New York: History

We love NYC!

New York History

Touted as one of the best real estate deals in history, the story goes that in 1626 Manhattan was purchased from Native American Indians by a Dutch trader for about $25 in baubles. In actuality, the purchase was for about $1100 - still a pretty good deal for the Dutch. At the time, they called the city New Amsterdam. About 40 years later, the English took over and changed its name to its current moniker, New York.

New York played a pivotal role in the formation of the United States of America. Many critical acts transpired in New York during the nation’s early years. Freedom of the press, the Stamp Act Congress, and key battles in the American Revolutionary War took place in New York. Congress made it the nation’s first capital city, the Constitution was ratified there, and the nation’s first President, George Washington, was inaugurated there. Federal Hall on Wall Street is where the US Congress first met and drafted the Bill of Rights.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, New York was instrumental in shaping not only the face of America but also establishing many of the laws and policies in place today. Large numbers of immigrants from around the world poured through the city’s Ellis Island looking for a chance at a better life. Many former slaves settled in New York during the Great Migration from the American South. Political, industrial, and social policies developed from corruption scandals, accidents & fires, and civil unrest. After World War II, the city experienced a large period of economic boom when large residential areas flourished. The city has weathered issues with crime, racial tensions, economic slowdowns, and a major national tragedy over several decades. New York is a very resilient city.