Originally inhabited by Lenape Natives, the region known today as New York was discovered by Giovanni de Verazzanno in 1524, who took it under the French’s crown name. Those lands remained unsettled until 1614, when a Dutch fur trading settlement was founded under the name of New Amsterdam in the current location of lower Manhattan.
The English conquered the city in 1664 and it officially passed under British rule after the negotiations that followed the second Anglo Dutch War. They named it New York after the English Duke of York and Albany. After that, the city’s importance as a port grew up tremendously, which pushed it into a path of cultural and political development with facts such as the foundation of Columbia University in 1754 and the establishment of the press freedom.
New York played a leading role during the American Revolutionary War with a series of Battles called the New York Campaign. After the independence, between 1789 and 1790, New York was the capital city of the United States and it became the country’s largest metropolis.
During the 19th century the city’s growth experienced a boom due to massive immigration especially of Irish and free black, since New York was a center for abolitionist activism. New York’s history is much related to the Civil War, in which it played an active role becoming one of the most important places for the Yankee side.
During the economic boom of the 1920´s, the construction of competing skyscrapers started and the city gained the modern and magnificent image it holds until today. This economic wealth and the city’s liberal atmosphere, attracted people from the whole country (especially black people from the south) and the world to the city, becoming by those days the most populous urbanized area in the world. After the hard years of the Great Depression and World War II, New York experienced an economic recovery, consolidating its political, financial and artistic leadership in the world with facts such as the establishment of the United Nations´ headquarters and the rise of abstract impressionism.
New York’s history in the XXI century is marked by the September 11th, 2001 attacks when one of the city’s icons, the World Trade Center, was hit by two kidnapped planes.
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