Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Lenape Indians lived in the Shackamaxon settlement in the Philadelphia region before European settlers arrived there at the beginning of the 17th century. They were also known as the Delaware Indians, and the Lower Hudson Valley, western Long Island, and the Delaware River watershed were their historical homelands. During the 18th century, the majority of Lenape were driven from their native Delaware by growing European settlements, which were made worse by deaths from intertribal warfare. Smallpox and other newly brought diseases, as well as hostility against Europeans, decimated Lenape villages. Sometimes the Iroquois and Lenape engaged in battle. Lenape survivors traveled towards the upper Ohio River valley in the west. They were pushed further west by the American Revolutionary War and the independence of the United States. around 1860. The geography of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania plays a significant role in shaping its economy and culture.

Early in the 17th century, Europeans began to settle in the Delaware Valley. Dutch settlers established the first towns when they constructed Fort Nassau on the Delaware River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey, in 1623. The entire Delaware River valley was seen by the Dutch as being a part of their New Netherland province. The colony of New Sweden was founded in 1638 by Swedish settlers under the leadership of renegade Dutch at Fort Christina, which is now Wilmington, Delaware, and swiftly spread throughout the valley. New Sweden aided the Susquehannocks in their conflict with Maryland colonists in 1644. On the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill River, close to the modern Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia, the Dutch constructed Fort Beversreede in 1648.

Charles II of England gave Penn a charter for the future colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 as a partial payment of a debt. Penn purchased the land from the local Lenape notwithstanding the royal charter in an effort to improve relations with the Native Americans and maintain peace for the colony. Under an elm tree near Shackamaxon, in what is now the city’s Fishtown area, Penn signed a pact of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany. Penn gave the city its name, which is Greek meaning “brotherly love,” after the words “o phlos” (beloved, dear) and “adelphós” (brother, brotherly). Several cities, including present-day Alaşehir, were called Philadelphia throughout the Eastern Mediterranean during the Greek and Roman eras.

Philadelphia had a firmly established Republican political apparatus and a complacent populace at the turn of the 20th century. The first significant change was the reduction of the City Council from two chambers to one in 1917 as a result of outrage over the murder of a police officer during an election year. Red Summer, the period of post-World War I turmoil when recent immigrants battled with Blacks for jobs, saw race riots in more than 36 industrial areas across the country, including Philadelphia in July 1919. Brigadier General Smedley Butler of the United States was appointed in the 1920s as a result of widespread public flouting of the Prohibition laws, organized crime, mob violence, and corrupt police involvement in illicit activities. The city’s director of public safety is a Marine.


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