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Philadelphia, United States of America

Reference work entry

Introduction

The fifth largest city in the United States, Philadelphia is the nation’s former capital and was the city where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written. Located in the southeastern corner of the eastern state of Pennsylvania, the city is roughly equidistant between New York City and Washington, D.C. and is located where the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers meet.

History

One of the most historic of all American cities, Philadelphia (which comes from the Greek words meaning ‘city of brotherly love’) was established by the English Quaker William Penn, who named the state of Pennsylvania in honour of his father. Previously the area had been explored by the Dutch and the Swedes and claimed by the British in the name of Charles II in 1664. Penn adopted the grid-like pattern for his new city that would become the staple of most American cities. He also warmly welcomed people of all ethnic and religious persuasions in what he called ‘a holy...

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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