Commonwealth Speakers:Independence Square: America's Birthplace


When constructed, Pennsylvania's State House was the result of political compromise and wheeling and dealing. Yet the building we know today is a foremost symbol of the U.S. This presentation looks at the place we think of as Independence Hall and the square that surrounds it. Audiences explore why the hall sits where it does, why it looks like it does, and how its creation reflects the culture and society of 18th century Pennsylvania. The presentation then recounts how these spaces were used by the people of Philadelphia to proclaim their independence. Many familiar and unfamiliar biographies flesh out the story, including those of William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and more.

Equipment: Laptop computer, projector and screen preferred. Otherwise slide projector and screen.


  • George Boudreau, Philadelphia
    History & Humanities Associate Professor, Penn State University-Harrisburg

Key to Presentations
F Family/Younger Audiences
H Hands-on/Active Participation
L Lectures
P Performances
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