becoming the 42nd person to hold that office. In 1990, Governor Casey was reelected by an overwhelming majority over the Republican candidate, Auditor General Barbara Hafer.
The accidental death of U.S. Senator John Heinz led to the appointment and then overwhelming election victory for the vacant seat by Democrat Harris Wofford, who raised the issue of reform of the nation's health care system. He defeated former Governor Thornburgh. In 1992 Democratic majorities were returned in both houses of the General Assembly for the first time since 1978. On June 14, 1993, Gov. Robert P. Casey underwent a heart-and-liver transplant operation necessitated by a rare disease, familial amyloidosis. He was the first American for whom this operation was performed as a cure for the condition. Lieutenant Governor Mark S. Singel exercised the powers and performed the duties of Governor until Governor Casey returned to work on December 21.
In November 1994, U.S. Representative Tom Ridge defeated Lieutenant Governor Singel and third-party candidate Peg Luksic of Johnstown in the gubernatorial election. In 1995 and 1996 the majority in the House of Representatives switched from Democratic to Republican by the shift of one seat, but the November 1996 elections gave Republicans a five member House majority and they maintained their majority in the State Senate.
Alter the end of World War II, the United Nations was established as a parliament of governments in which disputes between nations could be settled peacefully. Nevertheless, the United States and Communist countries started an arms race that led to a "cold war," resulting in several undeclared limited wars. From 1950 to 1953, individual Pennsylvanians were among the many Americans who fought with the South Koreans against the North Koreans and their Red Chinese allies. Pennsylvania's 28th Infantry Division was one of four National Guard divisions called to active duty during the crisis, being deployed to Germany to help deflect any aggression from Russia or its allies.
Pennsylvanians served their country faithfully during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. In Korea, Pfc. Melvin L. Brown of Mahaffey, Sfc. William S. Sitman of Bellwood, and Cpl. Clifton T. Speicher of Gray gave their lives in self-sacrificing combat deeds for which they were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Major General John Huston Church (1892-1953) commanded the 24th Infantry Division in the first year of fighting. Lieutenant General Henry Aurand commanded the U.S. Army-Pacific (which included the Korean operation) from 1949 to 1952. General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, a native of Honesdale, was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which brought the Cold War to an end.
In 1964 a conflict developed in Vietnam. American troops fought beside the South Vietnamese against the North Vietnamese and their supporters until 1973, and many Pennsylvanians served and died there. Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia and Sgt. Glenn H. English Jr., a native of Altoona, were mortally wounded white performing courageous acts for which they were both awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pfc. William D. Port of Harrisburg, Spec. David C. Dolby of Norristown, and Lt. Walter J. Marm Jr. of Pittsburgh received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous acts of leadership and personal valor. Major General Charles W. Eifler, a native of Altoona, directed the First Logistical Command in South Vietnam until May 1967. The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., includes 1,449 Pennsylvanians among the 58,715 who died as a result of combat.
In 1995, Pennsylvania's 1,363,000 veterans population still included 600 veterans of World War 1; 446,490 veterans of World War II; 229,930 veterans of the Korean Conflict, 376,240 veterans of the Vietnam era, and 67,320 veterans of the Persian Gulf War.
In 1990 and 1991 Pennsylvania units sent to Saudi Arabia, as part of the international force confronting Iraqi aggression, included the 121st and 131st Transportation Companies of the Pennsylvania National Guard, the 193rd Squadron of the Air National Guard and the 316th Strategic Hospital Reserve. On February 25, 1992, 13 members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, U.S. Army Reserves, a Greensburg unit, were killed by an Iraqi scud missile attack.
After the Second World War there was a renewed emphasis on reorganizing state government. In 1945 the State Museum and State Archives were placed under the Historical and Museum Commission. In 1947 the Tax Equalization Board was created to review school tax assessments so that the burden of public education would fall evenly on all districts. In 1951 the Council on Civil Defense was created, and in 1978 it became the Emergency Management Agency. In 1955, during the administration of Governor Leader, an Office of Administration was set up within the executive branch. A government reorganization act permitted any governor to transfer functions from one department to another, subject to the approval of the General Assembly. The Human Relations Commission was established in 1955 to prevent discrimination in employment. In 1966 the Department of Community Affairs was created to deal with matters concerning local governments. The termination, in 1968, of the Department of Internal Affairs resulted in four of its bureaus being placed in other agencies. In 1970 the creating of a Department of Transportation and a Department of Environmental Resources were results of an enlarged concept of the role of state government. Both had broader functions than the departments they replaced, the Highways Department and Forest and Waters. The consolidation of two agencies into the Department of General Services in 1975 was another step in the direction of efficiency.The creation of a Commission for Women by executive order in 1975, and the replacement of the Council on Aging with a Department of Aging in 1978, both followed the trend toward serving population segments that have special needs. As a result of a constitutional amendment, the Attorney General became an elected official in 1980, and that office became an independent department. The designation Department of Justice was discontinued. Within the executive branch an Office of General Counsel was formed to continue the old function of an attorney appointed and subordinate to the Governor. A further result of the amendment was the eventual creation, in 1984, of a separate Department of Corrections. The establishment of an Ethics Commission in 1978 and an Independent Regulatory Review Commission in 1982 were two of the many measures dealing with particular problems that have surfaced in the governmental process. The augmentation of the Department of Commerce, in 1987, by the Economic Development Partnership, anticipated a more powerful economic policy. In June 1996 the Departments of Commerce and Community Affairs were merged to form the Department of Economic and Community Development.
A series of important constitutional amendments culminated in the calling of a Constitutional Convention in 1967-1968, which revised the 1874 Constitution. A significant provision prohibits the denial to any person of his or her civil rights. The General Assembly now meets annually and is a continuing body. The governor and other elective state officers are eligible to succeed themselves for one additional term. A unified judicial system has been established under the Supreme Court, a Commonwealth Court has been created and the inferior courts have been modernized. Broad extensions of county and local home rule are possible. In 1971 the voters amended the state constitution to guarantee that equal rights could not be denied because of sex. By an act of Dec. 6, 1972, the State Constitution so amended was declared to be henceforth known and cited as the Constitution of 1968.