> United States > Pennsylvania > Counties > Allegheny
|Established|| December 00, 1758|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||RP July 13, 2015 10:17pm|
Pittsburgh, the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania was founded in 1758. |
At the site of present-day Pittsburgh, in 1754, the French built Fort Duquesne. During
the French and Indian War, British General John Forbes occupied the fort. He ordered
the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder.
He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough."
The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron
and armaments. Steel production began by 1875, when the Edgar Thomson Works
in Braddock began to make steel rail using the Bessemer process.
In 1901, the U.S. Steel Corporation formed. By 1911, Pittsburgh was producing between
a third and a half of the nation's various types of steel. The city's population swelled to
half a million, many of whom were immigrants from Europe. During World War II,
Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel. By this time, the pollution of the burning
coal and steel production created a black fog (or smog).
Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as
"Renaissance II." The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but
beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region imploded, with
massive lay-offs and mill closures. Beginning in the 1980s, the city shifted its economic
base to services, tourism, medicine and high technology. During this transition, the city
population has shrunk from 680,000 in 1950 to 330,000 in 2000.
The mayor, like the 9-member council, serves a four-year term. City council members
are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts.
From the American Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold.
Since the Great Depression, Pittsburgh has been dominated by the Democratic Party.
Popular Mayors have initiated reforms to the city, such as David L. Lawrence's original
"Rennissance Plan", Richard Caliguri's "Second Rennissance", and Bob O'Connor's
"Redd Up Pittsburgh" (Redd Up is a phrase in the famous local dialect "Pittsburghease").
The city has experienced grief recently with O'Connor's untimely death, but 26 year old
Mayor Luke Ravensthal has pledged to continue the "Redd Up" plan.