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By the time of the arrival of Europeans, they were cultivating fields of vegetation through the slash and burn technique, which extended the productive life of planted fields.

History of New York City

They also harvested vast quantities of fish and shellfish from the bay. It is believed he sailed into Upper New York Bay , where he encountered native Lenape, returned through the Narrows , where he anchored the night of April 17, and left to continue his voyage. Like Christopher Columbus , Hudson was looking for a westerly passage to Asia. He never found one, but he did take note of the abundant beaver population.

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Beaver pelts were in fashion in Europe, fueling a lucrative business. Hudson's report on the regional beaver population served as the impetus for the founding of Dutch trading colonies in the New World. The beaver's importance in New York City's history is reflected by its use on the city's official seal.

European settlement began with the founding of a Dutch fur trading post in Lower Manhattan at the southern tip of Manhattan in Early directors included Willem Verhulst and Peter Minuit. Willem Kieft became director in but five years later was embroiled in Kieft's War against the Native Americans. Following the massacre, Algonquian tribes joined forces and nearly defeated the Dutch.

Holland sent additional forces to the aid of Kieft, leading to the overwhelming defeat of the Native Americans and a peace treaty on August 29, On May 27, , Peter Stuyvesant was inaugurated as director general upon his arrival and ruled as a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. The colony was granted self-government in , and New Amsterdam was incorporated as a city on February 2, In , the English conquered the area and renamed it "New York" after the Duke of York , [15] ending the brief year period of Dutch rule for years of English and British administration as a colony of the Kingdom of England and later of Great Britain.

Some place names originated in the Dutch period and were named after places in the Netherlands, most notably Flushing Dutch town of Vlissingen , Harlem Dutch town of Haarlem , and Brooklyn Dutch town of Breukelen.

Few buildings, however, remain from the 17th century. The colony benefited enormously within the burgeoning global British Empire and its population grew exponentially and prospered. The Bolting Act of , whereby no mill outside the city was permitted to grind wheat or corn, boosted growth until its repeal in , increasing the number of houses over the period from to In the context of the Glorious Revolution in England, Jacob Leisler led Leisler's Rebellion and effectively controlled the city and surrounding areas from —, before being arrested and executed.

By , the Lenape population of New York had diminished to After the British took over the colony and city in , they continued to import slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. After a series of fires in , the city became panicked that blacks planned to burn the city in conspiracy with some poor whites. Historians believe their alarm was mostly fabrication and fear, but officials rounded up 31 blacks and 4 whites, who over a period of months were convicted of arson. Of these, the city executed 13 blacks by burning them alive and hanged 4 whites and 18 blacks.

The Stamp Act and other British measures fomented dissent, particularly among Sons of Liberty who maintained a long-running skirmish with locally stationed British troops over Liberty Poles from to After the major defeat of the Continental Army in the Battle of Long Island in late , General George Washington withdrew to Manhattan Island, but with the subsequent defeat at the Battle of Fort Washington the island was effectively left to the British. The city became a haven for loyalist refugees, becoming a British stronghold for the entire war.

Consequently, the area also became the focal point for Washington's espionage and intelligence-gathering throughout the war.

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New York City was greatly damaged twice by fires of suspicious origin during British military rule. The city became the political and military center of operations for the British in North America for the remainder of the war and a haven for Loyalist refugees. Continental Army officer Nathan Hale was hanged in Manhattan for espionage. In addition, the British began to hold the majority of captured American prisoners of war aboard prison ships in Wallabout Bay , across the East River in Brooklyn. More Americans lost their lives from neglect aboard these ships than died in all the battles of the war.

British occupation lasted until November 25, George Washington triumphantly returned to the city that day, as the last British forces left the city. The first United States Supreme Court sat there. The United States Bill of Rights was drafted and ratified there. George Washington was inaugurated at Federal Hall.

During the 19th century, the city was transformed by immigration , a visionary development proposal called the Commissioners' Plan of which expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan, and the opening of the Erie Canal in , which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.

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New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton 's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury. In , water was piped from a reservoir to supply the city for the first time. The Great Irish Famine — brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, and by the Irish comprised one quarter of the city's population.

This period started with the inauguration of Fernando Wood as the first mayor from Tammany Hall , an Irish immigrant-supported Democratic Party political machine that dominated local politics throughout this period and into the s. During the American Civil War — , the city was affected by its history of strong commercial ties to the South ; before the war, half of its exports were related to cotton, including textiles from upstate mills.

Together with its growing immigrant population, which was angry about conscription , sympathies among residents were divided for both the Union and Confederacy at the outbreak of war. Tensions related to the war culminated in the Draft Riots of by ethnic white immigrants, who attacked black neighborhood and abolitionist homes. After the Civil War, the rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in From to , the larger cities were the focus of national attention.

The skyscrapers and tourist attractions were widely publicized. Suburbs existed, but they were largely bedroom communities for commuters to the central city. San Francisco dominated the West , Atlanta dominated the South , Boston dominated New England ; Chicago , the nation's railroad hub, dominated the Midwest United States ; however, New York City dominated the entire nation in terms of communications, trade, finance, popular culture, and high culture.

More than a fourth of the largest corporations in were headquartered in New York City.


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In , the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn until then an independent city , Manhattan , and outlying areas. The Borough of Brooklyn incorporated the independent City of Brooklyn, recently joined to Manhattan by the Brooklyn Bridge ; the Borough of Queens was created from western Queens County with the remnant established as Nassau County in ; and the Borough of Richmond contained all of Richmond County.


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Municipal governments contained within the boroughs were abolished, and the county governmental functions were absorbed by the city or each borough. An interactive exploration of love, neuroscience and the senses! Forget love at first sight, what about love at first sniff? This one-of-a-kind event explores the science of attraction through a range of enticing sensory adventures.

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