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Large-scale construction projects for new roads, canals, and railroads made Philadelphia the first major industrial city in the United States.Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia hosted a variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States.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.Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government.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.

Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey.The Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch.The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, though the situation did not change substantially until 1682 when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.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.The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, however, as they crowded by the Delaware River port, and subdivided and resold their lots.

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