Posted BY: Stephan Helgesen
Students of American history will remember Philadelphia as the first capital of the new United States of America after the ratification of the Constitution. That city was the center of American politics and political life, but ten years later it lost that distinction to the swampy lands of Washington in the District of Columbia. On June 11th, 1800, Philly faded into the background in favor of Washington. Power had shifted, and the state reverted back to its trade, commerce, and agriculture. Pennsylvania’s namesake, William Penn, was a prominent writer and Quaker and the state is in his debt for his efforts to make it a showcase for commerce. Penn’s son, Thomas, came to Pennsylvania in 1732 and during the nine years of his stay there he successfully negotiated the sale of 1.2 million acres of land from an indigenous Indian tribe to the new province of Pennsylvania. He died 15 years before Philadelphia became the capital of that state (or commonwealth as it adopted the British term).
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Pennsylvania is a very diverse place, and it is a state with a bifurcated political landscape. Most of rural PA is conservative, but hardcore liberals populate its cities. The state is an energy state with abundant resources, and it is home to a prestigious private ivy league research university, the University of Pennsylvania (located in Philadelphia) along with Carnegie Mellon, Swarthmore, and Villanova. It’s proud of its working class and its historical intellectual prowess, but the recent mid-term victory of a bumbling, oafish hipster politician John Fetterman, over a medical doctor of national repute is puzzling and reflects the rampant spread of stupid.