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New York City.

New York City History

New York City was home to many Native Americans long before the first Europeans ever set foot there. In 1524 Florentine Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the upper bay. Even though Verrazzano didn’t stay, a bridge was named in his honor. Then in 1609, Henry Hudson stumbled upon the region while searching for the northwest passage. Hudson claimed the area for the Dutch East India Company. Obviously, the Hudson River was named after him. By 1625, Dutch settlers

had established a lucrative fur trade with the natives. The colony was called New Amsterdam. Peter Minuit, of the West India Company, bought New Amsterdam from the Native Americans that were living there for what is believed to be $24. Minuits’s deal has since become legendary. By the 1650’s, warehouses, workshops, and great houses had sprung up along the riverside.

English battleships arrived in 1664. The Dutch colony surrendered to the English without even firing a shot. King Charles II renamed the colony New York after his brother the Duke of York. The Dutch and English settlers were able to co-exist peacefully. Trade with the Caribbean grew to become a prominent business and consequently New York became highly prosperous. Locals grew bolder and found that they were able to avoid taxation by hiding their earnings from the British. It was only a matter of time before the colonials would be at war with England.

Revolutionary War
During the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington’s campaigns in New York were primarily met with defeat. The British occupied New York throughout most of the war, sailing out of New York Harbor in 1783, some time before the end of the war. After independence was won, the new government needed to choose a capital for the new nation. New York was temporarily functioned as the capital before being moved to Philadelphia and eventually Washington DC.

Mighty public projects such as Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge helped to bring prosperity back to New York City. By the turn of the 20th century, elevated trains were transporting 1-million people in and out of the city daily. At this time, the city’s population had sky rocketed to nearly 3 million.

Civil War
New York abolished slavery in 1827. However, the Civil War was strongly opposed in New York City. There already was a shortage of jobs and thousands of immigrants where coming of the boats daily. New Yorkers didn’t want to fight for the emancipation of people that they beloved would steal their jobs and drive down wages. When news of Lincoln institution of the draft to replenish his army hit the streets, riots broke out all over the city. Soldiers had to enter the city to disperse the mobs.

After the Civil War, wealthy societies grew out of the fortunes being made off oil, railroads, and steel. Mansions sprung up along Fifth Avenue and there was a separation of classes.

Great Depression
New York City was hit hard during the Great Depression. Many New Yorkers were forced to live in shacks within Central Park. Public projects eventually did helped to bring New York out of the depression. WWII brought masses of troops to New York City who were willing to spend every cent they had before being shipped off to Europe. This also helped to stimulate the economy.

After the war, prosperity returned and there was an explosion in sky scrappers built throughout the city. Though, the good times were short lived. By 1958, the Dodgers had left Brooklyn and the Giants had left upper Manhattan. The city fell back into a recession, which climaxed in the 1970’s when the city declared bankruptcy.

Reagan Years
Wall Street rallied in the 1980’s during the Reagan Years. In the 1990’s with Rudolph Giuliani as mayor, the city rode a wave of prosperity. Guiliani left the city safer, cleaner, and more populated.

New York City again experienced difficult time after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks that collapsed the World Trade Center. However, New York City has since rebounded and is again experiencing high times.


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