Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia¬†(in English Philadelphia, also nicknamed Philly) is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, located in the northeast of the United States, between New York and Washington DC. It is the fifth city in the country by population, Philadelphia County has 1,450,000 residents in its commune (Philadelphia City) and 5,950,000 in its metropolitan area. It is the largest historical, cultural and artistic center in the United States, and in the same way an important industrial port on the Delaware River, which extends to the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1682, it was during the 18th century the most populous city of the Thirteen colonies and the third most populous city in the British Empire (after London and Dublin), before temporarily becoming the capital city of the United States. It was quickly overtaken by New York and gave its capital status to the brand new city of Washington DC Today, Philadelphia is the main metropolis of Pennsylvania, whose capital is Harrisburg, and also the seat of the government of Pennsylvania. The name of the city, chosen by William Penn, means “the city of brotherly love”, as it was desired to be a haven of religious tolerance.¬†See topschoolsintheusa for high school codes in Pennsylvania.

Established in 1682, it is one of the oldest cities in the country, and as the original capital and largest colonial city, it enjoyed greater political and social importance than Boston, Massachusetts, or New York. In 1776, the Continental Congress of the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia and on July 4 of that year, declared independence from Great Britain. Perhaps the most famous citizen of Philadelphia was Benjamin Franklin, writer, scientist, and politician.

The American Revolution

The Carpenters’ Hall hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774

In the 1770s, Philadelphia became one of the major centers of the American Revolution. The Sons of Liberty, an organization of American patriots, were very active in the city: they resisted the fiscal measures imposed by the metropolis and incited the colonists to boycott English merchandise.

Philadelphia was chosen, because of its central position within the Thirteen Colonies, to host the First Continental Congress which met from September 5 to October 26, 1774 in Carpenters’ Hall. The Second Continental Congress lasted between 1775 and 1781, the date of the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. During the war of independence, this assembly organized the continental army, issued paper money, and dealt with the country’s international relations. The delegates signed the Declaration of Dependence on July 4, 1776 In this city. However, in response to the American defeat of Brandywine in 1777, Congress had to leave the city, as well as 2/3 of the population. The residents must have hidden the ” liberty bell “.

Many battles between the US forces commanded by George Washington and the Redcoats. Having conquered the city in September of 1777, the British concentrated 9,000 soldiers in the German district, Germantown. In June of 1778, the British left Philadelphia to protect New York, exposed to the French ships. In July, Congress returned to Philadelphia. A constitutional convention met in the city in 1781 to draft a constitution. This text, organizer of the institutions of the new country, was signed in Independence Hall in September of 1781. It was in Congress Hall that the Bill of Rights was produced in 1790, the first ten sections of the American constitution. The Continental Congress was installed in New York City in 1785, but, under pressure from Thomas Jefferson, it returned to Philadelphia in 1790, which was made the provisional capital of the United States, while Washington DC was being built. Philadelphia ceased to be the capital of the colonies in 1799.

Industrialization

Baldwin Locomotive Works plaque

Philadelphia’s maritime trade was disrupted by the Embargo Act of 1807, which led to the War of 1812 against England. After this event, New York surpassed the city and the port of Pennsylvania.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Philadelphia experienced significant economic growth thanks to its agricultural and mining wealth (coal) present in its territory; the construction of roads, canals and railways allowed the city to maintain its position in the Industrial Revolution. The textile industry, the clothing industry, the metallurgy, the manufacture of paper and railway material, the shipbuilding in shipyards and the agricultural industry were the main industries of the 19th century. Philadelphia was at once a major financial center. During the Civil War, the factories of the city supplied the armies of the Union. Hospitals also played an important role in accommodating many wounded as a result of the conflict.

Due to the mechanization of agriculture in the South of the United States, thousands of African Americans began to migrate north and Philadelphia became one of the privileged destinations of these tributaries. As in other American cities, the years preceding the Civil War were marked by violence against immigrants, such as the anti-Catholic riots of May and June 1884.
The riots of 1844 in Philadelphia

With the Act of Consolidation of 1854, the city of Philadelphia annexed many districts, settlements, and outlying neighborhoods. This decision made it possible to align the city limits with those of the county and improve the management of urban problems. However, the republican municipality continued its corruption and fraud and intimidation in the elections were frequent.

In 1876, Philadelphia was the site of the first universal exhibition organized on American territory (The Centennial International Exhibition for its name in English). It commemorated the first centennial of the American Declaration of Independence and was located above Fairmount Park, near the Schuylkill River. It attracted 9,789,392 visitors.. The vast majority of the exhibition buildings were preserved by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Among the innovations that were shown to the public, we can mention the Alexander Graham Bell telephone, the Remington typewriter, the Heinz Ketchup or even the Root beer.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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