| Farming, industry, trading and learning
were all characteristics of colonial Pennsylvania. Thanks
to the abundant farming knowledge of the settlers, farming
was very prosperous during the colonial period. Wheat and
corn were most abundant, but rye, hemp and flax were also
grown. Pennsylvania had an abundance of natural resources
that helped fuel Pennsylvania's industries. Saw and gristmills
were the first to appear using the power of numerous streams.
These streams were also key to the shipbuilding industry,
as well as facilitating trade, which made Philadelphia the
most important center for foreign trade in the colonies by
the time of the Revolution. Iron production, gun manufacturing,
and papermaking were also an integral part of Pennsylvania's
industrial economy. Gun making became especially important
in Lancaster County with the invention of the Pennsylvania
Long Rifle, which become widely distributed and duplicated
by the time of the Revolution. The liberal nature of Philadelphia
enabled the city to become a center for non-denominational
learning. The University of Pennsylvania, originally the College
of Philadelphia, was the only college of its kind in the colonial
period. The academic nature of the city gave rise to such
intellectuals as Benjamin Franklin, John Rittenhouse, John
Bartram and Benjamin West. Pennsylvania also lays claim to
America's first hospital, library and insurance company.
Life in colonial Pennsylvania witnessed downturns as well.
Like the battles between England and France for dominance,
the 1754 -1763 French and Indian War, where Native Americans
joined forces with the French adversely affecting Pennsylvania.
Battles were waged on Pennsylvania's western frontier.
University of California, Santa Barbara
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