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Pennsylvania was one of the thirteen British colonies that engaged in the North American Rebellion, and was incorporated into the Northern Confederation of the Confederation of North America, where it remains today. Its capital is Philadelphia. It is perhaps most famous as the home of two of the principal fathers of the C.N.A., John Dickinson and Joseph Galloway.

As tensions between Britain and its North American colonies mounted in the early 1770's, Pennsylvania was a center of moderate royalist sentiment. Men like Dickinson and Galloway recognized the legitimate grievances of the colonists against Parliament, but insisted on loyalty to the Crown. Dickinson served in the First and Second Continental Congresses until the Declaration of Independence when he resigned to serve in the Pennsylvania militia. The Rebellion wound to a halt to a large part within the colony, as after Howe took Philadelphia in 1777, Washington retreated to winter quarters in nearby Valley Forge, and the Congress retreated to York where it remained until the articles of armistice were signed in June 1778.

In the first years of Confederation, Pennsylvania prospered as the bread basket of North America, and fully a third of all immigrants to the N.C. in its first decade settled there. While replaced as the social and intellectual capital of North America by New York, Philadelphia eclipsed Boston to take second place in this regard. It was the center of Malcolm McGregor's industrial empire, and farming was joined by manufacturing and iron production in economic importance. Finance, however, remained centered in New York. The financial panic there in 1836 had dire effects on the port of Philadelphia and on Pennsylvania industry, and the province suffered greatly in the disorders of the 1840's.

With the discovery of petroleum near Burgoyne by Benjamin Stilton in 1855, production and refining of oil became a third pillar of the Pennsylvania economy. The Pennsylvania Petroleum company, founded by John Rockefeller in 1875, soon came to dominate the industry in the C.N.A. in the form of the Consolidated Petroleum of North America trust.