photograph courtesy http://www.citylegacy.com
The New York City area was originally
occupied by the Algonquin Native American tribe. They used the land for
hunting, fishing, and living on. When the Europeans began to settle the
"New World" it was mainly the Dutch who showed an interest in the area.
The Dutch christened their new settlement "New Amsterdam".
The Dutch lived prosperously under
the rule of Peter Stuyvesant until August 18, 1664 when the English sailed
4 ships into New Amsterdam and pointed their guns at the town. Many
people demanded that Stuyvesant surrender. After a week of arguing
with the rebellious citizens, he finally gave up and surrendered.
The English were nice to the Dutch,
saying that they would keep treating the settlers nicely if they promised
to be loyal to England. New Amsterdam was renamed New York
after the English Duke of York. After the English took over, growth
started to speed up again. New Yorkers lived peacefully until the
Revolutionary War began in 1775. New York City was held by the British
for a while during the war.
The war ended in 1776. New
York City became the nation's first capital under President George Washington
in 1788. It remained the capital for two years. Although New
York lost the title of capital in 1790, it did not really affect the city.
New York had become a very large city.
In 1793 a war erupted between France
and Britain, and this led the U.S. into the War of 1812. The only U.S.
battleground was in Lake Champlain, and the war ended in 1815.
For a long time the slavery issue
had been very controversial. As of about 1850, there were basically
three opinions on slavery: 1) in favor of slavery; 2) against slavery;
3) didn't care. Most New Yorkers were not in favor of slavery and
so when the Civil War began in 1861, New York City fought to end slavery
in the United State. More New Yorkers fought in the war than from
any other state. The north won the war in 1865 and slavery ended.
After the Civil War, the Industrial
Revolution swept the nation. This is how New York came to be what
we know of it now, with all its factories and warehouses. Because
of the demand for workers, many people immigrated to America through New
York City. (Click here
for the Ellis Island web site, the place where so many immigrants entered
New York City.)
From 1860 to 1900 New York's population
grew by 2,623,533! By 1900, many more people moved to cities and
New York's population went through the roof. World War
in 1914 and New York City started producing products
all through the war until it ended in 1918. In October of 1929 the
U.S. entered the Great Depression making over a million people look for
jobs. The Depression lasted until 1941 When World War II began.
here to visit a website on the Great Depression and World War II.)
World War II lifted the country
out of the Depression. Many people got jobs making tools and machinery
for the war. The United States, however, did not actually enter the
war until 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. World
War II did not really influence New York City in particular, though many
New Yorkers fought in the war. After the war ended, New York City
settled into a period of prosperity in the 1950's.
Click here for the follow up
of "Yesterday", with Today.