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American City – New York Essay, Research Paper

Cities usually go through a certain time line of development and expansions. The city of New York is an example of one of these cities. New York started out as a tiny Dutch city and grew to what it has become today: One of the most crowded and modernized cities of the world. It has gone through stages of growth, just like a person goes through stages of life and growth. The stages of growth for this city are The Trading Town, The Emerging City, The Birth of Metropolis, and The Contemporary Metropolis.

The Trading Town was the first period of time for New York. It took place within the first 200 years that the city was founded, until 1820. As said above, New York started as a small Dutch village full of gabled houses. Eventually, the village grew into an established city of Federal Buildings. Of course, it still had a long way to go before it could truly be called a city.

The next period of time took place from 1820-1870. The Emerging City expanded this city a little wider. This period was definitely richer. It began to expand north, growing up Manhattan. The people of the city celebrated being America’s economic capitol. The older city was abandoned to the commerce. Another event took

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place in the southern part of New York during this time period; lower Manhattan was hit with it’s first wave of European immigrants.

The Birth of Metropolis was probably the most important and expensive time period. It took place from 1870 to 1910. The tenement reform finally succeeds. Reformers made the Tenement Housing Act of 1901. There was the construction of the Dumbbell Tenements, tenements that were in the shape off a dumbbell. The middle class were permitted to live in mansions and apartments with light and heat; on the other hand, the poor were forced to live in the old, dark city in these dumbbell tenements. There was also the development of the French Flats and the introduction to the Cast Iron Age (1850-1880). As seen in the Empire Plaza Museum, there are pictures of how people in New York lived at this time. In one picture, a rag picker is shown digging through the garbage. Rag picking was a typical profession of the poor; they made less than a dollar a day.

The last period of the construction of New York was the Contemporary Metropolis, which took place from 1910 until present day. Most people during this period migrated from the city area to the suburbs. Their moving was caused by the over crowding of people looking for work and immigrants. There are still the same problems faced by the New York population today.

A densely populated city like New York can’t grow into the city it has become overnight. As shown by these eras it has taken over a decade to grow into one of the most populated and busy cities throughout time. It started out as a small town and grew

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to be an amazing site for both visitors and residents. There is never a dull moment and has taken an insane amount of time for New York to become the “city that never sleeps


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