Philadelphia


Philadelphia
/fil'euh del"fee euh/, n.
a city in SE Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River: Declaration of Independence signed here July 4, 1776. 1,688,210.

* * *

City (pop., 2000: 1,517,550) and port, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S., at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.

The site was occupied by the Delaware Indians before William Penn founded the city in 1682. It was the capital of Pennsylvania 1683–1799 and the capital of the U.S. between 1790 and 1800. It played a prominent role in opposing British policies and was the site of the first and second Continental Congresses, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention. The population grew in the 18th century, with many immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. It was the largest and most important city of the U.S. in the 19th century and a centre of the antislavery movement. In 1876 it was the site of the U.S. Centennial Exposition. It is also the site of the U.S.'s oldest art museum (the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805) and the first U.S. hospital (the Pennsylvania Hospital, founded in 1751). It is the largest city in the state and a centre of commerce, finance, industry, and culture. Its numerous educational institutions include the University of Pennsylvania.

* * *

      city, seat (1833) of Neshoba county, east-central Mississippi, U.S., and headquarters of the Choctaw Indian Agency, 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Jackson. It was settled on an old Native American site, Aloon Looanshaw, following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830) and named for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The agency was established in 1918, and the majority of the state's several thousand Choctaw live in the vicinity. The Choctaw run a comprehensive elementary and secondary school system on reservation land just west of the city. In 1963 civil-rights activist Medgar Evers (Evers, Medgar) was killed in front of his home in Philadelphia. The following year the city again received national attention when three civil-rights workers, murdered during a voter-registration drive, were found buried nearby. The city's manufactures include textiles, electric motors, automotive parts, and lumber products. The Choctaw Indian Fair is an annual summer event. Nanih Waiya State Park, home to a sacred Choctaw Indian mound, is northeast of the city. Inc. 1906. Pop. (1990) 6,758; (2000) 7,303.

Introduction
 city and port, coextensive with Philadelphia county, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S. It is situated at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. Area 135 square miles (350 square km). Pop. (2000) city, 1,517,550; Philadelphia MD, 3,849,647; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA, 5,687,147; (2007 est.) city, 1,449,634; Philadelphia MD, 3,887,694; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA, 5,827,962.

Character of the city
 Philadelphia has been described both as the elegant but rather jaded great lady and as the overage and sickly spinster of American cities. A more realistic look at Philadelphia, however, shows it to be a very modern and vigorous city, arising in gracious counterpoint to the deep serenity of an older city that has provided gentle but firm intellectual, economic, and humanitarian direction to the nation at whose birth it played midwife.

      Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the United States and the largest in Pennsylvania, displays many characteristics of a small town. Its many trees, parks and other open spaces, and its quiet pace of life reflect in various ways the genteel Quaker heritage bestowed on the city by its founder, William Penn (Penn, William). Nearly everywhere are dignified reminders of the colonial and Revolutionary city and of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Benjamin), a Philadelphian by adoption, who left his imprint on innumerable ongoing institutions, both cultural and commercial, in the city.

      Beneath this facade, however, Philadelphia represents an urban cluster of national and international stature. Its place in history was secured by its role as the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the constitutional convention of 1787, and second U.S. national capital. The Port of Philadelphia and Camden, one of the largest freshwater ports in the world, is the major element in the official agglomeration of Delaware River ports, collectively one of the busiest shipping centres in the world. The enormous industrial production of the city and the surrounding metropolitan area represents a continuation of Philadelphia's early leadership in the Industrial Revolution and in American commerce and finance generally. Lying in the midst of the vast urban community stretching down the Eastern Seaboard, Philadelphia is an integral part of the vibrant fabric of contemporary social and economic life as well as a tranquil oasis joining together the spirit of America, past and present.

The landscape

The city site
      Philadelphia's gently rolling site extends from the Delaware on the east across the Schuylkill (Schuylkill River) and beyond. The coextensive boundaries of Philadelphia city and county remain essentially as defined by the Consolidation Act of 1854.

The city layout
      The grid of streets in central Philadelphia, the first U.S. city to be so arranged, follows the original plans of William Penn. Midway between the two rivers, Penn Square, occupied by City Hall, is the centre of the plan. The building itself, opened on January 1, 1901, is one of the city's great monuments and is the largest example of French Second Empire architecture in the United States. City Hall contains 700 rooms and 250 architectural reliefs and sculptures by Alexander Milne Calder (Calder, Alexander), including a 37-foot, 27-ton statue of William Penn (Penn, William) that stands atop the building's main tower; the tip of his hat— almost 549 feet above ground level, or approximately 33 stories—was for some 90 years the highest point in the city, by an unwritten “gentleman's agreement.” Four shady, fountained squares—Logan, Franklin, Washington, and Rittenhouse—dot the quadrants. Westward from Penn Square along John F. Kennedy Boulevard is Penn Center, and the long stretch of Broad Street, north and south of Penn Square, has been called the Avenue of the Arts because of its numerous cultural attractions. The multilevel complex comprises high-rise offices and hotels, with interior courts and malls and underground walkways lined with shops and restaurants.

      Benjamin Franklin Parkway provides a splendid vista as it cuts diagonally northwestward from Penn Square through the grid, encircling Logan Square and leading into Fairmount Park. The nation's largest landscaped park within city limits and the centre of the Centennial Exposition of 1876, Fairmount is one of the most frequent foregrounds for photographs of Philadelphia's skyline, adding to the city's reputation for shaded, sculpted elegance. Once a section of outlying estates of the wealthy, the park contains many fine old mansions maintained by the city as museums. Through it winds the narrow valley of Wissahickon Creek, whose rugged beauty has inspired generations of poets and painters.

      The oldest sections of Philadelphia—Southwark, Society Hill, and the Independence Hall area—lie to the east, along and inland from the Delaware. Southwark is the oldest, having been settled by Swedes in 1643. Those of its ancient and dilapidated houses that have escaped bulldozing for riverfront expressways resemble the edifices of Society Hill before its restoration began in the 1950s. This latter area contains some of the city's finest old houses, taverns, and churches, though some high-rise apartment buildings strike a dissonant note in the hearts of many Philadelphians.

  Independence National Historical Park, established in 1956 and designated a World Heritage Site in 1979, contains Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were created, and many other buildings used by the Revolutionary and early federal governments. In 2001, the Independence Visitor Center opened in the park, and in 2003, the new Liberty Bell Center was opened to house the famous bell. Nearby, Elfreth's Alley, dating from 1702, contains 33 houses that make up the oldest continuously inhabited street in the country. Included in the complex are Carpenters' Hall, site of the meeting of the First Continental Congress, and Philosophical Hall, home of the American Philosophical Society. Also nearby is the National Constitution Center, which was opened on July 4, 2003, to promote the better understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

      Throughout these areas and elsewhere, domestic architecture is characterized primarily by two- and three-story red-brick structures fronting directly on the sidewalks and containing impressive examples of colonial design both outside and inside. The Philadelphia Historical Commission has certified about 7,500 buildings and structures, ranging from 17th-century houses to a bridge constructed in 1950. Restoration of the old but habitable has been more characteristic than wholesale demolition and rebuilding throughout most of the city. Even in its downtown section, Philadelphia continues to be a city of shops rather than of huge merchandising outlets. It has nothing approaching New York City's Fifth Avenue as a street of large stores. Pine and other streets are noted for such specialties as antique shops, and Chestnut Street contains many smaller shops along with a Lord & Taylor department store on the site of the former Philadelphia institution, Wanamaker's. South Street is a popular night spot with shops, restaurants, and theatres, connecting Headhouse Square, a renovated colonial market place, and Penn's Landing.

      For most of the 20th century the major features of the skyline were the massive contours of the city's many banking and financial institutions. In 1987, a change was signalled by the completion of the first of a number of new skyscrapers (skyscraper) that redefined the skyline of Philadelphia and formed part of the construction boom that took place during the 1990s and early 2000s.

      The long stretches of Philadelphia north, south, and west of the intersection of Broad and Chestnut streets, a city hub of sorts just below Penn Square, contain numerous distinctive sections, often identified for generations with various ethnic groups that have filled the city during its long history. Among the more interesting is the Germantown section of North Philadelphia, settled in Penn's time by Germans and the home in the 18th century of wealthy Philadelphians fleeing the periodic yellow-fever epidemics of the riverside city. North Philadelphia has a large African American and Puerto Rican community. South Philadelphia contains sections, notably Italian and Irish, settled by European immigrants mainly in the 19th century as well as a large African American section.

The people
      Though Philadelphia has had most of the characteristics of an ethnic and racial melting pot nearly from its start, it lacks the steaming hurly-burly visible everywhere in its behemoth neighbour, New York City, about 90 miles (150 km) northeast. Philadelphians by and large are not a street people, and their orientation has been so traditionally toward the home that the city became known as a “city of homes.” Philadelphians are also great joiners, giving the city more social and other clubs than any other in America. Many of these are based in ethnic neighbourhoods, others are city wide, and still others serve the affluent “Main Liners” who reside in the plush suburbs that grew up in past centuries along the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad (now Amtrak).

      Much of this tradition dates from Philadelphia's early years, from the beliefs and attitudes not only of the Quakers but also of such German pietist sects as the Mennonites (Mennonite), who stressed personal religious experience rather than institutionalized formulations. A basic sobriety underlying these tenets led to many stringent laws that remain in both the city and state. On the other hand, these groups strove for tolerance in all matters. Pennsylvania was among the few colonies admitting Roman Catholics and Jews, and the Quakers long were leaders in seeking justice and the alleviation of inhumanity in racial and other human relations. Philadelphia still has innumerable small, endowed charities of Quaker origin to provide the poor with fuel or food—as well as one of the oldest and strongest municipal commissions on human relations.

 During the 1800s the Protestant sects were joined by Roman Catholics, initially Irish and German and later Italian, Polish, and Slavic. Eastern European Jews also immigrated, eventually comprising a significant portion of the city's population. Cultural conflicts and competition for housing and jobs created tensions between the old stock groups and the new arrivals. A series of anti-Catholic nativist riots (riot) rocked Philadelphia in the Jacksonian period, with an especially violent riot in 1844; Catholics gradually gained acceptance, and two Philadelphia Catholics, the immigrant St. John Neumann (Neumann, Saint John) and the native born St. Katharine Drexel (Drexel, Katharine, Saint), were canonized. Although immigrants came to Philadelphia in the hundreds of thousands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city had a relatively low proportion of foreign-born when compared with other major cities at that time. Some Irish, Italian, Polish, and Jewish newcomers did find opportunities for considerable economic advancement in Philadelphia; for many, however, hopes never materialized and progress toward full acceptance was slow.

      Philadelphia has been the focal point of one of the historically most important black communities in the nation. During the early national and antebellum periods, many black leaders came from or centred their activities in Philadelphia, and the free black community there was intensely involved in many efforts to abolish slavery, assist fugitive slaves, and advance the general social and economic well-being of blacks. In 1833, the American Anti-Slavery Society was organized in the city. Between 1829 and 1860, however, the Philadelphia black community was victimized by several antiblack mob actions. At the beginning of the 20th century Philadelphia was the site of the largest black community of any northern city. The migration of Southern-born blacks to the city continued to augment the city's black population throughout the first half of the 20th century. Discrimination in housing resulted in the creation of overcrowded black districts, but activists including the Rev. Leon Sullivan, perhaps best known for the Sullivan Principles and work against apartheid in South Africa, struggled to overcome these problems. By the late 20th century about 40 percent of all Philadelphians and well over 50 percent of the public school population were black. The suburbs, by contrast, were about 95 percent white.

The economy

Industry
      Many of Philadelphia's business enterprises were established in the 1700s, but the city's economy has changed greatly. Such old and once-dominant industries as textile mills met stiff competition from the South and from abroad. Industry was given a boost by World War II but began to decline later; thousands of jobs were lost in the 1960s. Nonmanufacturing and service industries, however, continue to increase employment and now dominate the economy. High-technology industries such as communications, computer software, and Internet commerce became important in the late 20th century. Printing and publishing and food processing are major factors in the modern economy. Manufactures include chemicals, industrial machinery, fabricated metal products, electronics, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, apparel, paper products, rubber and plastic products, and primary metals. A decline has been evident in the migration of both people and businesses from the city to the suburbs. The Valley Forge area, best known as a Revolutionary War historic site, has become a nest of business and industrial locations. Much of this relocation is under the sponsorship of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

      One of the mainstays of the economy in Philadelphia and much of eastern Pennsylvania from before the birth of the nation was the naval yard, which employed tens of thousands of workers in its prime. Ship building emerged as an important part of the economy in the late 18th century, and the Continental Congress commissioned five ships from Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. A naval shipyard was opened in 1801 by an act of Congress of 1799, and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard became one of the most important production sites for the navy. During World War II some 50 new ships were built there and hundreds more were repaired. Ship production continued over the next several decades, but the navy's needs changed, and the duties of the yard gradually turned to repair and overhaul. In 1991, the Defense Base Closure Commission recommended that the shipyard be closed, and the yard received its final commission, which was completed in 1995. The yard closed in 1996. Efforts were made to keep the yard going even before it closed, and in 1997 an agreement was reached with a major Norwegian shipbuilder. Ship production began again in 2000, and the first ship built at the new Kvaener Philadelphia Shipyard was completed on March 2003.

      George Washington approved the first U.S. patent in 1790, to a Philadelphian named Samuel Hopkins for a better way of making potash. In today's economy research and invention are keys to progress. In West Philadelphia is located the Science Center, a nonprofit project of more than 30 academic and scientific institutions with a multimillion-dollar commitment to research. Dupont, Rohm and Haas, and Lockheed Martin are other large concerns with extensive research programs within the metropolitan area. The region is one of the country's largest health education and research centres; several major biotechnology companies, many specializing in pharmaceuticals, have research facilities there. A major milestone in the computer age was born out of experiments at the University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, University of), where the ENIAC computer was launched in 1945. A unit of the Boeing Company at Ridley Park is one of the world's most advanced plants for helicopter research and design.

      The unique Food Distribution Center, a nonprofit corporation managed by a board of directors representing city government and private enterprise, is a prime example of how Philadelphia has joined the work of the private and public sectors to serve the best interests of both. Covering more than 400 acres (160 hectares), it is a food-industry park handling in a unified operation every food-marketing facility from ripening bananas to smoking fish; it is composed of more than 100 stores plus warehousing and processing plants.

Finance
      From its early days until the 1850s, Philadelphia was the financial capital of the United States, but it lost this position to New York City. It was the birthplace of American banking, and the first building and loan association was founded there. Philadelphia also supplies the stock and exchange services demanded by modern business. The Philadelphia Commercial Exchange was set up in 1868 as an outgrowth of the older Corn Exchange Association of 1863 to regulate the then-flourishing grain and flour trade. The Philadelphia Bourse was organized in 1891, and the Maritime Exchange was founded in 1875. Philadelphia has the oldest stock exchange (founded in 1790) in the United States. The Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington Stock Exchange was joined by Pittsburgh in 1969 and in 1976 was renamed the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. A U.S. Mint is located within the city.

Transportation
      One of the first subway systems in the United States was established in the city in 1907 and remains a centrepiece of public transportation in Philadelphia. A complex system of public and private trolley and bus lines was consolidated in 1963 by the state legislature's creation of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to plan, develop, and coordinate a regional transportation system and to fund projects by the sale of bonds. Express buses provide rapid service between the inner and outer city. A high speed rail line connects Philadelphia with nearby communities in New Jersey and a ferry and rail line link the city with the renovated waterfront in Camden, New Jersey.

      A joint New Jersey–Pennsylvania bridge commission operates 7 toll and 13 tax-supported bridges over the Delaware north of the city. Two of these are solely for pedestrian use. The Schuylkill is bridged at a number of points and has a subway tunnel. The Delaware River Port Authority administers the Ameriport Intermodal Rail Facility, the Port of Philadelphia and Camden, a ferry service, the PATCO high-speed transit line, and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Betsy Ross, and Commodore Barry bridges over the Delaware. The authority has also carried out major improvement and expansion programs throughout the entire port area. Philadelphia International Airport is less than 7 miles (11 km) from the city centre.

Administration and society

Government
      The city-county consolidation in 1854 was a result of the inability of a colonial-type government by committees to adapt to the needs of a growing city for new public services, e.g., better streets, police, transportation, sanitation, and schools. Ironically, Philadelphia had, in fact, led most cities in providing urban improvements, but they were too few and too slow, and the breakdown of law and order in the 1840s forced changes. Until the early 1950s the standard type of U.S. city government prevailed in Philadelphia, comprising an elected mayor and a city council elected from among candidates presented by the political parties in the political divisions, or wards. As in other large cities, this form was subject to pressures for special favours, such as street-railway franchises and public-works contracts; bribery and corruption were both inevitable and rampant.

      The reform movement that began in 1939 was joined in 1948 by top business and financial leaders, who organized the Greater Philadelphia movement, and together they took up the battle for an entirely new city charter. This document effectively removed the city council from its administrative role and increased the staff and powers of the mayor. A strong civil-service commission improved professional employment. The council, 7 of whose members were elected by all the voters and 10 by districts, was to review and approve taxes and budgets and enact ordinances. Philadelphia thus had the first modern big-city charter in the United States; its approval by a two-to-one popular vote made it an expression of the desire of Philadelphians for better, more efficient, and honest city government.

      The first mayors under the new charter were Joseph S. Clark and Richardson Dilworth, men devoted to making it work. From wealthy Republican families, both were lawyers who revolted against the corruption and inefficiency of city government and became Democrats. Men of the highest qualifications were selected for key positions, planning was made a virtue, and a $150,000,000 plan was launched at once for improvements in sewerage and sanitation, playgrounds, lighting and streets, police and fire protection, and other basic services long neglected. The ambitious plan for a Penn Center involved removal of the old Pennsylvania Railroad “Chinese Wall” of overhead tracks, which ran into the heart of the city at Broad Street, and replacing it and the Broad Street Station.

      Renewal planning gave close attention to the need for better housing. The Philadelphia Housing Authority and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, with federal and private aid, approached Philadelphia's housing in terms of improving neighbourhoods rather than total clearance followed by new high-rise apartments. Affected areas included the Independence Hall area, neighbouring Society Hill, and the historic waterfront.

Municipal services
      Though the Philadelphia metropolitan area has a per capita income that is the highest of any such area in the state, a large percentage of Philadelphians live below the poverty level. City, state, and federal agencies administer a full range of ameliorative social-service programs. A department of public health operates a variety of services through a number of health districts. With its Quaker tradition, Philadelphia is known for its humanitarian concern and has a great variety of privately supported child-care, hospitals, and other social services.

Education
      Philadelphia's public school system is an independent governmental unit operating under a board of education appointed by the mayor on the recommendation of a citizens' nominating panel. Private education is well represented in the city and includes numerous Roman Catholic and Quaker Friends schools. The city and surrounding area boast one of the highest concentrations of institutions of higher learning in the country, and the most prestigious of these institutions is the privately endowed University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, University of), which was founded in 1740, opened the nation's first medical school (1765), and was the first designated “university” in the United States (1779). Temple University (1884) has acquired the reputation of “the people's college” and is known for work in the arts and social sciences. Among the many Roman Catholic colleges and universities are LaSalle University and St. Joseph's University. Drexel University is the region's premier institution of technology and engineering and maintains one of the largest cooperative education programs in the country. Liberal arts colleges such as Haverford (1833), Swarthmore (1864), and Bryn Mawr (1885), as well as Villanova University (1842) are located in the suburbs. Philadelphia is also a centre for medical education, with several general schools and specialized schools in pharmacy, podiatry, optometry, and osteopathy. The Curtis Institute of Music (1924) is a leading music school, while the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1805) is the oldest art school in the United States.

Cultural life
 Much of the essence of Philadelphia lies in the features described previously—its small-town atmosphere, its parks and tree-shaded downtown squares and streets, and its innumerable memorials to the American past (which served as focal points for the centennial and bicentennial celebrations of 1876 and 1976), as well as its teeming riverside and factories and its diverse business institutions. There are other factors as well that contribute in their way to an understanding of Philadelphia's culture, considered in its broadest implications to comprise the lifestyles of its people.

      In addition to Fairmount Park, Philadelphia has Pennypack Park in the northeast, a semiwilderness setting with bridle paths, bird-watching trails, and an abundance of deer and other wildlife. More than 100 other parks are located throughout the city.

      Philadelphians have always been a sports-loving group, whether passive or participatory, though professional teams have always been the object, like the city itself, of a good-natured deprecation that is tolerated in residents but not in strangers. Devoted sports fans support teams in each of the major professional sports leagues, including the Eagles (gridiron football), Phillies (baseball), 76ers (basketball) and Flyers (hockey). As part of the great construction boom of the 1990s and 2000s, new stadiums for football, baseball, and hockey and basketball were built. Philadelphia is also the site of one college sports' great traditions, the annual Army-Navy football game. Fox hunting in the surrounding countryside is of old Quaker origins. The Schuylkill (Schuylkill River) is a major rowing site for collegiate and other individuals and crews and the location of Boathouse Row, one of Philadelphia's most distinctive sites. Germantown harbours remnants of a once-lively citywide enthusiasm for cricket.

      In colonial days Philadelphia was known as the “Athens of America,” and it retains a high place in the artistic achievement of the nation. The Academy of Music, opened in 1857, is the oldest grand opera house in the country still used for its original purpose and is the former home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which is among the finest orchestras of the world and was among the first to broadcast and make recordings. The orchestra now performs at the Kimmel Center, which opened in 2001. At Fairmount Park are two facilities—the Mann Music Center, which presents classical and popular music and dance, and the Robin Hood Dell, which presents popular music.

      Philadelphia was the nation's theatrical (theatre, Western) centre until well after the Revolution, its stages having hosted the greatest players of Europe and America. The Walnut Street Theatre, opened in 1809, is the oldest playhouse in active use in the English-speaking world. The Playhouse in the Park opened in 1952 as the first city-owned and city-operated theatre of its kind.

      Philadelphia was a pioneer in museums of all kinds. Charles Willson Peale (Peale, Charles Willson)'s museum was housed in Independence Hall in the 1800s, but the art museums are now led by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. One of the world's great museums, it houses priceless collections of Western art from the Middle Ages to the modern era, including numerous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, and of art from south and east Asia. Others include the Rodin Museum, featuring the largest collection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin (Rodin, Auguste) outside of Paris. The Atwater Kent Museum is the city's history museum, housing the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's collection of more than 10,000 objects and 800 paintings, featuring works by Benjamin West (West, Benjamin), John Singleton Copley (Copley, John Singleton), Gilbert Stuart (Stuart, Gilbert), the four Peales, and other early American painters. The output of visual artists in Philadelphia and vicinity has been by and large conservative, though Thomas Eakins (Eakins, Thomas) gained fame for work beyond his American contemporaries, Andrew Wyeth achieved much popular acclaim, and Mary Cassatt (Cassatt, Mary) was among the few women in the Impressionist school of the late 19th century. The Calder family produced three generations of sculptors, including Alexander Stirling Calder (Calder, Alexander), the originator of the mobile.

      Other museums include the Academy of Natural Sciences, the oldest of its kind in the United States; the Franklin Institute Science Museum, full of marvelous things that move and can be moved; and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, a major feature of the University of Pennsylvania. Among the newer museums in Philadelphia are the African American Museum and the Mummers Museum, both established in 1976, and the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing. There also are many small museums housed in restored buildings throughout the city.

      One of the city's most popular attractions is the Philadelphia Zoo (Philadelphia Zoological Gardens). The oldest zoo in the country, founded in 1874, it attracts large crowds throughout the year to see its 1,600 specimens representing 400 species. It has long been a leader in research and includes specialized outdoor exhibits dedicated individually to wolves, bears, and the animals of the African plains.

History

Foundation and early settlement
 William Penn (Penn, William) acquired the province of Pennsylvania in 1681 from King Charles II of England as a place where his fellow Quakers (Friends, Society of) could enjoy freedom of worship and a chance to govern themselves and develop their own way of life. The king made the grant, signed on March 4, 1681, and proclaimed it a few weeks later, on April 2, partly to settle a debt owed to Penn's father, Adm. Sir William Penn, upon his death and also to complete the settlement of the Middle Atlantic region with Englishmen. Penn sent his cousin William Markham to take charge of affairs of government and also to lay out the city Penn named Philadelphia, city of “brotherly love,” the name symbolizing his idealistic concepts. From England, Penn wrote in 1681 asking that “the Rivers and Creeks be sounded on my side of the Delaware River…in order to settle a great Towne, and be sure to make your choice where it is most navigable, high, dry, and healthy.” He wanted every house to be placed in the middle of its own plot to provide ground about it “that it may be a greene Country Towne, which will never be burnt, and always be wholesome.”

      Penn arrived in 1682 but had little chance to enjoy his city. He was forced to travel to England in 1684 and was unable to return until 1699. By then, Philadelphia was a flourishing town with many shops and trading houses, as well as several hundred dwellings and about 10,000 people clustered close to the riverfront. Penn's governor declared the city already was the equal of New York “in trade and riches.” Penn's policies throughout the colony of religious toleration and the right of the people to take part in the government, in addition to growing prosperity, soon began to attract thousands of English, German, and Scotch-Irish settlers, and most came by way of Philadelphia.

 Philadelphia by the 1770s had grown to at least 30,000 persons in the central city, and it was the third most important business centre in the British Empire, overshadowed only by Liverpool and London. This position was due in large measure to the city's site at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, which provided the city access to inland farm regions and to the coal and ore resources that supplied the early iron industry.

      A visitor in 1756 wrote that “Everybody in Philadelphia deals more or less in trade,” a tribute not merely to Philadelphia's location but also to the shrewd business talents of the Quaker merchants. A large and profitable system of triangular trade involved foodstuffs and wood products, such as lumber and barrel staves, that went from Philadelphia to the West Indies and there were exchanged for sugar, rum, and other West Indian products. These were carried to English ports, where they in turn were exchanged for English manufactures to be brought back to Philadelphia. The prosperous farm country of interior Pennsylvania supplied the Philadelphia merchant with goods for the West Indies, and a profitable coastal trade existed with other colonies and directly with England. By the 1750s Philadelphians had invested heavily in the flourishing charcoal-iron industry. Anthracite coal became an important mineral resource of Pennsylvania 100 years later, and the Philadelphia capital played a leading part in this industry as well as in the mining of bituminous coal farther to the west. Philadelphia continued its leadership in foreign commerce until about 1810, when New York City, with an even more advantageous location, took over this position. Philadelphia surrendered its position as financial capital of the nation in the 1850s.

      Shipyards had flourished along the Delaware since colonial days. Most of what came to the city was raw material for manufacture, and Philadelphia became a major centre of the early Industrial Revolution in the United States. In 1785 Oliver Evans (Evans, Oliver) invented the first gristmill operated entirely by mechanical power. The city was a pioneer in textile manufacturing and took the raw iron from inland furnaces and made it into tools and implements, such as saws, huge iron castings for cotton-mill machinery, and the first American-built steam locomotives. By 1860 the value of Philadelphia's manufactures ran into several hundred million dollars, about 30 percent of the national total. Textiles, ships, iron products, leather, refined sugar, and boots and shoes were leaders, giving important aid to the Union in the Civil War.

The growth of the city
Cultural dominion
      Prosperity was translated into personal and community wealth, and with these social and economic advantages Philadelphia assumed early leadership in the arts, in science, and in culture. Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Benjamin), who as a young man had migrated from Boston to Philadelphia, became an American leader in scientific and intellectual affairs. Philadelphia had the nation's first free library, its first hospital, and its first learned society, the American Philosophical Society—all founded by Franklin. Along with Franklin, there were men such as Benjamin Rush, the great physician, and David Rittenhouse, an astronomer, mathematician, inventor, and early Philadelphia aristocrat, and many others. The city excelled in printing and publishing: by 1776 there were 23 printers and newspapers with circulations of from 500 to 3,000 copies. Fine private and public buildings were erected. One of them was Andrew Hamilton's Independence Hall, originally—and still—better known by Philadelphians as “the statehouse.” Led by Benjamin West, Charles Willson Peale, and Gilbert Stuart, oil painting flourished in the colonial and Federal periods.

 The city's strategic location near the midpoint of colonial settlement and its important status as a vital political, economic, and cultural centre—as well as concern that Pennsylvania might not favour the Revolution—brought to Philadelphia the delegates who formed the First Continental Congress in 1774 and a year later the Second Continental Congress, which proclaimed the Declaration of Independence and governed throughout the Revolution. The city and its region were the focus of several important events during the war for independence (American Revolution), including battles of Germantown and Brandywine and the bitter winter encampment at Valley Forge. Philadelphia itself was occupied for a time by the British Army, and the Continental Congress was forced to flee the city for nearby York. The Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 and framed the federal Constitution, and the city served as the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800.

Political evolution
      Reflecting its opposition to slavery, Philadelphia emerged as a leading Republican (Republican Party) city and hosted the first Republican national convention in 1856. Following the Civil War, Pennsylvania fell into the hands of Philadelphia-based Republican political machines that, like their counterparts (usually Democratic) in other cities, were becoming increasingly sophisticated in methods of manipulating the political processes, especially through the newer immigrant groups, and profiting from the economic life of the state and city. They were instrumental in electing governors and U.S. senators, and, in the Depression years of the 1930s, the hard-hit city refused aid from the Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. Powerful bankers and industrial and business leaders, living for the most part outside the city, favoured this form of government because it kept taxes low, imposed little or no regulation on business, and maintained an aura of social calm through benign neglect or quiet but forceful repression.

The 20th century
 In about 1900 Philadelphia had been described as “corrupt but content,” a status quo that Philadelphians were indeed content with until 1939, when a group known as the Young Turks and influenced by the nationwide New Deal of the Democratic Party began to agitate for charter reform and a city planning commission; the Democrats would eventually dominate politics in the city and most mayors in the second half of the 20th century were members of that party. Women and blacks were brought into the city's political life for the first time. In spite of continued machine domination of the city, the group began to realize its goals with a “Better Philadelphia Exhibition” in 1947, a coalition of top business and financial leaders the following year, and a new charter in 1951. Under the leadership of Joseph S. Clark, Jr., elected in 1951, the city was entering a period of physical and political rebuilding, although racial conflicts and a steady decline in the urban population loomed ahead.

      During the late 1960s Philadelphia, like other major American cities, was shaken by race riots. This led, in 1971, to a backlash in the election of Frank Rizzo, a tough former police commissioner oriented toward “law and order,” as mayor. In 1979, however, Philadelphians turned toward more moderate rule by rejecting the attempt of Rizzo to alter the city charter and thereby win permission to seek a third term. In 1983 the city elected its first black mayor, W. Wilson Goode, whose first administration was marred by the 1985 MOVE tragedy (a stand-off between a radical group and police that led to the bombing of the MOVE compound, the burning of the surrounding neighborhood, and the death of 11 people, including 5 children). Goode was re-elected, however, and subsequent mayors included the future governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell and the former activist John Street.

Additional Reading

General
Robert H. Wilson, Official Handbook for Visitors: Philadelphia, 300th anniversary ed. (1982), a city guide; Philadelphia Magazine, a periodical that often features a sharply critical and satirical approach; and Karen Ivory, Philadelphia Off the Beaten Path (2003).

Historical works
Jean R. Soderlund et al. (eds.), William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania, 1680–1684: A Documentary History (1983); and Carl Bridenbaugh and Jessica Bridenbaugh, Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (1942, reprinted 1978), offer extremely good pictures of colonial and Revolutionary times and people; Brooke Hindle, The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735–1789 (1956, reprinted 1974), an excellent source for early science in Philadelphia; Grant Miles Simon, Historic Philadelphia: From the Founding Until the Early Nineteenth Century (1953), a study in depth; Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (quarterly), the prestigious journal of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (well indexed); Russell F. Weigley, Nicholas B. Wainwright, and Edwin Wolf (eds.), Philadelphia: A 300 Year History (1982), a collection of scholarly essays; Sam Bass Warner, Jr., The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth, 2nd ed. (1987), a prizewinning and provocative interpretation of the impact of urbanization upon the city; William W. Cutler III and Howard Gillette, Jr. (eds.), The Divided Metropolis: Social and Spatial Dimensions of Philadelphia, 1800–1975 (1980), an insightful anthology of essays. The following provide valuable insights into the texture of working-class life and the nature of interethnic and interracial relations in the city: Bruce Laurie, The Working People of Philadelphia, 1800–1850 (1980); Allen F. Davis and Mark H. Haller (eds.), The Peoples of Philadelphia: A History of Ethnic Groups and Lower-Class Life, 1790–1940 (1973, reissued 1998); Michael Feldberg, The Philadelphia Riots of 1844: A Study of Ethnic Conflict (1975); and Theodore Hershberg (ed.), Philadelphia: Work, Space, Family, and Group Experience in the Nineteenth Century (1981).

Specialized studies
Nathaniel Burt, The Perennial Philadelphians: The Anatomy of an American Aristocracy (1963, reissued 1999), an excellent study of Philadelphia society; E. Digby Baltzell, Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia (1979, reissued 1996), an important comparative history; Maxwell Struthers Burt, Philadelphia, Holy Experiment (1945, reiussed 1947), a good general description with great feeling for the city; W.E.B. Du Bois, The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (1899, reissued 1995), an excellent monograph on the urban experience of blacks and a landmark in American sociological studies; Vincent P. Franklin, The Education of Black Philadelphia (1979), a solid study of the social and educational history of black Philadelphians during the first half of the 20th century; Jeanne R. Lowe, Cities in a Race with Time: Progress and Poverty in America's Renewing Cities (1967), an excellent study of urban problems and renewal, including a good history of Philadelphia; George B. Tatum, Penn's Great Town: 250 Years of Philadelphia Architecture Illustrated in Prints and Drawings (1961), a valuable review of the cultural heritage; other works addressing Philadelphia's cultural institutions include Jean Ardoin (ed.), The Philadelphia Orchestra: A Century of Music (1999); Roger W. Moss, Historic Sacred Places of Philadelphia (2004); and Morris J. Vogel, Cultural Connections: Museums and Libraries of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley (1991); Jeffery M. Dorwart, The Philadelphia Navy Yard: From the Birth of the U.S. Navy to the Nuclear Age (2001), a comprehensive history; William S. Vare, My Forty Years in Politics (1933), a firsthand account of city machine politics; and Larry Kane, Larry Kane's Philadelphia (2000), a political memoir by one of the city's leading television news anchors.Sylvester K. Stevens John B.B. Trussell Matthew S. Magda Ed.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Philadelphia — Spitzname: Philly, City of Brotherly Love, The City that Loves you Back, Cradle of Liberty, The Quaker City, The Birthplace of America, Illadelph Philadelphi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • PHILADELPHIA — PHILADELPHIA, fifth largest city in the United States, in the State of pennsylvania . The area s Jewish population (2001), sixth largest in the nation, was estimated at 206,000. Origins of the Jewish Community Jews came from New Amsterdam to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Philadelphia — Philadelphia, NY U.S. village in New York Population (2000): 1519 Housing Units (2000): 595 Land area (2000): 0.897654 sq. miles (2.324912 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.897654 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Philadelphĭa [1] — Philadelphĭa, 1) die bedeutendste Stadt des nordamerikan. Staates Pennsylvanien und der Bevölkerung nach die dritte Stadt der Union (nach New York und Chicago), 154 km vom Atlantischen Ozean unter 39°57´ nördl. Br. und 75°10´ westl. L., an:… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Philadelphia — city in Pennsylvania, U.S., from Greek, taken by William Penn to mean brotherly love, from philos loving see PHILE (Cf. phile)) + adelphos brother (see ADELPHIA (Cf. Adelphia)). Also the name recalls that of the ancient city in Lydia, mentioned… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Philadelphia, MS — U.S. city in Mississippi Population (2000): 7303 Housing Units (2000): 3302 Land area (2000): 10.613247 sq. miles (27.488183 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.016951 sq. miles (0.043902 sq. km) Total area (2000): 10.630198 sq. miles (27.532085 sq. km) …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Philadelphia, NY — U.S. village in New York Population (2000): 1519 Housing Units (2000): 595 Land area (2000): 0.897654 sq. miles (2.324912 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.897654 sq. miles (2.324912 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Philadelphia, PA — U.S. city in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 1517550 Housing Units (2000): 661958 Land area (2000): 135.090104 sq. miles (349.881748 sq. km) Water area (2000): 7.546133 sq. miles (19.544394 sq. km) Total area (2000): 142.636237 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Philadelphia, TN — U.S. city in Tennessee Population (2000): 533 Housing Units (2000): 222 Land area (2000): 1.598400 sq. miles (4.139837 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.598400 sq. miles (4.139837 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Philadelphia — Philadelphia, 1) Grafschaft im äußersten Südosten des Staates Pennsylvanien (Nordamerika), 5,7 QM., im Südosten vom Delaware River begrenzt u. vom Schuylkill River u. den Pennypack, Tacony u. Wissahiccon Creeks durchflossen; hügelig u. gut… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Philadelphĭa [2] — Philadelphĭa, Jakob, einer der berühmtesten Taschenspieler des 18. Jahrh., wurde um 1720 in Philadelphia (Nordamerika) von jüdischen Eltern. geboren, studirte daselbst Mathematik u. Mechanik, lebte dann längere Zeit zurückgezogen (wahrscheinlich… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.