Pennsylvania rose to a position of prominence in early American history when the city of Philadelphia was chosen as the nation’s first capital. This decision was largely the result of the city's position near the geographic center of the original 13 colonies. Pennsylvania’s abundant deposits of coal and petroleum made Pennsylvania the leading state for energy production. Thanks to this thriving energy industry, the city of Pittsburgh also became the nation’s leader in steel production during the early 20th century. The Great Depression had disastrous effects on the steel industry and sparked rampant unemployment throughout Pennsylvania. Today Pennsylvania is home to thriving real estate, financial services, and tourism businesses. While not as prominent as it once was, steel is still one of the state’s top exports and a critical component of the economy.

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