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Penn's Seed: The Awakening (Full Documentary)

Video from Vision Video

Penn's Seed: The Awakening (Full Documentary)

"Penn’s Seed: The Awakening is a documentary about the life and legacy of William Penn, an early advocate of religious freedom and democracy.

​This film explores the historical contribution of Penn to the foundation of the United States, but more importantly explores how the latent legacy of Penn’s commitment to global peace and religious freedom is emerging in both national and global contexts.

William Penn (1644 –1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and early Quaker. King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to Penn, land which included present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn developed and planned the city of Philadelphia and founded what became the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

​The principles he set forth in crafting the framework of Pennsylvania’s government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. Unlike many others, Penn developed deep relationships and successful treaties with the Native American Lenni Lenape tribe.

​As Penn's vision reappears prominently on the world stage, Global Story Films captures stories in multiple countries. Blending captivating storytelling and interviews with Native Americans, politicians, historians and world leaders, the filmmakers bring the story of William Penn and his “Holy Experiment” to life." from the video introduction

William Penn and his Pennsylvania Colony

William Penn and his Pennsylvania Colony
William Penn and his Pennsylvania Colony

"At the time William Penn acquired his colony of Pennsylvania in 1681, the Lenni Lenape Indians were not the only residents living along the Delaware River. Penn would also have to deal with other European colonists who had been settling in the Delaware Valley for almost fifty years.

Before Penn, the Swedish kingdom, a military power in the early parts of the 17th Century, had founded a colony along the Delaware River and its bay. Trying to keep pace with other European powers colonizing the new world; the Swedes themselves started the New Sweden Company and founded a colony as early as 1637. The Swedes lost their colony to the Dutch in 1654, seventeen years, but not before populating the Delaware Valley with a number of Swedish and Finnish families.

The Dutch had already founded a colony around New Amsterdam, the site of the future city of New York as well colonizing the area along the lower Hudson River Valley. The Dutch also previously made inroads in the Delaware Valley as early as 1651, establishing Fort Casimir at present day New Castle, Delaware.

A recently arrived and newly appointed New Sweden governor, Johan Rising, tried to oust the Dutch from Fort Casimir. While he was easily successful, the plan backfired as the New Amsterdam governor, Peter Stuyvesant, took offense and sent several ships with over three hundred soldiers to attack the Swedes. The Swedes were greatly outnumbered and surrendered the colony to the Dutch without a fight.

Even though conquered, the Swedes were allowed to continue to live as a “Swedish Nation” and had the power to set up thier own courts continue to speak their language and worship as they pleased. The Swedes also could keep their lands, only having to have them re-patented by the Dutch governor. Even though the Dutch ruled the colony, life went on as it had under the New Sweden Colony, which made for friendly relations between the Dutch and Swedish settlers.

The Dutch, however, would not hold the New Sweden colony for long. Four wars fought with England (the Anglo-Dutch Wars) saw the Dutch lose many of her colonies. During the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War (1665-67) the English gained control of New Amsterdam and New Sweden. For a brief time during the 3rd Anglo-Dutch War (1672-74) the Dutch regained control of New Sweden, but only to lose it again for good. By the year 1674 the Delaware Valley would stay in the hands of the English until the American nation was born in 1776.

In 1681, seven years after the English took control of the Delaware Valley William Penn was given his charter for his colony of Pennsylvania. Besides the original Swedish settlers who had been immigrating to the area since the mid 1630’s, there were now also some Dutch who arrived under the Dutch rule, as well as some English who arrived in the interim between the English taking control of the colony and the chartering of Penn’s colony. The need to again re-patent lands arose, as areas that Penn and his people chose to build their new city of Philadelphia were already inhabited..." from the article: William Penn

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