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Old 08-05-2019, 05:21 PM
 
Location: USA
1,025 posts, read 1,103,083 times
Reputation: 1209

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They are probably the most historically rich cities in the country, each witnessing watershed events on the road to independence.

I've visited both of them over the last 3 years.

Here's the impression I got:

Boston, with its Freedom Trail, is big on the American Revolution (makes sense), and Philly is big on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (makes sense).

However, I feel like the history you get in Philly is a bit more diverse.

For example, Philly stole a bit of Boston's thunder by opening its own Museum of the American Revolution. You can easily spend half a day or more there and get enough of a Revolutionary War fix.

While Boston's sites along the Freedom Trail are fascinating -- like the Old North Church and State House -- eventually I grew a bit tired of reading about Paul Revere and John Hancock.

In Philly, you can learn about everything from Ben Franklin's inventions at the American Philisophical Society to the Battle of Bunker Hill at the Museum of the American Revolution to Alexander Hamilton's accomplishments at the Constitution Center.

My point is that the content seems a bit more general in Philly, but that's just the impression I got.

I would imagine that for American Revolution junkies, Boston is king. But for people looking for something less specialized, Philly fits the bill.

Do you feel the same way?
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:37 PM
 
9,932 posts, read 5,629,379 times
Reputation: 3473
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
They are probably the most historically rich cities in the country, each witnessing watershed events on the road to independence.

I've visited both of them over the last 3 years.

Here's the impression I got:

Boston, with its Freedom Trail, is big on the American Revolution (makes sense), and Philly is big on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (makes sense).

However, I feel like the history you get in Philly is a bit more diverse.

For example, Philly stole a bit of Boston's thunder by opening its own Museum of the American Revolution. You can easily spend half a day or more there and get enough of a Revolutionary War fix.

While Boston's sites along the Freedom Trail are fascinating -- like the Old North Church and State House -- eventually I grew a bit tired of reading about Paul Revere and John Hancock.

In Philly, you can learn about everything from Ben Franklin's inventions at the American Philisophical Society to the Battle of Bunker Hill at the Museum of the American Revolution to Alexander Hamilton's accomplishments at the Constitution Center.

My point is that the content seems a bit more general in Philly, but that's just the impression I got.

I would imagine that for American Revolution junkies, Boston is king. But for people looking for something less specialized, Philly fits the bill.

Do you feel the same way?
Since the thread title included, American History, I just have this comment.

I get the point of the colonial and revolutionary eras for obvious reasons but I'm much more interested in what came afterward during the 19th century, the Civil War and the industrial age in Phila. If I was a Bostonian, I think it would be the same thing.

Btw, the Battle of Germantown gets re-enacted every year in Germantown.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,709,823 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
They are probably the most historically rich cities in the country, each witnessing watershed events on the road to independence.

I've visited both of them over the last 3 years.

Here's the impression I got:

Boston, with its Freedom Trail, is big on the American Revolution (makes sense), and Philly is big on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (makes sense).

However, I feel like the history you get in Philly is a bit more diverse.

For example, Philly stole a bit of Boston's thunder by opening its own Museum of the American Revolution. You can easily spend half a day or more there and get enough of a Revolutionary War fix.

While Boston's sites along the Freedom Trail are fascinating -- like the Old North Church and State House -- eventually I grew a bit tired of reading about Paul Revere and John Hancock.

In Philly, you can learn about everything from Ben Franklin's inventions at the American Philisophical Society to the Battle of Bunker Hill at the Museum of the American Revolution to Alexander Hamilton's accomplishments at the Constitution Center.

My point is that the content seems a bit more general in Philly, but that's just the impression I got.

I would imagine that for American Revolution junkies, Boston is king. But for people looking for something less specialized, Philly fits the bill.

Do you feel the same way?
Have you considered asking these questions in City vs. City?
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:03 PM
Status: "I can see 2020 from my porch" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,692 posts, read 11,457,022 times
Reputation: 13387
They're both good. Who cares?
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:50 PM
 
172 posts, read 104,877 times
Reputation: 225
I troll my Boston friends about this all the time - the Freedom Trail is one of the best marketed tourist attractions in America. It has crazy good brand awareness. But what is it really? The most famous event involved some dude hanging lanterns in a church? The events of which are mostly mythologized by a propaganda poem?

https://chaddsfordhistorical.wordpre...two-if-by-sea/

In Philly, they literally debated, argued, and altered the course of human history. Almost every modern democracy is in some way influenced by the events in Philadelphia over a few years.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:07 PM
 
Location: USA
20,970 posts, read 9,829,102 times
Reputation: 15689
I am biased, but I think Philly has the edge, and not just because of Old City, Independence Mall, Betsy Ross house, etc. Not far from the city are also significant Revolutionary war landmarks. Valley Forge, Brandywine Battlefield, Washington's Crossing, etc.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:15 PM
 
9,932 posts, read 5,629,379 times
Reputation: 3473
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHLondoner View Post
I troll my Boston friends about this all the time - the Freedom Trail is one of the best marketed tourist attractions in America. It has crazy good brand awareness. But what is it really? The most famous event involved some dude hanging lanterns in a church? The events of which are mostly mythologized by a propaganda poem?

https://chaddsfordhistorical.wordpre...two-if-by-sea/

In Philly, they literally debated, argued, and altered the course of human history. Almost every modern democracy is in some way influenced by the events in Philadelphia over a few years.
Yes, correct. Everytime I walk in that area I'm reminded of it. It was more than a few years though. Starting with the First Continental Congress (1774) to the inauguration of a new government in 1789 under the Constitution, it took 15 years. Of course winning the war was the defining factor.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Pocopson
353 posts, read 142,449 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHLondoner View Post
I troll my Boston friends about this all the time - the Freedom Trail is one of the best marketed tourist attractions in America. It has crazy good brand awareness. But what is it really? The most famous event involved some dude hanging lanterns in a church? The events of which are mostly mythologized by a propaganda poem?

https://chaddsfordhistorical.wordpre...two-if-by-sea/

In Philly, they literally debated, argued, and altered the course of human history. Almost every modern democracy is in some way influenced by the events in Philadelphia over a few years.
Spot on. Boston's historical sights are quantity over quality. Boston was the infancy of the Revolution - Philadelphia was its pinnacle.

As far as the number soldiers involved, the largest battle of the Revolutionary War (Battle of Brandywine) was fought outside Philadelphia, and its battlefield is an "also ran" for sights to see while visiting. Valley Forge gets some notoriety, but even that goes unseen by most tourists.

Another underappreciated Revolutionary War sight around here is up in Allentown, where the Liberty Bell was hidden while the British occupied Philadelphia. If this happened to be located along Boston's Freedom Trail, it would have been the highlight of the tour.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:31 PM
 
Location: USA
1,025 posts, read 1,103,083 times
Reputation: 1209
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Have you considered asking these questions in City vs. City?
Yes, but for whatever reason, the thread got deleted.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:08 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,075 posts, read 1,088,073 times
Reputation: 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
They're both good. Who cares?
Agreed. If OP asked "I want to take a 3 day vacation to an historic city, should I go to Boston or Philly?" the discussion of pros and cons would have a more meaningful context (and, of course, Philly would crush it )
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