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History of Philadelphia

This information in this article is sponsored by the sexual abuse attorneys in Philadelphia from Abuse Guardian who enjoy providing geographical articles for our readers to learn more about the city in which our law firm resides. 

Early History

The land where Philadelphia sits was originally possessed by the Lenapes, a Native American tribe around the year 8000 B.C. Dutch, English, and Swedish traders founded trading posts in the Delaware Valley region by the early 1600s, and Charles II of England granted William Penn a warrant for what would become the Pennsylvania colony in 1681.

In 1682, William Penn arrived in Philadelphia and signed a peace treaty with the Chief of the Lenape tribe to allow the coexistence between the Native American tribe and colonists. In 1688, A Germantown Petition Against Slavery was initiated after a ship that arrived in Philadelphia in 1684 arrived with hundreds of African slaves, bringing much tension to the Quakers. 

1800's History

Benjamin Franklin, who became the publisher of The Pennsylvania Gazette in 1729, was one of those drawn to the area while Penn's colony flourished and grew both economically and through massive manufacturing capabilities. 

In 1735, the Pennsylvania State House, later known as Independence Hall, hosted the first Assembly meeting. In 1751, state legislators commissioned a big bell with a Biblical inscription for the structure: “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

The founding fathers set the stage to officially declare independence on July 4, 1776, after Philadelphia native Thomas Paine's booklet Common Sense received favorable reviews. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud for the first time in Philadelphia's State House yard.

Throughout the 18 and 19th century, many historical periods took place, such as: 

  • The Revolutionary War; The Battle of Germantown
  • Civil War
  • The First Bank of the United States was established
  • U.S. Constitution was written
  • The Liberty Bell was established
  • The first U.S. Zoo and Centennial Exhibition opened

1900's History

During World War I, the shipbuilding industry in Philly supplied allies with the necessary equipment, all while the city suffered from the Spanish Flu, which caused over 500,000 residents to contract the disease.

Following WWII, new highways made it easier for jobs to get to residential neighborhoods outside of the capital. Philadelphia lost population and employment due to suburbanization and industrial loss, and many of the city's renowned shipyards closed down.

21st Century

The Philadelphia Navy Yard and Center City, for starters, have helped to revitalize the town, which now has a population of over 1.5 million people. The city of Philadelphia is filled with historical significance, making it a prime location for travelers from all over. 

If you'd like to learn more about nearby regions of Philly, head over to our upcoming article on Delaware County.

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(866) 577-2786sexual abuse attorney Philadelphia near city
Brian Kent
Date Published: March 10, 2021
Brian Kent, Esq. is an experienced sexual abuse attorney with a license to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois. Mr. Kent has handled many high profile cases across the country and leads a team of former sex crimes prosecutors who only represent survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking in civil litigation.
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