What Are Some Facts About the History of New York City?


Quick Answer

Some facts about the history of New York City are that the first inhabitants of the area were the Algonquin people, the Europeans explored the area in the 1500s and the first European settlement was on Governors Island, also known as New Amsterdam. The settlers purchased the land that eventually became New York City from the natives.

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Full Answer

The native Algonquins farmed and lived in the area that eventually became New York City as well as all the land from the Hudson River to the Delaware River. Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered the area in the early 1500s, although no Europeans settled there for more than 100 years. Europeans finally settled on Nutten or Governors Island in 1624, a settlement made up of a few dozen families from the Dutch West India Company. A few years later, the settlers bought Manhattan Island from the Algonquins and named it New Amsterdam.

By 1664, the English had absorbed the settlement and changed the name to New York City. The population grew from 300 to 18,000 people in little more than 100 years. It became an important port city in the 1800s and a major immigration hotspot in the mid-1800s. In 1895, the independent boroughs became part of one 60-square area known as Greater New York.

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