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Independence Hall
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-07-10 19:07:26 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Keywords: democracy, history, UNESCO
The main reason that brought me to Philly was to see and learn more about the Independance Hall, which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The reason why it's listed though is not the common reasons like the beauty of the architecture, the location nor the history of the building.

The reason why it was listed amongst the Heritage Sites it's because of what was discussed in there. That's the location where were drafted both the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) were both signed in that historic building. The Constitution was drafted after four long months of discussions in the heat of the summer.

OK, so, that's good for the USA you'll say... but what's in for the rest of the world, to justify its inclusion on a world list of places to keep and protect? Well, those two documents were the first of their kind to promote the self-determination, freedom and democracy in such extent. They were also the model after which all other similar documents were based, all over the world.

In a sense, we could say that it's the modern birthplace of republican democracy as we know it today, as opposed to the British/Royal dominated parliamentary democracy (still used throughout the Commonwealth). It's a time reference point in terms of human politics. They were not the precursors of the human rights, since they still recognized slavery was legit (but not in Pennsylvania).

Philly was also the first capital of the USA, right after the independence. It was decided that the nation's capital shouldn't be part of any of the existing colonies... hence the creation of the District of Columbia, with lands provided by the neighbouring colonies. But before the Capital was built (including of course the main buildings), the President and the federal government were seated in Philadelphia.

Why Philadelphia? Because of its central location amongst the colonies and also they had the Independence Hall, which at the time was the largest building of the New World... to accommodate all the delegates from the colonies. Since they already drafted the new country here, they decided to stay here a bit longer waiting for the city of Washington to be built.

By the way, it's not a unique way to create a capital city. Australia also did it the same way, for Canberra. But it's true that most capitals of the world acquired that status because they were already a central point of political of business activities.

So, whenever you're in Philadelphia, visit this important building, in which human (not only American) history was created and written.

Related posts:
Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
Historic Centre of Morelia
Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
Fortified city of San Miguel and Sanctuary
Historic town of Guanajuato


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