Pennsylvania: 1776

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A vivid portrayal, in words and pictures, of life as it really was in the Keystone State at the time of the Declaration of Independence. The book shows the ways in which the lives of the people of Pennsylvania on the eve of the Revolution reflected the colonial experience in general, as well as the ways in which Pennsylvania was unique. It traces the response of Pennsylvanians to the geography and conditions of their land--its mountains and rivers, its flora and fauna, its natural resources. It shows the struggle of Pennsylvanians to survive and earn a livelihood; how they adapted their ideas of education and religion to their new society, how they responded in their science, medicine, and technology to their practical needs as well as to the intellectual climate of the 18th century; what they did in their leisure time and what they achieved in the arts and how through it all they managed to forge a political conciousness which led them to break with their mother country, establish their own government, and begin their fight for independence. The book charts the contribution both to 'Peaceable Pennsylvania' and to Pennsylvania's Revolutionary War effort among all people in the commonwealth--whether from city, town, village, or farm; whether American Indian, African, or European in origin. Contributions of both the more numerous settlers (English, German, and Scotch-Irish) and also the less numerous ones (Swiss, Swedish, French, Welsh, Dutch, Jewish, Polish, and Italian) are clearly depicted.In reconstructing the political, social, economic, and cultural activities of the Commonwealth in the nation's first year, Pennsylvania 1776 portrays colorfully and accurately life among Pennsylvanians of all kinds--male or female, old or young, famous or obscure, skilled or unskilled, rich or poor, military or civilian. A lively yet authoritative narrative text has been written by twenty-five specialists from throughout The Pennsylvania State University. This text is accompanied by sixty-eight vignettes--brief essays on significant persons, groups, places, things, and processes--by fifty-five qualified faculty members. Closely coordinated with vignettes and text are approximately three hundred and fifty pictures and maps, twenty in color. Most of the illustrations are from colonial or Revolutionary sources, and all have been checked for their accuracy. Addressed to all citizens--laymen as well as students and teachers--Pennsylvania 1776 combines readability with authenticity. Both text and vignettes are enlived with lengthy quotations from letters, diaries, newspaper and magazine articles, and books by representative colonial Pennsylvanians and visitors. Vignettes and accompanying pictures embrace subjects of high human interest including architecture and furnishings, Black and Indian spokesmen, Conestoga wagons and rifles, dress and heating devices, inns and taverns, religion and science, women and family life. This book is part of Penn State's Bicentennial program, which is recognized by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. In order to assure the book's accuracy and quality, the work of the contributors and editors has been reviewed by an editorial board composed of six authorities on Pennsylvania life and history, each of whom was responsible for a section of the text and a group of the vignettes.

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