The History of New York City
New York City is well-known to anyone in the world. It is a magic city that leaves a long-lasting impression among its visitors from all over the world. It has become the world capital because New York City mainly consists of immigrants. It is an important political and economic center. Many world organizations are located there. New York City encompasses diverse cultures and ethnicities. It was developed in the course of history experiencing both success and failure. NYC used to be the first place for immigrants who entered the United States by boats. Many outstanding individuals contributed to the development of the city. NYC attracts guests, immigrants and workers from everywhere. It is a place where people can fulfill their dreams.
Historical Overview of NYC
The area of New York City was initially inhabited by Native Americans. The situation has changed after the arrival of the Dutch explorers led by Hudson who was part of the Dutch East India Company in 1609. Kurlansky assumed that it was an undeveloped region with a big territory (27). In 1614, the first Europeans a Dutch fur-trading post entered the territory of the modern Manhattan. It resulted in the further invasion of new settlers. Some sources reported that in 1624 the Canarsees Indians sold the island to the Dutch for $24. It was a deal of the millennium. Afterwards, the city was called New Amsterdam. The New York area consisted of Delaware, New York and Connecticut. It was a Dutch colony.
Since those times, the city has been recognized as a major port. It was a desirable place for everyone. However, in 1783, the city proclaimed its desire to become one of the thirteen British colonies. Since then, the city began to develop rapidly and soon became the largest city in the United States. In 1886, the Statue of Liberty was constructed in New York Harbor that greeted immigrants and returning Americans. It is one of the main attractions in the United States today. Since 1898, NYC was divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
During the British occupation, New York City was twice ruined by fires (Revai 121). The British occupation ended in 1783 and George Washington entered the liberated city. Later in 1789, NYC became the first capital of the USA and remained such until 1790. When the U.S. Constitution was adopted, the Congress was formed and its first meeting was held at Federal Hall on Wall Street. New York City was also the first place of residence of the United States Supreme Court. Alexander Hamilton was elected as the first Secretary of the Treasury and put a lot of efforts in the economic development of the city. It has grown beyond recognition. The immigration flows rose tremendously during that period. Furthermore, a new street grid system was introduced in Manhattan.
One of the outstanding persons in New York City was the first mayor Fernando Wood who was an immigrant from Ireland and supported Democratic Party that ruled in that period. The 19th century was marked with an intensive growth of the city. A large amount of immigrants entered the city and built many important objects. Thus, the Erie Canal was of the greatest importance to the city’s development because it connected New York with agricultural markets of Canada and the whole Eastern part of the USA.
The 19th century also featured introduction of the Central Part that was designed in 1857. In 1840s, the larger amount of immigrants came from Ireland because of the famine in their native country. As a result, the Irish population comprised one quarter of the whole population of the city. During this period, the whole New York City infrastructure was completely developed. Thus, the New York City Police Department and government institutions were established in NYC. The growing population demanded more services and institutions that could guarantee protection to them.
Changes that Occur in the 20th Century in NYC
Many historians argue that at the end of the 19th century the Borough of Brooklyn was joined with Manhattan by the Brooklyn Bridge. In the first half of the 20th century, the city gained the reputation of an industrial, commercial and communicative center of the USA. In 1909, all five New York City boroughs were connected by means of the first New York City subway. The year of 1940 was featured by the main migration flow of African Americans who came from the rural South. The internal migrants went to New York City looking for a job. New factories, plants and a great number of businesses attracted more and more people. Due to the rapid economic growth of the city, people of all cultures, beliefs, races and socioeconomic connections found New York City as a decent place to live in (Maffi 154).
New York City always experienced changes including success and failures. Due to the Immigration Restriction Act and the Great Depression, the number of immigrants decreased. As a result, the city’s demographic rate was stabilized for a while. During this period, workers fought for their rights. The city was influenced by modern architectural trends and a lot of huge skyscrapers were built in Manhattan. The Empire State Building that is one of the most attractive places in the city was built in 1937 under the guidance of architects Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates. A lot of immigrants were involved in the construction. The Empire State Building was the first highest building in the USA and in the world.
The research asserts that in the 20th century there were a number of master builders in New York City (Lankevich 69). Robert Moses was one of the most talented architects of that time. In fact, he was a shaper of the modern city and one of the most famous architects in the United States. He generated various ideas in terms of the creation of highways and a large parkway network that was his main contribution to the city infrastructure. Kessner argues that due to Moses, in contrary to other American cities, New York City has a perfect proportion of public corporations (13). He made a great contribution to the city management and controlling system. NYC received millions of incomes owing Moses’ ideas and projects. He was also responsible for the construction of the World Trade Center that was destroyed during September 11 terrorist attack and the headquarters of the United Nations.
The Major Challenges Faced by New York City Today
The problems of New York City do not differ from those of other American cities. One of the main problems is poverty that is a national phenomenon. Kessner argues that for every manifestation of poverty New York City has ten times more than any place in the world (56). New York City is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States. Racial tension, discrimination and other issues often become the topic of debate in the New York City. Although, all nations and ethnical groups are considered to be equal, many minority groups are not satisfied with their positions in society. Blacks and Hispanics, as well as other minorities invaded the city. However, these ethnical groups have the lowest level of living. Many Hispanic immigrants do not speak English. They work long hours for miserable salaries. As a result, their children lack parents’ support and assistance. Public schools are often a dangerous place for children. It is also the place of racial discriminations.
The city was faced by a number of disasters in the 21st century. The main national tragedy of the 21st century was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Several weeks after September 11, elite coalitions such as Civil Engagement and the Lower Manhattan, representing the Lower Manhattan, came together to coordinate a common response. One of the first results was the coordination of authorities to protect downtown that was a powerful engine of the city’s regional and national economy. The best living memorial to those who perished in the World Trade Center attack was a proof that Lower Manhattan emerged from that tragedy as a center of the global economy. Initiative groups formed a joint venture advocating for the full restoration of the 11 million square feet of office space lot (Lankevich 201). Faced by such circumstances, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg created the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on November 2001, as the lead planning agency and mediator.
New York City is one of the most magic cities in the world that attracts visitors and immigrants. This is a city that encompasses different cultures, religions, races and traditions because it was once built by immigrants. During its history, the Big Apple experienced progress and failure. However, in spite all challenges that one can face coming to New York City, it is an unforgettable place where one can find whatever he or she wants. The city has never been stable. Its rapid growth and economic development are quite impressive. Being one of the main industrial and political centers in the world, the city consists of many international organizations such as the United Nations Organization. Finally, people of diverse cultures may fulfil their dreams and accomplish plans in New York City.