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History

Philadelphia is one of the earliest examples of a planned city. The city was founded and developed in 1682 by William Penn, a Quaker. The city's name means "brotherly love" in Greek. Penn hoped that the city, as the capital of his new colony founded on principles of freedom and religious tolerance, would be a model of this philosophy. One of the notable features of Penn's plan for the city was the creation of five large squares, to provide open space for the city's residents. Most of the city's construction was brick or stone to prevent fires.The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were drafted here and signed in the city's Independence Hall. Tun Tavern in the city is traditionally regarded as the location where, in 1775, the United States Marine Corps was founded.

For a time in the 18th century, Philadelphia was the largest city in the Americas north of Mexico City, and the fourth largest under the rule of the British crown. In 1790 the seat of the United States Government was moved from Federal Hall in New York to Congress Hall in Philadelphia, before assuming its current site in Washington, DC. Philadelphia served as capital for a decade, until 1800, when the Capitol building in the new federal city of Washington, DC was opened.

An early railroad center, Philadelphia was the original home of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the world's largest builder of steam locomotives. The Pennsylvania Railroad, once America's largest railroad. The city was also a major center for the production of textiles, garments, carpets, lace, and hats. A large port, it remained one of the nation's centers for shipbuilding.

In 1876 Philadelphia hosted the Centennial Exposition to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the independence of the United States. Memorial Hall and the expansive mall in front of it are remnants of this fair. The wealth of nineteenth century Philadelphia made it a center for technological and architectural innovation. In 1926, the city held the Sesquicentennial Exposition to celebrate the nation's 150th birthday. The city underwent a major expansion in the years around the Sesquicentennial, including the development of housing in large sections of the city.

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