The Origin of New York City’s Diversity

New York is sitting right smack on one of the world’s largest natural harbors. It has five boroughs each a separate county of the New York State which were then consolidated into a single city in 1898; Staten Island, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. This expedient location allows its early inhabitants; the Lenape, who are Native Americans to live well, off the farms they cultivated in the area between the Delaware and Hudson rivers. Aside from farming, the area also is an idyllic place for hunting and the Hudson is bountiful for fishing allowing the Lenape to add variety to their staples.

This 20th century metropolis sprawling across a length of seafront has always been the primary access for legal immigration to the US, because big ships can easily dock on its natural seaside harbors free of any obstacles. In the 16th century outsiders started to come, Europeans who began to explore the world, among them was the Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano, who was sailing across the Atlantic coast searching for the route to Asia. But the first European permanent settlers didn’t come until 1664; they were comprised of 30 families sent over by the Dutch West India Company. They established their settlement in the now Governor’s Island, then Nutten Island they named New Amsterdam.

But that was not today’s New York. Manhattan Island purchased by the settlement’s Governor General Peter Minuit from the natives where the more than 300 people living in the settlement moved to, is the New York City of today. Even at the start of its establishment as a community this city is already legendary for rapid growths. In just over 130 years the more than 300 people who first came and settled in Manhattan grew to 18,000 surpassing Boston’s population and became the number 2 largest city in the American colonies then. It was the British who gave it the name New York City. They came in 1664 and snatched New Amsterdam from the Dutch and opened it to legal immigrants; people from England, Netherlands, Germany and France also African Slaves and indentured servants came. Grooming New York into becoming the most diverse city it is today.

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