Talk:History of New York City

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Shouldn't this be called History of the City of New York and there should be a History of New York State? Alex756 04:27, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Our general rule of thumb for entry titles is to use common forms rather than official forms. City of New York is more correct from an official perspective, but people don't call they city by that form.

Yes, there should be a history of New York State. And at some point you can bet there will be. --The Cunctator 18:32, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

See History_of_New_York Pollinator 18:55, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That was quick. :) --The Cunctator 06:58, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)


"In 1664, the British conquered the area and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany. "

Is that true? Theres no reference. It seems far more likely that "New York" was named after "York" in England. 15:26, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

More history please[edit]

Following up on Vicki Rosenzweig's list, lets have more on

Aaron Burr
Cotton Democrats and Secession
Gilded Age
Garment Workers, a link to Triangle Shirtwaist
Robert Moses (and his enemies)
Harlem Riots of 1935 [?] and 1964
New York's ethnic diversity and political trends
New York School Strike and the AFT
Horace Greeley
Jimmy Walker [the Mayor, not the TV actor]
Al Smith
Bill O'Dwyre
Robert Wagner, Jr.
Abe Beame
Ed Koch
David Dinkins
New York writers [[[Mailer]], Roth, Whitman (if we count Brooklyn back before the merger as part of New York), Melville, and many many more]
New York painters [[[Ash can]], Abstract Expressionists, Pop, etc.]
New York photographers [[[Steichen]], Weegee, Arbus]
New York musicians [Harlem, 52nd Street, Copland, Bernstein, Brill Building, Tin Pan Alley, Gershwin, New York City Punk: Ramones, Velvet Underground, Talking Heads and others who are associated with the City]
Greenwich Village
Organized Crime (and unorganized crime as well)
New York as depicted in film

Also, the article needs to be reorganized to put history up at the top and to deal with crime issues in a less lurid way.

I moved History up. At first I was annoyed by this History section with its one-off paragraphs about important stages and events in the evolution of the city, but now I think it might be a good approach, unless someone is willing to write a really comprehensive history (a massive article). Little history snapshots can be good if they cut right to the heart of issues and personalities. All you list above and more should be covered. JDG 04:01, 20 Sep 2003 (UTC)
There's a developing--and not well organized--overlap between this article and the History of New York City article it links to. I'd suggest putting most of this in the separate history article, with perhaps brief mentions of a few points (for example Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Robert Moses--these should have their own articles anyhow.) As it is now, the 2003 blackout gets more prominence than Ed Koch or Horace Greeley. Vicki Rosenzweig 19:02, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I suggest something on the General Slocum, which was the 20th century equivalent of the 9/11 disaster. Ydorb 22:45, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)

Timeline to be merged[edit]

This timeline was added (as is) to the end of the history section of the main New York, New York. I removed it since it contained a lot of redundant information and also because the main article is so large and we certainly don't need two histories there. It should be merged into this article.

In 1623, the Dutch West India Company set up a small colony on the island of Manhattan. Slavery was introduced two years later.

In 1653, New Amsterdam, with a population of about 800, was declared a city. In reality, it was just a tiny primitive colonial town without schools, hospitals, police, or streetlights.

In August 1664, British forces attacked New Amsterdam (population 1,500). The Dutch surrendered to the British on September 6. The Dutch regained control of New York in 1673 but finally gave way to the British in 1674.

In 1683, first city charter was issued without confirmation of the King. The government was reorganized into a pattern still followed. See: History of New York for more details.

In 1688, New Amsterdam, renamed New York after the English slave-owner the Duke of York, who later became James II, was incorporated into the Dominion of New England.

In 1697, the board of aldermen asked every seventh home to hang a lantern out at night, the cost to be borne by all seven households.

In 1700, the total population was just over 5,000; New York remained a small town.

In 1703, the first free school was opened.

In 1712, a Negro insurrection was put down with brutal force.

In 1725, New York Gazette became the first newspaper published in New York.

In 1731, the Montgomerie Charter was granted to the city by the parliament. This event coincided with the onset of a period of rapid growth of the population and rapid development for the colony; thus it marked the formation of a genuine city. In the same year, a public library, which was really a small reading room, opened in City Hall. This was followed by the establishment of the postal service between Boston and New York (it took two weeks each way!) and the first theater in 1732 and the first city park in 1733. The population in 1732 was 8,600.

In 1741, Several black slaves were accused of plotting another insurrection; 13 were burned at the stake, 18 were hanged.

In 1747, the New York Bar Association was founded.

In 1750, the population reached thirteen thousand. Development of the city seemed to have acquired new momentum: postal service between New York and Philadelphia (1756), the first city jail (1759), the first street lights (1761), and the first police force (1762).

In 1768, Chamber of Commerce was established.

In 1754, King's College was founded, which was to become Columbia University.

In 1776, New York Hospital was founded. In the same year, the British Army invaded New York. The occupation lasted until 1783.

In 1784, Bank of New York opened.

In 1785, New York was named the capital of the US.

In 1789, George Washington inaugurated as the first president in New York City.

In 1790, the capital was moved to Philadelphia.

In 1792, New York Stock Exchange opened on Wall Street, which granted New York the status of the financial center of the union.

In 1800, the total population exceeds 60,000.

Timeline Template[edit]

What do you think? I cribbed it from one at Alexandria. Is it useful, or is it just clutter? Wetman 10:09, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Quite nice. Be even nicer if it was elongated somehow so more events could be tucked in, but already a good lil visual as is. Nice to see the ol' usemap get some use. It's really underused these days on WikiP and the web in general. Half the Flash junk that runs my laptop cpu to 100% could be done as well with a smart usemap/DHTML combo that uses no more resources than a normal image.JDG 18:56, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If anyone can do this, a more elegant color range might be substituted: cf. Paleozoic, Mesozoic.

machine politics[edit]

I was looking here for material to add to political machine and was amazed to find that machine politics does not get even a mention here. What gives? -- Jmabel | Talk 21:26, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)

Raw unregulated capitalism paragraph[edit]

Wetman,you may be correct about when Lower Broadway became fully non-residential (I'll look into it when I can), but your phrasing about Wash. Sq., Lafayette etc.,. completely throws off the balance of this paragraph. Quite a clausal mess at the moment. It originally had a rich-folks-here/poor-folks-there structure that got the point about "antipodes" across nicely. Now it's just all over the place. Would you take a crack at re-balancing it? I see this as a very necessary, meaty paragraph in an article a little too given to factoids and one-offs. The article needs this para to be strong... You know, now that I think of it more, the Lower Broadway/Fifth Avenue<->Five Points/Lower East Side mirroring should be brought back, with date adjustments. Lower Bway and Fifth Avenue were, successively, the two primary loci for extreme personal wealth in the city, just as Five Points and the LE Side were loci for poverty. This paragraph doesn't have to be narrowly tied to "the mid 1800s" as it currently is. It can have more of a turn-of-the-century to mid 1800s sweep. This would bring back the clean reference to these socioeconomic antipodes and all would be well. What do you think? JDG 16:48, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)


"On May 16, 1977, a New York Airways helicopter idling at the helipad on the MetLife...building...": why does an accident like this merit mention in an article on a city the size of New York? At most, it would seem to me to belong in an article on that particular building (which if it doesn't have an article, deserves one.) -- Jmabel | Talk 22:30, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

-- I believe the incident does deserve some mention here because it brought about the end of the idea of using the tops of skyscrapers for helipads. It also occured on one of New York's tallest buildings in the heart of Midtown. --Jleon 15:21, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

-- I think I agree with Jmabel. While I remember the incident, it hardly stands out as one of the most significant events in the history of the city. If you wanted to talk about aviation disasters in the city, the plane that flew into the Empire State Building, or the two airliners that had a mid-air over Brooklyn would be much better candidates.

Proposal for -very- radical expansion[edit]

Following the discussion on this talk page and from my own knowledge, I can see that the History of NYC is a very broad subject that could well do with a serious expansion into a multi-article series like History of France, History of Poland, History of Russia and History of the United States.

The titles I chose are "informal", you can see the pages linked to are named by year. I tried to choose turning points marking broadly real historical periods as the boundaries, which should make for useful starts and ends to articles. Of course the transitions from Dutch to British to American rule should be clear. Tammany and Consolidation goes from the election of Fernando Wood as the first Tammany Mayor, which is also coincident with the merger of Williamsburg into Brooklyn, to the consolidation of the City of Greater New York. The Early 20th century ends with the end of WWII and Mayor Laguardia's long era, and the start of the suburbanization trend. Post-World War II ends in 1977 with the election of Koch and the end of classical "Liberal New York".

Of course, a couple of the sub-articles might be split as they grow in time, but I think turning one page to seven should be at least enough for now :). What do you think of this plan?--Pharos 20:12, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

--I think eventually this is exactly what should happen to the article. Righ now, however, its only at 33 kilobytes, and most of the sections you've proposed would only be few paragraphs long. I think we should keep the info as accessible as possible until so much has been documented that we need to break it down. Forcing people through another hotlink to get the info they want would greatly reduce the number of people seeing it. Also, having it right in one place allows the reader to develop a better general sense of the history all at once.--Jleon 20:31, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • The current article is so blank for great periods and, because of the somewhat haphazard nature of wiki construction, tends to focus so much on relatively small incidents like air crashes that I have no doubt that the sections could be greatly expanded without much research at all. I think we could have seven decent-sized articles in a couple of days.--Pharos 20:41, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

--OK, I think the right way to do this would be to set up the links (and the nice box you created) into the current article, and then we'll only remove the current sections once the individual articles have been fully developed on their own. Or we could leave the current article as is and still develop the separate sections. Another idea I had was to create spin-off articles like the history of urban planning in NYC, or the history of NYC commerce that could supplement the main history article. --Jleon 00:31, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, I think I'll start peeling off sections and copying them to the new article series as a basis for expansion. Maybe we should just leave what's on this page here for now, and integrate it in the series when its reasonably developed over the next few days. The 'theme' articles are also a good idea, and we could also integrate a couple of these into the template.--Pharos 02:59, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Each time you "peel off" a section, please leave a condensed version of it here at the trunk article, with a header in italics Main article Tammany and Consolidation etc. The condensed version should be complete in itself. --Wetman 04:28, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

-Also, once the separate articles are somewhat completed, we could put the box into the main NYC article under the history section. That way we know the info is remaining as accessible as possible.--Jleon 12:54, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Great job on the reorg, Pharos! Very slick and well-written, in my opinion. Moncrief 17:21, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

  • Thanks; of course there are a couple of parts that could be fleshed out, but I think I got down most of the basics that were missing. I had been working on the Post-World War II one for a bit offline, and my project sort of hibernated for a while; I admit Modern and post-9/11 was sort of lightly edited in my determination to finally get this whole thing organized online.--Pharos 20:58, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

-- I think the reorg looks great. My only concern revolves around the cut-off for the "modern" era as starting in 1977. I would say the era the city is currently in began around 1992, with the drop in crime, the rise of widespread gentrification, and the real effects of globalism setting in. The era between from 1964 and 1991 is marked a wholly different set of characteriziations than present-day NY, as well as being markedly different than the "post-WW II" city. --Jleon 28 June 2005 19:51 (UTC)

  • I understand your point; cerrtainly the Giuliani era marked a real divergenence. However, I think it might be splitting things rather fine to have the last period only covering about a decade. I also organized it on the idea that the 1980s and the Koch era could be seen as starting a trend toward conservatism that preceded Giuliani.--Pharos 29 June 2005 01:17 (UTC)

Thermometer Graphic[edit]

The thermometer timeline is quite reminiscient of the terror alert system the US government uses. It's a bit tacky, especially with the WTC bombing at the top. michael 03:13, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

--I agree it's a little crude, and the choice of colors is oddly similar to those alert levels. Nevertheless, I think we should leave it there until someone comes up with a better one. A horizontally oriented one to use as a banner underneath the intro would be perfect, and maybe I'll work on one in the comming weeks. --Jleon 15:49, 27 May 2005 (UTC) {{reqdiagram}} more images please.

I think a horizontal one would be much better.
This article is really in need of more than one paragraph in each section. Pretty soon here I'll start working some material from the linked histories into their sections so that this is a better overview.
If think more images are needed, click on the time period articles and pick some. There's certainly plenty to choose from. I think without more text though they'd just clutter the article up more. — Laura Scudder 21:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm commenting out the reqdiagram template. If you think one is still needed, please re-add it with specific details about what you want. --pfctdayelise (talk) 16:52, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Francis I[edit]

Why would naming as New Angoulême be specificall in honor French king Francis I? What particular connection did Francis I have to Angoulême? - Jmabel | Talk 21:29, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

$24 myth[edit]

In this article, the $24 claim is called a "legend," while, in others, it is repeated as fact (e.g., Manhattan) or called "not particularly meaningful" (e.g., Peter Minuit). The natives didn't think they were "selling" anything and because there were no American dollars until the end of the 18th century. This myth needs to be properly explained rather than vaguely dismissed or propagated. If no one with better knowledge of the history steps forward, I guess I'll change it using my rather limited knowledge of the subject (gleaned mainly from sources like Wikipedia and backed up by common sense). Until then, I'll put up a contradict-other tag on Manhattan. Calbaer 17:47, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know the origin of this? At the very latest, it would have been 19th century, which is to say that, among other things, $24 would have been a lot larger sum than it is now. - Jmabel | Talk 03:49, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd guess that the (also traditional) "60 guilders" has more basis, that being Dutch currency of the time.
Of course, it's a whole separate matter whether the Indians had any concept of buying land. - Jmabel | Talk 03:55, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
In addition, there's the issue of whether the natives were told that the items were in exchange for the land to begin with, ignoring the issue of whether or not all parties understood the concept of real estate. Calbaer 05:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Have settled it 4 August 2008, with references. Not a myth, just wrong calculation. 60 dutch guilders quoted in the historical document was worth say $1000 now. OK? Dutch wikipedia user: hansmuller (talk) 13:11, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Far as I see, it's in the wrong article. The lead here should not mention the purchase and the section shouldn't mention the price, or at most, should quote 60 guilders without attempt at conversion. Monetary conversions, legal concepts of the parties of the transactions, and other details belong in the linked Dutch colony article only. Jim.henderson (talk) 04:11, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

2003 blackout[edit]

We also need to mention the 2003 blackout in NYC. — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:13, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

It's not important enough for this article but is mentioned at the end of the linked History of New York City (1978-present) Jim.henderson (talk) 03:34, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

"Sedentary" native Americans?[edit]

A respected editor has described some indigenous inhabitants as "sedentary." I assume he means native Americans who had ceased to be hunter-gatherers which is interesting in itself. But somehow, in context, one now conjures up the image of a couch potato with a tv control! Could this adjective be changed to something more flattering, but just as accurate? Student7 (talk) 20:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, Wikipedia seems totally committed to the late 20th century vulgar meaning of Sedentary; the classical and anthropological meaning can be found with some searching, in Sedentism. It suggests to me that this article is not the only one that could do with better pointing. Jim.henderson (talk) 22:58, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Wappinger and Lenape[edit]

The Wappinger are related to the Lenape, they were not a "band" of the Lenape. Manhattan was reputedly sold by the Canarsee who were a Lenape band. There were also other tribes collecrively referred to as the Metoac on Long Island (Brooklyn and Queens) who frequented Manhattan. The Raritan were a band of the Lanape on Staten Island. The Hackensack from Jersey also frequented Manhattan.7mike5000 (talk) 21:03, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Henry Hudson and the Half Moon[edit]

There is no mention of Henry Hudson and the Half Moon.7mike5000 (talk) 21:08, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

City in 1653 or village?[edit]

Since the charter that Stuyvesant gave to New Amsterdam was pretty much the same declaration he had EARLIER given to Albany (yes, Albany is older) and I know for a fact that Albany was made a village, technically dorpe in the Dutch language, this makes that charter a village (literal translation of dorpe, or more realistically a town when compared to English New England terminology used in that day). I would like to know if sources, very scholarly sources not fluff pieces, truly and consistently used the word CITY as a political structural term for New Amsterdam. Otherwise Albany (Beverwyck) was created as a city prior to New Amsterdam (and settlement at Albany was commenced before the city of New York anyways so please whoever keeps putting in articles that NY is the oldest city in the state, you are incorrect).Camelbinky (talk) 21:18, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

16th century details?[edit]

An editor has deleted the following:

"Written documentation of the history of New York City began with the first European visit to the area by Giovanni da Verrazzano, in command of the French ship, La Dauphine, when he visited the region in 1524. It is believed he sailed in Upper New York Bay where he encountered native Lenape, returned through The Narrows where he anchored the night of April 17, and then left to continue his voyage. He named the area of present-day New York City Nouvelle-Angoulême (New Angoulême) in honor of Francis I of France, King of France and Count of Angoulême.(ref)Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages (1971). p. 490.(endref)

The above was kind of WP:UNDUE considering the later results. For example, who now cares what he named it? Still, it does contain the recognizable Verrazzano name and it was important enough to be mentioned by Morison. Also, his visit should have been quite an eye-opener for the Lenape!

I had thought the East Coast was riddled with "undocumented" trappers during the 15th century, but perhaps this was further north (& closer to Europe).

It seems to be that we should have something about the 15th century. This may not quite be it, but it could be shortened. Student7 (talk) 21:41, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

There is too much very important history in NYC to direct readers to the 15th century long before there was any city at all. Rjensen (talk) 11:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Open land in 1850?[edit]

Found a non-WP:RS that said that "in 1850..large tracts of NYC... were farm and forest." Can't seem to find anything online to support this. A map seems to suggest this, but also seems to be WP:SYNTH to make that conjecture!  :( Student7 (talk) 00:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Timeline of New York City[edit]

What is missing from the recently created city timeline article? Please add relevant content. Contributions welcome. Thank you. -- M2545 (talk) 08:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Timeline of Queens[edit]

What is missing from the recently created Queens timeline article? Please add relevant content! Contributions welcome. Thank you. -- M2545 (talk) 13:28, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Timeline of the Bronx[edit]

What is missing from the recently created Bronx timeline article? Please add relevant content! Contributions welcome. Thank you. -- M2545 (talk) 18:21, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

European settlement-British and Revolution[edit]

First, apologies for putting my suggestion in the wrong place previously. I came to this page looking to learn more of the history of this period in NYC, and in my opinion, this section reads as though the author's focus is the details of slavery during this period. This is of course important history and should be included, but I don't think it should be the central focus of a section with this heading. Perhaps a link to dedicated section or article, which expounds further on the topic of slavery in the city would be more appropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 12 March 2017 (UTC)