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Before the Commonwealth was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Delaware, and other Native American Nations. The Dutch were the first to take possession and this has impact on the history of Pennsylvania. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony on the site of present day Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (Parts of present Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), but settled few colonists there.
On February 28, 1681, the King of England granted a land charter to William Penn to repay a debt of about $4,200,000 owed to William's father. This was one of the largest land grants to an individual in history. It was called Pennsylvania, meaning "Penn's Woods", in honor of Admiral Penn. William Penn, who had wanted his province to be named "Sylvania", was embarrassed at the change, fearing that people would think he had named it after himself, but King Charles would not rename the grant. Penn established a government with two innovations that were much copied in the New World: the county commission and freedom of religious conviction.
Between 1730 and when it was shut down by Parliament with the Currency Act of 1764, the Pennsylvania Colony made its own paper money to account for the shortage of actual gold and silver. The paper money was called Colonial Scrip. The Colony issued "bills of credit", which were as good as gold or silver coins because of their legal tender status. Since they were issued by the government and not a banking institution, it was an interest-free proposition, largely defraying the expense of the government and therefore taxation of the people. It also promoted general employment and prosperity.
Revolutionary War Era
When the Founding Fathers convened in Philadelphia in 1774, 12 colonies sent representatives to the First Continental Congress, and the Second Continental Congress, which also met in Philadelphia drew up and signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, but when that city was captured by the British, the Continental Congress escaped westward, meeting at the Lancaster courthouse on Saturday, September 27, 1777, and then to York. Later, the Constitution was written and Philadelphia was once again chosen to be cradle to the new American Nation. Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 12, 1787.
The Industrial Era
The Battle of Gettysburg —- the major turning point of the Civil War — took place near Gettysburg. An estimated 350,000 Pennsylvanians served in the forces.
Pennsylvania was also the home of the first commercially drilled oil (kerosene) well in 1859 near Titusville. This later started the Pennsylvania oil rush, which was the precursor to gasoline-powered vehicles.
On Doomsday, Pennsylvania was a hard hit state in the United States, losing it's capital Harrisburg, it's largest city of Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh along with other cities such as Bethlehem. Erie was hit with a 50KT at the mid-west part of the city that took out the Erie International Airport and the Erie Steel Mills, the rest of the city was eventually abandoned within the next year. Cities in the area such as Warren, Oil City, Franklin, Sharon, and Meadville, would become a haven for those fleeing the rest of Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio.
Within the immediate carnage, the Pennsylvania Dutch, and the Amish went on with life as normal as possible. They had been accustomed to living by the land only and had not experienced the chaos others had when Seneca Generating Station had gone down and the river banks of the Allegheny experienced flooding. They soon welcomed the masses of refugees as well as small amounts Ohio Penn Dutch who had followed the massive refugee crowd that had been led by Ohio state officials after the relocated capital at Warren, Ohio failed and would establish a "state-in-exile" in Warren, Pennsylvania in the following months.
In 1984, the mayor of the City of Warren called for a meeting with other mayors of the county seats as well as the government-in-exile of Ohio so that they could pool their resources. The meeting had led to the creation of the Community Convention, the governing council for the counties. As the area became densely crowded with more Ohio refugees, arrangements were made to send a large proportion of them to Oil City, a town with accommodations for five times more than its normal population. Many of them would go into Pennsylvania Dutch country to work the land as well. Food, however, was the main priority, and a specialized diet plan was arranged to the workers who need to do necessary work. Most other families received packaged dry goods such as fish, sun-dried cabbage, grapes, powdered eggs, and carrots, all home-grown Pennsylvanian products.
By 1985, there was still no word from the state or federal government. Representatives of the North Pennsylvanian counties helped reorganize the state police into a larger unit that would constantly be on the watch for food theft, refugees and other problems. They were also given orders to open fire upon fighting, murder and vandalizing. This kept the local civilians in check since committing these crimes could cost them their lives. Most of the able bodied younger men were divided into task forces that were put to work clearing out bodies, rubble, and cars rendered useless by the Electromagnetic Pulse-wave. However, the stress on food due to the Ohio refugees nearly a quarter of Pennsylvania's population were in graves by 1986.
For many years after Doomsday, the nation's priority was food. While farms, fishing and even hunting had fed some mouths, the agricultural output was still inadequate. Then came the winter of 1986. In 1986, snowfall in Pennsylvania peaked, with over three-to-seven feet of snowfall in some parts. The known casualties have been 10,000, most due to starvation or hypothermia. After winter, people had an even worse time trying to regrow lost crops. So in all, over 35,000 people have died due to the effects of the 1986 Winter. By 1988, Pennsylvania had managed to return to its normal levels of food output.
In 1989 they confirmed that the city of Toledo had indeed survived. This brought joy to the Pennsylvanians seeing another functioning society in the area and soon began much needed trade with Toledo. Around the same time that Toledo formed their own government, a new Constitutional Convention was drawn up in Warren, and revised in Franklin. A new state was founded, the Commonwealth of North Pennsylvania, replacing the provisional state that had been formed in 1984. This new constitution was popular, as it created a Pennsylvanian currency as well as the right to a proper military, but it did not state North Pennsylvania's actual standing. Was it an independent nation or a provisional of the United States? The title "Commonwealth" had hidden if it was a nation or not. Many in the populace suggested that it was both, or neither, that it was its own regional government that is self governing.
Expeditions Across the Erie
In 1990, the Pennsylvanian government wondered on the possibility of life in former Canada. According to Toledo, they had spotted a fishing vessel across the Erie once, but were not able to identify it. A joint Toledo-Pennsylvania expedition across Lake Erie confirmed that life in Canada had indeed survived. Haldimand-Norfolk County, Ontario continued to function after Doomsday, but had indeed suffered more than imagined.
The area was given an ultimatum to join Toledo, Pennsylvania, or stay independent, but by a narrow margin, Norfolk remained independent, but would receive aid when possible from North Pennsylvania and Toledo. It was around this time that Norfolk-Haldimand organized a new government, refusing to come under the control of the "London" government to the north. They later came into direct contact with London-Ontario after Norfolk-Haldimand requested to open trade relations. London accepted. This was a major event in Pennsylvania since they could now use their connections with Norfolk-Haldimand as an international trade hub across Lake Erie with other Canadian survivor states.
Life on the Mainland
In 1995, the Franklin-Oil City area was disrupted by their normal routine by an unexpected visit from the State College area. Once contact with State College was established, it was revealed that the Pennsylvanian governor had escaped to State College. Several politicians argued that they should join with the old governor at State College, but the new governor of North Pennsylvania decided that they were their own nation now.
In 1997, the area again was visited, this time by the Virginian Republic. The Virginians left on good terms with Pennsylvania. The North Pennsylvanians allowed the Virginians to use the Great Lakes on occasion, and they are thinking of approaching the rest of the UC on letting Virginia in.
The New Millennium
By 2000, things had begun to show signs of stability in the area. For the first time since Doomsday the government began cutting its ties to private enterprise when possible. The level of cooperation between Toledo, State College, and Pennsylvania had allowed peace to return to the chaotic states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. The local Pennsylvania Dutch had also played a major part in the politics of North Penn and had formed their own political party, the Pennsylvania Party which held many seats in the state legislature. By this time, they had come into contact with the Republic of Superior via word from the Ontario county-states Norfolk and London.
In 2000, the city of Niagara Falls in New York and Ontario was discovered. Even though they had heard of the city surviving before,ex the Pennsylvanians had held off most expeditions in the 1990's in order to pool up their funds and focus on rebuilding their own infrastructure. Pennsylvania helped establish safe roads to Niagara Falls around Buffalo and has since been trading with the city-state. At this time, they established relations with the cities of Ithaca and Binghamton in New York, which had also miraculously been spared. The three nations have also shared extensive trade relations.
In January of 2001, North Penn began their first salvage efforts in Erie County. Due to the strikes on Erie few towns or boroughs managed to maintain stability and most of the county was placed under quarantine. Because of that Erie County did not have representatives in the state legislature. Edinboro Township, Springfield, North-East Township, and Union City were some of the last communities which survived. Most of the county was restored to order by late 2002. The area around Erie was the most dangerous due to radiation, but North Pennsylvania acknowledged the value of maritime access and would try to restore the area as soon as possible. Lake City was transformed from a slum to one of North Penn's largest ports. Avonia was officially colonized by Ohio refugees on September 26, 2002 and was accepted into the state legislature in 2003.
In around 2004, North Penn began salvage efforts in mid-eastern Erie County. The abandoned town of Northwest Harborcreek, which was far enough away from the blast on Erie to have largely survived, was brought back up to building codes by 2008. The main purpose of this was to have more access to Lake Erie as the makeshift docks and ports at North-East Township and Lake City were always crowded. The current permanent population is 800, but many sailors and fishermen pass through the area from time to time.
In 2001, they discovered a functioning city-state in Westfield while expanding into New York State. At first, the town wished no contact with the Pennsylvanians, so Erie continued growing into New York leaving the Westfielders in peace. Eventually, in 2003 Westfield was an enclave in North Pennsylvania. The area eventually applied for membership in the New York Territory and was accepted in 2004 into the nation along with the rest of the territory.
In 2007, it was a founding member of the United Communities along with Toledo, Norfolk-Haldimand, London-Ontario, and Niagara Falls. The New York-Ontario dual city of Niagara Falls was chosen as a capital since it is a Canadian-American city and would not favor Canadians or Americans. Later on in the year, Pennsylvania adopted the "Forgiveness Policy", allowing raiders and thugs to settle in their territory should they attend a two-year course to be re-admitted back into society. The project has brought the population, and workforce up quite a bit. It is also helped lower the number of raiders throughout the north by almost 500.
Road to Ohio
In 2008, Kentucky, Virginia, Toledo, and North Penn began the "Road to Ohio" led by the former governor of Ohio in which they would explore what was left of the former state. Eventually, each of the nations chose a sector in which they would try salvage efforts, save Toledo which was an Ohio survivor state. Pennsylvania began to clear out Ashtabula County, Trumbull, and Mahoning of gangsters and began evacuating families. On June 1st, 2010 the North Pennsylvanian flag was risen in the ruins of Jefferson. Re-building efforts began immediately, and many of the Ohio refugees have moved back to begin rebuilding their old state. North Pennsylvania eventually incorporated Ohio as a state in 2009, and was to annex more land, but has had to stop halfway through the second county due to trouble in the area.
The First War
North Pennsylvania became involved in the Saguenay War in November of 2009, when attacks on their nearby ally Niagara Falls and after attacks on North Penn Coast Guard ships prompted them to break their neutrality and use hit-and-run tactics to sabotage Lawrence Raider bases in southern Quebec, largely near the ruins of Montreal. Along with the Mercenary Force of Niagara, the North Pennsylvanians sent token troops to fight with the Canadians in the north and the main forces eventually met up with the Canadians and the Celtics and played an important role in the relieving of the Gaspe Peninsula in January and February, acting to prevent reinforcements from the Lawrence Raiders from arriving before being forced south by retreating Superioran and Saguenayan forces. Many North Pennsylvanians were thanked for their service in the Saguenay War by Canada and Celts and some troops were rewarded, most notably Colonel John Hillman, a key player in the Battle of Rivière-du-Loup, received the Medal of Military Valor from Governor General of Canada J. Léonce Bernard and King of the Commonwealth King Andrew the First himself!
Even though they suffered 570 dead, and over 640 wounded, the war was in some ways helpful to North Penn. It helped them build up their military might up, which in turn helped boost the automobile and arms industrial sectors after the war. North Penn now manufacture their own weapons, begun refining jet fuel, and have explored wider automobile manufacturing, unlike before Doomsday where their only military output were military-use only Jeeps. The war also helped them bond ties with the Celtic Alliance and Canada, which are powerful allies for a small North American successor state to have. Since Doomsday they have begun making ties with Europe, such as in the Celtic Alliance and with the ADC in general. They sent their first ambassador to the Nordic Union, who was essentially a tag along of a Canadian ambassador but came along to observe international politics "at its modern day finest".
In recent years, North Penn has become home to a small but prosperous economy. Most of this is thanks to re-establishing the gasoline industry, exploitation of minerals, restarting its mining equipment manufacturing, and last but not least, wood mills. As the power grid was restored in 2000, the nation was able to restore use of its facilities, providing nearby nations and communities with necessities such as railways, canisters, nails, pipes, and to a certain extent firearms.
Disaster At Kinzua Dam
North Pennsylvania's prosperity was seriously harmed on April 3rd, 2012, when the Kinzua Dam mysteriously exploded, flooding the Allegheny River and destroying much of the city of Warren, leaving hundreds dead. Being the primary source of power for the state, it unleashed chaos especially in the areas west of the Allegheny Forest, where authorities lost grip. The Governor Oliver Lobauch declared a state of emergency on April 5th, although the declaration and his actions following it did little or nothing. The military declared martial around two weeks later, which was much more effective, although several road gangs laid siege to several of the southern towns.
While the heart of North Penn was the one damaged by the disaster, it largely went unnoticed in Pennsylvanian New York, whereas in Ohio the largest riot recorded in over 12 years occurred, causing up to 200 deaths in Youngstown.
In early June, North Pennsylvania began to petition other members of the United Communities for assistance, first State College and then the Toledo Confederation, who dispatched around 3000 peacekeepers into the region to begin the rebuilding process. During the rebuilding, calls were made for Governor Lobauch to be impeached as he had done little to control the situation, even from several Toledo peacekeepers themselves. As of August 29th he has officially stated he will not run for reelection in the upcoming September elections.
Besides the damage, this event has had a large political effect on North Penn, as the Democratic Party has lost ground in all but Erie County and the Ohio Territory. The Amish and Mennonites, who do not rely on electricity began preaching to their more liberal urban counterparts that the Destruction of the Dam was a message from God to return to a simpler way of life. This chimed especially with the survivors in Warren, which was ironically the industrial capital and who felt the effects the hardest as all of South Warren as severely damaged by the floods. This has started a grassroots political ideology surrounding a more moderate approach to Amish lifestyle that can be applied to the whole nation. Meanwhile, the Social and Lake Parties gained even more steam in Erie County, stating how in a socialist system the chaos and looting that resulted from the flood never would have happened. Political analysts expect that either the grassroots Amish Party or the Republican Party will win in a landslide vote this upcoming election in September 2012.
2012-2014:Amish Governance and Coup
Following an extensive campaign in the rural areas and in the Pennsylvanian Ohio region, the Amish Party won with a Landslide, taking about 40% of the Senate as well as the Executive Branch. The platform of the Party during the election season resonated with a large chunk of voters, calling for less taxation and a return to a North Pennsylvanian-centered lifestyle, as many a taxpayer had grown wary of the tax dollars which had somehow found their way into projects in other UC member states. The large voter turnout for the Party can also be contributed to a large number of swing votes from liberals calling for less defense spending which had exploded during and after the Saguenay War.
The President-elect, Sam Mullet, was an influential Old Amish community leader and regional politician from Pennsylvanian Ohio who had based large amounts of his governance from Amish tenets, although he had at times was forced to deflect what was initially thought to be a smear campaign regarding allegations ranging from religious intolerance to violence on troublesome voices in the community.
The first eight months of his leadership were characterized for their large spike in employment as well as lowered prices for essentials produced within North Penn. Rather than his Democratic or Republican counterparts, the faith-and-family based platform of his Party called for service to the citizen rather than pursuit of profit. Two prominent Lake and Democratic columnists wrote editorials stating how they were "wrong all this time" and how they expressed doubt whether their own Party coalition would be able to do the same. Even the Amish faith, which had long become splintered due to those who had joined the outside world and the Old Amish, once again leaned towards its fully communalist roots as a whole.
It was in the beginning of 2013, however, that several investigative journalists within the community begun to piece together that the regime did not quite smell right. Right away, the government gained considerable flak for considering to put public money and resources into the repairing of the Kinzua Dam, citing how it had been "God's plan" that it was destroyed. This completely alienated both the pro-business and progressive wings of the populace, citing how quality of life had considerably gone down in several areas after the primary source of electricity was critically damaged. However, this did not stop Mullet from signing a bill subsidizing production of fuel production made from biomass coming from Amish farms. By mid 2013, Sheriff Klamp of Warren County had begun to investigate several reports of vandalism being done to the dam during the late hours of the night. After cooperating extensively with both private eye investigators and the Erie and Crawford Special Police, sufficient evidence was gathered to suggest that the administration had not only been involved in setting back re-construction (done almost entirely through donations and private money), but that the regional government in Pennsylvanian Ohio had become entirely controlled by Mullet affiliations, who had passed an off-the-books motion stating that all public officials must have record of belonging to either the Amish or Mennonite faiths, and that several mobs which had attacked Jewish and non-religious individuals in the community had been partially composed of these elected officials.
With these findings in hand, Klamp went to the Supreme Court of North Pennsylvania to attempt to indict the administration for taking considerable action against personal liberties as well as not upholding its duty to promoting the welfare of the public.
To be continued...