Early colonial Philadelphia was a place of contention. Colonists had strong opinions about what this Quaker experiment should look like, and they didn’t always agree. From its earliest days, Philadelphia was a diverse place with class divisions, religious discord, and economic inequality. These fractures in the young colony were intensified by the practice of slavery by the wealthy Quaker elite. But Philadelphia was also a center of dogged, grass-roots activism and resistance, especially in the newly founded settlement of Germantown.
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