History of New York City

New York first inhabitants were Lenape and other Native American clans, who were visited by Giovanni Di Verrazzano in 1524, but the one who showed the future New York to Europeans was Dutch explorer Henry Hudson, in 1609. He worked for the Dutch East India Company which led many Dutch people to settle in what they called “New Amsterdam”.

 

In 1664 England conquered New Amsterdam and renamed it as New York, after the Duke of New York and Albany. This city was one of the most importants in North America, a great place for trading; new institutions appeared, such as Columbus University, in 1754. As the city grew in importance and power, so did the feeling of independence from the metropoli, and the relatioship between them was tense. That situation culminated in the creation of the Continental Army commanded by George Washington, that defeated the English Army. Althought the Declaration of Independence was signed July 4th, 1776, British finally left on 1783.

 

New York City became the first capital of the new born nation, composed by previous colonies, and President George Washington gave the city that title in 1789. It lasted a year. During those years and the following decades thousands of immigrants traveled from different countries to New York. Even the Staute of Liberty arrived, it was 1884, as a French gift.

 

When the 20th century started this was a prosperous city and skycrapers began to create the image we have now of New York, upright and shocking. All that wealth was destroyed in 1929, the Great Depression struck the country and New York (Wall Street) was specially hit by that crash. World War II made recovery possible, and a new economy based on services emerged to give New York a new life that lasted until the 60’s and 70’s. These decades were marked by riots, recession and crime. That terrible situation ended in the 80’s, when Wall Street renewed its way of doing things. Since then the Big Apple can be considered the other capital of the world, due to its financial power.

 

The worst terrorist action against the United States took place against the World Trade Center, September 11th, a date that changed the entire world.