History of The New York City | NYC History

 History of The New York City | NYC History

New York History

Though Clinton’s opponents, like Philip Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, opposed the violation of property rights, the land distribution did help state development. Upon New York’s ratification of the Constitution, New York City had the honor of being the first capital of the new nation and host to the inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.

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New York soon became the economic and innovative center for the newly formed United States, and from its combination of political connections, a new title would emerge the Empire State. By the 1800s, The United States and Great Britain were back to hostile relations, as New York City’s trade was threatened through the impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy.

American sailors

Not only were American sailors being taken, but New York City’s harbor was blockaded, further fueling the flames. War would break out in 1812 and concluded by 1815, bringing relief to TheNYToday with the freeing of the harbor. 10 years later in 1825, the Erie Canal’s construction was finished, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes for the Americans.

It would be seen as a wedding between the farm and the city and would lead to a new era of growth and prosperity for the state. At the time, the Erie Canal was one of the most ambitious and expensive projects in the nation. As a result of the canal, New York would be the new gateway to the west and open up the expansion of the nation. New York would now become America’s Empire City and would be the reason behind New York’s economic position within the United States.

After Erie Canal

Yet only four years after the Erie Canal was completed, the railroad made its way to New York. By the 1840s, New York would be leading the way in railroad innovation. By the 1830s, the workers in New York City started to oppose both landlords and their bosses. Strikes began to become a popular way to show their discontentment and in an effort to mobilize collective bargaining, trade groups created the General Trades Union in 1833. By the following year, the GTU had enough state support to approach Congress with the first representative of organized labor. Because of this increase in unions, New York City went from having only 2 strikes in 1833 to 18 in 1836, leading to the year being called “the year of the strikes”. Anti Labor forces feared revolution until New York ruled trade unions illegal, leading 30,000 people, or one-fifth of the city population, to protest.

It would be only days later that a jury would overturn the ruling in Hudson, making labor protests legitimate. In 1837, the Panic occurred, which saw one of the first major depressions in the commercial era. One-third of New York’s labor force was unemployed and relief organizations were unprepared for the mass of people desperate for aid.

Flour Merchants

One event which resulted from the Panic of 1837 was the Flour Riot, as the urban poor believed the flour merchants were hoarding flour. They broke into their storehouses and dumped flour into the streets for the people to take. The disturbance was only broken up when the militia arrived, but it highlighted the urban population’s interdependence on the different regions within New York State. By the 1840s, the anti-rent movement began, as the land was seen as the key to independence, freedom, and security but by now New York also had the nation’s first slum, the infamous Five Points.

During the 1840s and 1850s, there was a massive boom in immigration, especially from Ireland as the Irish were fleeing from the Potato Famine. By 1855, Irish immigrants represented 52% of the population of the Five Points, while immigrants made up 51% of New York City’s total population.

Going into the 1860s, New York had become a stop on the Underground Railroad and was frequently visited by activists like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. When the nation went to war, New York was divided between Upstate Republicans and downstate Democrats.

New York City Merchants Organized

New York City merchants organized rallies to support the south and talk started about seceding from the nation and the establishment of a free trade zone. The city erupted in July 1863 for four days, resulting in the death of over 100 people and hundreds of injuries. The Draft Riot, as it would be known, was stopped once Federal troops returned to the city following the Battle of Gettysburg. From 1865 to1900, New York City experienced the Gilded Age and an era of economic corruption. In 1876, Central Park was completed as the first public park, giving New York an escape from the urban city.

America was booming into the richest country in the world and New York was the symbol of the American dream. As a result, immigrants flocked to the City and especially to Ellis Island, which opened in 1892 to process the new wave of immigrants from Europe. Along with Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France on the 28th of October, 1886, stood at the gateway of New York, welcoming all who entered. Due to political and religious prosecution, many of the immigrants came from Southern and Eastern Europe.

As we know the New York City

In 1898, New York City as we know it would be established, when the five boroughs of Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, were incorporated into a single city charter. New York entered into a progressive period at the beginning of the 20th century, as the first subway was founded in 1904. Later that year, the first fireworks display on New Year’s Eve started, sponsored by the New York Times, marking the beginning of the traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop, which is watched around the world today.

On the 25th of March 1911, a tragedy struck New York City in the form of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, killing 146 workers. As a result, drastic changes were made following the Women’s Trade Union league strike, when 36 new pieces of legislation were introduced. As part of the progressive movement, the temperance movement, headed by the Anti-Saloon League, had made legislative progress to ban alcohol in what would become the prohibition era.

Ban of Drugs in NYC

Despite the alcohol ban, in New York City alone, there were an estimated 32,000 speakeasies, or hidden bars, serving alcohol. While the era of Prohibition was known as the roaring 20s, the economic boom soon came to an end when the stock market crashed on the 29th of October 1929. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 reverberated across the world, and New York City was hit the hardest.

It would be during the Great Depression that major public works projects would be organized to provide jobs, such as the Empire State Building project, completed in 1931. With the outbreak of war in 1941 with Japan and Germany, New York City would see an economic resurgence and boom following the war. Yet by the 1950s right through to 1975, New York as a whole faced an aging industrial section and an industrial waste issue.

Besides the aging industry, the 1960s brought the civil rights movement, sparking protests and civil unrest against racial inequality. New York by the 60s and 70s had become known as a city that was dangerous to visit, and in an attempt to brighten its reputation, it started a new tourism campaign in 1971 to become known as the Big Apple, by making its city logo an apple.

1975 Collapse

However, by 1975, New York City was shaken again by another fiscal collapse when the banks refused to loan the city more money after it overspent its budget, in an effort to expand and support social services and provide benefits for its municipal employees. New York would be bailed out by the federal government after pressure from other American and European cities.

The effect of events in New York would not only be felt in New York, but also around the world, when on the 11th of September 2001, terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in New York City and the world at the time, killing 3,000 people. This attack was not only a physical attack but a symbolic attack on New York and on America’s wealth and power.

New York City would then be faced with another financial collapse which occurred in 2007 when banks loaned money to those they knew would be unable to repay the debt. New York would however recover faster than other cities, due to its housing market being less affected. When the banks were bailed out during the Great.

Recession using taxpayer money, the Occupy Wall Street movement was launched as a response. Many who created the crisis received massive bonuses and the Occupy Wall Street movement would highlight the gap between the 1% and the 99%, as a result. 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, New York City finished construction on One World Trade Center in 2014, marking an era of renewal after the terrorist attacks.

COVID-19 Shut Down New York City

Then in March of 2020, COVID-19 shut down New York City, along with the rest of the world. This has led to another period of financial hardship for the city, and New York City has yet to recover like other parts of the country.

As New York City begins to head into 2022, it is faced once again with a declining population as a result of economic hardship and a change in American business practices, seeing businesses moving away from the Big Apple. The question is, what will New York City do to remain a focal point for commerce and innovation and retain its focus as a huge part of American Culture?

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