Who was William Penn, and what were his motives for founding Pennysylvania?Add supporting details.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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William Penn (1644-1718) is best known for being the founder and namesake of the province, colony and future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Although Penn was an advocate of democracy and freedom of religion, his initial reasons for voyaging to America were primarily financial. Penn was given a huge piece of American land by the future King James II in 1682, and Penn soon set sail for his new holdings in what is now Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn established New Castle as the capital of the colony and later founded Philadelphia. A Quaker convert, he established a Quaker government, and Pennsylvania became a haven for followers of that religion. This caused the primarily Dutch and Swedish settlers in the southern counties to split off, eventually becoming the colony of Delaware. Penn was one of the richest and most successful of the early colonist leaders, and he was successful at maintaining good relations with the local Lenape Indians.

 

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