The Civil War shatters neighborhood calm and brings old tensions to a boiling point. Philadelphia will be the powerhouse of the North: brimming with industrial muscle, scores of war hospitals, and thousands of troops. Citizens rally around President Lincoln’s call that “all should have an equal chance.” But with the war over and the President dead, the fight for equality becomes a battle in the streets – with tragic results.
Philadelphia: The Great Experiment is a multi-format historical documentary television film and Internet project that presents the story of Philadelphia, the single most compelling stage for the unfurling and testing of American ideals. William Penn’s city was the first in the world to codify freedom of religion, individual rights, trial by jury, and a democratic assembly as the pillars of a constitution amendable by the people.