NY is the largest city in the USA and one of the largest and most fascinating cities of the world.
More than 8 million people live in the central area and if the whole metropolitan area is counted, there live about 18 million people.
It is an important seaport, with a good connection with inland; the largest business, industrial and cultural centre of the USA and it is also the centre of the art world, the media world, the theatre world, and the fashion world.
- The first people in NY were American Indians. They lived on an island – Manahattan Island.
They killed animals and sold the fur.
- In 1609, a Dutch ship with captain Henry Hudson came into the harbour.
Later, in 1625, the Dutch bought Manahattan Island from the Indians for about 24 dollars and settled there. They called the town New Amsterdam.
The Dutch protected the town against the Indians by a wooden wall (now, in the place of the wall, there is Wall Street which is known as the world´s most important financial centre with the most important stock-exchange in the world).
- Then other Europeans bought land from the Dutch and built houses there, too.
- At that time, the English had land all around New Amsterdam. They wanted the town and the harbour, too. During the second Anglo-Dutch war (1664-67) the town was taken by the British without a shot being fired.
- New Amsterdam became New York and a colony of England.
- During the War of Independence, when George Washington became the first President of the USA, NY was the capital of the new country for a year (1789-90).
- After the war, people from all over the world came to America and most of them settled in NY.
The immigrants were mostly from England, Scotland, Germany, Ireland. Later, Germans, Italians and Jewish arrived. There was also an increasing flow of Spanish speaking immigrants (from Puerto Rico, the Carribean, Central and South America).
This immigration has produced an extraordinary variety of ethnic groups and religions in NY, many of them living in their own quarter of the city – e.g. Chinatown, Little Italy, East Side (Hungarians, Czechs, Germans), Lower East Side (it was traditionally Jewish but Blacks and Hispanics have replaced them), Harlem (Negroes) East Village (a multi-cultural area with many ethnic restaurants, fanky boutiques, rock and jazz clubs) etc.
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