Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth / Edition 1

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The Keystone State, so nicknamed because it was geographically situated in the middle of the thirteen original colonies and played a crucial role in the founding of the United States, has remained at the heart of American history. Created partly as a safe haven for people from all walks of life, Pennsylvania is today the home of diverse cultures, religions, ethnic groups, social classes, and occupations. Many ideas, institutions, and interests that were formed or tested in Pennsylvania spread across America and beyond, and continue to inform American culture, society, and politics. Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth is the first comprehensive history of the Keystone State in almost three decades. In it distinguished scholars view Pennsylvania's history critically and honestly, setting the Commonwealth's story in the larger context of national social, cultural, economic, and political development. Part I offers a narrative history and Part II offers a series of "Ways to Pennsylvania's Past" -- nine concise guides designed to enable readers to discover Pennsylvania's heritage for themselves. Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth is the result of a unique collaboration between The Pennsylvania State University Press and The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The result is a remarkable account of how Pennsylvanians have lived, worked, and played through the centuries.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From Quaker rule to the devastating decline of the steel industry, Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth chronicles political, cultural and economic developments that have shaped the Keystone State. Edited by Saint Joseph's University history professor Randall M. Miller and William Pencak, a historian at Pennsylvania State University, this lucid and comprehensive history includes contributions from archivists, historians and other academics on such subjects as the state's role in the Underground Railroad and the folklore of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The first part of the handsomely illustrated volume is a straightforward chronological history, while the second is divided into thematic chapters on such subjects as the geography, archeology and literature of the state.
Library Journal
Pennsylvanians have made their commonwealth central to the political, economic, and cultural life and history of the nation. Editors Miller (president, Pennsylvania Historical Assn.; history, St. Joseph's Univ., and an LJ reviewer) and Pencak (history, Pennsylvania State Univ.) and 15 contributors show how Pennsylvanians have "used and occupied the land, created and built communities, organized work and production and made and remade Pennsylvania as a place and an idea." Part 1, "The History," narrates Pennsylvanians from prehistoric times through the Colonial, Revolutionary, Civil War, and industrial eras to our post-industrial world. In Part 2, "Ways to Pennsylvania's Past," scholars treat the reader to the fascinating ways archaeology, architecture, art, folklore, genealogy, geography, literature, oral history, and photography have enriched our understanding of the "Keystone State." Twenty-five years since the publication of the last standard history, the editors present a new history that inspires readers to uncover their own stories. With suggested readings and a bibliography, this thoroughly enjoyable work will appeal to both lay readers and specialists. Highly recommended for area academic, public, and high school libraries.-Charles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., State College
From the Publisher

Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth provides the first definitive history of the Keystone state in nearly 30 years.”

Gazette News

“Fresh perspectives for the Keystone State for a modern account of Pennsylvania’s past.”

Fore Word-Traverse City, Mich.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271022147
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: A Keystone Book ?
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 712
  • Sales rank: 384,656
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Randall M. Miller is William Dirk Warren '50 Sesquicentennial Chair and Professor of History at Saint Joseph's University and President of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

William Pencak is Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University and Editor of Pennsylvania History, the journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Value of Pennsylvania History
Introduction: Why Should We Care About Pennsylvania History?
Pt. I The History
1 The First Pennsylvanians 3
2 Encounter and Experiment: The Colonial Period 47
3 The Promise of Revolution: 1750-1800 101
4 Building Democratic Communities: 1800-1850 153
5 Civil Wars: 1850-1900 203
6 Reforming the Commonwealth: 1900-1950 257
7 The Postindustrial Age: 1950-2000 317
Epilogue: The Making and Unmaking of the Pennsylvanian Empire 371
Pt. II Ways to Pennsylvania's Past
8 Geography 389
9 Architecture 411
10 Archaeology 439
11 Folklore and Folklife 459
12 Genealogy 481
13 Photography 501
14 Art 527
15 Oral History 553
16 Literature 575
App Popular Vote for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1633-1998 595
Select Bibliography 601
Contributors 610
Illustration Credits 614
Index 622
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