WHO ARE THE PENNSYLVANIA GERMANS?
The Pennsylvania Germans or Pennsylvania Dutch – the terms are equivalent – are the descendants of German-speaking emigrants who settled in Pennsylvania beginning in 1683, with the founding of Germantown, and continuing to about 1815 to 1820, the close of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The German emigrants of the later 19th century, including the colorful 48ers, were different in culture and outlook and are properly called "German-Americans." The Pennsylvania Dutch culture that has been developing here for three centuries is a rich mélange of European and American culture traits that combine to form a viable hybrid American culture. This vital American culture is still evident in Pennsylvania and in areas settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch Diaspora in the 18th and 19th centuries. These areas include the Upland South from Western Maryland to the Carolinas; many areas of the Midwest; and parts of Ontario and New Brunswick in Canada.