According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city proper was 1,526,006. The Template:Nowrap metropolitan area has a population of 6.1 million and is the country's fifth-largest metro area. The city, which lies about Template:Convert southwest of New York City, is also the nation's fourth-largest consumer media market, as ranked by the Nielsen Media Research.
It is the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia include Philly and The City of Brotherly Love, from the literal meaning of the city's name in Greek (Template:Lang-el (Template:IPA-el, Template:IPA-el) "brotherly love", compounded from philos (φίλος) "love", and adelphos (ἀδελφός) "brother").
A commercial, educational, and cultural center, Philadelphia was the social and geographical center of the original 13 American colonies. It was a centerpiece of early American history, host to many of the ideas and actions that gave birth to the American Revolution and independence. It was the most populous city of the young United States, although by the first census in 1790, New York City had overtaken it. Philadelphia served as one of the nation's many capitals during the Revolutionary War and after. After the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the city served as the temporary national capital from 1790 to 1800 while Washington, D.C., was under construction.
Philadelphia is central to African American history; its large black population predates the Great Migration.
- Main article: History of Philadelphia
Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick section of Philadelphia, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, named New Korsholm after a town that is now in Finland. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence, although the Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, but the situation did not really change until 1682, when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. According to legend Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Fishtown section. Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love (from philos, "love" or "friendship", and adelphos, "brother"). As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to healthier relationships with the local Native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city. Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, allowing them to be surrounded by gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans and crowded by the Delaware River and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing Philadelphia as a city. The city soon established itself as an important trading center, poor at first, but with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen of the time, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as one of the American Colonies' first hospitals.
In pursuit of this aim, a number of important philosophical societies were formed: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), The Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824). These set out to establish and finance new industries and attract skilled and knowledgeable emigrants from Europe.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. The city hosted the First Continental Congress before the war; the Second Continental Congress, which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States, 1790–1800, while the Federal City was under construction in the District of Columbia. In 1793, one of the largest yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history killed as many as 5,000 people in Philadelphia, roughly 10% of the population.
The state government left Philadelphia in 1799 and the federal government left soon after in 1800, but the city remained the young nation's largest and a financial and cultural center. New York City soon surpassed Philadelphia in population, but construction of roads, canals, and
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