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Map of the Greater Philadelphia Region, 1752

Welcome to colonial Philadelphia! Philadelphia was one of England’s most important cities in North America during the colonial era. Founded in 1682 by William Penn it sat as the capital of Pennsylvania colony. It would later be a center for greater political action during the American Revolution, and would even serve as the United States’ capital until 1800.

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Second Street circa 1800

Philadelphia was the destination for tens of thousands of immigrants from all over Europe and was known for it’s diverse composition due to a high emphasis on religious freedom in Pennsylvania. As a city it was also highly planned and has many great examples of Georgian and Dutch American architecture. As the main entrepot for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was the home to an extremely active and prosperous port. In fact it was the most important port in the mainland British colonies.

Explore the website and learn more about The City, The People, and The Economics of Philadelphia.