Market dating from 1682
Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well. In 1816, the city's free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States while the new capital was under construction in the District of Columbia from 1790 to 1800. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers.
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 better relations with the local native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city.
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 neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
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, with areas for gardens and orchards.
Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017 Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis.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.Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub.Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies.