Act of February 2, 1854

The Act of Consolidation, more formally known as the act of February 2, 1854 (P.L. 21, No. 16), is legislation of the Pennsylvania General Assembly that created the consolidated City and County of Philadelphia, expanding the city’s territory to the entirety of Philadelphia County and dissolving the other municipal authorities in the county. This extended Philadelphia’s territory from the two-square-mile “city proper” founded by William Penn to nearly 130 square miles.  The law was enacted by the General Assembly and approved February 2, 1854, by Governor William Bigler. This act consolidated all remaining townships, districts, and boroughs within the County of Philadelphia, dissolving their governmental structures and bringing all municipal authority within the county under the auspices of the Philadelphia government. Additionally, any unincorporated areas were included in the consolidation. The consolidation was drafted to help combat lawlessness that the many local governments could not handle separately and to bring in much needed tax revenue for the city.


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