The First Continental Congress of 1774 in Philadelphia

How Philadelphia Conventions Impacted History

 A lot of people don’t know that Philadelphia has thus far hosted a total of 12 political conventions. This is according to the National Constitution Center. Last year’s 2016 presidential election also gave Philadelphia the chance to host the Democratic National Convention, so the city certainly has a long history of hosting conventions. In fact, this tradition dates all the way back to the founding fathers, who attended the first convention in Philadelphia.

If you are a student who is working towards an online degree in political science or a masters in political science online, or if you are simply interested in the city’s history, check out more information below.

1774 and the Continental Congress

The historic First Continental Congress was held in Philadelphia in 1774. It was a gathering of delegates from 12 colonies (of the 13 total colonies), and its purpose was to write up a letter of grievances that would be sent to King George in response to his taxes, as well as his “intolerable acts.”

Some of the famous people who attended included George Washington and John Adams. Their goal was to boycott all goods from Britain, as well as to meet later if King George was not willing to comply with the demands that they set forth.

1775 and the Second Continental Congress

A year later, the Second Continental Congress was held in Philadelphia at Independence Hall. This took place following the start of the Revolutionary War. Delegates who made up the First Continental Army, with George Washington leading the way, drafted the Articles of Confederation, which was the first constitution.

Later, at the Constitutional Convention, the founders would write the United States Constitution. This document served to carve out the roles of both Congress and the federal government. It also set up the electoral college, and it was finally ratified in 1789.

1856 and the Republican National Convention

The first Republican National Convention, held by the Republican Party, took place in 1856. Senator John Charles Fremont was nominated for president of the United States. Senator William Dayton was chosen to be his running mate.

Musical Fund Hall in Philadelphia was the site of the first Republican Convention in 1856


1936 and the Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention was held in 1936, with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt being nominated for a second term. His acceptance speech was also one that would go down in history.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt accepts the nomination for president at the 1936 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia



2000 and the Republican National Convention

In more recent years, the Republican National Convention held in 2000 also made headlines that would become historic. The early frontrunner for the nomination for president was George W. Bush, but there was a lot of controversy taking place outside of the Wells Fargo Center. Police ended up arresting a whopping 400 protesters, but many of the charges against them were dismissed in the end.

As you can see, Philadelphia has definitely seen its fair share of conventions from a time when the United States was not even yet an independent nation. Perhaps you will be able to attend one of the city’s upcoming conventions and be a part of history too.

The Bush-Cheney ticket wins at the 2000 Republican National Convention