The state of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is on the northeastern part and the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The state ranks as the 33rd largest in the country by area and 6th largest by population according to the census of 2010. The state of Pennsylvania is also the 9th most densely populated of all the 50 states in the country, and its most densely populated cities are Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is among the original 13 colonies, and it is the only one out of the 13 that does not touch the Atlantic Ocean. The state of Pennsylvania is bordered by six states: West Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. Pennsylvania is also bordered by Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario.
The state of Ohio lies on the western side of the state of Pennsylvania. The first marker which was put up in 1785 is currently lying permanently under water because of the river’s raised navigational pool, and the East Liverpool historical society owns it. Because the marker point lies under water a monument commemorating the point is found on the state line between Liverpool in Ohio and Ohioville in Pennsylvania. In 1965, the area surrounding the marker was designated as a national historic landmark. The border between the two states also is on the point where the Ohio state route 39 and the Pennsylvanian route 68 starts. The boundary between the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania is the most significant because it marked the beginning of the formal survey of the region of what was known at the time as Northwest Territory and corresponds to the area occupied now by Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The survey was one of the very first and major cadastral surveys undertaken by any country. The border was commonly known as the Ellicott line, derived from the original surveyor Andrew Ellicott who initially surveyed and marked in 1786. Between 1878 and 1882 the two states established a joint boundary commission to generally re-survey the border and make additional monuments which were to be placed approximately 1 mile apart to cover a whole 92 miles borderline.
Maryland borders the state of Pennsylvania on the southern part and the forms part of the Mason Dixon line, which was mapped by Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason between the years 1763 and 1767. The demarcation resolved the border dispute that involved Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. The line is still the demarcation line outlining the part of the borderline on Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware (before 1863 West Virginia was part of Virginia). The line later defined the boundary between the southern US and the northern US. Previous to the Missouri Compromise, the Mason Dixon line, especially to the west of the state of Delaware, demarcated the northern frontier of slavery regions in the US. The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was surveyed again in 1849 and similarly in 1900. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 made the political connotation which gave the Mason-Dixon Line a significant term to the history of slavery. It was at the congressional debates that finally resulted in the compromise when the term Mason-Dixon Line was first used to refer the entire boundary between the Free States and the slave states in the US.
Pennsylvania-New York Border
The state of New York and the state in Pennsylvania share a common border in the northern side of the state of Pennsylvania, and the borderline has three sections. The first section is along the centerline of the Delaware River starting at the tripoint border of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania border. It is located at the confluence of Delaware and the Neversink Rivers at the port of Jervis in New York and stretches to the 42nd parallel north which is located between Hancock and Deposit in New York which is about 1.7 miles down the stream. The second section is across the 42nd, parallel north and stretches to the corner of the Erie triangle, while the third section is the north along the east border of the Erie triangle to the Lake Erie. Between 1785 and 1786 the survey for the 42nd parallel north was carried out and it was accepted by both states of Pennsylvania and New York in 1787. The technique used at the time to survey was not particularly accurate, and therefore the boundary did wander between the two sides of the true parallel.
Pennsylvania-West Virginia Border
The region which is now West Virginia was initially part of Virginia; however, the two regions deferred on several issues. The pioneering mountaineers had settled on the western part, while the aristocrats who owned slaves settled and developed the eastern portion. The westerners wanted to separate from Virginia and the first attempt in 1769 was not successful. After the breakout of the civil war in 1863 Virginia seceded from the union in 1861. However, the westerners decided to remain with the union, and therefore West Virginia was born. Currently, there are no markings on the border between Pennsylvania and Virginia. The western boundary of Pennsylvania in what is shared with West Virginia was established in 1681 and was mapped by William Penn, and he based it on the longitude of the eastern boundary. According to the charter of William Penn the edge to the west of Pennsylvania was expected to reflect the curving boundaries on the east, and therefore the width of the colony was supposed to be a constant 5 degrees in longitude.
The Economy of Pennsylvania
The state of Pennsylvania has a vibrant economy and has a Gross State Product of approximately $408.4 billion in 2001 and personal per capita income of about that $31,998 in 2003. Some of the key sectors in the economy include manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, healthcare, biotechnology, research and consulting, printing and publishing, legal services, transport, warehousing, engineering, management, trucking, and education among others. Some of the manufactured goods from the state of Pennsylvania include fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, glass products, clay, stone, and wood products.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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