This book surveys the colonial and revolutionary history of the Pennsylvania colony from the day William Penn founded the colony, through decades of political disagreement among members of the Penn family, and between the Pennsylvania government and its citizens. Those disputes resulted in groundbreaking political principles, many of which became the foundation of the new federal government when the US became independent. The survey briefly discusses the contributions of the Penn family, establishment of institutions of higher learning, and the first abolitionist movements in the US.
Pennsylvania's Founding Fathers run the gamut from an indentured servant to wealthy merchants, politicians, and soldiers. Of course, the most well-known is Benjamin Franklin, who many historians refer to as America's Founding Father because of his contributions to education, politics, society, and the sciences.
Pennsylvania's role in the American Revolution is significant, with Valley Forge, Brandywine and Germantown being some of the most noteworthy locations. The fighting may have ended in 1781, but another war - between the military and the new government - took place in Philadelphia, and resulted in the relocation of the US government to Washington, DC. The Whiskey Rebellion - the first serious threat to the new US government - occurred in Pennsylvania and its outcome and implications for the future of the new nation are discussed.
The final installment of the French-Indian Wars - the French and Indian War - was fought as the North American counterpart of the Seven Years' War. Known for widespread fighting throughout the American colonies, the war resulted in high debt and the "Intolerable Acts", which lead to American independence.
The special topic in this installment is the social and economic impact of hurricanes in the colonial period, a time in which colonists lacked today's prediction and mitigation methods.