Government of Pennsylvania

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The Government of Pennsylvania
Drawing of Penn's handwritten law

William Penn believed that there should be no discrimination in his colony based on religious beliefs. He advertised that fact as a strong reason for settlers to come to his new colony. As a result, he drew a wide variety of immigrants from throughout Europe with the widest variety of differing religious beliefs.

The Quaker view of the nature of man was very different than the Puritan view of the nature of man. This had a major effect on how the Puritan's saw government. To the Puritans, the nature of man was evil and therefore, a strong government was needed to control men. To Quakers, man was essentially good and therefore, all should be able to participate in government.

Penn's Quaker belief led him to develop the most democratic government in the colonies. The Pennsylvania government included an upper and lower house. It was the responsibility of the legislature to make all the laws of the colony. Penn's form of government became the model for a democratic government in the rest of the colonies.