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Are you curious to know when New York City was founded? It was founded in 1624. New York, the famous NY or NYC, is one of the most well-known and teeming cities in the world.
Today, the city that never sleeps is famous for various things like skyscrapers, hectic streets, multicultural crowds, and cultural and historical sites, to name a few. However, not many people know the origins of New York City or its evolution to the current condition. New York City has a lot of significant history, and there are many interesting things you will get to know.
1. Q & A About the Beginning of New York City
1.1 What was New York City Called in the Beginning?
New York is a colony located northeast of the North American coastline. This settlement was previously known as New Amsterdam in 1626.
1.2 When New York City was Founded?
The city began its origins in a Manhattan trading station in 1624 by Dutch colonizers.
1.3 Who Founded New York City?
The Dutch first settled in New Amsterdam on New Amsterdam Island in 1624. In 1665, England controlled the area and named it New York.
1.4 Why is it Called So?
New York is named after the Duke of York, King Charles II’s brother, after it was conquered fighting the Dutch.
1.5 What are the Other Names of New York?
There are numerous nicknames for the most populous city, New York City. The “Big Apple” refers to the city’s role as the US’s most significant cultural and economic hub. Other well-known nicknames for the city include “Gotham,” The Capital of the World, The City That Never Sleeps, The Melting Pot, The City of Dreams, The Empire City, The Center of the Universe, The Concrete Jungle, and The City So Nice They Named It Twice.
2. A History of New York City – Local Histories
2.1 17th Century
Giovanni da Verrazano, a Roman, discovered the New York harbor around 1503. In 1609, he went down the Hudson River. The Dutch were the first ones to settle in then called New Amsterdam.
The first attempt to settle was in 1624. The Dutch West India Company sent a group of settlers. Only 8 remained here while the others left for Albany. Later, 45 more settlers joined them and built a fort (Fort Amsterdam) to protect their colony.
In 1626, the Dutch established their first trade post. This colony was of immense interest to the Dutch due to its advantageous location near the Hudson River’s mouth, which allowed a connection to huge inland waterway networks.
New Amsterdam was located on the southernmost point of Manhattan Island. A larger tract of land surrounding this settlement was declared New Netherland (due to the exploration of New York Bay by Henry Hudson). Initially, the colony was centered on trade, and the Dutch engaged in trade with local Native Americans and the tribes for furs and other items. New Amsterdam is known for its skins.
In 1626, the first Governor, Peter Minuit, purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians. The Netherlands built a small town on South York Island. The company thrived and sold skins to customers.
Initially, settlers had otter, beaver minke, and seal skins. However, New Amsterdam was a small city with only 2,000 inhabitants at the turn of the 17th century. Nevertheless, certain farmers planted their land in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and there has been valid growth over the decades.
You should note that the early settlers weren’t all Dutch. Other settlers included French, English, and Walloons (Belgium). The first African slaves came in 1628. In 1654, Jews came to New Amsterdam. The colony was largely constructed with the help of slaves.
Peter Stuyvesant, the son of a Calvinist minister, was the governor of New Amsterdam in 1647.
“I shall control you as a father his children,” wrote Stuyvesant in 1647. Due to his severe administration, Stuyvesant quickly angered the inhabitants. Stuyvesant mandated that all pubs close at nine o’clock. Nonetheless, Stuyvesant built a municipal administration for New Amsterdam in 1653 that was modeled after that of Dutch cities. Stuyvesant constructed a wooden barrier to establish the northern city borders in the same year that New Amsterdam became a city, and it is now located where Wall Street once stood.
Nonetheless, an English fleet arrived early in 1664. Stuyvesant gave up out of worry that the British army would pillage the settlement and retired to a farm. The Dutch briefly introduced New Amsterdam in 1673 but lost it to the English again in 1674. In tribute to the Duke of York, King Charles II’s brother, New Amsterdam, was renamed New York this time.
2.2 18th Century
In the 1800s, New York had nearly 500 citizens and continued growing rapidly. In 1776, its population surpassed 25000. New York was home to around 67,000 people by 1804. During the 1800s, the main industry in New York was milling. Windmills turned their grains.
Meanwhile, New York became a world trade center, and merchants traded with the British and the Caribbean. In the 18th century, ships were also built. The first shipyard opened in 1720. There were still slaves in New York during the 18th century. In 1712 slaves burned down an apartment on Maiden Street. A total of nine white men and women were killed.
In 1741, a terrible incident took place in the New York colony. Many fires started during that period. Although fires were not uncommon, many people believed they were acts of deliberate destruction. They worried that the slaves were involved in some plot. The company began its investigation. After being questioned, Mary Burton, a bonded servant, eventually stated that slaves and poor whites had conspired against them.
Indentured servants were required to work without pay for a number of years to cover the cost of their travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Mary Burton was later recognized for her role in exposing the “conspiracy,” and she was freed from her indenture. There is no evidence that such a conspiracy ever took place. Yet, as the panic grew, 18 slaves were hung, and 13 were set afire. In addition, 4 white people were hanged.
There were a number of facilities that spurred up over the 18th century, and York City began to grow. Here are those developments: The New York Gazette was the first newspaper that started printing in 1725. The first theatre premiered in 1732.
In 1754, Kings College, which is now Columbia University, was established. In 1730, Jews constructed their first synagogue on Mill Street. Bowling Green Park is New York’s oldest park. In 1733, lawn bowling was played there in this park. In 1766, St. Paul’s Chapel was erected. In 1799, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery was also built.
What’s more, is that York City developed into a hub of American political and cultural life. It was the location of some of the first demonstrations against European settlement and was crucial to the American Revolution. George Washington left New York in 1776, handing the city to British forces. Then, on September 21, 1776, New York was hit by a devastating fire that burned out hundreds of homes. Almost one-fourth of the entire city was completely destroyed and in ruins. Up to the end of the war, New England kept the American city under their control.
George Washington returned back in 1783. George Washington, the United States’ first president, took office there in 1789 after New York City was designated as the nation’s capital in 1785. Washington pledged allegiance to the nation at Federal Hall on April 20, 1789.
After the war, certain streets in the national capital received new names. Queen Street became Pearl Street, and King Street changed to Pine Street. Conversely, the neighboring Queens County, named after Catherine of Braganza, queen of Charles II, has retained its original name. Queens was afterward made into a borough of New York.
The Society of St. Tammany was created in 1789 as a worthy cause. Still, it quickly developed a political identity and came to dominate New York City politics under the name Tammany Hall.
Before 1792, Wall Street and the area around it were the primary locations for informal stock and share dealing. But that year, a number of business owners decided to stick together as a collective. That marked the birth of the New York Stock Exchange. New York City saw Yellow Fever outbreaks in 1791 and 1798. Nevertheless, the populace of York continued to rise rapidly.
2.3 19th Century
In 1811, an upcoming fort called Western Battery replaced Fort George. Originally, it was named Castle Clinton by Mayor DeWitt Clinton. At first, Manhattan grew haphazardly. In 1807, Governors appointed a commission to prepare city plans for their city.
Its reports were published in 1811. The plans call for putting new streets in grids. 155 roads and 11 avenues were built from east to west. As Manhattan’s economy grew, it spread north over Manhattan. In 1820, it had reached an estimated 125000 citizens and was the largest metropolitan area in U.S. history. The business continued quickly.
With a city of 123,000, New York was the largest city in the States by 1820. It kept expanding quickly. New York had 312,000 residents in 1840 and 813,000 by 1860. Unfortunately, the old part of New York was severely damaged by fire in 1835, but it was quickly rebuilt. Harlem and New York were connected by a railroad in 1837, resulting in quick growth.
New York’s port was thriving. On the Hudson River, a steamboat was introduced by Robert Fultonin in 1807. The Black Ball Line, the first shipping line between New York and Liverpool, was established in 1818 by shipowners in New York.
Yet shortly after the construction of the Erie Canal, New York’s port experienced tremendous growth. It made it possible to quickly and cheaply move goods from the coast to the interior. In the nineteenth century, New York’s shipbuilding sector prospered.
In 1831, New York University was established. In 1845, the New York City Police Force was formed. For a year, NYC served as the Federal Capitol before it was transferred to Washington, D.C. New York developed into the headquarters of the abolitionist movement in the 1820s. A new law established by Congress mandated the conscription of males to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The populous city was also the subject of violent unrest during Draft Week in 1863.
Draft riots overtook New York City on July 12, 1863. a new conscription law was passed, and protesters stayed in the streets until Lincoln dispatched troops to the federal capital to end the unrest. There were numerous fatalities and extensive property damage.
New York was an unhealthy city in the 19th century, just like other cities in Europe and North America. It was no surprise when Cholera hit New York in 1832 and 1849. It came back in 1866. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland inaugurated the Statue of Liberty.
The mid-19th century saw many Germans and Irish people moving to New York. Likewise, the Italians came in the late 19th century and the Jews from Eastern Europe in the 1890s.
The United States Immigration Station on Ellis Island originally began operating in 1892. A little over 17 million immigrants came through Ellis Island between 1892 and its closure in 1954. The immigration of Chinese was nevertheless restricted in 1882, that of Japanese in 1907, and that of illiterates in 1917. Many African Americans moved to Harlem at the end of the 19th century.
Tenements were the homes of many impoverished New Yorkers at the time. They were overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and had windowless chambers.
Five Points, a slum, was destroyed, and Columbus Park was built in its place in 1892. In 1901, Seward Park was established. Besides that, New York’s garment industry surged at the end of the 19th century. Yet, the working environment was horrible, with employees putting in long hours for pitiful pay.
The five boroughs were combined into a single municipal authority in 1898 after the Great Depression and World War II. The five boroughs that make up modern-day New York City were namely Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
Before joining to establish “Greater New York,” or New York City, these five boroughs were all separate municipal jurisdictions. As a result of this consolidation, the population increased to over 3.4 million.
2.4 20th Century
New York grew throughout the 20th century. Approximately 50,000 people from China arrived in the region in the 1970s and 80s. By 1980, New York had accounted for seven billion people. Several important buildings are undergoing construction in the Newtown area. The Flatiron buildings date from 1902.
A library was built in 1915 in Brooklyn. Woolworths Buildings was erected in 1913. In 1912, grand Central Station opened its doors. Chrysler was built in 1930, and the Empire Building was built in 1931. In 1931, the General Electrical Building was commissioned. The Rockefeller Centre grew from 1930 to 1940. Times Square was named in honor of Times Square, which moved into the building in 1904.
The Chrysler and Empire State buildings were constructed in 1930 and 1931, respectively. The General Electric Building was constructed in 1931 as well. Between 1932 and 1940, the Rockefeller Center was completed. Also, the New York Times, which relocated there in 1904, inspired the name “Times Square“. New York hosted world fairs in 1939–1940 and 1964–1964. Yet, Harlem had race riots in 1965. A power outage hit New York in 1965 as well.
David Dinkins was elected as New York City’s first African-American mayor in 1990. Rudolph Giuliani won the election in 1993. He was able to bring down crime in New York.
2.5 21st Century
New York City is a thriving metropolis and one of the most significant cities in the world. It is the largest city in the USA and a major center of trade, culture, and innovation, with a population of over 8 million. The 21st-century New York City skyline is dominated by skyscrapers like the One World Trade Center and the Hudson Yards development. The city has continued to expand and evolve with new construction like the High Line and the restoration of regions like the Brooklyn waterfront.
With the emergence of Silicon Alley, an area of tech and startup businesses in Manhattan, New York City has also recently emerged as a hub of technical innovation. With programs like the PlaNYC program, which aims to lessen the city’s carbon footprint and improve its infrastructure, the city has also emerged as a leader in sustainability.
New York City continues to be a vibrant and dynamic place that draws millions of tourists worldwide each year. It is certain to succeed in being among the most significant cities in the world for many years to come thanks to its rich history, diversified population, and innovation.