history of new york city


  • Throughout its history, New York has served as a main port of entry for many immigrants, and its cultural and economic influence has made it one of the most important urban
    areas in the United States and the world.

  • After the Civil War, the rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States,
    a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

  • The city later resumed its social and economic recovery, bolstered by the influx of Asians, Latin Americans, and U.S. citizens, and by new crime-fighting techniques on the
    part of the New York Police Department.

  • [52] 1978–present[edit] Main article: History of New York City (1978–present) The 1980s began a rebirth of Wall Street, and the city reclaimed its role at the center of the
    worldwide financial industry.

  • Mulberry Street, on the Lower East Side, circa 1900 From 1890 to 1930, the largest cities, led by New York, were the focus of international attention.

  • [49] New York emerged from the war as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading the United States ascendancy.

  • The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City in 1765 in the first organized resistance to British authority across the colonies.

  • Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, after terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center towers New York’s population reached an all-time high in the 2000 census; according
    to census estimates since 2000, the city has continued to grow, including rapid growth in the most urbanized borough, Manhattan.

  • Post–World War II: 1946–1977[edit] Main article: History of New York City (1946–1977) RMS Queen Mary arriving in New York Harbor with thousands of U.S. troops Returning World
    War II veterans and immigrants from Europe created a postwar economic boom.

  • [40] Public-minded members of the merchant community pressed for a Central Park, which was opened to a design competition in 1857; it became the first landscape park in an
    American city.

  • During this period, New York City was a site of the September 11 attacks of 2001; 2,606 people who were in the towers and in the surrounding area were killed by a terrorist
    attack on the World Trade Center, an event considered highly traumatic for the city but which did not stop the city’s rapid regrowth.

  • During the 19th century, the city was transformed by immigration, a visionary development proposal called the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 which expanded the city street grid
    to encompass all of Manhattan, and the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.

  • King’s Color-graphs of New York City (1910) Early 20th century: 1898–1945[edit] Main article: History of New York City (1898–1945) See also: List of former municipalities
    in New York City New York’s Singer Building was the world’s tallest building when completed in 1908.

  • New York remained the largest city and largest metropolitan area in the United States, and continued as its largest financial, commercial, information, and cultural center.

  • General George Washington lost a series of battles from which he narrowly escaped (with the notable exception of the Battle of Harlem Heights, his first victory of the war),
    and the British Army occupied New York and made it their base on the continent until late 1783, attracting Loyalist refugees.

  • Modern New York traces its development to the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898 and an economic and building boom following the Great Depression and World War II.

  • The city became the political and military center of operations for the British in North America for the remainder of the war.

  • Federal and early America: 1784–1854[edit] Main article: History of New York City (1784–1854) Norman Friend.

  • Like many major U.S. cities, New York suffered race riots, gang wars and some population decline in the late 1960s.

  • Beginning in the mid-19th century, waves of new immigrants arrived from Europe dramatically changing the composition of the city and serving as workers in the expanding industries.

  • Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication, marking its rising influence with such events as the
    Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909.

  • [55] During the first wave, one-third of total known U.S. cases were in New York City.

  • New York City dominated the entire nation in terms of communications, trade, finance, popular culture, and high culture.

  • The beaver’s importance in New York’s history is reflected by its use on the city’s official seal.

  • As the city’s demographics temporarily stabilized, labor unionization helped the working class gain new protections and middle-class affluence, the city’s government and infrastructure
    underwent a dramatic overhaul under Fiorello La Guardia, and his controversial parks commissioner, Robert Moses, ended the blight of many tenement areas, expanded new parks, remade streets, and restricted and reorganized zoning controls.

  • The city was also forced to accept increased financial scrutiny by an agency of New York State.

  • The “Sons of Liberty” campaigned against British authority in New York City, and the Stamp Act Congress of representatives from throughout the Thirteen Colonies met in the
    city in 1765 to organize resistance to Crown policies.

  • Through 1940, New York was a major destination for African Americans during the Great Migration from the rural American South.

  • [38] Government institutions, including the New York City Police Department and the public schools, were established in the 1840s and 1850s to respond to growing demands of

  • In 1789, New York became the first national capital under the new Constitution.

  • [34] New York remained the national capital until 1790, when the role was transferred to Philadelphia.

  • [43] Manhattan and the Bronx were established as two separate boroughs and joined with three other boroughs created from parts of adjacent counties to form the new municipal
    government originally called “Greater New York”.

  • The Constitution also created the current Congress of the United States, and its first sitting was at Federal Hall on Wall Street.

  • On November 3, 2014, One World Trade Center opened on the site of the attack.

  • During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the city was affected by its history of strong commercial ties to the South; before the war, half of its exports were related to
    cotton, including textiles from upstate mills.

  • New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton’s policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury.

  • Native American settlement The area that eventually encompassed modern day New York was inhabited by the Lenape people.

  • Hudson’s report on the regional beaver population served as the impetus for the founding of Dutch trading colonies in the New World.

  • [12] Later, the Dutch West Indies Company imported African slaves to serve as laborers; they helped to build the wall that defended the town against English and Indian attacks.

  • The city served as the national capital under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1789, and briefly served as the new nation’s capital in 1789–90 under the United States

  • [citation needed] Dutch settlement[edit] Main article: New Amsterdam 1627 letter in Dutch by Pieter Schaghen stating the purchase of Manhattan for 60 guilders.New Amsterdam
    in 1664 The first Dutch fur trading posts and settlements were in 1614 near present-day Albany, New York, the same year that New Netherland first appeared on maps.

  • Consequently, the area also became the focal point for Washington’s espionage and intelligence-gathering throughout the war.

  • [32] American Revolution[edit] George Washington enters New York in triumph following the British evacuation of America.

  • [50] During the late 1960s, the views of real estate developer and city leader Robert Moses began to fall out of favor as the anti-urban renewal views of Jane Jacobs gained

  • [8]: 11–12  European exploration continued on September 2, 1609, when the Englishman Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, sailed the Half Moon through
    the Narrows into Upper New York Bay.

  • By 1835, New York had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

  • [42] In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then an independent city), Manhattan, and outlying areas.

  • [22][23] Lawyers[edit] In New York at first, legal practitioners were full-time businessmen and merchants, with no legal training, who had watched a few court proceedings,
    and mostly used their own common sense together with snippets they had picked up about English law.

  • As of December 2021, New York City has experienced the most deaths of any locality in the coronavirus pandemic in New York state, which itself has the highest number of confirmed
    coronavirus cases of any state in the United States.

  • The colony was granted self-government in 1652, and New Amsterdam was incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653.

  • Yet following reform in ethics according to American Enlightenment thought, by the 1770s slaves made up less than 25% of the population.

  • [26] For the next century, various attempts were made, and failed, to build an effective organization of lawyers.

  • George Washington triumphantly returned to the city that day, as the last British forces left the city.

  • [41] Many blacks left the city and moved to Brooklyn.

  • Only in May 1624 did the Dutch West India Company land a number of families at Noten Eylant (today’s Governors Island) off the southern tip of Manhattan at the mouth of the
    North River (today’s Hudson River).

  • [27] Native Americans and slaves[edit] View of New York Harbor, c. 1770 By 1700, the Lenape population of New York had diminished to 200.

  • The construction of the Rockefeller Center occurred in the 1930s and was the largest-ever private development project at the time.

  • After the major defeat of the Continental Army in the Battle of Long Island in late 1776, General George Washington withdrew to Manhattan Island, but with the subsequent defeat
    at the Battle of Fort Washington the island was effectively left to the British.

  • Chromo lithograph, Brooklyn Museum Starting in 1785 the Congress met in the city of New York under the Articles of Confederation.

  • Street activists and minority groups such as the Black Panthers and Young Lords organized rent strikes and garbage offensives, demanding improved city services for poor areas.

  • In addition, the British began to hold the majority of captured American prisoners of war aboard prison ships in Wallabout Bay, across the East River in Brooklyn.


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• Stokes, I.N. Phelps. The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909
compiled from original sources and illustrated by photo-intaglio reproductions of important maps plans views and documents in public and private collections (6 vols., 1915–28). A highly detailed, heavily illustrated chronology of Manhattan and New
York City. see The Iconography of Manhattan Island All volumes are on line free at:
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 1. 1915 v. 1. The period of discovery (1524-1609); the Dutch period (1609-1664). The English period
(1664-1763). The Revolutionary period (1763-1783). Period of adjustment and reconstruction; New York as the state and federal capital (1783-1811)
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 2. 1916 v. 2. Cartography: an essay on
the development of knowledge regarding the geography of the east coast of North America; Manhattan Island and its environs on early maps and charts / by F.C. Wieder and I.N. Phelps Stokes. The Manatus maps. The Castello plan. The Dutch grants. Early
New York newspapers (1725-1811). Plan of Manhattan Island in 1908
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 3. 1918 v. 3. The War of 1812 (1812-1815). Period of invention, prosperity, and progress (1815-1841). Period of industrial
and educational development (1842-1860). The Civil War (1861-1865); period of political and social development (1865-1876). The modern city and island (1876-1909)
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 4. 1922; v. 4. The period
of discovery (565-1626); the Dutch period (1626-1664). The English period (1664-1763). The Revolutionary period, part I (1763-1776)
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 5. 1926; v. 5. The Revolutionary period, part II (1776-1783).
Period of adjustment and reconstruction New York as the state and federal capital (1783-1811). The War of 1812 (1812-1815) ; period of invention, prosperity, and progress (1815-1841). Period of industrial and educational development (1842-1860). The
Civil War (1861-1865) ; Period of political and social development (1865-1876). The modern city and island (1876-1909)
o I.N. Phelps Stokes; The Iconography of Manhattan Island Vol 6. 1928; v. 6. Chronology: addenda. Original grants and farms. Bibliography.
• Virga, Vincent, ed. Historic Maps and Views of New York (2008)
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ted_m8/9399711558/’]