City of Brotherly Love


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The film is not merely set in the city of its title, but in a large part, the people of Philadelphia performed it. Even as it underwent a painful process of economic restructuring in the years after World War II, Philadelphia garnered national attention from efforts to integrate historically white building trades. What does it mean if a place loves you back?

Urban areas in the United States have always attracted destitute persons, including immigrants and internal migrants fleeing even worse poverty and harsher conditions elsewhere.

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In the late s, on the heels of the American Revolution, Philadelphia emerged as a national and international leader in prison reform and the transformation of criminal justice practices. Public bathing became a civil and social imperative in the Philadelphia region and elsewhere in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century. Following the cholera epidemic of , which devastated the American population, leaving hundreds of thousands of deaths in its wake, including that of President James K. Puerto Ricans migrated to the Philadelphia area in search of better economic opportunities.

A small stream of migration prior to the twentieth century grew during the two world wars, with many more migrants arriving from the s onward. The centuries-long relationship between the Philadelphia region and Puerto Rico unfolded in four interrelated areas: economic links, political channels, personal networks, and cultural exchange. Several dynamics shaped those connections over time. Colonialism, first under Spain and later the United States, set the broad context for trade relations and government policies. William Penn , the founder and proprietor of Pennsylvania, had high hopes for Philadelphia.

On July 4, , thirty-nine individuals gathered outside Independence Hall to picket for homosexual rights. This event, one of the earliest organized homosexual rights demonstrations in the United States, sought to remind the public that basic rights of citizenship were being denied to homosexual individuals. In the s and s, as social and economic tensions arose from early industrialization and from a population that was at once growing rapidly and becoming more racially and religiously diverse, Philadelphia experienced a sharp increase in disorder that it was unprepared to handle.

Parishes stand at the center of Roman Catholic religious life. The settlement house movement, a phenomenon of the Progressive era with origins in London, spread to Philadelphia in the s as a large influx of needy immigrants and unsanitary conditions in the city attracted the attention of middle-class, college-educated reformers. Dancing has been popular in Philadelphia since the city was founded, in spite of religious opposition, especially from Quakers.

Far from succumbing to religious criticism, social dancing gained in importance as a way for socially ambitious Philadelphians to demonstrate their gentility. South Asian migration to Greater Philadelphia arrived in small numbers through the s from the group of seven countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Myanmar. In , a group of Jewish high school graduates in Philadelphia formed a basketball team that competed against other local teams.

Philadelphia: A History of the City of Brotherly Love - HISTORY

In the sports world, Philadelphia fans gained a reputation for enthusiasm as they passionately supported winners and losers, publicly booed, and privately cheered. As industrialization began changing the nature of work and society in the United States during the s and s, workers concerned with their low wages, long hours, and the growing power of employers organized to fight for what they believed to be the true ideals of the republic.

From the arrival of Europeans in the seventeenth century through the era of the early republic, treaties were an important tool in diplomacy between native nations and colonial Pennsylvania and later the nascent federal government. Treaties followed indigenous modes of diplomacy, into which colonists introduced, and imposed, the signing of treaty documents.

With a deep abolitionist history and large and vibrant free black population, Philadelphia and the surrounding region played a prominent role in the famed Underground Railroad. The loosely connected organization of white and black people helped hide and guide enslaved people as they sought freedom in the North and Canada.

The Union League of Philadelphia, organized in as a political club for the support of the Union cause during the Civil War, developed into the premier urban social club of Philadelphia. This division of the United States Army, consisting of black soldiers led by white officers, provided much-needed manpower for federal forces in the final two years of the war.

Vagrancy, generally defined as the act of continuous geographical movement by the poor, often has been interpreted to signify idleness, unemployment, and homelessness. Since the colonial era, it has been a driving social concern in the Mid-Atlantic region, where urban centers, including Philadelphia, attracted poor migrants seeking new economic prospects. Military veterans began organizing in the Philadelphia area during the waning days of the Revolutionary War. As Pennsylvania and other northern states became havens for enslaved people who sought to escape bondage, free blacks and sympathetic whites organized Vigilance Associations, which operated Vigilance Committees sometimes called Vigilant Committees to protect fugitives and potential kidnap victims.

With the Walking Purchase of , Pennsylvania officials defrauded the Delaware Indians out of a vast amount of land, perhaps over one million acres, in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys. Library of Congress Explore in Abolitionism. Visit Philadelphia Explore in Immigration Present.

John J. Visit Philadelphia Explore in Immigration, Present. Lenape people of the mid-Atlantic region cooperate across a network of independent communities. Generosity is expected from those with status and power. Image credit: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


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Image credit: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Locally-organized boycotts and Committees of Correspondence press for independence from Great Britain. Teischer Pennsylvania Supreme Court , first documented case of an American convicted for animal cruelty. While meeting in Philadelphia, U. Image credit: Library of Congress. Image credit: Library Company of Philadelphia. District Court. Mary Street College Settlement later College Settlement of Philadelphia opens to aid immigrants; other settlements follow. Many whites move to suburbs as black population increases in second wave of the Great Migration.

Philly: City of Brotherly Love

Image credit: Temple University Libraries. Dunn, Mary Maples and Richard S. The Papers of William Penn, 5 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Feldberg, Michael. New York: Oxford University Press, Soderlund, Jean R. Fifth Street, Philadelphia. Share This Page:. Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. City of Brotherly Love. Henry C. Forrest, , Photograph by Sara Hawken.


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By Chris Satullo When naming a newborn, you feel the weight of the decision, the fond hope that the right name might provide a push along a hoped-for path. So how did it turn out, this Holy Experiment? Read More In modern popular culture, the verdict is often rendered with a sneer.

But that judgment is neither complete nor fair. It ignores so much evidence. Topics: Tolerance, Intolerance, and Cooperation. Abolitionism Few regions in the United States can claim an abolitionist heritage as rich as Philadelphia. African American Migration People of African descent have migrated to Philadelphia since the seventeenth century. Alien and Sedition Acts A culmination of political battles between Democratic-Republicans and Federalists while Philadelphia served as capital of the United States, the federal Alien and Sedition Acts imposed stringent new rules governing political speech and writings, immigration rights, and non-naturalized immigrants.

Almshouses Poorhouses From the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth century, almshouses offered food, shelter, clothing, and medical care to the poorest and most vulnerable, often in exchange for hard labor and forfeiture of freedom.

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Animal Protection Moral doubt over the cruel usage of animals has a long history in Philadelphia. Armstrong Association of Philadelphia The Armstrong Association of Philadelphia was a social-service organization established early in the twentieth century to assess and address the needs of the African American community. Black Power Black Power, a movement significant to the black freedom struggle in Philadelphia, came to prominence in the s and s through the combined efforts of local and national organizations including the Church of the Advocate, the Black Panther Party, the Black United Liberation front, and MOVE.

Byberry Philadelphia State Hospital From the arrival of its first patients in to , when the Commonwealth formally closed it down, the Philadelphia State Hospital, popularly known as Byberry, was the home for thousands of mental patients. Christiana Riot Trial During the s, Northern abolitionism developed, Southern defense of slavery hardened, and debates over the expansion of slavery gripped the nation.

Co-Working Spaces In the s and s, nearly thirty co-working spaces opened in the Philadelphia area.


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Columbia Avenue Riot On Friday, August 28, , a scuffle with police at the busy intersection of Twenty-Second Street and Columbia Avenue sparked a three-day riot involving hundreds of North Philadelphians hurling bottles and bricks at police and looting stores. Country Clubs Country clubs originated in the s as elite, family-oriented havens usually emphasizing golf, but they have never been just about golf or even sports.

Delaware Avenue Columbus Boulevard Delaware Avenue, the north-south thoroughfare closest to the Delaware River in Philadelphia, owes its existence to the richest man in America, who wanted a grand avenue along the central waterfront. Dogfighting The cruel practice of dogfighting has thrived in the shadows of the Philadelphia region for more than years. Dogs For as long as people have inhabited Philadelphia and the surrounding area, dogs probably have been present, too.

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Education and Opportunity In the twentieth century, many urban school districts, which had been among the finest in the nation, became some of the most challenged. Educational Reform Since the early nineteenth century, several reform efforts have aimed to improve Philadelphia-area public schools. Fort Wilson On October 4, , the home of noted Pennsylvania lawyer and statesman James Wilson on the southwest corner of Third and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia became a flash point for Philadelphians divided by politics and class.

Free Black Communities In the nineteenth century, Philadelphia and the region surrounding it came to contain free black communities that by most measures were the most vibrant, dynamic, and influential in the United States. Freemasonry Freemasonry, one of the oldest fraternal societies in the world, arrived in America with migrants from England to Philadelphia, Boston, and other places in the British colonies. Friends Neighborhood Guild Friends Neighborhood Guild, a Quaker-founded settlement house and neighborhood center in North Philadelphia, for more than a century has helped residents confront urban issues by offering services, participating in neighborhood redevelopment, and acting as a broker for interactions across ethnic and class lines.

Gayborhood In the second half of the twentieth century, the Center City neighborhood that became known as the Gayborhood formed in the vicinity of Locust and Thirteenth Streets. Gothic Literature From the early nineteenth century onward, Philadelphia spawned an abundance of mysterious tales starring shadowy strangers, fantastic happenings, and deadly conspiracies. Greek War for Independence During the Greek War for Independence , when the Greeks of the Morea Peloponessus rose in rebellion after almost four centuries of Ottoman rule, Philadelphians helped to arouse public sentiment and sympathy in favor of the Greeks, raised money and provisions to aid the cause, and lobbied their representatives to recognize Hellenic independence.

Historical Societies Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Americans started establishing historical societies to collect and preserve historical materials.

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House of Refuge Established on February 7, , the Philadelphia House of Refuge provided an alternative to prisons for incarcerating juvenile delinquents and child vagrants.

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