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The History Of New York City

Topics: New York City, United States / Pages: 7 (2581 words) / Published: Mar 5th, 2015
Matthew Cusumano
Mr. O’Shea
U.S. History
April 26, 2013
New York City and All That It Is New York City is one of the most world renowned cities in the world, it is the most populated city in America, and also the center of America. It is the center of America because of its vast history and its connection to the rest of the country in everything they do. New York City may not be the official capital of The United States of America, but it sure could be because of its overwhelming presence in the United States as well as the whole world. New York City is also known as the world’s big melting pot, containing people from all over the world. People come from everywhere and anywhere to come see the all of the amazing things that New York City and The United States have to offer. The city is made up of five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. New York dates back to as early as 1624, when it was known as New Amsterdam. It was founded by the Duke of York and was used as a trading post for the Dutch, but shortly after that the British took over and began colonizing the region. New York was the capital of America up until 1790 when it was moved to Washington D.C., but New York still played a major role in the country even though it was not the capital. New York City is the greatest example of our founding fathers Republican experiment, full of history both early and modern, culture, and millions of people and all of their stories in this amazing city. It is often hard to imagine that a city such as New York City was not always there, that it had to go through a long and eventful history to get to the amazing city it is today. New York was originally founded by a few Dutch settlers, who decided to use New York City as a trading post. The first recorded European voyage to New York was made by Giovanni da Verrazzano, on the French ship La Dauphine. Shortly after that another explorer who goes by the name of Henry Hudson stumbled upon New York City looking for a path to Asia. The region was named after the Duke of York. Shortly after the Dutch began trading, the British took over and began colonizing in the Americas. When the British started taking over and colonizing the New World New York was part of the middle colonies. During the American Revolution New York played a major role in getting the colonies their independence from Great Britain. After the colonies became their own independent nation, they named New York their capital. It was the center of the country from some of the country’s earliest days.
New York played a central role in the political life of the new nation. It was a focus of debate over the new federal Constitution. As opposed to upstate farmers, its residents were largely in favor of a strong central government that would protect commercial interests and uphold national honor; the Federalist Papers, the most important defenses of the new Constitution, were published in New York. It was also the nation 's first capital; George Washington was inaugurated on 30 August 1789 on the steps of City Hall, which was converted into the first federal building. (Rock 456)
New York played a very large role in the early development of the country; it was the head of the political, industrial, and financial categories. Shortly after the United States became its own independent nation they were wondering how to govern this newly formed country. So, the United States tried out something new, something called “The Republican Experiment.” The Republican Experiment was a new form of government that was based on republican principles. The experiment was full of reforms because the government was heavily influenced by the people.
As the United States began to expand as time went on New York City was often leading the country economically, industrially, and in many other ways as well for long periods of time. When the Europeans heard about how amazing America sounded they wanted to come to America and try to give their families and themselves a better life.
Immigration was perhaps the central factor in the unplanned explosion of urban America, and especially of New York City. In fact, the diversity of the new urban America was as dramatic as its sudden growth. June Howard points out that "in 1880, 80 percent of the population of New York was foreign-born or born of immigrants; Thus, New York 's Ellis Island, the federal facility through which immigrants to the East Coast were processed, can be said to have given birth to a vibrant new American culture. (Giles 247)
Many European immigrants immigrated to New York City because when they first got to America they were on Ellis Island which is in New York, and most of the immigrants knew that New York was a land of opportunities where they could try and make their American dream come true. These immigrants did not waste any time getting to work and trying to give their families and themselves the better life that they dreamed of in America. Although the immigrants were uneducated and untrained in most fields they still did any job that they could find, but this caused some problems for the uneducated and untrained immigrants. “New York City immigrants struggle in an economy that is increasingly unequal and that rewards skills and schooling above anything else. For immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean, whose level of schooling is substantially below the average, this leads to comparatively low income levels and high poverty rates.” (Darity 575) If the uneducated and untrained immigrants were unable to find work they had to go through very hard times. However, because some immigrants were unable to find jobs they started to make money through organized crime. Organized crime was a very large part of New York City, one of the biggest organized crime groups was the Italian Mafia. The Mafia had many different “families” who did many different things. The Mafia, or Mob as some called it, did many illegal things to make their money. Some sold alcohol during prohibition; some others may have robbed banks to get money for their families. Shortly after organized crime reached its peak the Roaring 20s began in New York. The Roaring 20s also known as the Harlem Renaissance was a great time for African Americans. The Harlem Renaissance was a time in which African Americans began taking over the world of fine arts. African Americans were headlining shows in music, poetry, and theatre.
New York City became the cultural capital of the United States, serving as the focal point for American literature, publishing, music, theater, and in the twentieth century movies, television, advertising, fashion, and one of America 's unique musical contributions, jazz. The interactive artistic, literary, intellectual, and commercial life of New York has evolved into one of the city 's most distinctive features. (Day 81)
New York City became known worldwide for all of the amazing talent that it contained in so many different categories. New York City has just continued to become even greater since those amazing times; it has also become one of the biggest innovating cities of all time. When New York City ran out of room to expand instead of building out, they built up. New York City began constructing skyscrapers to try and stop the city from becoming too congested. New York City is known now for having one of the nicest skylines in the world thanks to all of the amazing architecture used on the beautiful skyscrapers. New York City is one of the world’s greatest cities, and it has done a lot of things to be thought of as one of them. However New York City has also gone through some really hard times throughout the years, but New York City has never backed down in the face of adversity. The city always rises above the adversity and comes back even stronger. One of the most monumental things that New York City has had to come back from is the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On September 11, 2001 two planes were flown into the twin towers killing thousands of people. The destruction and damage had already been done, but New York City did not give up. They cleaned up the city, they helped all the people affected, and they have begun rebuilding! New York City has begun building The Freedom Tower, which is going to be the new World Trade Center. It is also going to serve as a memorial for all of the lives that were lost on that horrific day in 2001. New York City also faced some very hard times, on October 29, 1929 the stock market had crashed. This put New York in a huge whole. They were financially in a lot of trouble. The stock market crash sent New York into the great depression. This was a very dark time in New York City. The depression lasted about 10 years, and dug New York City into a very deep hole that was very difficult to climb out of. Since the depression New York City and the stock market have been doing well, up until recently when the market crashed again and now New York City is in a recession. New York City is no stranger to bad financial times, but it will rise again and come back even stronger than it was before. And if that was not enough adversity for you New York City was hit very hard by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012. The storm devastated parts of New York. Many people were very concerned about how the city was going to respond, but they responded, and responded very strongly. The city is currently trying to rebuild all of the places that were severely damaged during the storm and trying to clean up all of the areas that are still dangerous to go through, but New Yorkers are always trying to find a way to help their fellow citizens out. New York City and all of its citizens are no strangers to adversity because they have been faced with it so many times before, but now it seems like they are always ready to begin rebuilding and coming back even stronger as city. New York City is often described as the cultural capital of the world by people in different countries all over the world. Many iconic movements have begun in New York City like the Harlem Renaissance, the Hip-Hop takeover, Abstract expressionism in art, and so many more. New York City was and still is widely known for its numerous appearances in novels, television, and movies. New York City is a worldwide leader in the American entertainment industry, with films, television series, books, and the performing arts. New York City holds two of the world’s most famous venues for the fine arts and sports, music, and just about everything in between. New York City is home to Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden. Lincoln Center is one of the world’s most famous venues for the fine arts such as plays, operas and orchestras, and dance. Madison Square Garden is often called “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” this is because of the hype behind every event that is held in The Garden. The Garden is the home to some of New York’s favorite teams like the Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty. The Garden has also hosted many other types of events such as concerts, boxing and wrestling matches, dog shows, and even government conventions. Also very recently a new arena was opened in downtown Brooklyn. It is called the Barclays Center; it is home to the Brooklyn Nets and has already hosted many concerts from some of today’s most popular artists from around the world. New York City is also very famous for all of their parades throughout the year such as; the St. Patrick Day Parade, the Puertorican Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade, the Ticker Tape Parade, and the Gay Pride parade. All of these parades are a great part of life in the city because no matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re from, New York City has something for you to do. “Today, more than 8 million New Yorkers live in the five boroughs--more than one-third of whom were born outside the United States. Thanks to the city’s diversity and vibrant intellectual life, it remains the cultural capital of the United States.” (New York City) All of the different kinds of New Yorkers and all of their different personalities make up the greatest city in the world. New York City is the economic center of America, because it contains the New York Stock Exchange or NYSE as well as Wall Street. Both NYSE and Wall Street are two of the biggest and most important business and financial parts of our countries economy. Everyday thousands of people go to the NYSE and trade stock, everybody sharing the same goal, to make as much money as they can. Wall Street is one of the biggest financial districts in the world, business men come from all over the world to come and do business with certain clients on Wall Street. But, what would this amazing success be if it did not have its troubles at sometime, lately both Wall Street and the NYSE have been going through hard times with the recession hitting them very hard, but as the recession is beginning to fade away Wall Street and the NYSE are slowly but surely returning to their old selves. In conclusion, New York City is full of so much history both past and present, culture from all of the different kinds of people that all call themselves New Yorkers, adversity and the city’s ability to overcome it and comeback twice as strong, and some of the top financial and business districts in the whole world. New York City is one of the world’s greatest cities because of everything it has to offer to anybody who is interested enough to become a part of the city. So, what makes New York City so great? The better question would be what does not make New York City so great.

Works Cited

Burrows, Edwin G., and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New
Darity, Jr. Ed. William A. “Immigrants, New York City” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p572-576. Print. Gale
Day, Jared N. Day. New York City. Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. Vol. 6. 3rd ed. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2003. p78-81. Print. Gale Finkelman. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2006. p456-460. Print. Gale Giles, James R. “City Dwellers.” American History Through Literature 1870-1920. Ed. Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2006. p246- 252. Print. Gale
"New York City History." History of New York City. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.
“New York City.” 2013. The History Channel website. Feb 28 2013, 7:50 <>
Rock, Howard B. “New York City” Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Ed. Paul York: Oxford UP, 1999. Print. Gale

Cited: Burrows, Edwin G., and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New Darity, Jr. Ed. William A. “Immigrants, New York City” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Vol. 3. 2nd ed.  Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p572-576. Print. Gale Day, Jared N. Day. New York City. Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. Vol. 6. 3rd ed.  New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2003. p78-81. Print. Gale Finkelman. Vol. 2.  Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2006. p456-460. Print. Gale Giles, James R. “City Dwellers.” American History Through Literature 1870-1920. Ed. Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. Vol. 1.  Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2006. p246- 252. Print. Gale "New York City History." History of New York City. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. “New York City.” 2013. The History Channel website. Feb 28 2013, 7:50 Rock, Howard B. “New York City” Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Ed. Paul York: Oxford UP, 1999. Print. Gale

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