The Philadelphia Factor – Foreign Policy Research Institute

William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the American Founding: The Philadelphia Factor

I found this publication that I recommend for any resident of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area.  It gives a fair account of Philadelphia’s role in the forming of the United States.  Walter A. McDougall uses a quote from historians Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh which states that Philadelphia was the “first broadly
democratic society of modern times” (p.13).  The Scharf and Westcott book titled History of Philadelphia 1609-1884 notes in particular the conditions of political, economic, and cultural creativity that uniquely existed in Philadelphia during the time leading up to the American Revolution (p.13).

Essentially, after the Quaker colony was established, waves of newcomers essentially changed the rules of the game.  They came from different countries and held different beliefs and allowed the region to become a booming metropolis.  The process of creative destruction made the city attractive for early American innovators and the founding fathers.

I will write more about the crucial roles that “creative destruction” and “inclusive institutions” play for prosperous societies.  I am also in the process of listening to my first audio book titled Why Nations Fail, written by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

You can find the publication directly via the Foreign Policy Research Institute website.


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