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New York History
New York City was first founded in 1524, but not discovered until 1609 by explorer Henry Hudson. He was looking for a passage to Asia, but instead found a vast beaver population. The settlement quickly developed into a slave settlement with 40 percent of the population African slaves. It was the sight of many Revolutionary War battles and an entry point for many immigrants. Over the years New York has developed into a diverse city with a large population.
18th and 19th Century New York City
At the beginning of the 18th century, the city of New York had a 42 percent slave population, higher than Boston, or Philadelphia. By the middle of the 18th century, only 20 percent of the New York population was slaves. At the time, that 20 percent consisted of about 2,500 people.
Numerous battles during the Revolutionary War took place around New York City, including the Battle of Long Island where general George Washington withdrew to Manhattan Island. New York City then became the heart of all operations pertaining to the war.
After the United States victory in the Revolutionary War, the city was made the first national capital of the United States on September 13,1788. The capital was then moved to Philadelphia in 1790.
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 helped connect New York City to the other cities in the country. New York quickly because a destination for immigrants particularly in the middle of the 19th century when an influx of Irish immigrants came over due to the potato famine. This group made up 25% of the New York City population at this time.
By 1835, New York City passed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States. In the late 19th century, New York City brought in Brooklyn, which was at that point a separate city, as well as Manhattan and the Bronx helping to further build the city.
Early 20th Century
New York continued to grow during the beginning of the 20th century and quickly became a leader in commerce, communication, and industry. Railroads and transits began to open, allowing the city to grow. The New York Subway system first opened in 1904.
To help deal with the Great Depression in the 1930s, the city built some large skyscrapers that still exist today. This helped grow the economy during the tough times.
New York Post WWII
New York played a big role in all major wars fought in the United States and the economy of New York certainly felt a rise after World War II. Veterans returned and the development of large houses began to take place. New York quickly became the leading city in the United States with Wall Street starting to take form. Manhattan saw the biggest economic boom of any neighborhood in the New York area with houses being built at an alarming rate.
Beginning in 1947, New York City became the headquarters for the United Nations. It also became a place for transporting goods from across seas to various places in the United States through New York.
Modern New York
The 1980's saw huge growth on Wall Street and the real estate market was booming. There was also racial tension in the 1980's, which culminated with the murder of three African Americans in white neighborhoods on three separate incidents.
Homelessness also became an issue during the 1980's, and culminated in 1993 with a 13.4% unemployment rate. Crime on the other hand was at an all-time low. It saw a 15-year decline beginning in 1990.
In recent years, New York has continued to develop after the tragedy that stuck on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. It has grown into the most ethnically diverse and religiously different city in America. It also has a great urban area with a sprawling population.