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Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region under their colonial charters until 1780, when they agreed under a federal initiative to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier.The British and colonial force were defeated at Braddock's Field.

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Settlers came via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the Great Lakes.

Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) at the source of the Ohio River became the main base for settlers moving into the Northwest Territory.

The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center.

British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Major George Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne.

The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers.

The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.

Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785.

The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered.

During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off.

The French built Fort Duquesne based on La Salle's 1669 claims.

Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough".