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Borough of New York City, New York, United States

Top 10 Manhattan related articles


New York County, New York
Etymology: Lenape: Manaháhtaan (the place where we get bows)
The City[1]
Interactive map outlining Manhattan
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°47′N 73°58′W / 40.783°N 73.967°W / 40.783; -73.967Coordinates: 40°47′N 73°58′W / 40.783°N 73.967°W / 40.783; -73.967
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountyNew York County (coterminous)
CityNew York City
 • TypeBorough (New York City)
 • Borough PresidentGale Brewer (D)
(Borough of Manhattan)
 • District AttorneyCyrus Vance Jr. (D)
(New York County)
 • Total33.58 sq mi (87.0 km2)
 • Land22.83 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Water10.76 sq mi (27.9 km2)  32%
Highest elevation265 ft (81 m)
 • Total1,628,706
 • Density69,467.5/sq mi (26,821.6/km2)
 • Demonym
Knickerbocker (historical)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Code format
100xx, 101xx, 102xx
Area code212/646/332, 917[a]
GDP (2019)US$635.3 billion[5] · 2nd by U.S. county; 1st per capita
WebsiteManhattan Borough President

Manhattan (/mænˈhætən, mən-/), known regionally as the City[1] and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Manhattan serves as the city's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier,[6] and historical birthplace.[7] The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; as well as several small adjacent islands. Manhattan additionally contains Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem Ship Canal and later connected using landfill to the Bronx. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

Manhattan has been described as the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world,[8][9][10][11] and the borough hosts the United Nations Headquarters.[12] Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world,[13][14][15][16] and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.[17][18] Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, and the borough has been the setting for numerous books, films, and television shows. Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013;[7][19] median residential property sale prices in Manhattan approximated US$1,600 per square foot ($17,000/m2) as of 2018,[20] with Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commanding the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) per year in 2017.[21]

Manhattan traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. Manhattan is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders, which equals roughly $1059 in current terms.[22][23][24] The territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664[24] and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[25] New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.[26] The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th century[27] and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace.[28] Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898.

New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area (larger only than Kalawao County, Hawaii), and is also the most densely populated U.S. county.[29] It is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2019 population of 1,628,706[30][31] living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2),[32] or 72,918 residents per square mile (28,154/km2), higher than the density of any individual U.S. city.[33] On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million,[34] or more than 170,000 people per square mile (65,600/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.[35] If each borough were ranked as a city, Manhattan would rank as the sixth-most populous in the U.S.

Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017,[36] and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal.[37] The borough hosts many prominent bridges, such as the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Triborough, and George Washington Bridges; tunnels such as the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels; skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and One World Trade Center;[38] and parks, such as Central Park. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[39] and the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.[40][41] The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan,[7] and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government.[42] Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan,[43] including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world.[44][45]

Manhattan Intro articles: 69


The name Manhattan derives from the Munsee Lenape language term manaháhtaan (where manah- means "gather", -aht- means "bow", and -aan is an abstract element used to form verb stems). The Lenape word has been translated as "the place where we get bows" or "place for gathering the (wood to make) bows". According to a Munsee tradition recorded in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at the lower end that was considered ideal for the making of bows. It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).[46] A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). Alternative etymologies in folklore include "island of many hills",[47] "the island where we all became intoxicated" and simply "island", as well as a phrase descriptive of the whirlpool at Hell Gate.[48]

Manhattan Etymology articles: 8


Colonial era

Peter Minuit, early 1600s
1626 letter in Dutch by Pieter Schaghen stating the purchase of Manhattan for 60 guilders.
The Castello Plan showing the Dutch colonial city of New Amsterdam in 1660 – then confined to the southern tip of Manhattan Island

The area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – became the first documented European to visit the area that would become New York City. He entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows and named the land around Upper New York Harbor New Angoulême, in reference to the family name of King Francis I that was derived from Angoulême in France; he sailed far enough into the harbor to sight the Hudson River, which he referred to in his report to the French king as a "very big river"; and he named the Bay of Santa Margarita – what is now Upper New York Bay – after Marguerite de Navarre, the elder sister of the king.[49][50]

It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped.[51] Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there in 1609, and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present-day Albany.[52]

A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624, with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), in what is now Lower Manhattan.[53][54] The 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.[55]

According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Dutch colonists acquired Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed Native American people, who are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape, in exchange for traded goods worth 60 guilders,[23] often said to be worth US$24. The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a representative of the Dutch Estates General and member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the Estates General in November 1626.[56] In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$24 (because 24 = 60/2.5, 1 dollar = confused with rijksdaalder = 2.5 guilders).[57] "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York.[58] Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam.[59] Based on the price of silver, "The Straight Dope" newspaper column calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992.[60] Historians James and Michelle Nevius revisited the issue in 2014, suggesting that using the prices of beer and brandy as monetary equivalencies, the price Minuit paid would have the purchasing power of somewhere between $2,600 and $15,600 in current dollars.[61] According to the writer Nathaniel Benchley, Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsee Native Americans, who were willing to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for the island that was mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks, a band of the Wappinger.[62]

In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony.[63] New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653.[64] In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II.[65] The Dutch, under Director General Stuyvesant, successfully negotiated with the English to produce 24 articles of provisional transfer, which sought to retain for the extant citizens of New Netherland their previously attained liberties (including freedom of religion) under their new English rulers.[66][54]

The Dutch Republic re-captured the city in August 1673, renaming it "New Orange". New Netherland was ultimately ceded to the English in November 1674 through the Treaty of Westminster.[67]

This statue of President Washington stands in front of Federal Hall (on Wall Street) where he was inaugurated as the first U.S. president in 1789,[68] sculptor, John Quincy Adams Ward

American Revolution and the early United States

Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of major battles in the early American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British military and political center of operations in North America for the remainder of the war.[69] The military center for the colonists was established in New Jersey.[70][71] British occupation lasted until November 25, 1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city.[72]

From January 11, 1785, to the fall of 1788, New York City was the fifth of five capitals of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, with the Continental Congress meeting at New York City Hall (then at Fraunces Tavern). New York was the first capital under the newly enacted Constitution of the United States, from March 4, 1789, to August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall.[73] Federal Hall was also the site where the United States Supreme Court met for the first time,[74] the United States Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified,[75] and where the Northwest Ordinance was adopted, establishing measures for adding new states to the Union.[76]

19th century

New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury and, later, with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.[77][78] By 1810, New York City, then confined to Manhattan, had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.[79] The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 laid out the island of Manhattan in its familiar grid plan.

Manhattan in 1873. The Brooklyn Bridge was under construction from 1870 until 1883

Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party political machine, began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminating in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854. Tammany Hall dominated local politics for decades. Central Park, which opened to the public in 1858, became the first landscaped public park in an American city.[80][81]

New York City played a complex role in the American Civil War. The city's strong commercial ties to the southern United States existed for many reasons, including the industrial power of the Hudson River, which allowed trade with stops such as the West Point Foundry, one of the great manufacturing operations in the early United States; and the city's Atlantic Ocean ports, rendering New York City the American powerhouse in terms of industrial trade between the northern and southern United States. New York's growing immigrant population, which had originated largely from Germany and Ireland, began in the late 1850s to include waves of Italians and Central and Eastern European Jews flowing in en masse. Anger arose about conscription, with resentment at those who could afford to pay $300 to avoid service leading to resentment against Lincoln's war policies and fomenting paranoia about free Blacks taking the poor immigrants' jobs,[82] culminating in the three-day-long New York Draft Riots of July 1863. These intense war-time riots are counted among the worst incidents of civil disorder in American history, with an estimated 119 participants and passersby massacred.[83]

The rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply after the Civil War, and Manhattan became the first stop for millions seeking a new life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, a gift from the people of France.[84][85] The new European immigration brought further social upheaval. In a city of tenements packed with poorly paid laborers from dozens of nations, the city became a hotbed of revolution (including anarchists and communists among others), syndicalism, racketeering, and unionization.

In 1883, the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge established a road connection to Brooklyn, across the East River. In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County from Westchester County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was annexed.[86] In 1898, when New York City consolidated with three neighboring counties to form "the City of Greater New York", Manhattan and the Bronx, though still one county, were established as two separate boroughs. On January 1, 1914, the New York State Legislature created Bronx County and New York County was reduced to its present boundaries.[87]

The "Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York", commonly known as the Viele Map, was created by Egbert Ludovicus Viele in 1865

20th century

Manhattan's Little Italy, Lower East Side, circa 1900

The construction of the New York City Subway, which opened in 1904, helped bind the new city together, as did additional bridges to Brooklyn. In the 1920s Manhattan experienced large arrivals of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the southern United States, and the Harlem Renaissance, part of a larger boom time in the Prohibition era that included new skyscrapers competing for the skyline. New York City became the most populous city in the world in 1925, overtaking London, which had reigned for a century.[88] Manhattan's majority white ethnic group declined from 98.7% in 1900 to 58.3% by 1990.[89]

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village killed 146 garment workers. The disaster eventually led to overhauls of the city's fire department, building codes, and workplace regulations.[90]

The period between the World Wars saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the fall of Tammany Hall after 80 years of political dominance.[91] As the city's demographics stabilized, labor unionization brought new protections and affluence to the working class, the city's government and infrastructure underwent a dramatic overhaul under La Guardia. Despite the Great Depression, some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline, most notably the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the 30 Rockefeller Plaza.[92]

V-J Day in Times Square in Times Square, 1945

Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom, which led to the development of huge housing developments targeted at returning veterans, the largest being Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947.[93] In 1951–1952, the United Nations relocated to a new headquarters the East Side of Manhattan.[94][95]

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[96][97] and the modern fight for LGBT rights.[98][99]

In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City, including Manhattan, to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[100] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[101]

The 1980s saw a rebirth of Wall Street, and Manhattan reclaimed its role at the center of the worldwide financial industry. The 1980s also saw Manhattan at the heart of the AIDS crisis, with Greenwich Village at its epicenter. The organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) were founded to advocate on behalf of those stricken with the disease.

By the 1990s crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Murder rates that had reached 2,245 in 1990 plummeted to 537 by 2008, and the crack epidemic and its associated drug-related violence came under greater control.[102] The outflow of population turned around, as the city once again became the destination of immigrants from around the world, joining with low interest rates and Wall Street bonuses to fuel the growth of the real estate market.[103] Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in Manhattan's economy.

21st century

Flooding on Avenue C caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012[106]

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center, and the towers subsequently collapsed. 7 World Trade Center collapsed due to fires and structural damage caused by heavy debris falling from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The other buildings within the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage to other surrounding buildings and skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the planes. Since 2001, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored, although there has been controversy surrounding the rebuilding. Many rescue workers and residents of the area developed several life-threatening illnesses that have led to some of their subsequent deaths.[107] A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in 2014. In 2014, the new One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (541 m) and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,[108] while other skyscrapers were under construction at the site.

The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and spawning the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[109]

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction in the borough, ravaging portions of Lower Manhattan with record-high storm surge from New York Harbor,[110] severe flooding, and high winds, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of city residents[111] and leading to gasoline shortages[112] and disruption of mass transit systems.[113][114][115][116] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the borough and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[117] Around 15 percent of the borough is considered to be in flood-risk zones.[118]

On October 31, 2017, a terrorist took a rental pickup truck and deliberately drove down a bike path alongside the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring a dozen others before crashing into a school bus.[119]

Manhattan History articles: 148