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City (pop., 2000: 1,517,550) and port, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S., at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. The site was occupied by the Delaware Indians before William Penn founded the city in 1682. It was the capital of Pennsylvania 1683–1799 and the capital of the U.S. between 1790 and 1800. It played a prominent role in opposing British policies and was the site of the first and second Continental Congresses, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention. The population grew in the 18th century, with many immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. It was the largest and most important city of the U.S. in the 19th century and a centre of the antislavery movement. In 1876 it was the site of the U.S. Centennial Exposition. It is also the site of the U.S.'s oldest art museum (the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805) and the first U.S. hospital (the Pennsylvania Hospital, founded in 1751). It is the largest city in the state and a centre of commerce, finance, industry, and culture. Its numerous educational institutions include the University of Pennsylvania.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Philadelphia, visit Britannica.com.