Athens of America

1: Athens of America

Using the lecture, readings, and slides please answer the following

: Choose the technological, social, or economic development of Philadelphia between 1790-1860, and explain why the city was referred to as the “Athens of America.”

2: Industrializing Philadelphia: Union Stronghold

Based on your readings (Conn) and lecture materials, assume that you live in Philadelphia in 1876, and answer the following (provide evidence for your view):

How is industrialization reshaping Philadelphia’s economy and social structure?


After listening to the audio lecture and “touring” the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 (with the website provided), answer the following:

What does the 1876 world’s fair tell us about the age of industrialization?  What are the key features of the fair; how is the fair reshaping Philadelphia?  Is industrialization strengthening or weakening American democracy?

3: Union stronghold

For this discussion, you are working to help us understand the role Philadelphia played in the Civil War.


Choose one of the historical figures detailed here, George Henry Boker, Lucretia Mott, Octavius V. Catto, or John Brown:


Tell us the key points in understanding how this person took part in, and was affected by, the Civil War. Then, interact with your classmates to draw parallels or show distinct differences between and among the three figures.


  1. Fault Lines

Hello Historians–we will use this board as a place to discuss your readings on W.E.B. DuBois.  What was his background, what were his goals, what is his legacy?  Please use specific examples from the readings in your discussion.


How did DuBois contribute to Philadelphia civil rights history?



Small questions (120 words)

1: I would like to talk about key changes in post-Civil War Philadelphia.  Let’s start with W.E.B. DuBois.  Have a look at this mural:

What does it mean to you?  If you aren’t familiar with him yet, please read here:


2: Let’s move on now:

Can we generate some ideas now about the history of Drexel University and AJ Drexel–who was he, what was his background?  What themes connect his life to in the history of Philadelphia?

3: One more moment in time from the late 19th century we should discuss–we’ve considered civil rights, higher education–but what about invention?  What was the big deal about the Corliss Engine?  Americans had seen big buildings and machines before 1876, what was different, and what did it mean for Philadelphia?

The Corliss Engine

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