The Philadelphia experimentHistorical Background: The early part of that 16th century saw the Lenni Lenapi settlers finding their way through the land. A body of water that was first called Zuydt South River was explored by Henry Hudson. That same river was again explored by Sir Samuel Argall in 1610 where in eventually the said river together with the colony around it and the tribes residing there were cumulatively called Delaware – named after the Swedish 12th Lord, De La Warr. And then Dutch settlers arrived in Delaware between 1620 and 1630 trying to gain residency but encountered problems with those Swedes already living in Delaware.
They had odds about perception of how to go about private ownership of land. Between 1646 and 1677, churches were built by the Swedes in Tinicum and Southwark, as they spread out their settlements in such different areas, together with areas of Cobbs Creek, Kingsessing and Upland/Chester. That is why there has been constant change of hands among the Swedes and the Dutch with regards to land control.
The Quakers arrived from Wales and reached Radnor in the 1660s with assistance of protection from Charles II of England. It is finally in 1681 that the official history of Philadelphia is acknowledged. This was when William Penn was designate with a colony charter on the Delaware River. Within the period 1682 to 1684, Penn worked towards amicable understanding with the Leni Lennapi tribes to relinquish their rights over their landholdings in Bucks, Philadelphia Counties and Chester.
In the meantime, there were other Quakers who were settling in the area of Germantown. When the decade of the 1700s started there were already 2,000 residents. There were additional settlers who are of French, Italian, Swish and Jewish origins. It is during this early part of the 17th century that Quaker aristocracy was slowly becoming imminent. And the arriving into the Ohio River Valley were the first Delawares. It was furthermore the time when the “Six Nations” of the Iroquois speaking tribe claimed authority over the Delawares. William Penn has started to set up the form of government that will rule Philadelphia. An assembly was established that exercised full powers of legislation.
His concept of governance and public administration was the inspiration background of the concept of government in the constitution of the United States As secretary to William Penn, James Logan was likewise appointed administrator of the colonies. William Penn and his family stood as proprietors of the government. In 1718, William Penn died and the three Penn boys inherited proprietorship of Philadelphia. Within the succeeding years, the stewardship of James Logan was efficient and he exercised influential leadership of the government. It was the ensuing years of the first half of the 1700s that the people that populate Philadelphia were simple and morally pure. It was a time that literature and science blossomed and people were inclined to learned.
(Hall, 2006, page 14) By the middle of the 1700s Philadelphia’s population grew to 10,000 residents. Most of them are German speaking settlers. The descendants from Ireland, Scotland and the Quakers are increasing in numbers. Meanwhile, the “Six Nations” installed their own King of Ohio: Shingas. In 1755, Edward Braddock and George Washington were defeated by the North American Indians allied with the French. This incident made the King Shingas and the Delawares to turn against the British and all other Europeans. After four years, it was King Beaver of the Delawares who came to peace with the British to end the revolt. He is a relative of King Shingas.
Meanwhile, it was likewise in 1755 that the College, Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia was authorized to become an educational institution and grant college education. The institution is now called the University of Pennsylvania. The population of Philadelphia has grown to 25,000 residents by the decade of the 1760’s. Sometime in 1764, there were a group of European settlers in the frontiers of Western Pennsylvania who were called “Paxton Boys”.
He detest the Moravian Delawares that settled in Philadelphia and so the Paxton Boys organized to throw them away. It was Benjamin Franklin who bridged the civil unrest and brokers a peaceful settlement. The Morovian Delawares instead resettled in Friedenshutten, Susquehanna which is near Wyalusing. In 1765, the British Stamp Act was enacted.
It ruled that all printed materials should be taxed. This caused a rift between the colonies and England. An additional taxation law was also enacted by the British in 1767 on products made of glass, lead, printing colors, paper and tea. It was called the British Townshend Revenue Act. Then a Tea Act was also legislated in 1773, that caused monopoly problems in the trade of tea.
It was likewise in 1765 that the Delawares entered into a firm and final peace agreement with Sir William Johnson. The fighting in Ottawa and Pontiac was put to stop. Religious divergence emerged in Philadelphia in 1770. There were Quakers, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, German Reformists, Jews and Catholics In 1774, Philadelphia held the first Continental Congress. The delegates unanimously resolved to boycott trade with England. They clamored for change in the trading acts that have been legislated. The second Continental Congress was called in 1775.
This congress wrote the “Olive Branch Petition”. Inasmuch as the delegates proclaim loyalty to the British King, they nevertheless seek their independence. Therefore, in 1776 delegates to a convention officially declared the Thirteen United States of America. This is the firm declaration of independence from England and set the stage for war. After a year, the Battle of Brandywine ended in 1777 as England creates a beachhead in the state of Pennsylvania.
George Washington leads a battle in Germantown but they lost. However, they convinced the French that they should support the fight of the patriots. The Americans were then able to block Fort Mifflin and Fort Mercer in the Delaware. This made it difficult for the English to deliver to their soldiers their needed supplies. Finally, the Americans gained control of Philadelphia in 1778. It is however sad that American militiamen in anger killed Moravian Delawares in revenge for the tribe’s killings of Americans.
From its New York Base, the Federal Capital transferred to Philadelphia in 1790 as a common Federal Law for the United States has been put to place through the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in 1787. And in 1791, a federal charter was granted to the First Bank of the United States. It held its first offices in Carpenter’s Hall.Important and Influential PeopleWilliam Penn Born in England, a Quaker and educated in Oxford, William Pen discovered Philadelphia. As a Quaker, their sect were discriminated and persecuted in Britain. What William did is that he used his wealth to buy tracts of land in the area that is now known as Pennsylvania. As he has settled himself, he convinced his fellow Quakers believers to travel to Pennsylvania and follow what he did.
Philadelphia was first known as Quaker City during that time and when he is established thereat, he went back to England and asked the king to allow all the Quakers to migrate and settle in Philadelphia.Benjamin FranklinIn 1723, Benjamin Franklin was only 17 years old when he took residency in Philadelphia. Within the succeeding years, he established his business in printing. He wrote literary pieces and materials and published them. He contributed to the knowledge of social sciences, natural sciences, politics, civic administration and music.
He published “Experiments and Observations in Electricity” in 1751. He also participated in the Declaration of Independence.Joseph Wharton A prominent businessman and merchant, Joseph Wharton was involved in manufacturing and mining. He founded Bethlehem Steel Company.
As a businessman, Wharton showed concern and worked for the betterment of tariff laws that protect manufacturing in America. He is a supporter and protector of big business. He paved the way for the element of nickel to be used in the coinage of the United States. Being a dedicated industrialist, Wharton served as the leader of the Industrial League of Manufacturers in the 1870s. He was also the President of the American Iron and Steel Institute. Wharton He likewise got involved in education thus he founded the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania and the Swarthmore College.
Both schools propagated quality learning and high standards of education for both male and female. The Wharton Business school has established itself to a most prominent business school in the whole world.Betty Ross The very first stars and stripes flag of the United States of America was sewn by Betsy Ross. General Washington had already a design of the flag when it was shown to Betsy. She however made some changes until she finally came up with the 13 stars and 13 stripes in the flag. She was a Quaker but married an Anglican, John Ross.
Ethel, Lionel and John Barrymore They are siblings who established fame in the theater profession. They were superstars in the performing arts. Deriving from the skills and talent of their grandmother, Louise Lane Drew, their acting prowess was legendary.
They likewise owned the Arch Street Theater. It is the theater where the three siblings learned how to act from their childhood years. The young Barrymores tagged along their grandmother and mother who were both accomplished artists as they did their theater tours.Ethnic Background and NeighborhoodThey came speaking in Algonquian – the dialect of the ancestors of Lenni Lenapi who are a mix of Indians and Swedish. They are the first settlers from Europe 10,000 years ago that inhabited Philadelphia. Between the periods 1870 to 1920, was the time of the greater influx of millions of Europeans that migrated to America.
Philadelphia was one of the destination cities and yet it housed the smallest portion of the massive immigration. Residents who were foreign born were the Poles, English, Italians, Austrians, Hungarians, Rumanians and Lithuanians. The remarkable representations were made up of Jews, Italians and Poles. (Davis & Haller, 1998, pages 203-230)Art and CultureThe early structures in the early history of Philadelphia were built with logs and brick.
As the 18th century dawned, it gave birth to the appearance of Georgian architecture as it adorned the city. Then federal and Greek revival architecture came in the scene in the early 19th century. There were steel and concrete skyscrapers that were built midway the 19th century. By its latter part, glass and granite skyscrapers came up. The various venues for art and culture in Philadelphia are Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Rodin Museum; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Artists gather in what is called the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Many art galleries are established in the city where they hold events every first Friday of the month.
Performing arts are held in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts where the Philadelphia Orchestra; Academy of Music and Opera Company of Philadelphia perform Film festivals and parades are held every year in an event called New Year’s Day Mummers Parade. Active social and night life abound in the South Street and the Old City and yet tourism likewise house remarkable historical sites. Philadelphia boasts of the Independence National Historical Park; Independence Hall; Liberty Bell; the homes of Edgar Alan Poe, Betsy Ross and Thaddeus Kosciuszko; Gloria Dei Old Swede Churches; and Fort Mifflin.There are major science museums like the Franklin Institute; National Constitution Center; Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia; National Museum of American Jewish History; African American Museum in Philadelphia, History Society of Pennsylvania. (City of Philadelphia Website)The IconsPhiladelphia Cheesesteak A steak sandwich that stands out like no other – the Philadelphia cheesesteak is incomparable. Many tried to understand how the taste is arrived at. What is laid out between a slice of torpedo roll that is freshly baked, are very thin layers of beef steak. It is dressed with fried onions and lots of melted cheese.
Between the aroma and the taste, eating a Philadelphia Cheesesteak can make anyone forget any misgivings in their lives.Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Part of a perfect Philadelphia experience is a taste of the Philadelphia Soft Pretzel. It is baked in the standard formulation of a pretzel but the difference is achieving the right warmth and texture when it is already baked. It is not moist and a method is applied to avoid it getting cold and hardened.
The highlight of the Philadelphia Soft Pretzel is a mustard coating that crowns the delicious taste.Tastykakes The Tasty Baking Company has been baking and selling cake delicacies since 1914. Called “Tastykakes”, these are cake and pie flavor varieties. There are chocolate cupcakes; apple pies; blueberry pies; candy cakes and “Krimpets”. Tastykakes creates a lasting craving in anyone who has tasted and eaten them.
Rocky Balboa The fictional character immortalized in film by Sylester Stallone is a boxing enthusiast and champion. He is Rocky Balboa who fought 64 boxing matches and winning 44 of them. Rocky Balboa was made to be a citizen of Philadelphia.
The character is portrayed to be relentless and dedicated to his craft. He portrayed an attitude of perseverance and never quits from any challenges. Thus Rocky Balboa stood as an icon for people in Philadelphia as they pursue their lives without surrenderThe Mummers A most colorful festival, the mummers is a parade usually held during New Years Day. The historical backdrop of the celebration of the mummers can be traded from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The concept of the festival is the display of colors and designs. It is interpreted through three categories.
The Comic mummers dress in bold and exaggerated costumes. The Fancy mummers use ornate and elaborate costumes. The String Bands are accompaniment to the parade. The mummers parade is the distinctive way of the people in Philadelphia to welcome the New Year. (Philadelphia Icons Website, 2006-2007)William Penn and His Dream With the initial vision of liberating the discriminated Quakers in England, William Penn stood with the principle of equality and tolerance as the bastion of community living.
Philadelphia as the City of Brotherly Love has been envisioned by William Penn to be a place where liberty is freely assume, acquired and acquiesced as a right and privilege. (Boothroyd, 2006, pages 27-30) Penn not only provided the migrating races from all over Europe the spirit of unity and camaraderie in a community but likewise respected the settled Indian tribes in Philadelphia. He was fair in dealing with them in equitably paying off their land holdings. The concept of jury trials and religious freedom were among the legacies that perpetuate human rights and dignity.
As the site of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia has lived up to the vision of William Penn. In addition, the spirit of forthrightness and perseverance and endurance that Philadelphians take as a way of life – is likewise a legacy from William Penn. It is however unmistaken that the city is still besieged with modern day crimes. It is a reality that the city government is working very hard to contain if not totally eliminate. The wealth of wisdom and passion for freedom, liberty and humane living that William Penn left as a legacy will be carried as a live, bright and shining torch by each and every citizen of Philadelphia. They stand with pride with such legacy and the meaning of the city they dearly love.References:Hall, James. The Philadelphia Book University of Michigan Press, 27 Feb 2006Davis, Allen Freeman & Haller, Mark H.
The Peoples of Philadelpia: A History of Ethnic Groups and Lower-Class Life, 1790-1940 University of Pennsylvania Press, 1898City of Philadelphia Website http://www.phila.gov [accessed 16 June 2009]Philadelphia Icons. TryPhilly.
com Lewis Publishing Company. 2006-2007 http://www.tryphilly.com/icons.htm [accessed 16 June 2009]Boothroyd, Jennifer. William Penn: A Life of Tolerance Lerner Publications, 2006