Philadelphia – Exploring the City of Brotherly Love’s Iconic History and Legacy

Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love. It is the city known for its famous cheesesteaks, and grills, and for giving us Rocky Balboa. But “Philly” as referred to by many is a city deeply etched in American history – its founding and the presidency. 

We’re about to explore Philadelphia’s rich history and why it truly represents the American ideal. 

Philadelphia – Exploring the City of Brotherly Love’s Iconic History and Legacy 1

The Birthplace of a Nation and a Springboard for Revolution

The year is 1776. A nation teeters on the brink of revolution. The heat is on Philadelphia, soon to be the nation’s founding capital. In the hallowed halls of Independence Hall, formerly the Pennsylvania State House, the founding revolutionaries of the nation are plotting. Plotting independence from colonial masters and the birth of a nation. 

Philadelphia has a rich and pervasive history, as you will read in the rest of this article. For students using this article for essays or any other kind of research, this should be a nice read for you. Want to know another great tip for your academic research and writing? A professional paper writer can help you perform research quicker and better while improving your writing standard. So, if you need a sample or some affordable writing help on U.S. history or any other topic, head on to one of these reliable sites. 

The names of the founding fathers of America are almost synonymous with the city of Philadelphia. Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Strickland…the list goes on and on. Here, both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated, adopted and signed. The thirteen former British colonies agreed here to ratify their independence from Great Britain and chose their new Commander-in-Chief – George Washington. 

In Independence Square, the Declaration of Independence was read out aloud on July 4, 1776. This is the most pivotal day in Philadelphia and the United States’ history. By 1787, delegates from the newly freed colonies met in Philadelphia to revise the weak Articles of Confederation. This resulted in what would be the United States Constitution, which laid the framework for the presidency and government. 

Philadelphia was awarded the United States Capital from 1790 to 1800, and from here George Washington conducted business as the first president. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents, also called Philadelphia home during their terms. Later, future presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon, and current president Joseph Biden would arise from Philadelphia. 

Many of the traditions and norms associated with the presidency were established from here. Thus, Philadelphia has rightfully earned its name as the “Cradle of Liberty”. 

Post-Capital Era 

Philadelphia wasn’t just shining because of its prestigious address or because the two founding presidents called it home. The city was an intellectual hub as well, with a huge debate culture covering everything from taxation to infrastructure. These shaped the early and later policies and frameworks of much of the U.S. government. 

The American Philosophical Society, which is the oldest extant learned society in the U.S. was founded in Philly by Benjamin Franklin. At the turn of the 21st century, the society had more than 850 members, all accomplished in the realm of mathematics, sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The society is still headquartered in Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia was also one of the birthplaces of American education and its modern approach to higher learning. Such names as the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University boast prestigious political science programs that nurtured future politicians. Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania was the first college in the United States dedicated to teaching women medicine. Advocacy also thrived in Philadelphia, with a huge number of activists, philosophers, scholars, and teachers finding their way to Philly. 

An Enduring Legacy 

While Washington D.C. now holds the official title of national capital, Philadelphia’s legacy as the birthplace of the nation can never be discarded. It is intertwined with the greatest heroes of U.S. democracy. True, maybe it has fallen a little short of that great legacy in recent times, but the City of Brotherly Love endures. 

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So, what else is great about Philly apart from its history and legacy with the founding of the United States? For one, Philly people are a peculiar lot – very brash, assertive, and some might even suggest rude. Expect to hear a lot of F-bombs and a bit of muttering under that distinct Philly accent. 

If you are a fan of good food then extend your ticket stay because Philadelphia literally hosts some of America’s nicest food. The stereotype is true – yes, Philly hosts America’s best cheesestake. Look up names like Geno’s, Pat’s, Barry’s, and Chubby’s whenever you’re downtown. 

Besides that, Philadelphia is a melting pot for literally all cultures and people’s from around the world. You’ll meet with students, backpackers, natives, food tourists, and people from all walks of life in Philadelphia. With some free time on your hands, you can visit other historical sites like the great steps of “Rocky” mountain and the Liberty Bell. 


If you are an American history buff, are curious about the founding of the nation, or just want some rare good ol’ cheesestake, make your trip to The City of Brotherly Love. A good dose of culture, history, sound, and culinary flavors await you. And don’t forget that distinct Philly accent that gives you the formal introduction to Philadelphia. 

More importantly, we hope you’ve learned much about why Philadelphia is such a core part of U.S. history. For students using this for research, we encourage you to dig deeper into the annals of Philly’s former glory. There, the founding fathers etched their names in Philly’s history books and left their marks on its roads and walls. From its past as a city carrying a nation’s vision, Philly remains audacious and stands proud. 

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