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Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley—a region located in the Northeastern United States at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers with 7.2 million people residing in the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony.The American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy.Philadelphia struggled through a long period of adjustment to these economic changes, coupled with significant demographic change as wealthier residents moved into the nearby suburbs and more immigrants moved into the city.The city in fact approached bankruptcy in the late 1980s.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.
It became an important trading center, poor at first, but with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s.
Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries.
By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire, behind London.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies.