The history of New York City will show that it was founded by the colonists sometime in the 1530s. The facts will also demonstrate how it has transformed itself and responded to various events that took place in the city.
Long before the 1530s however, the land was already settled in by various Indian tribes. There is ample evidence to show that the Native Americans and other peoples had lived there 10,000 years prior to the colonists’ arrival.
Based on available records, the first colonist to set foot on the land was Giovanni di Verrazano. He arrived at the place in 1524 from the harbor. Sensing the potential fertility of the land, Verrazano and other colonists migrated there.
By the 1530s, a sizeable group had settled in the area, and the history of New York City would never be the same.
From New Amsterdam to New York
A majority of the peoples who lived there were Dutch, hence it was called New Amsterdam. Although the weather proved to be a challenge, the colonists prospered. They made their fortune trading with the locals there.
The city would prosper, and its population would increase as well. During the time of George Washington’s presidency, it had blossomed into a trade center. Culturally, it was becoming renowned as well.
The 1800s: the Gilded Age
The booming trade and commerce continued through the centuries. After the Civil War, the history of New York City reached unprecedented heights of prosperity. This can be seen by the rapid population growth. At the start of the 1800s, there were just over 55,000 living in it. Two decades later the figures reached a quarter of a million.
The era is known as the Gilded Age. The accommodating business environment encouraged immigrants to settle there. Business boomed and wealth spread. Fifth Avenue became known for its magnificent houses. It became a testament to the wealth of the city. By the mid 1800s, over 1 million called the city their home.
The 1900s to the Present
The history of New York City was marked by increasing population in the 1900s. So many people had made their fortune there that Europeans kept coming. By 1930, more than 6 million were living in the area.
Also worth noting is how the city would bounce back despite obstacles. It went through hard times in the 1930s but would recover in the 1940s. The 1960s and 70s saw it battling problems of urban decay and rising crime. The 1980s however, saw it emerging much stronger.
The 1990s witnessed it profit from the dot com boom and embrace the growth of technology and the Web. The city was also able to get back on its feet following the 911 attacks. In spite of the uncertain economic situation, the city continues to be the center of business and finance in America.
Today, the Big Apple remains an emblem of the American Dream. While it continues to face complex situations, the history of New York City has shown that time and again, its residents are more than ready for any challenge.