The Big Apple, Gotham City, The City that Never Sleeps. These are just a few of the many monikers given to one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City. It is a place with an immense and rich history that dates back to the 1600s. There was once a time when New York wasn’t filled with large buildings or even called “New York.” However, it is the many iconic moments in history that have shaped NYC to the megacity it is today. Now, there are so many iconic moments in the city’s history to discuss in one shot, so here is part 1 of the most iconic moments in New York City history.
The New Netherlands was a Dutch colony established during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. This colony consisted of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware. During this time, the New Netherlands gained its footing in the critical New World fur trade. This was also the time period when Peter Minuit who was the director of the Dutch West India Company bought the island of Manhattan from the natives. Today, we still see the effects of this colonization through locations names that combined Native American and Dutch languages such as Manhattan and Hackensack.
Though the New Netherlands territory was still under Dutch control, in 1664, the English King Charles II promised the land to his brother, the Duke of York. Then after warships approached New Amsterdam, the director-general at the time, Peter Stuyvesant conceded the colony to the English who renamed it “New York” after their Duke. The Dutch, however, recaptured New York in 1673 renaming it to New Orange but returned it a year later in 1674 to the British in order to regain control of Suriname.
Henry Hudson was an explorer who worked for both the Dutch and the English at different times exploring North America in an effort to find a northwestern passageway leading to Asia. After two attempts with the British, he was then commissioned by the Dutch East India Company. It was during this expedition in 1609 that Hudson and his crew sailed to New York and up a river to what is present-day Albany. We now name this river after him: The Hudson River.
Stay tuned because next month we will continue looking at some of the other iconic moments in NYC’s history which include the introduction to some of the most famous monuments and structures.