William Penn

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Last updated: February 15, 2019

William Penn, born on October 14, 1644, was Absolute Proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania. The province used to be just a colony of English North America. He was also recognized by everybody as a dedicated advocate of religious freedom and democracy. The Lenape Indians were engaged in treaties where William Penn has very good relations with. It was through William Penn that Philadelphia became a better state. It was well-planned, and the execution of the plans was all towards the fast development of the state (Cleveland 369).

William Penn: An OverviewColonies had the tendency to unite during the days when William Penn was still alive. With that, he was one of the first people who showed undying support to colonial unification. It was William Penn who insisted on unification of English colonies. He wrote about it, and with all the tenacity, urged everyone to support colonial unification to come up to what became the United States of America (Baczynski 4).The influence William Penn had to the whole of the United States cannot be underestimated. He set principles of democracy for the Pennsylvania Frames of Government, which, in turn, became a toll where the constitution of the United States of America depended. The United States Constitution highly relied on what William Penn came up with (Baczynski 4).

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Since William Penn was also a good writer. He has written a lot of books during his lifetime. One of the most successful books he wrote included his plan for Europe. He took into high consideration the issues of peace and war. With that, a book entitled “European Dyet, Parliament or Estates” was published. It was a book filled with much information about William Penn’s plan for the United States of Europe, especially the information on how to deal with the problems of peace and war in the continent (Baczynski 4).Early LifeWilliam Penn, Sr., William Penn’s father, met, fell in love and built a family with Margaret Jasper when he was 23 years old.

After Margaret gave birth to William Penn, he immediately conquered the chaos in the Irish Catholic which came about because of their lands were taken away from them. As William Penn was growing, he was already witnessing social injustice and unrest, even though his father was always out on the sea. Entertainment, music and sports in London were clamped down. It was no wonder why William Penn grew up in what was then a very unhealthy and dirty country (Baczynski 5).

He acquired the dreaded disease called pox. He had to wear a wig because the disease caused him to lose all his hair.  Because of this, the whole family was compelled to move to Essex. He grew up in a country life. It was in this estate when he was able to develop his passion for horticulture (Baczynski 5).William Penn attended school at Chigwell School.

He was taught how to read and write by Irish private tutors. After his education at Chigwell School, he moved to Christ Church in Oxford. William Penn’s educational background was very much the same with Sir Isaac Newton; since like Newton, William Penn came from a poor family. The only way he could get an education during that time was that he had to look for a rich sponsor to pay for his school expenses.

He excelled in writing, was always enthusiastic when it came to playing foot racing (Baczynski 6).His father’s mission in the Caribbean was a failure, so the whole family had to leave Essex and move to Ireland. Here, they were all exiled. William Penn was fifteen years old at that time. It was during that same year when he was introduced to a Quaker missionary named Thomas Loe.

The Protestants and the Catholics during this time were maligning the missionary, so the family of Penn accommodated him. Penn considered this a blessing and even felt that the Lord came to visit him in his very own house (Baczynski 6).Cromwell died and the royalists resurged, which brought back Penn and the whole family to England. It was the start of William Penn, Sr.’s career growth. Here, he earned powerful positions in the military (Baczynski 7).Founding PennsylvaniaAs William Penn grew up, more and more problems came.

He has witnessed too many social problems at a very young age. It was indeed an early exposure to the injustice in his environment. Issues in politics, religion and society were starting to consume him, so he decided to appeal to the Duke and the King of England. He proposed to the authorities to merge English Quakers (Soderlund and Dunn 3).A lot of Quakers transferred to North America. Then again, there was still hostility caused by the New England Puritans to the Anglicans in England (who were, at the time, Quakers). Aside from that, there were Quakers found in the Caribbean.

In 1677, Penn, together with the Quakers, bought a part of West New Jersey. It was during this time that Burlington was founded. It didn’t take too long for the Quakers to buy East New Jersey, which signaled the expansion of the settlements (Soderlund and Dunn 3).William Penn appealed to further his region, and soon requested the King to own an even bigger area of the state. He was indeed surprised that his request was granted.

Because of this, William Penn became the biggest landowner in the world. He was able to own over 45,000 acres of land. He owned many lands in Maryland, New York and New Jersey. He was also able to earn sovereign rule of these areas, along with the many privileges and rights that go with owning a big part of the states.

His power, however, did not include declaring war (Soderlund and Dunn 4).Pennsylvania, during that time, was not yet owned by William Penn. It was owned by the Duke of York.

Then again, he acquiesced Pennsylvania. However, the Duke’s lands in Delaware, New Castle and New York all remained to his name. Everything that was mined in Pennsylvania all went under the remittances to the King and the Crown (Soderlund and Dunn 4).William Penn named the place New Wales. He later on changed it to Sylvania because the place was characterized by woods and forests. Sylvania was a Latin term for trees and woods.

The area was already called Pennsylvania as a way to pay tribute to William Penn (Soderlund and Dunn 5).William Penn wrote liberties for the colonies taking place after the Kind confirmed the charter and signed the necessary documents that prove that William Penn has founded Pennsylvania. William Penn made a political utopia that made sure that the jury was always just and fair. He was also an advocate of free elections, and fought against unfair imprisonment. He was a big supporter of the freedom of religion (Soderlund and Dunn 5).The First ConstitutionWilliam Penn wrote the first draft of the first constitution of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania became more developed under William Penn, because after all the education and the experiences he has been through, he was able to prove himself to be a theorician and a deserving scholar.

He was able to handle Pennsylvania perfectly by demonstrating everything that he has learned as a governor, a city planner and a real estate promoter (William Penn, William Penn Tercentenary Committee, and Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction 8).He was also able to reach his goals in his religion. After this, he also aimed to make money out of the state for his family and of course, for his own interest as well. In line with this, he promised to never exploit other people who were residing in Pennsylvania, especially the people who migrated to Pennsylvania and the people who were there for the longest time – the natives.

From there, he continued to be a legacy to Pennsylvania, and in the later years, to the whole world (William Penn, William Penn Tercentenary Committee, Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Instruction 8).

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