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New York City

New York City (pop. 8,322,564) is the largest city in the United States in population (see City). New York City is one of the world's most important centres of business, culture, and trade. It is also the home of the United Na­tions (UN). Much of what happens in New York City af­fects what happens throughout the United States and around the world.

New York City has a population of more than 8 mil­lion. It is more than twice as large as any other city in the United States. In fact, only eight states—not including New York State—have more people than New York City. Since its founding by Dutch settlers in 1625, New York has attracted immigrants from throughout the world. During the 1800's and early 1900's, millions of Europeans seeking a better life in a free land poured into the city. The Statue of Liberty, erected in New York Harbor in 1886, became the symbol of this new life. Since the mid- 190ffs, more immigrants—mainly blacks from the South­ern States and Spanish-speaking Americans from Puerto Rico—have moved into the city. These people have also looked to New York as a place to make a better life for themselves.

The business, financial, and trading organizations in New York City play a major role in the economy of the nation and of the world. The banks, stock exchanges, and other financial institutions in the city's famous Wall Street area help to provide the money used by most large U.S. corporations. The skyscrapers that form the spectacular New York skyline house the headquarters of many national and international business firms. The docks, warehouses, and shipping companies that line New York's huge natural harbour handle much of the nation's imports and exports.

As a cultural centre, New York City has no equal in the United States. Most of the publishing houses that se­lect and produce the nation's books have their head­quarters in New York. The city's world-famous Broadway area is the centre of professional theatre in the United States. New York is also the home of some of the nation's largest museums and art galleries. The city displays beautiful Gothic churches and other interesting styles of architecture. A great number of outstanding orchestras and opera and dance companies give performances at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

But along with all its greatness, New York City has many serious problems. Thousands of immigrants have not found the opportunities they had hoped for in New York. More than a million New Yorkers receive welfares or social security aid, and thousands live in slums. Other problems include air pollution, traffic jams, crime, drug abuse, ethnic conflicts, and the ever-increasing cost of living in the city. All these problems are driving many families—especially white middle-class families—to the suburbs.

In spite of its problems, New York City remains one the most interesting and exciting of U.S. cities.

The New York City

New York City lies in the southeast corner of New York State at the mouth of the Hudson River. It covers about 956 square kilometers, including about 174 square kilometers of inland water. The city is divided into five areas called boroughs— Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Each is a county of New York State.

Manhattan, the smallest borough in area, covers 88 square kilometers. It occupies a long, narrow island bor­dered by the Hudson River on the west, the East River on the east, the Harlem River on the north and north-east, and Upper New York Bay (the mouth of the Hud­son) on the south.

The Bronx lies across the Harlem River from Manhat­tan and covers 143 square kilometers. It extends north along the Hudson River and east along the East River. It is the only borough not separated from upstate New York by water.

Queens, the largest borough in area, occupies 326 square kilometers on the northwest corner of Long Is­land. The East River separates Queens from the Bronx to the north and from Manhattan to the west.

Brooklyn covers 288 square kilometers on the south­west tip of Long Island. It lies south and southwest of Queens and southeast of Manhattan across the East River.

Staten Island, formerly called the borough of Rich­mond, occupies a 168-square-kilometre island in Upper and Lower New York bays. It lies west of Brooklyn and southwest of Manhattan.

The state of New Jersey is directly west of New York City. It lies across two waterways, Arthur Kill and Kill Van Kull, from Staten Island; across Upper New York Bay from Brooklyn; and across the Hudson River from Man­hattan and the Bronx.

Manhattan is the oldest and most important bor­ough of New York City. It is about 21.7 kilometres long and 3.8 kilometres wide at its widest point. But about 1.8 million people live there. The borough has the city's tallest buildings, some of the nation's largest schools and colleges, and the world's most famous financial and theatrical districts.

Manhattan is an area of many sharp contrasts. Some of the richest people in the United States live in its beau­tiful town houses and luxurious high-rise blocks of flats. But some of the nation's poorest people occupy its tene­ments (shabby blocks of flats) and low-rent public hous­ing projects. Most of Manhattan is covered with con­crete and asphalt, and skyscrapers make many of its streets look like deep canyons. But the borough's Cen­tral Park provides 340 hectares of grass, trees, and roll­ing hills. Manhattan has some of the world's most exclu­sive shops and largest department stores. They attract shoppers from all parts of the country. But the borough also has tiny shops that sell to nearby residents.

New York City's Financial District lies at the southern tip of Manhattan and is centred on Wall and Broad streets. Many large banks, brokerage houses, and stock exchanges have their headquarters along the district's narrow streets. The giant World Trade Center rises in the Financial District along the Hudson River. The centre includes twin 110-storey towers.

Broadway, one of New York City's longest and best- known streets, begins in the Financial District and runs north and northwest across the length of Manhattan. On the east side of Broadway, a few blocks north of the Fi­nancial District, stands the Municipal Civic Center. The centre includes City Hall, handsome courthouses, and other government buildings.

Residential and commercial neighbourhoods lie to the north and northeast of the Municipal Civic Center. These neighbourhoods include Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side. Both Chinatown and Little Italy have some of the city's oldest tenements. They also have many restaurants that specialize in Chinese or Italian food. For many years, most immigrants to New York City have first settled on the Lower East Side because of its many low-rent tenements. Jews once made up the larg­est group in the area, and they still own many shops there. Today, Puerto Ricans are the largest single group on the Lower East Side. But other groups, especially stu­dents and artists, have also been attracted to the Lower East Side by the low rents.

Greenwich Village lies west of Broadway and the Lower East Side. It attracts artists, writers, musicians, ac­tors, and other people in the arts. The Village has a vari­ety of housing, many interesting shops and art galleries, and several small theatres. Many people in the arts also live in the SoHo area, south of the Village.

North of Greenwich Village, Manhattan is laid out in a regular pattern of cross streets. Avenues run north and south, and numbered streets run east and west. Broad­way cuts diagonally across this pattern.

Central Park, which runs from 59th to 110th streets between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, separates Manhattan's Upper East Side and Upper West Side. The Upper East Side has long been the most fashionable neighbourhood in Manhattan. At one time, the area had many town houses that were owned by the city's richest residents. Today, cultural organizations and United Na­tions delegations occupy many of these buildings, and most of the people in the area live in luxurious blocks of flats. The Upper West Side is chiefly a middle-class neighborhood. It has many blocks of flats, hotels, tene­ments, and long blocks of brick and brownstone ter­raced houses.

Harlem, the best-known black community in the United States, lies north of Central Park. It has been a centre of black business and cultural activities for more than 60 years. A series of model housing projects ex­tends along the Harlem River at the northern edge of Harlem. But much of the area consists of tenements.

Brooklyn has more people than any other borough of New York City. If Brooklyn were an independent city, its population of about 2,3 million would make it the na­tion's fourth largest city.

Brooklyn is an important port and industrial centre. Hundreds of ships carry freight to and from Brooklyn's docks each year. The borough's factories, most of which are along the waterfront, make a wide variety of goods.

Housing in Brooklyn ranges from large houses and towering blocks of flats to small cottages and run-down boarding houses. But most Brooklynites live in terraced houses and small blocks of flats that line the streets throughout the borough.

Central Brooklyn, the borough's main business and shopping district lies near the approaches to the Brook­lyn and Manhattan bridges. These two bridges are the main links between Brooklyn and Manhattan. A third bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, also connects the two bor­oughs. Brooklyn's centre has large department stores, tall office buildings, and several schools and colleges. Flatbush Avenue, one of the main streets of the central area, begins at the Manhattan Bridge and runs through the heart of the borough.

Two of Brooklyn's oldest neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, lie along the East River west of the central area. These neighborhoods have more than 1,000 houses over 100 years old. Many of the houses stand on handsome, tree-lined streets and are carefully preserved.

Coney Island lies at the southern tip of Brooklyn. The area once was an island, but land has been filled in to make it a peninsula. In summer, many New Yorkers travel by underground to Coney Island's beaches and to its famous Boardwalk, which has side shows, souvenir stands, and other attractions. At one time, Coney Island also had great amusement parks, but they have been re­placed by housing developments.

The Bronx has a population of about 1,7 million and is chiefly a residential borough. The western part of the Bronx consists of a series of hills and valleys crossed by boulevards. A major boulevard in the Bronx, the Grand Concourse, runs north and south through the area. It is lined with blocks of flats, office buildings, and shops. The eastern section of the borough is a broad plain, with peninsulas extending into the East River and Long Island Sound.

Bronx Park lies in the centre of the Bronx. It includes Bronx Zoo, one of the best-known zoos in the United States, and the New York Botanical Garden, an impor­tant scientific institution.

Fordham University and Lehman College have hand­some campuses to the west of Bronx Park. The campus of Bronx Community College of the City University of New York includes the Hall of Fame, which honors the memory of great Americans.

One of the most fashionable neighborhoods in the Bronx is Riverdale, in the northwest corner of the bor­ough along the Hudson River. It has tall blocks of flats, estates and other large homes, and exclusive private schools. One of the poorest neighborhoods in the Bronx is Morrisania, which lies south of Bronx Park and east of Grand Concourse Boulevard. The area has many run-down and abandoned buildings.

Queens, with nearly 2 million residents, ranks sec­ond in population among New York City's boroughs. Queens grew rapidly between 1910 and 1930, when un­derground systems were built to connect it with Man­hattan. A second period of fast growth began in the late 1940s, when the underground systems were extended, new roads were built, and two major airports were de­veloped in the borough. Today, huge housing develop­ments and busy motorways are the major features of Queens.

Much of the borough's industry is concentrated near the East River in an area called Long Island City. The area lies just south of the Queensboro Bridge, which con­nects Queens and Manhattan. It has giant rail yards of the Penn Central Railroad and many industrial plants and warehouses. Maspeth, southeast of Long Island City, also has large industrial plants, as well as pleasant residential areas.

Forest Hills lies near the centre of Queens. Within this neighborhood is Forest Hills Gardens, an attractive housing and shopping area built in 1910. Forest Hills Gardens was intended for families with middle incomes. But it immediately became—and has remained—a com­munity for the wealthy.

Northeast of Forest Hills is Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, site of the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1964. The park has several features left from the fairs, includ­ing a botanical garden, an indoor ice-skating rink, and a science museum.

La Guardia Airport, one of New York City's two main airports, is northwest of Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, across Flushing Bay. The neighborhood of Flushing, northeast of the park, has a busy shopping area and many large blocks of flats.

Jamaica, in southeastern Queens, is one of the borough's chief commercial centres. It has large shopping and business areas and both rich and poor residential sections.

John F. Kennedy International Airport, the city's larg­est airport, lies immediately south of Jamaica. It has been expanding since 1942 and has become the borough's largest single source of employment.

Rockaway is a long peninsula that forms the southern, border of Jamaica Bay. It has a sandy beachfront, attractive private homes, and modern blocks of flats. It also has many summer holiday cottages.

Staten Island has about 352,000 residents, making it the smallest borough in population. It is the only borough not connected to Manhattan by a bridge or a tunnel. Until the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964, much of the island consisted of small farms and undeveloped areas. The bridge, which connects Staten Island with Brooklyn, has led to the con­struction of new housing and to industrial growth. However, many of the communities on Staten Island still look more like suburban towns than sections of a major city.


St. George, on the northeast tip of Staten Island, serves as the business section of the borough and is the site of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. The famous ferries carry cars and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan and provide the only direct link between the two boroughs.

The oeople of New York City represent nearly all races and nationalities. During the 1650's, only about 1,000 people lived in the Dutch colony of New Amster­dam on Manhattan Island. But even then, 18 languages were spoken in the colony. Since that time, people from throughout the world have brought their skills, traditions, and ways of life to New York City.

People move to New York City for many reasons. Many are attracted by the city's job opportunities. Other people go to attend the city's schools and colleges or to enjoy its many cultural activities. Still others go simply because they want to be a part of a large, exciting city in which they can live almost any way they choose.

Ethnic groups. Five ethnic groups—black, Irish, Ital­ian, Jewish, and Puerto Rican—make up about 75 per cent of New York City's people. Neighbourhoods con­sisting largely of people from these and many smaller groups are scattered throughout the city. Originally, most of the people in ethnic groups shared direct ties to a country, a language, or a common past with other members of their group. Today, this is less true. But the people still have some bonds of unity through such con­cerns as common religious beliefs and economic inter­ests.

Blacks are the largest ethnic group in New York City and make up about 25 per cent of the city's population. New York has about 1,784,000 blacks, more than any other city in the United States. Most of the blacks are immigrants—or the children of immigrants—from the rural South. But many have also arrived from the West Indies. A large number of New York City's blacks live in poor neighborhoods. Many of them have been pre­vented from leaving the ghetto areas by discrimination in jobs and housing and by a lack of education. But more and more black New Yorkers are becoming part of the city's middle class. Thousands of blacks live in ra­cially integrated areas, and thousands more live in mid­dle-class black neighborhoods.

Jews make up about 20 per cent of New York City's population. New York's Jews come from many countries. But they are considered an ethnic group because most of them live in Jewish neighborhoods and have similar religious and social beliefs. Many Jews own businesses. Many others work in garment factories, in offices, and in the legal, medical, and teaching professions.

About 14 per cent of New York City's people are of Italian ancestry. New York Italians are known for their well-kept homes and for their close neighborhood ties. They are the largest single group in the city's construc­tion industry, and they play a key role in the restaurant and the wholesale and retail food-marketing industries. Many Italians have civil service jobs in the city's park, public works, sanitation, police, and fire services. Most of New York City's Italians belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

Puerto Ricans make up about 12 per cent of New York City's population. They are the largest of several Span­ish-speaking ethnic groups in the city. Large numbers of Puerto Ricans began to come to New York in the 1950's. Many of them found jobs as unskilled workers, espe­cially in hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. At first, nearly all Puerto Ricans lived in East Harlem in Manhattan. But today, Puerto Rican neighborhoods are found in all the boroughs. Neighborhood associations, large church organizations, and the state school system have all de­veloped programmes to help newly arrived Puerto Rican people to learn English and adjust to life in the city.

The Irish have traditionally been active in New York City's political life. During the late 1800"s and early 1900's, they controlled the city government. But the per­centage of Irish people in the city has dropped from 30 per cent in 1870 to about 9 per cent today. As a result, the Irish have lost much of their political power. But they are still the largest single group employed by New York City's police and fire services. The Irish are also among the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the city.

New York City has many other ethnic groups besides the five major ones. Other large ethnic groups in the city include Chinese, English, Germans, Greeks, and Rus­sians.

Housing in New York City differs in several ways from that in most other cities of the United States. About 65 per cent of New York's families live in blocks of flats or hotels. In other cities, most people live in one- or two-family houses. About 70 per cent of the families in New York rent their homes. In other U.S. cities, most families own their homes. About half of the housing in New York City was built before 1940. Most other cities in the United States have a far larger percentage of newer housing.

Housing remains one of New York City's most serious and difficult problems. Many old buildings are becom­ing unusable, and the demand for new housing, especially among poor people, is rapidly increasing. Yet steadily rising construction costs and a lack of large areas of open land make the development of new housing difficult.

Education. New York City has the largest state school system of any city in the United States. Many of New York City's colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning are world famous. One of the larges universities in the world, the City University of New York, is operated by the city with state and federal assistance. The university has a total enrolment of about 180,000 students.

Social problems. New York City has many of the same problems other cities have. But it is so much larger than other cities that the problems are greatly magnified. New York's major social problems include poverty, crime and drug addiction, and racial conflict.

Poverty is one of New York City's most expensive problems. The city budgets more than 4 billion U.S. dol­lars a year on social security programmes to provide food, clothing, housing, medical care, and other bene­fits for about 1,7 million people. Yet unskilled immigrants continue to move into the city while the demand for unskilled labor continues to decline. As a result, the problem of poverty is difficult to solve.

Because of its large population, New York City has more crime than any other U.S. city. But the crime rate— the number of crimes committed for every 100,000 residents—is actually lower in New York than in many other cities. New York's crime and drug addiction prob­lems are closely related. About half the drug addicts in the United States live in New York City. They commit many of the city's burglaries and attacks on individuals to get money for drugs.

Racial conflicts in New York City have had many causes. A major cause has been discrimination against blacks, Puerto Ricans, and other minority groups in jobs and housing. Many minority group members have had trouble obtaining well-paid jobs. Many also have had difficulty moving out of segregated neighborhoods and into neighborhoods where most of the people are white and of European ancestry. When members of a minority group have begun moving into such a neighborhood, the white residents often have begun moving out. In this way, segregated housing patterns have continued, and the chances for conflicts between the groups have increased.


New York City is one of the world's most important centers of industry, trade, and finance. Businesses, in­dustries, and government agencies in the metropolitan area provide about 7 million jobs. About 3,5 million of these jobs are within the city itself.

The economies of both New York City and its suburbs are growing. But since the 1940's, the economy of the suburban area has grown much faster than that of the city. The construction of new roads, a growing labour force and the availability of land in the suburbs have led many businesses and industries to move from the crowded central city to the suburbs.

The types of jobs available in New York City have also been changing since the Wei's. The number of jobs for unskilled workers has decreased greatly because many idustries have moved to the suburbs. This decrease has created a serious economic problem because most immigrants to the city are unskilled. At the same time, the number of jobs for skilled workers, especially office workers, has increased. But many of these jobs are being filled by people who live in the suburbs and com­mute to the city.

Industry. New York City ranks third after Los Angeles Long Beach and Chicago among the leading manufacturing centres in the United States. It has about 17,000 industrial plants. They employ about 430,000 workers.

The most important industries are (1) printing and publishing and (2) clothing production. New York City is one of the nation's chief printing and publishing centres. It has more printing plants than any other U.S. city. New York does about a sixth of the nationa`s printing and publishing. It publishes about a third of the books published in the United States. The city's printing publishing industry employs about 93,000 people.

New York City's clothing industry is centred in Man­hattan's famous Garment District, southwest of Times Square. There, hundreds of factories employ about 119,000 people. But the garment industry has been de­clining in New York City. Many factories have closed. Other factories have left the Garment District because of the rising costs of doing business in the heart of Man­hattan.

Other leading manufacturing industries include those that produce chemicals, food products, furniture, ma­chinery, metal products, paper products, and textiles. The construction industry is also important. About 87,000 people in the city work in jobs related to the in­dustry.

Trade. New York City's port, officially called the Port of New York and New Jersey, is one of the world's larg­est and busiest seaports. It employs about 200,000 peo­ple. The total value of the cargo it handles exceeds that of any other port in the United States. The port's cargo includes foreign imports and exports, and goods going to and coming from other U.S. ports.

New York City's port activity has been declining since the late 1940s. One reason for the decline in port activity has been the growth of other international seaports in the United States, especially along the Great Lakes. The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 allowed ships that previously docked in New York to reach Great Lakes ports.

Large amounts of cargo are also handled at airports in the New York City area. Foreign air freight goes through Kennedy Airport and nearby Newark Interna­tional Airport in New Jersey. Domestic cargo is handled at Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark airports.

Finance. More of the nation's largest and most im­portant financial institutions have their headquarters in New York City than in any other city. Banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies, property firms, stock ex­changes, and other financial organizations in New York employ about 495,000 people. Unlike most industries in the city, the financial organizations offer a steadily in­creasing number of jobs.

The most famous financial institution in New York City is the New York Stock Exchange, located at the corner of Broad and Wall streets in the heart of the Financial Dis­trict. It is the largest stock exchange in the world.

Transportation. New York City has a huge, compli­cated transportation system. Much of the transportation system in the city is cantered in the area of Manhattan that is south of Central Park. About million people travel to and from that area each working day.

An extensive road system has been developed to carry cars, buses, and trucks into, out of, and through New York City.

New York City includes 168 square kilometers of in­land water, so many bridges and tunnels are needed to link the city's boroughs. The famous Brooklyn Bridge crosses the East River and connects Brooklyn and the southern tip of Manhattan. It was completed in 1883 and declared a national historic landmark in 1964. Eight other bridges cross the East River.

Communications. New York City is the nation's most important centre for mass communications. More pub­lishing and broadcasting companies have their head­quarters located in New York than in any other city in the United States.

New York City has nearly 60 radio and television sta­tions and serves as the headquarters of the nation's four major broadcasting networks.

Cultural life and recreation

New York City ranks as one of the world's greatest cultural centers. It has many art galleries, drama and dance groups, musical and literary societies, and other cultural organizations. It also has some of the world's finest concert halls, museums, and theatres. Many of the nation s greatest actors, artists, musicians, poets, and writers live in New York.

There are several reasons for New York City's leading position as a cultural centre. Many of the city's wealthy residents have long given financial support to cultural activities. Traditionally, the city has also offered people in the arts an atmosphere that encourages freedom of expression. In addition, New York's many advertising agencies, broadcasting and film studios, recording com­panies, and publishing houses have provided jobs that attract creative people.

The arts. Nearly all the arts thrive in New York City. Many new styles in American drama, literature, music, and painting have developed in New York and then spread to the rest of the country.

One of New York City's most famous and popular forms of art is the theatre. Most important American plays and musical comedies have their premieres in the city's famous Theatre District. The theatres in this district are called Broadway theatres, though few are actually on that street. Most are on side streets near Times Square. Many plays and musicals are also presented in off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theatres in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Musical organizations in New York City include the New York Philharmonic, one of the world's great symphony orchestras, and the Metropolitan Opera Association, an outstanding opera company. Both perform at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Architecture. New York's best-known style of architecture is the towering skyscraper. The giant buildings that form Manhattan's dramatic skyline are famous throughout the world.

One of the oldest and most famous skyscrapers in New York is the Flatiron Building, located on 23rd Street where Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue. The 21 -storey building was completed in 1903. It has a triangular shape like that of an old-fashioned flatiron.

During the 1930`s, several famous skyscrapers were built in New York City. The most famous, the 102-storey Empire State Building was completed in 1931. It ranked as the world's tallest building for many years.

Many glass-walled skyscrapers have been built in New York since the 1950`s.These buildings include the United Nations Secretariat along the East River at 44th Street, Lever House on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets, and the Seagram Building on Park Avenue between 52nd and 53rd streets. The twin towers of the giant World Trade Center on the Hudson River south­west of City Hall were completed in 1973.


The earliest people known to have lived in the New York City area were American Indians. Several tribes of the Algonquian family of Indians lived peacefully on the shores of New York Harbor and along the banks of the Hudson and East rivers. The Indians lived in small vil­lages of bark huts. They fished, hunted, grew crops, and trapped animals. They traveled the area's waterways in sturdy canoes.

Exploration. The first European to enter New York Harbor was probably Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer employed by the king of France. Verrazano and his crew landed on Staten Island in 1524, while exploring the North American coast.

In 1609, Henry Hudson reached Manhattan and then sailed up the river that now bears his name. Hudson was an Englishman exploring for the Dutch, and so the Netherlands claimed the territory he had found. The region was later named New Netherland.

Settlement. In 1624, the Dutch West India Company, a trading and colonizing firm, sent the first settlers to Manhattan. In 1625, the settlers laid out a town and build a fort called Fort Amsterdam at the island's southern tip. Soon after Fort Amsterdam was built, the entire settlement was named New Amsterdam.

While New Amsterdam was being established on Manhattan, colonists were also arriving in what is now the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

English rule. The Netherlands and England fought three naval wars between 1652 and 1674. In 1664, Eng­lish warships forced the surrender of New Amsterdam. The Dutch regained the colony a few years later but then gave it to England under the terms of a peace treaty. The English renamed the colony New York.

New York grew quickly under English rule. New York played an important role in the American Colonies' fight for freedom from Britain. In 1765, the Stamp Act Con­gress met in New York to protest against unfair taxes. In 1770, New Yorkers clashed with British soldiers, and one man was killed in the fighting. Soon after the American Revolution began in 1775, American forces took possession of the city. But the British regained New York after the Battle of Long Island in 1776 and held it until the war ended in 1783. In January 1785, New York became the temporary capital of the United States, and Congress met there until August 1790. George Washington was in­augurated in New York as the nation's first president in April 1789.

The growing city. During the 1800`s, thousands of European immigrants arrived in New York City every year - about 1890, most of them went from Germany, Ireland, and other countries of northern and western Europe. After about 1890, most immigrants went from southern and eastern European countries. Many immigrants had difficulty adjusting to the city. They lived in crowded slums and had trouble finding jobs.

Politicians, especially members of the Democratic Party machine in Manhattan called Tammany Hall, offered jobs, gifts, and advice to immigrants. In return, the immigrants voted to keep Tammany Hall in power. But the politicians actually did little to provide the immigrants with better housing, education, and medical care.

Formation of Greater New York. In 1883, engineers completed the Brooklyn Bridge, which provided the first direct link between Manhattan and Brooklyn. In 1898, Brooklyn and several communities in what became the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island were united with Manhattan to form what was called Greater New York. The sprawling new city had more than 3 million residents.

But Manhattan remained the largest and most powerful borough of Greater New York, and so its Tammany Hall organization continued to control city politics. Occasionally, voters became angered enough by the illegal activities of Tammany leaders to elect mayors who promised reform. But none of these reform mayors lasted more than one term—until Fiorello La Guardia be­came mayor in 1934. La Guardia, an honest and outspo­ken reformer, served from 1934 to 1945. Since his ad­ministration, no political machine has been able to control New York politics.

Recent developments. Since the 1940's, New York City has been troubled by many problems. These prob­lems have grown severe since the early 1960's. Air and water pollution have harmed New York City's environ­ment. Roads and mass transportation systems have be­come overcrowded and outdated. Housing shortages have increased. Ethnic conflicts have worsened. New York City has also faced a series of damaging strikes by public employees. Many agencies have been set up to study and deal with New York City's problems.

In 1975, the city's government lacked enough money to pay all its bills for the year. The state legislature helped ease the situation by establishing the Municipal Assistance Corporation, which lent the city some money. The federal government also provided funds. To help pay its expenses during the late 1970's, New York City increased city taxes, eliminated thousands of city government jobs, and reduced city services.

Democrat Edward Koch was elected mayor of New York City in 1977. In 1981, he became the first person ever nominated as mayor by both the Democratic and Republican parties. He easily won reelection. During the 198CS, New York City's economic situation improved. Koch was reelected in 1985. In 1989, David N. Dinkins became the city's first black mayor.

In 1993, a bomb exploded in a car park beneath the World Trade Center. The blast killed six people and in­jured more than 1,000. It caused extensive damage to the building. Seven men were charged with the bomb­ing. Also in 1993, 11 men were charged with planning to bomb various locations in New York City. Many of the charged men were thought to have ties with Arab lands.


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