In Philadelphia, President Ulysses S. Grant opened the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, the first World’s Fair held in the United States. The event hosted various exhibits of nature and technology, including Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, and attracted almost nine million visitors in six months.
At the meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
Delegates from several states met to reform commercial regulations of the United States in the Annapolis Convention of 1786. They recommended that another convention be called to shape changes in the federal government; the resulting Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787.
The basic document by which the United States is governed, the US Constitution was ratified when the ninth state, New Hampshire, voted in favor of the document on June 21, 1788. Drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the Constitution divided governmental powers between the national and state governments in a system known as federalism. It also divided the national government into three independent branches.