Urbanization in New York City: A Historical Journey

Since its inception in 1664, New York City has seen an incredible surge in population and urbanization. In 1800, the city had a population of 60,000; by 1900, it had grown to 3.4 million people. This period saw the built-up area expand from lower Manhattan (essentially below 14th Street) to the entire island. The 2000 census recorded an all-time high population for the city, and census estimates since then have indicated that the city has continued to grow, particularly in Manhattan, the most urbanized district.

The five boroughs that operated as independent cities merged to form “Greater New York” in the early 20th century. This influx of new residents revitalized the city, which had been affected by counterurbanization due to deindustrialization after World War II. By the end of the war, New York had become the world's top city, with Wall Street leading the rise of the United States. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City in 1765 in the first organized resistance to British authority in the colonies.

Initially, legal professionals in New York were full-time businessmen and merchants without legal training who had attended some court proceedings and mainly used their own common sense along with bits and pieces that they had learned about English law. The New York Colony also exported other products, such as iron ore as raw materials and manufactured products, such as tools, plows, nails, and kitchen items like kettles, pans and pots. Modern New York traces its development back to the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898 and to the economic and construction boom after the Great Depression and World War II. New York City dominated the entire nation in terms of communications, commerce, finance, popular culture, and high culture.

William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University, charts the economic fate of a New York City block. In 1703, 42% of New York households owned slaves; they worked as domestic servants and day laborers but were also engaged in specialized trades, shipping, and other fields. New York remained the largest city and largest metropolitan area in the United States and continued to be its largest financial, commercial, information, and cultural center. The city's remarkable growth over centuries is a testament to its resilience and potential for further development.

Beatrice Flesher
Beatrice Flesher

Professional web geek. Passionate food scholar. Subtly charming twitter practitioner. Amateur travel junkie. Certified beer junkie. Hardcore foodaholic.

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