Philadelphia and the Nation


Philadelphia’s central role in the birth of a new nation is not to be underestimated. But the commemoration of the Declaration of Independence, the work of the Continental Congress, and the writing of the Constitution in the city have tended to overshadow the ways in which the Philadelphia region’s entire story is in many ways America’s story. The topics here explore Greater Philadelphia’s central place in an expansive American narrative.

Related Topics: National Connections and Impact






Related Reading

Gallman, J. Matthew. Mastering Wartime: A Society History of Philadelphia During the Civil War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Gregg, Robert. Sparks from the Anvil of Oppression: Philadelphia’s African Methodists and Southern Migrants, 1890-1940. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993.

Hutchins, Catherine E. Shaping a National Culture: The Philadelphia Experience, 1750-1800. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis Winterthur Museum, 1994.

Laurie, Bruce. Working People of Philadelphia, 1800-1850. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980.

Mires, Charlene. Independence Hall in American Memory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Nash, Gary B. First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

—–. Forging Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia’s Black Community, 1720-1840. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988.

—–. Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979.

Sautter, R. Craig. Philadelphia Presidential Conventions. Highland Park, Ill.: December Press, 2000.

Related Collections

Independence National Historical Park Library and Archives, Merchants’ Exchange Building, 143 S. Third Street, Philadelphia.

National Archives at Philadelphia, 900 Market Street, Philadelphia.


Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy