William Penn, founder of the English North American province of Pennsylvania, believed strongly in democracy and religious freedom. Penn was born in London on October 14, 1644 to Admiral William Penn and Margaret Jasper. Penn studied at Oxford University in England where he was greatly influenced by Puritans, a type of religion. However, due to his rejection of the beliefs of the Church of England, he was expelled and later attended the Inns of Court, a school based on the study of law.
William Penn was interested in the Quaker world and took interest into understanding their ways. Penn took enjoyment in his beliefs and converted to Quakerism at the age of 22. He wrote a lot about the unfairness of bullying including his political views against the mistreatment of Quakers.
Under William Penn’s leadership, Philadelphia, a large city in Pennsylvania, was planned and developed. Penn supported the idea of a Union of all the English colonies in what later became the United States of America. Penn made major contributions in making sure that women were treated with the same rights as men.
In several ways Pennsylvania was the most successful English Colony. Before becoming a state in 1787 it signed peace treaties with Indians in 1683. Penn was known for getting along with Indians and understanding their situation.
Penn died at Ruscombe, Berkshire on July 30, 1718. Six years earlier he suffered from a stroke that made it hard for him to move and be involved within society.