We are excited to announce that Joe Foster, Ph.D., Professor oof History at Temple University will be joining us to share his scholarship about The Changing Face of Philadelphia, 1775-1780. Revolutions often bring rapid changes to a society, some of which are not anticipated by the revolutionaries; The American Revolution is no exception. It unleashed a host of changes, some of which horrified many of the revolutionaries themselves. But that is the nature of revolutions! And to examine how our revolution twisted and turned society inside-out, Philadelphia proves to be an excellent place to understand those rapid changes which excited many and frightened others.
In the space of five years, Philadelphia witnessed the overthrow of two political systems and the establishment of a political mentality that was often in conflict with itself. For the Quaker Party who had ruled Pennsylvania for nearly 75 years found itself ostracized by an emerging Irish Presbyterian revolutionary force with little love for the Quakers and the Quaker Party and their view of governing. By 1780 the revolutionary Presbyterians themselves were no longer in step with rapidly shifting winds to a new cadre of politicians, good revolutionaries, but authoring a new set of ideologies that stand to this day – and, yet, remain a constant debate to our understanding of the nation and society the Revolution created.
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