Skip to content

Episode No. 14 – Violence in the Streets: The Origins of our Modern City

What kind of city did Philadelphia want to be? There were lots of different opinions in the 1840s and 1850s, but everyone agreed: it did not want to be like this.

Our modern city was born out of the ashes of racist violence and anti-immigrant riots. During unstable times, the streets themselves became a weapon used by mobs to break, bludgeon, and burn. The efforts to restore order in the streets moved Philly towards the modern city we know today.

To see historical images and find a full list of resources for this episode, check out the companion blog for Episode 14 at

Purchase books that inspired the podcast while supporting your local bookstore (and this podcast!) at