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History of New York State

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The State of New York was the eleventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, thereby admitting itself to the union, on July 26, 1788. New York is located in northeastern United States and borders with Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. New York is the third most populated state in America with over 19,570,261 citizens contained in a 49,170 square mile radius. The capital of New York is Albany, located in eastern New York.

History of New York[edit | edit source]

It is impossible to discuss the state of New York without mentioning several of its massive cities: Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, and, of course, New York City. New York was granted statehood in 1788; however, even before it officially became a state, New York played a major role in the formation of the United States. New York was originally occupied by multiple Native tribes, most notably the Iroquois who occupied a large section of New York. The Iroquois land was eventually claimed by the Dutch during Henry Hudson's explorations in 1609. This land would later become Albany, the capital of New York. In 1524, a European sailor named Giovanni da Verrazzano embarked on a voyage for North America in search of the Banks of Newfoundland. Instead, he discovered an area of land known today as New York harbour. For half a century, the Dutch occupied the land they called New Netherland. Eventually, New Netherland was bought by the Dutch from the natives and became a booming centre for peaceful trade with close Canadian borders and access to the Hudson and St. Lawrence River. Peace came to a halt in 1664 when the Duke of York showed interest in the area occupied by the Dutch and hatched a plan for warfare; however, this plan never came to fruition and in September of that year the Dutch surrendered its colony to the English. Following this, the British took control of the land and New York became one of the Thirteen Colonies. Albany controlled the majority of New York’s economy from the 1600s to the mid 19th century. In the 1600s New York was referred to as New Netherland, however once the land was under British jurisdiction it was promptly renamed New York in honour of the Duke of York. New Netherland was officially founded by Dutch settlers as a trading post named Fort Orange. Not long after, New Amsterdam was founded on Manhattan Island, along the Hudson River.

From 1700 onward, the colony of New York began to form its own system of government. It was run by governors who based their customs and laws on their English and Dutch heritage. At this point in time, New York had an aristocratic social structure and was dominated by landlords and farmers. Revolution plagued New York throughout the 1700s and caused a great deal of disturbance until 1777. In 1777, the Constitution of the State of New York was enacted. It was founded on the policy that the authority of government originates from the people. This act “affirmed the sovereignty of the people, the freedom of every citizen from any interference whatsoever except by authority of the people, and declared that the object of government was the safety and happiness of the people.” By 1861, New York State was fully engulfed in the American Civil War as part of the Union forces. The State of New York played a key role in the sponsorship of the war supplying 484,260 men of the Unions total 2,867,345 soldiers. This made it the highest contributor of soldiers, at almost 17% of the total army. New York State was firmly against slavery and was loudly recognized as one of the first pro labour union states. The American Revolution was fought throughout America between the American Colonies and the British. The war was fiercely fought in New York, where the battles of Lexington, Concord and Saratoga took place. The latter battle is recognized as the turning point of the war. The American forces were able to secure a victory against General John Burgoyne’s British Army over an eighteen-day battle spanning from September 19th to October 7th. This battle helped prevent the American colonies from becoming further colonized by the British, and played a key role in uniting the existing Thirteen Colonies.

During the early stages of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the British attempted to maintain control over New York City and the surrounding areas by assembling “the century’s largest fleet” of sailors and soldiers off the coast. This led to overwhelming victories by the British which forced the American troops under General George Washington to retreat and give up strategically valuable land. The Revolutionary War originated between the British and the Thirteen Colonies, which included New York by July 1776. Eventually, this war would expand to include Spain, France and the Netherlands. The Commander in Chief of the British forces declared his intentions to capture New York. Once it had been occupied, the Chief sent several men from his army in Philadelphia to fight two more battles against their rivals, which they lost. When the army retreated with Sir. Henry Clinton back to New York City, the war centered around Manhattan, Long Island, and Staten Island. Eventually, the Colonies would win the war and officially become an independent country. New York adopted its constitution in 1777, with George Clinton, who had acted as Chief executive throughout a large portion of the whole war, as the first Governor. In 1785, New York City was declared the capital of the newly free country, however it was continuously stripped and reappointed the title of ‘capital’ through the years until 1790, when Washington D.C. was officially recognized as the new territory that would hold the name of capital.

The Great Depression may not have hit New York the hardest of all states, but it was undoubtedly still devastating.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, New York State’s economy was booming, making way for the “roaring twenties”. However, the "roaring twenties" ended with one of the most famous events in the history of New York-- the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Stock Market Crash was one of leading contributions of the Great Depression. It wouldn't be until the Second World War that the American economy would get a boost. World War II was a turbulent time for the entire world, but it also allowed the American economy to recover. Following the horrors of World War II, the people of New York looked ahead for more peaceful times. It was a bright place where young, starry-eyed entrepreneurs and actors could get ahead and make a name for themselves. This mindset continues today as New York is still seen as a place for people to live their dreams, whether in art, music, or business.

New York City was blind-sided on September 11th, 2001 when two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, also known as the Twin Towers, devastating not only New York City, but the entire United States of America. The crashes resulted in the collapse of both towers and the spreading of debris on nearby houses, buildings and people. It was the first time that America had been majorly attacked on U.S soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In a coordinated attack instigated by terrorists from a group named al-Qaeda, four planes were hijacked and used as bombs to be flown directly into buildings, exploding on impact. The third plane was flown into the Pentagon. On the fourth plane, en route to the White House, a passenger overpowered the hijackers, and crashed the plane into a farmer’s field. There were numerous casualties from these horrendous acts of terror, not only from the plane crashes and towers collapsing, but also from the falling debris. This incident shocked the nation and resulted in an increase in anti-terrorist organizations, as well as national security. The tragedy of September 11th witnessed life losses of over 3,000 people and tested the strength of New York City, New York State, America as a whole and the world over.

Cultural New York[edit | edit source]

New York State has had an interesting cultural impact not only on the rest of the United States of America, but on the world. New York City alone has had a tremendous impact on the nations psyche, having an intense influence on Americas cultural heritage. It has been a breeding ground for American art movements and is the place where many new Americans first arrived via Ellis Island. Christopher Bigsby described New York’s changing immigrant population, noting that “in parts of Brooklyn, one immigrant group replaces another, a shifting spectrum of immigrant life”. This begins to describe the artistic soup from which American culture has been continually reformed. A large part of the reason New York has such a colourful history is due to the fact that it was the main hub for immigrants both old and young. Through the years, people have flocked to the United States for hundreds of reasons, but no other place in the United States has welcomed more newcomers than New York. New York easily took over as the financial head of the country, albeit slowly, over a few decades. Areas like Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls attracted big business as well as tourism, as there were huge tracts of land that were perfect for factories and power plants. It has become a hugely developed state and boasts an extensive and interesting history. By the 1900s, New York was “the richest and more populous state”. This ideal of being the most prosperous, business-friendly city in the world had an aesthetically-pleasing effect on the skyline of New York City. From the Woolworth Building, to the Chrysler Building, and eventually the World Trade Centers, New Yorkers boasted the tallest building(s) for nearly seventy-five years. Skyscrapers became a symbol of power and New York took advantage of this in constructing the Chrysler Building as well as the World Trades Centers. Into the twentieth century, New York was considered to be the cultural capital of the world. An explosion of creative energy allowed New York to dominate the cultural scene. New York City is known for many attractions including; Broadway, their Fashion District, the Statue of Liberty (a gift given by France on October 28, 1886), Adirondack Park (a publicly protected area of land established in 1892), Niagara Falls, Wall Street, the Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Central Park, the Yankees, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many more. New York City is commonly referred to as the "Big Apple". New York City covers three hundred square miles including many of the aforementioned landmarks. This all contributes to New York's culture. Agriculturally, New York State is best known for dairy products, vegetables, and fruits (especially apples and grapes). However New York’s largest industry is printing and publishing, with businesses related to publishing giving billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year.

NYC Empire State Building

Many pieces of media feature New York's landmarks. Frank Sinatra’s "New York, New York", borrowed from Liza Minnelli, and Jay Z’s "Empire State of Mind" both feature the city. Comic books were developed in the city, and many took place there. New York State has frequently been covered by literature, including Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. Manhattan's Upper East Side is shown in the television show "Gossip Girl", capturing New York's exclusive and glamorous side. The architecture of New York played a large part in the "King Kong" films, in which the titular character, an ape, climbs the famous Empire State Building.

New York is where the jazz scene first appeared in America. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Benny Carter, and Louis Armstrong all work in the city, each having tremendous influence on American music. The Apollo Theatre, a distinct New York City landmark, was where some of America's most popular musicians regularly preformed. Tied into this was the rise of New York’s beat poets. Jack Kerouac’s "On The Road" was a significant work of this era, and referenced listening to Charlie Parker . This was emblematic of the environment New York provided to artists, in which movements and individuals would cross without boundary.

The Apollo Theatre

New York is central to understanding the development of many arts movements, especially ones associated with immigration and race. Literary mention of New York City goes back to Diedrich Knickerbocker’s "History of New York" in 1809 . Walt Whitman wrote "A Poem for New York", calling it a “city of hurried and sparkling waters”. African American literature has particularly thrived in the area. Sparked by the ‘great migration’ of African Americans from southern states to northern ones, the Harlem renaissance shook America, and provided grounds for the publication of important civil rights related works like Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man". It was in New York on September 17th, 1821 that a partially ex-slave production company put on "Richard III", a monumental achievement for the time. The state and the city would be a place of tremendous artistic creation throughout its history.

New York City possesses its own individual and captivating culture and is the backdrop to thousands of movies. Deemed “the city that never sleeps”, New York City is constantly active and is the most populated metropolitan area in the United States, as of 2010. New York has a significant influence on many industries, particularly the fashion, entertainment and finance industries. Because of its geographical location, high population, diversity and other factors, New York is a world leader in trade and commerce. New York City is broken up into five subdivisions: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. New York City is also home to the United Nations headquarters. A few examples of recent famous actors and actresses who were born in New York are Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Sylvester Stallone and Adam Sandler.

Statue of Liberty.

The words “empire, liberty, and constitution” have always been of significant value to the state of New York. Another aspect of New York City which has impacted American culture is it’s dense collection of recognizable landmarks. New immigrants to the United States coming through Ellis Island would see the Statue of Liberty, one of the defining images of New York. The statue was inaugurated on October 18th, 1886, and was a gift from France The statue would appear in American media often, including such films as "Cloverfield", "X-Men", and the Hitchcock classic "Saboteur". The Statue of Liberty is a world renowned symbol of America and is located on Liberty Island, Manhattan in New York State. The statue itself is a robed female who represents the Roman goddess of freedom. She is holding a torch that marks the date of July 4th 1776, the date of the American Declaration of Independence. Broken chains lie beneath her, representing the freedom and liberty that all Americans should feel. Moreover, the Statue of Liberty is there as a welcoming symbol to immigrants who are arriving from abroad.

The New York Yankees have been considered by many to be the “Mecca” of sports franchises worldwide due to the plethora of success and longevity the team has achieved for over a century. The Yankees have been an iconic figure in popular culture throughout New York and the world. The team has been referenced many times in TV shows, novels, magazines, movies and other media sources. TV shows such as “The Bronx is Burning” and movies such as "Bang the Drum Slowly", "Pride of the Yankees", "For the Love of the Game", and "Anger Management" have all had scenes in Yankee stadium expanding the impact the Yankees have had on popular culture. The Yankees have also been mentioned in the famous Sports Illustrated magazine 1672 times with 35 issues devoting the cover to the Yankees franchise. The Yankees have been an integral part of New York popular culture because of the location of the team and resources it has by being associated with one of the most iconic and wealthiest cities in the world. Many musicians, artists, actors, and athletes have been associated with the team and therefore expanding the culture of the Yankees worldwide to the point where the New York Yankees can be considered a global franchise. Celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Jay Z, and Adam Sandler have all been associated with the team to further expand the popular culture of the Yankees franchise. The Steinbrenner family under the corporate logo Yankee Global Enterprises owns the team today. The current team value of the Yankees is approximately 1.3 billion dollars and average revenue per season is 441 million, almost twice the amount of the second highest grossing team. The Yankees have succeeded in always having a near perfect attendance and regularly rank within the top echelon in attendance rankings year by year, fathering the impact the team has had on popular culture. The Yankees have also recently created their own entertainment network to improve on their integral impact on popular culture within in New York and the world. Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network was created in 2002 to broadcast Yankee games globally. The success of the network has been a significant factor to the expansion of the Yankees franchise in popular culture.

Yankee Stadium, the home of the New York Yankees is widely known throughout the world as an incomparable theatre in American sports. Not only have 27 championship banners been raised, but also events such as college, and professional football, boxing and hockey games, as well as concerts and visits from the pope all resided in Yankee stadium. The stadium serves as a calling card to all New Yorkers and people worldwide to meet and enjoy the multitude of culture America has to offer.

Pre-Colonial History and the "Province of New York"

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This chapter will examine the pre-colonial history of the New York State. People have lived in what is now known as the State of New York for over five thousand years. Native Americans were the first migrants to settle in to the New York area, having ultimately settled there after traveling by way of the Bering Strait, pushing through mountains, plains and forests. The fertile land surrounding the riverbanks was attractive to these migrants as they sought to establish settlements. The geographical features of New York made the area a strategic stronghold for any group of Native Americans that was able to establish themselves there. The first group of Native Americans to occupy the New York area spoke the Algonquian language with the last wave of Algonquians’ arriving just before the year 1000. By the time the first white settlers arrived in New York during the late 1500s and early 1600s, the power of the Algonquians’ had declined and had shifted to the powerful tribes of the Iroquois. With the arrival of European settlers such as Henry Hudson the political and social landscape of the new world started to change. This chapter will also look at the history of the New Netherlands and their settlement of New Amsterdam which would eventually become New York City. Finally this section will examine the influence of the telegraph, newspapers and Rural literacy in New York State history.

The Iroquois[edit | edit source]

When the first French explorers came to the North Eastern forests of North America five hundred years ago they encountered a people who they called the Iroquois. They ruled a vast territory of what is now New York State. The Iroquois were famous for their skills in hunting and their abilities as warriors. In addition, the Iroquois system of government was highly sophisticated and democratic.

Part of a map of featuring land belonging to the Iroquois from end of XVIIIe century by Louis Hennepin, made for Guillaume III of Orange.

Ancestors of the Iroquois[edit | edit source]

The ancestors of the Iroquois lived in the North Eastern forests for thousands of years. At first they were hunter gathers, but eventually they developed means to cultivate the land. The ability to cultivate the land allowed them to build permanent villages, which grew into larger nations. The area was comprised of five such nations, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga and Seneca. In total, fifty thousand people lived in these nations, sharing similar languages and cultures.

Iroquois Housing[edit | edit source]

The Iroquois lived in villages with two main housing units, the wigwam and the long house. The wigwam was built out of bent sticks shaped in a circle with bark and grass used to make the roof. In addition, many Iroquois lived in longhouses, which were constructed out of wood saplings sheathed in elm bark. Longhouses ranged from 40 to 400 meters in length and usually had three to five fires inside them. The Iroquois call themselves Haudenosaunee, which translates into the “People of the Longhouse.”

Wars and Conflict[edit | edit source]

Despite their similarities, the nations often fought against one another for land and power. The largest such conflict was the Iroquois civil war, which lasted for over one hundred years. One reason why the Iroquois Civil War lasted for so long was because of the custom known as "mourning war". Mourning war was a religious custom where every death of a community member had to be answered either by the taking of captives or the death of a member of the enemy tribe. It is obvious how the influence of this practice of mourning warfare can lead to a bloody cycle of warfare. The Iroquois civil war threatened the survival of the Iroquois people. Evidence of the carnage of these dark times can be seen in archeological sites of Iroquois villages. For example, most villages had tall stockades surrounding the village to protect from attackers.

Formation of the Iroquois Confederacy[edit | edit source]

The Iroquoian prophet Deganawida, also known as the Peace Keeper, is said to have brought peace and unity to the Iroquois nations. It is said that the Peace Keeper was born in a Huron village, where he had a vision from the creator to bring peace to the Iroquois nations. Another important actor was Hiawatha, who was a skilled warrior and leader of the Onondaga nation. Hiawatha and the Peacemaker worked together to share their message of peace to the Iroquois nations. One by one they convinced each nation to join the Iroquois Confederacy. Under the Iroquois Confederacy the practice of revenge killing was replaced with the Great Law of Peace This law acted as a constitution and ensured peace and cooperation between the five nations. Under the Great Law each Nation played a role in the governing process. The Iroquois Confederacy was governed by a council of village chiefs who acted as the governing voice for the Iroquois. Tribes were also arranged into political structures known as clans. These were made up of many families with common Female ancestors. Compared to their modern Western counterparts, Iroquois women had much more power. For example, elder women, known as clan leaders, were responsible for village life and for appointing the male council of chiefs. If necessary, they could also remove them from office for poor behaviour or abuse of power.

The founders of this confederacy linked their new government to “a long house where families dwell together in harmony.” Meaning that it was meant to bring peace to the tribes of the Iroquois. This confederacy formed a very intricate political structure between the five nations of the Iroquois. The five nations divided their people up into clans. Each of these clans was given the symbol of an animal to represent them. Clans extended through each of the five nations with members of a clan in one nation being bound with the strictest of ties to members of the same clan in the other four nations. However, it was forbidden to marry a member of the same clan. Although the clans had their own leaders, no one clan or tribe could enter into any sort of important activities, such as declaring war or signing peace treaties, until this matter had been formally discussed in a council of all the nations and a decision had been arrived at unanimously. As the confederacy became more and more powerful, jealousy and hatred on the part of neighboring peoples began to grow. Many wars broke out between the Iroquois confederacy and neighboring nations, the Iroquois were known for their brutality when at war and have said to be the most powerful war machine in the history of all Native Americans. This led to other nations being humiliated by the Iroquois or in some cases, completely annihilated.

The transition from the five nations to the Iroquois Confederacy is best seen in the Wampum belt. In the center of the belt is a white pine tree which symbolizes the unity of the Iroquois nations. Some social scientists believe the Iroquois confederation was built out of threat from the European settlers as a quasi-militaristic means of protection. The Iroquois confederacy was a highly advanced political organization which would eventually become a model for many constitutions, including that of the United States. Historians, such as Donald Grinde have argued that democratic practices of the Iroquois helped inspire Benjamin Franklin and many other framers of the United States Constitution. The most most influential law was the Great Law of Peace, which brought peace to the Iroquois tribes. On October 5 1988, the US Congress recognized the Iroquois's impact on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Iroquois and the early European Settlers[edit | edit source]

The arrival of European settlers would dramatically change the balance of power in North America. For over 200 years, the fur trade forced the Iroquois to choose sides between the British and French. During this time European powers tried to gain favor with them so they could be used as a valuable ally. These men campaigned for the confederacy because of the urgent need for peace and unity among the nations of the Iroquois.

Perhaps what is most remarkable about the Iroquois confederacy is that they were able to still maintain their power after the Dutch, French and British came to New York. The Iroquois were able to adopt the superior techniques of these white settlers and maintain a dominant position in New York for well over a century after their arrival. The Iroquois were able to establish friendly relationships with the Dutch and British trading furs with them for items, such as cloth, guns, and rum. The British recognized the power of the Five Nations Confederacy and endeavored to convert the Iroquois into loyal allies. Prior to the British, the Dutch were the Iroquois Confederacy's closest European allies due to their close proximity to the Iroquois, which allowed for easy trade. The British accomplished their goal by annexing the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1664, and by default adopting the close alliance with the Iroquois. The British were able to use their relationship with the Iroquois to turn them against the French. The Iroquois raided many French settlements. However, this caused a bloody retaliation, which forced the Iroquois to sign a peace treaty with the French in 1701. The Iroquois were able to use the treaties they had with the French and British to make them play against each other and in affect create their own control of the fur trade. Because of their remarkable ability to adopt new techniques and adapt to different situations, the British regarded the Iroquois as the most powerful confederation of Native Americans known to them.

Henry Hudson[edit | edit source]

Initial voyage[edit | edit source]

Little is known of the early life of Henry Hudson until he was hired by the Dutch to seek a new passage to Asia, after attempting to do so twice for the British. After setting out aboard the Halve Maen (Half Moon), icy conditions in the North Atlantic drove Hudson south towards North America, where he intended to find another route north through the rivers to the Pacific Ocean. Hudson anchored initially in Delaware Bay, but, knowing that his ship was too large to navigate the shallow waters, he then sailed northward along the coast and into what is now the Hudson River.

Native Interactions[edit | edit source]

Initial interactions with Natives were quite peaceful, with both the sailors and natives fascinated and curious about the other. Yet after three days of coming and going in peace, a boat returning from an exploration was suddenly attacked by natives in two sets of canoes. John Colman was the one sailor who was killed in this attack, becoming the first European to have died in the Hudson River. Colman was buried afterwards on Sandy Hook, and the spot was named Colman’s Point in his memory. After this violent interaction, Hudson refused to fully trust the intentions of the natives, yet nonetheless continued to trade with them as he sailed further upriver. The Halve Maen eventually arrived at what is now the present city of Albany, the furthest point up the river. At Albany, interactions with natives were significantly more pleasant than earlier on. They exchanged many different goods, and some natives were even welcomed aboard to drink wine. Theses interactions with natives at Albany were a part of what established the area as a significant trading centre, along with many other positive interactions Hudson and his crew had on their journey back downriver.

Hudson’s final voyage, and memory today.[edit | edit source]

Halve Maen approaching Manhattan 28 June 2009

The final voyage of Henry Hudson contributes even more to the mystery surrounding his life. Setting out in 1610 on another attempt to find the northwest passage, the ship and crew were unprepared for the rough and icy waters of what is now Hudson’s Bay. Somewhere in the bay, a long-time crew member of Hudson’s led a mutiny against him, and set Hudson, along with a few others (including one young boy assumed to be his son) out adrift, never to be heard from again. While Henry Hudson is credited with discovering New York, there is substantial evidence of previous European explorers sailing into the area, and even sailing upstream what was to become known as the Hudson River. Yet, similar to Christopher Columbus’ relationship to the discovery of North America, Henry Hudson is given this credit because his “discovery” is seen as the starting point of the colonization and development of New York State. The impact of Hudson’s voyage is extensive, but it is clear that his reports back to the Dutch led to the establishment of the New Netherland, the first major European colony along the Hudson River. The importance of it is not forgotten, even today. In 2009 both Manhattan and Amsterdam held 400th anniversary celebrations of the voyage, including a major exhibit in the Museum of the City of New York. Hudson has been celebrated as one of the world’s most notable explorers, in spite of his life ending in failure to find the northwest passage. This passage was finally discovered by the explorer Ronald Amundsen, ironically near the three hundredth anniversary of Hudson’s first voyage to find it.

New Netherlands(1614-1667)[edit | edit source]

Original map made of New Netherlands by Nicolaes Visscher I in 1656; this is a reprint from 1685

The New Netherlands was the 17th century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The settled Dutch areas are now parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Capital of the colonial was New Amsterdam which was located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an English explorer was hired by the Dutch East India Company to locate a Northeast passage to Asia sailing around Scandinavia and Russia. Due to the amount of ice he was forced to turn west, eventually he ended up exploring the east coast of North America. Hudson came across several different native groups. Upon return from the New World, Hudson dispatched reports to the Dutch East India Company, proposing more searches in the New World. In 1614, the governing body of the United Netherlands colonials issued patents in 1614 for the development of New Netherlands as a private commercial venture. The colonial ship dispatched was known as the New Netherland, and this name was then transferred to describe the colonial province surrounding the northeast coast of this new world. As a private business their main goal was to exploit the North American fur trade. The Dutch legislator preferred small trading posts as opposed to large colonies. They were more interested in a quick profit, as opposed to establishing colonies. It was not until the defeat in Brazil did the Dutch West Company focus on North American colonization. The Dutch settlers relied on the Native Americans population, including the Algonquians to capture fur for them. The Dutch slowly built many trading posts in the area to take advantage of the fur trade. Overtime, the Dutch established a monopoly over the fur trade by allying with the Iroquois Confederacy. Ultimately as trade started to boom the Dutch population grew. In 1617 Dutch colonists built forts at the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. Today this is where Albany stands in New York State. In an attempt to protect the mouth of the Hudson from other colonial powers the Dutch set up a colony on the island of Manhattan, purchased from the natives for a price of twenty-eight dollars. The citadel Fort Amsterdam was built to protect the mouth of the river. Eventually the fort expanded and became a permanent place of settlement. To protect the settler’s investment Peter Minuit negotiated the purchase of Manhattan from the local native groups for only 60 guilders. The colony was renamed New Amsterdam and became the capital of the Dutch colonies in North America. New Amsterdam became a vital trading hub between Europe and North America. Furthermore, the colony was very diverse consisting of Europeans, Native American’s, and African slaves. In 1664, the British captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York. The ancestors of the original Dutch settlers played an important role in colonial America.

The Telegraph, Newspapers and Rural Literacy[edit | edit source]

1747 New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy Jan19

Prior to the American Revolution localized literary rates were stagnant. However these rates had risen to prominence once the rhetoric of the revolution had popularized local media as a political tool in the 18th century. Colonial identity went through a transformation which established it as distinctly different from, although ultimately loyal to, Britain. By the eve of the American Revolution this identity had shifted in a direction of segregation from Britain in respect not only to politics but in all aspects of life. This transformation was by and large affected by the various talks, letters, speeches, pamphlets, and newspapers that emerged prior to and during the American Revolution. Often the topic of debate previous to the conflict between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies was the anguished and varying views amongst the colonists in regards to what action was most appropriate to take in the face of British tyranny. The heightened spread and frequency in which literary media was produced was in response to the intolerable acts instated by the British Government. Initially the American Revolution was not about violent acts done for sovereignty but rather, as John Adams was reported to say, it was to change the “minds and hearts of the people” and the articles at the time often reflect this view. American Whigs used the method of adopting new techniques of political agencies and the spread of public communication to rally a popular front. Literary works and pamphlets became a popular trend at this time: one notorious example with extraordinary consequences being the pamphlet Common Sense authored by Thomas Paine.

Newspapers printed during this time did not have much of the credibility or accuracy that is expected from today's media, yet, they did provide a new perspective that was now readily available to the masses, which commented first on the American Revolution, and then also the Civil War. It took until several generations later before newspapers could be published without the problems of being anonymous, without a date, location, origin, or lacking important details. The first New York local newspaper is reported to have been the New-York Gazette, which is estimated to have first been issued circa November 8-12, 1725.

There had been an attempt at the propagation of multi-lingual schools in New York State for some time, however most notably, where there had once been Dutch-language schools within New York State they soon became replaced by Anglican Societies in favor of English-language schools. This fact can account for the Anglicization of both Dutch and French populations in the colonies; furthermore, it suggests a method in which American populations could become consolidated in language and therefore able to access the growing market for telegraphs, newspapers, and general literacy.

New York State: American Revolution to Civil War

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This chapter explores the history of the state of New York from the American Revolutionary War leading up to the American Civil War. A particular emphasis is placed on the role of race in shaping New York’s history. After the American Revolution, independence was achieved for American citizens with the notable exception of African-Americans. Slavery was still a prominent institution embedded in American culture. However, the struggle for abolition was beginning to gain momentum. Emancipation was achieved finally in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 through President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. However, emancipation also led to increasing tensions between races. In New York City, Irish immigrants were particularly concerned that labour competition from freed African-Americans would jeopardize their own employment status. This tension, in tandem with the introduction of the Enrollment Act, precipitated the eruption of the New York City Draft Riots in July of 1863. Notable figures such as Horatio Seymour are also discussed, particularly within the context of the New York Draft Riots.

This chapter will also discuss New York culture, particularly in terms of theatre before the Civil War. African-American culture emerged in an attempt to maintain a sense of community. However, black theatres were often suppressed and even destroyed in some cases. Ironically, white theatre success came from emulating African-Americans on the stage. At the same time, New York City was becoming the publishing powerhouse of America. It benefited from a growing economy and high literacy rate to surpass previous leaders in the industry such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington.

African-Americans after the Revolution[edit | edit source]

Glimpses at the Freedmen - The Freedmen's Union Industrial School, Richmond, Va. / from a sketch by Jas E. Taylor.

The end of the American Revolution brought change and independence for American citizens. This did not mean however, that their freedoms would be shared with African-Americans. By the end of the War of Independence it was still legal for people to own slaves in New York, though slavery was never an integral part of New York’s economy. The struggle against slavery gained momentum after the war ended, when it became apparent that slavery would be allowed to continue in the newly independent country. Many African-Americans and a small but increasing numbers of whites came together to push for the emancipation legislation. This movement began to attract attention when a group of influential white men became involved and formed the Manumission Society in 1785. The abolition movement achieved its first victory when New York City passed an emancipation law in 1799. Despite this victory however, the law did not convince the majority of white Americans living in New York to accept African-Americans as equal citizens. This law failed to free any adult slaves, and instead freed only the children of slaves but only after a lengthy process was completed. Nevertheless, by 1810 there were 7,400 free African-Americans living in New York State which was a seven-fold increase from 1799.

Many newly freed slaves moved away from their former masters and into urban New York City, where many located to the outskirts of the city and created new African-American communities. The majority of freed slaves could not afford to buy their own homes, so many would either live with other families or work as domestics for white families. A few families were able to purchase their own property, for residential or for business purposes. Seneca Village was one such prominent African-American community that emerged at this time. It became the largest African-American holding in Manhattan and even included its own African-American Church. Rather tellingly, the community was destroyed in 1850 to make way for Central Park.

During this period, it was extremely hard for African-Americans to find employment. Many white Americans were still bitter about losing their slaves and would consequently refuse to hire them. As a result, many African-Americans were forced into menial jobs that white Americans feared or despised, such as chimney sweepers or domestics.

New York and the Civil War[edit | edit source]

Theatre Before the Civil War in New York[edit | edit source]

Blackface banjo player at circus

The struggle to maintain their culture and unity marked the development of African-American culture in New York City before the civil war. Music and dance were prominent in African-American society, with theatres—such as the African Grover Theatre in the 1820's—forming a cornerstone of the new cultural movement. These theaters also functioned as a method of resistance, for many African-Americans saw theatre and dance as the only mode of expression available to them, given that public office was essentially an all-white occupation at the time. African-American theatre productions were the equal of any by white Americans, but were not acknowledged as such because of the dominant American view of African-American inferiority. Black theatres were suppressed and, as noted above, Seneca village, which had been a thriving African-American community and cultural centre, was destroyed in the 1850s to make space for Central Park.

Blackface Stereotypes

In fact, many Americans believed that any redeeming features of African-American culture had originated from its interactions with white culture. This is reflected in the phenomenon of the “minstrel show," in which a group of white men, wearing “blackface“ made from a burnt cork paste, satirized African-American culture. Minstrel shows portrayed African-Americans as dim-witted, lazy, and happy-go-lucky. This would continue as a form of entertainment for white Americans until after the Civil War. From 1770 to 1860, relations between African-Americans and whites were uneasy, and minstrel shows were a way to show African-American inferiority, which ultimately reassured white Americans that the hierarchy of the pre-revolutionary years was still in place. On the New York stage at the time, African-Americans played the smallest roles, if any, and were not allowed to play in the minstrel shows. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in the 1850s about the life of a slave, became one of the most popular minstrel shows in New York. Blackface actors turned the book into a melodrama depicting the life of a slave as light-hearted and agreeable, which is very different from what the book presents. Ironically, the success of the minstrel shows was dependent on the very culture they mocked and denigrated. Many blackface actors even prided themselves on their ability to act like African-Americans, which illustrates the racial contradictions of not only New York but the entire nation at the time.

New York and Military Ingenuity[edit | edit source]

USS Monitor (on the right) in action with CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862

Upon the outbreak of civil war on April 12, 1861, blockades of all Confederate ports were ordered by President Abraham Lincoln. Due to the sheer numbers of ships and manufacturing capabilities of the North, the Confederate Navy seemed to be blocked in their ports. A new weapons race had broken out between the Confederate states and the Union. It was evident that the North had the advantage in manufacturing; therefore the South had to turn to quality over quantity. After months of fighting blockades, the South caught a break when they captured a Union navy yard that was meant to be scuttled. After seizing the navy yard, Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory, saw the advantages of one of the seized ships, USS Merrimack. Although it was burnt out, it was rebuilt with metal armor. This was the birth of true terror among Union Navy sailors once reports of a metal ship began surfacing on the horizon. The new ironclad ship would be renamed the Confederate States Ship (CSS) Virginia.

In response the CSS Virginia, the Union Navy began to experiment with designs of their own ironclad ship. The Union Navy approved and decided on three ironclad ships to build for their fleet. The first, arguably most detrimental to the North’s success, is the United States Ship (USS) Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. Designed by Swedish engineer and inventor John Ericsson, the USS Monitor was much smaller in comparison to her rival CSS Virginia. Although small, the USS Monitor had key characteristics that would prove to be vital to her success. The ship was relatively flat, only exposing the drivers box, ventilation pipes and two cannons that could turn 360 degrees in a turret. The ship was also capable to maneuver in shallow waters thanks to its shallow depth. While the ship was built largely in Ericson's yard, the building was also divided among several other yards to speed up the manufacturing process. This construction tactic helped to produce the ship in record time of 118 days, a marvel for even the ship building standards of today. Being the first ironclad ship of the United States Navy, she was the untried pride and joy.

Engraving of Monitor sinking

On March 8, 1862, the CSS Virginia sets her sights on the Union Navy blockading the Hampton Roads. This blockade by the Union Navy is preventing any foreign aid coming to the Confederate ports, perhaps even European forces that wish to interfere with the Civil War. The Virginia would prove to be an unstoppable force compared to the wooden vessels of the Union blockade. The Virginia would sink or render useless three ships in quick succession, the USS Minnesota, USS Cumberland and USS Congress. Later that very evening, the USS Monitor would arrive in Hampton Roads. The ensuing engagement was the first ironclad battle ever to be recorded, marking a new era from wood and sail ships to iron and steam ships. After several hours of fighting, both ships remained functional, but the Monitor was able to claim success because it had protected the remaining Union Blockade, perhaps saving the war.

The CSS Virginia was later to be scuttled on May 11, 1862 by its Flag Officer Josiah Tattnall in an effort to keep the ship falling into Union hands. Later that year on December 31, the USS Monitor was also sunk. it was claimed by high seas in a violent Atlantic storm while under tow by the USS Rhode Island.

News Media and the Civil War[edit | edit source]

Printing House Square in New York City, a section of Park Row in which most of the city’s major newspapers were located.

By the 1860s, New York City had become the powerhouse of publishing in the United States. New York's favourable position stemmed from a growing economy, a white-male literacy rate of over 90 percent by mid-century, and a significant drop in postage rates. The widespread adoption of Samuel Morse’s telegraph was also integral to the expansion of news media, particularly during the Civil War, and the telegraph became one of the newspapers' major channels of distribution. By 1860, New York City constituted about 2 percent of the country’s population but produced over 37 percent of its publishing revenue. With seventeen daily newspapers by 1861, New York surpassed cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington that had previously been leaders in publishing. Printing House Square had become the hub of American journalism.

Four figures dominated New York’s meteoric rise in news publishing: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, Henry J. Raymond of the New York Times, William Cullen Bryant of the New York Evening Post, and James Gordon Bennett Sr. of the New York Herald. Of these four, the Tribune was the most influential; through weekly and semi-weekly editions it amassed a readership stretching from Maine to California, numbering three hundred thousand subscribers and as many as a million readers in total. To the farmers of northern New York State and northeastern Ohio, Greeley’s publication became what one contemporary historian called a “political bible.” As the Civil War catalyzed the already ongoing politicization of newspapers, editors like Greeley became increasingly influential in shaping politics. Greeley himself—after shifting his support from Stephen Douglas to Abraham Lincoln—was a powerful factor in the latter’s nomination at the 1860 Republican convention.

Owners and editors were not the only ones whose influence expanded with the New York publishing industry. Thomas Nast, an illustrator, also became an important player in presidential politics during the 1860s. Nast began as an artist for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News but was working for Harper’s Weekly by 1862. By mid-decade he had eschewed the decorative, sentimental, patriotic pictures he had formerly produced in favour of the caricatures and satirical cartoons for which he would become famous. Nast’s impact on the war did not go unnoticed by his contemporaries. President Lincoln said that “Thomas Nast has been our best recruiting sergeant,” while Ulysses S. Grant, whose political career was tied in some ways to Nast’s illustrations, commented that the artist “did as much as any one man to preserve the Union and bring the war to an end.”

Editorial staff of the New York Tribune, with a young Horace Greeley second from the left. Henry J. Raymond, the future founder and editor of the New York Times, is seated on the far right.

Extreme competition in New York for both quantity and quality of war reports led many editors to build up extensive organizations with representatives near the war-zone in Washington and other cities, but also in the field and with the fleet. War correspondence quickly became the centerpiece of news media in New York. In the first two years of the war, the major papers in New York spent between $60,000 and $100,000 annually on war correspondence, in contrast to the more modest $10,000-$30,000 of papers in Boston and Philadelphia. Due to rising costs, however, the only New York paper to retain such spending in the second half of the war was the Herald; as one contemporary noted in 1866, “Never did any journal in any country maintain so vast an expenditure for news.”

The dramatic growth of New York’s newspapers in the 1860's stimulated several changes and innovations in the industry. As circulation increased, owners demanded drastically higher rates for advertisements; Greeley, for example, said of the Tribune: “We lose money on our circulation by itself considered, but . . . we can command such Advertising and such prices for it as will render our enterprise a remunerating one.” This development precipitated the first advertising agencies. Increased circulation also demanded improvements in printing, and in August 1861 the Tribune introduced the process of stereotyping (already widely used in book publishing), which was soon adopted by the Times and the Herald. The period saw other improvements in typographical equipment as well as changes in newspaper conventions, including the widespread use of Sunday and afternoon editions, as well as Henry Raymond’s popularization of the “display headline.”

Social conceptions about news reporting were also being challenged during the war. One recent study by Mary M. Cronin examines the case of Albert Richardson and Junius Browne, two correspondents for the Tribune who, in May 1863, were captured by Confederate troops near Vicksburg, Mississippi and imprisoned for almost twenty months. The Tribune was among the most hated publications in the South, and Richardson and Browne, as representatives of it, were held without parole for that very reason. Cronin concludes that “even enemy authorities saw journalists, to an extent, as different from individuals in other occupations,” and sees this case study as indicative of the developing social status of the war reporter.

Horatio Seymour[edit | edit source]

Horatio Seymour (1810-1888) was a life-long New York State Democrat who did not care much for an elected office or the political machinations that accompanied it. He supported slavery only because he believed that upsetting the South by fighting it was not worth the gains to be made. He also believed the government's partisan interests to be subordinate to states' rights in keeping the Union whole and at peace. As an effective speaker with a cultured respectability, he was urged by his party to run for state office.

Horatio Seymour - New York State's controversial governor was accused of inciting and condoning the violence of the riots.

Seymour was governor from 1853-54, during a period of vigorous fighting within the party that weakened his administration and resulted in him being a single-term governor. His endorsement as a Peace Democrat of Stephen Douglas in 1860, his support of the Crittenden Compromise, and his vocal criticism of Abraham Lincoln brought him back into the political spotlight as the Civil War progressed, many believed Seymour was even a secret accomplice to the confederate cause. When hostilities erupted, Seymour had supported the Republican government but soon became an ardent critic of Lincoln's specific war policies, including the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the emancipation of slaves, and the conscription of young white men. Increasingly strident anti-war and anti-emancipation sentiment propelled vast numbers of Democratic candidates, including Horatio Seymour, into New York state and federal offices during the 1862 bi-elections.

On March 3, 1863 Congress passed the Enrollment Act, which Governor Seymour vehemently opposed as unnecessary and unconstitutional, since Congress was not allowed to raise military units. Seymour believed that the needs of the union army could be fulfilled by volunteer enlistments alone. As a New Yorker, he also felt the draft was extremely biased since quotas for troops were much higher in metropolitan areas that had voted Democrat in the 1860 election. Throughout the spring Seymour assailed conscription by giving inflammatory speeches, promising to have it rescinded or, at least, delayed while maligning the Republican administration that had initiated it.

His unremitting opposition culminated in a speech given July 4 at the Academy of Music in New York City, in which he warned the audience of bloody insurrection when the draft commenced. He would later be criticized for inciting such action with his inflammatory rhetoric, but also for choosing to leave on vacation in New Jersey as the draft began.

Seymour then returned to New York in the midst of mayhem during the second day of rioting, calmly addressing the mob as "My Friends" and renewing the call to abolish the draft outright while doing little to help restore order. Two days later, as the rioting subsided, he wired the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, requesting New York and Brooklyn regiments be brought home to deal with the "great disorder."

Contemporary political cartoon showing Horatio Seymour confronting the mob and addressing them as "My Friends".

Order returned to New York City but partisan media establishments began assigning blame for the escalation of violence and destruction the city had just endured. Democratic newspapers singled out the aged General John E. Wool (responsible for the military defense of the city) for his ineffective response to the initial rioting. Governor Seymour was chastised in Republican publications, such as Harper's Weekly, for his inflammatory speeches before the draft and during the rioting, his absence early in the conflict, and his reluctance to request help from Washington. Seymour laid blame himself, writing highly critical letters to the president criticizing the administration for the draft's unfairness and poor timing in light of the depleted security forces. The letters would also state that Congress had no power to raise armies by compulsion alone.

The draft was reinstated a month later. Political leaders in other states felt strongly that if a peaceful draft were held in New York, acceptance of the process would be achieved throughout the nation. At the same time, Horatio Seymour and Samuel Tilden were successful at lobbying the government to reduce quotas from 26,000 draftees to less than half that amount, thus making conscription more palatable. With New York overflowing with troops to quell any uprisings, the draft re-started without incident on August 19. With a smaller pool of eligible citizens to draw from, states also began enlisting African-Americans to create "colored" regiments, but Governor Seymour barred such units from being raised in New York State. Only after it was clear that quotas of white soldiers would not be met by volunteers or by the draft did the governor reconsider and allow African-Americans to enlist.

In the 1864 elections, Seymour would have preferred a conservative civilian for presidential candidate, but grudgingly supported ousted General George B. McClellan in his challenge to Lincoln's bid for a second term. Lincoln won under the Unity Party banner, as did most Republicans. Once again, Seymour was swept from office largely due to the schism between his Democratic Peace and War Party factions that provided no unified vote.

Horatio Seymour participated in one more national election, vying finally for a Democratic presidency in 1868 against General Ulysses S. Grant, this time in opposition to the Radical Republicans and the southern Reconstruction movement. He lost the election not because of Democratic divisiveness but because of voters' recollection that Horatio Seymour ultimately chose protection of southern states' rights over supporting the northern war effort.

The New York City Draft Riots[edit | edit source]

The New York City draft riots of 1863 were considered one of the worst civil disturbances in American history. In an attempt to escape the federal conscription policies, a mob gathered on July 13 and attacked police officers, while setting fire to buildings where draft lotteries were taking place. Although the violence is often blamed solely on the measures enacted to enlist increased numbers of troops, the causes are far more numerous and complex.

Causes[edit | edit source]

In 1863, New York city was divided into two separate sections. The first, or the upper part of the city was occupied by upper or upper middle class families. The lower half of the city however was filled with immigrants (mostly from Ireland) who found themselves in less than favorable economic positions, due to a lack of work. The riots were not only expected but predicted by many wealthy financial advisers who were more than aware of this economic situation that plagued the residents of the lower city. As well, even before the Enrollment Act was passed by the government in March 1863 many of the working- and lower-class people felt that they had been betrayed by their governing system. Many concluded that the lower classes were not being represented by a democratic system but rather a “desperate and powerful organization” which did not care about their livelihood. The problem that existed here was that many of the Irish immigrants were escaping the potato famine in their own country and were promised a better life in America. What they seemed to find however was a government that favored the upper classes and neglected the basic needs of the other citizens. Moreover, many upheld the idea of the constitution in the United States and this included the reaping of personal benefits linked to freedom and liberty, not something that was seen in the governmental action of passing an enrollment act. This act brought tensions to the surface for many immigrants as they felt that they should not have to fight a war that did not pertain to their position in the country, that is, they cared little for the suffering of the slaves. In addition, they saw the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1st 1863 as a threat, since it declared all slaves in the remaining states of rebellion as freedman, which they saw as a competition for low wage jobs. These tensions mixed with the racial burdens surrounding jobs that also existed in New York City before and during the Civil War, would quickly become a fueling force in the riots of 1863.

Economic Struggle[edit | edit source]

Before the Civil War broke out, the economic position of many people living in New York state was less than adequate. Between 1820 and 1860, the population of New York City had grown seven-fold, from 123,706 to 813,662. This caused many problems for the swelling urban populations overwhelming the resources and limited jobs vacancies in New York. In addition, immigrants migrating to the United States to find a better life were struggling to find employment and thus struggling financially. The economic divide was reflected where different social classes lived; the wealthy moved up geographically in the city while those earning less settled in the lower areas, resulting in the drastic and physical segregation of society.

New York enrollment poster June 23, 1863, a mere twenty days before the Draft Riots broke out.

Many immigrants were forced to live in lower areas of the city where they met a large African-American community, which was also struggling to survive within the city. Much of the white population of New York was hostile toward African-American communities. Articles written in The Times, a newspaper at the time, angrily tried to displace the African-American community by arguing that they did not belong in the city at all. Many articles within this paper show how many people felt the burdens of war through the increasing prices of necessities, such as food and clothing and equated this struggling with lack of jobs available to them. These economic tensions began to mix with the pre-existing racial issues, which led to feelings of hatred towards both the government and the upper classes as well as the African-American populations. It was these racial tensions, mixed with a faulty democratic government, that would culminate in the Draft Riots in 1863. As many of the lower class white population felt, they were being forced to fight a war by a hypocritical government for the freedom of people that they saw as a threat to their already fragile economic existence. In this way, the situation can be classified as and "insult to injury" sort of action and reaction on behalf of the rioters.

The Enrollment Act[edit | edit source]

It was on March 3, 1863, that the federal government finally took the power over conscription with the Enrollment Act. Formerly, it was each state’s jurisdiction to follow this act and as a result it was far easier to avoid service by using various connections locally. Once the federal government held the reins it became almost impossible to evade service. One clause however allowed men to pay $300 in order to avoid conscription. At the time, $300 was prohibitively expensive to everyone but the elite upper class. This led to great dissent among the lower classes as they felt the act was undemocratic and forced them to fight a “rich man’s war” for the freedom of those who they did not support. Those who were rich enough to pay the $300 fee, or those who could hire a substitute to fight in the war in their place, were resented during the draft lottery. It was actions like this on behalf of the government that not only solidified the tension between the lower class white Americans and the government, but also gave this same group of people more reason to resent the African-American people around them. It is important to remember that at this time, African-Americans were not able to go to war and as a result some felt as though they had gotten off quite easy. They were being "given" their freedom but it required little to no work on their behalf - this was the common thought at the time.

The Irish and African-Americans[edit | edit source]

The mob that comprised the riots in 1863 was largely Irish Catholic, and a lot of the tension was directed towards the African-American community. Scores of poor Irish men and women came to New York City during the potato famine in Ireland to take up the unskilled jobs that were formerly monopolized by black people. After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, many believed that their jobs would be stolen from them by the flood of freed slaves from the South. As this was a time where the economy was just starting to become forgiving and economic situations finally bearable, job loss was not something that people were willing to contend with. The African-Americans were seen as competition for jobs, which were scarce enough to begin with. Moreover, they resented the idea that they would have to give up their hard-earned jobs to African-American men who were not going to be called to fight. As many felt, the second that they left for war, their jobs would be filled by an African-American who had been granted freedom at no cost to himself. Since New York already ranked second among Northern population of African-Americans, many Irish had no love for the Union cause during the Civil War due to this racial tension and this added to the already well-established harsh feelings about the war effort.

Riots[edit | edit source]

In 1863, President Lincoln and the Union were suffering from a significant lack of support for the war effort. The Union ranks were rapidly depleting due to both casualties and an increasing number of desertions. Furthermore, the three-year volunteers who had fought in the war since its commencement in 1861 were approaching the end of their enlistment terms, and many were not willing to reenlist. Earlier attempts to raise more volunteers had failed and were often met with popular resistance, such as in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin the previous year where citizens were unhappy with the forcefulness of their government. In response, the federal government proposed the Enrollment Act, which was passed by Congress in March of 1863. It pertained to all “able bodied male citizens of the United States” between the ages of 20 and 35, in addition to unmarried men between the ages of 35 and 45. Those who met these criteria were selected based on a lottery system placed during "Draft Week", which seemed fair in principle but was riddled with inconsistencies and unfair outs that marginalized the lower classes. Several regiments of militia were sent to New York to quash rioters in opposition to the draft. the draft seemed to unfairly target the lower class because of buyouts that only the rich could afford.

It is important to note that although New York was in the north, it was a pro-slavery state that experienced many racial problems of its own. Many New Yorkers had invested in the cotton industry and the gold rush, producing a vast amount of wealth. The war consequently halted much of the profit New Yorkers were absorbing from the Confederate states, creating a disgruntled merchant class with an aggravated mentality towards the war. Furthermore, New York's substantial immigrant population was increasingly nervous about the Emancipation Proclamation. Freed slaves posed a direct threat to economic stability within the class system as it created competition among a lower class already experiencing high unemployment. Thus while the draft was the initial cause of the riots, the New York Draft Riots were race riots as well. This can be seen in the "Causes of the Riots."

When the Emancipation Proclamation shifted the war’s focus to slavery, tensions over colour escalated and African-Americans became the symbol of overwhelming public frustration to conscription and even the war itself. In addition to the race tensions, class animosities also existed in New York and were heightened by the Enrollment Act. In an attempt to soften the blow of conscription on propertied men and non-supporters, a commutation clause was included in the legislation. Drafted men had the option of paying a $300 exemption fee, or to present an “acceptable substitute” to serve in their place. The result, however, was that the burden of the draft fell largely on the poor. It worsened the problem presented by the Emancipation Proclamation because the Enrollment Act targeted young, single men who also held the responsibility of supporting wives and families economically. Resentment was thus directed towards the citizens who had the resources to be exempted from the draft. When the riots began, this resentment was manifested in the targeting of New York’s upper-class citizens.

Execution of an African-American during the Draft Riots.

On Saturday, July 11, of 1863 draft officers arrived in New York City to begin the drawing of names for conscription. While the first day passed without incident, due to hopes that the conscription would be ruled unconstitutional in court, enormous tensions were brewing. On Monday, July 13, there was an escalation in violence by citizen mobs predominantly of Irish decent, that erupted in the city, killing at least 105 people. Certain populations were targeted specifically, including the upper class and the African-American population as mentioned previously. For example, the Colored Orphan Asylum was burnt to the ground as a way of striking at African-Americans and the idea of free blacks. The rage and violence directed towards African-Americans can also be seen through the example of William Jones. Jones was an African-American laborer who was walking home on July 14 when he was targeted by the mob, lynched, and hung from a lamp post. His corpse was then mutilated and burned. There was a 20 percent decrease in the African-American population between 1860 and 1865, from 12,472 to 9,945, due to the riots and the dangers they posed to the livelihoods of the African-American populations.

Rioters clashing with federal troops in the streets of New York City. By July 16, there was a strong military presence in the city. The following day, federal troops managed to contain the demonstrations by use of force.

This violence was sustained for four days mainly because of the lack of military presence in the city. Lasting four days, the rioters were opposed by Major General John Ellis Wool and a greatly diminished military force of 400 harbor troops and 600 militia personnel who arrived on July 13. As mobs often are, this one was out of control, quickly escalating from trying to prove their point, to destroying things such as street cars, telegraph lines and private property . In the dock areas of the city the violence was especially bad.

Homes of notable republicans were also attacked. The city’s only protection on the outbreak was the Metropolitan Police, who managed to hold back great parts of the mobs and ensured some kind of confinement of the violence, which saved Wall Street and Government buildings. Records indicate that at least 3 policemen died during the riots and almost all suffered some kind of injury. This is explicitly seen through the Superintendent of Police, John Alexander Kennedy, who had been identified by the rioters and was severely beaten to death. The regular military or militia regiments were otherwise engaged in the war effort. In fact, at the end of July, the Union Army was deployed in Pennsylvania as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), where federal forces had achieved a major victory. The War Department, recognizing the seriousness of the situation, quickly sent several Pennsylvania and New York regiments to the city to suppress the persisting violence. The army responded with deadly force, and by July 17, the largest demonstration of civil disorder in American history was subdued.

Though there was significant resentment towards the authorities, both civil and military, some rioters actually joined forces with law enforcement to help put a stop to the rioting. This change of heart by some echoed the earlier sentiment of the protesters as they merely wanted to stop the draft by destroying ledgers of names in the upper parts of the city. On the morning of Thursday, July 16, Archbishop John Hughes delivered an appeal for peace from his residence near St. Patrick’s . Later that day four thousand federal troops fresh from the Battle of Gettysburg arrived in the city. Within hours, they faced off against rioters in what is now the city’s Murray Hill neighborhood, and it is this battle that would become the final clash of the New York City Draft Riots . The military was harsh and unforgiving in their suppression of the rioters. Furthermore, the draft had been suspended temporarily to encourage the mob to halt their rioting . This decision was quickly vetoed by the city council who did not want the mob to think rioting was the way to get what they wanted .

A drawing in Harper's Weekly depicting two white men about to beat a African-American man during the riot.

The mob was mainly comprised of working-class white men between the age of 25 and 35, and unmarried men between 35 and 45, which was the same demographic eligible to be drafted. The Enrollment Act only pertained to “able-bodied male citizens of the United States," which caused even further tensions between the African-American and white communities of New York City, given that African-Americans were not considered citizens at the time. Many Irish immigrants also took part in the protest, primarily over the difficulty of finding employment rather than in opposition to the draft itself. They were losing jobs to African-Americans and in that way the Irish immigrants and the other rioters had a common enemy.

The plight of the Irish in the riots is symptomatic of the rampant inequality that was part of American society at the time. The Irish were facing increased competition from freed African-Americans and simply wanted to get by, having little interest in a war between two old American brotherhoods fighting for economic supremacy. In addition, many of the Irish had recently immigrated, so they were very familiar with the injustices of living within a vassal state of Britain. The draft appeared as yet another instance of the English (played here by Anglo-Americans) trying to subjugate the Irish population, just on another continent. The fact that only Anglo-Americans could afford to buy out of conscription soon made the draft an almost entirely Irish question in New York. Thus, the initial political (and abstract) objections to the draft were swept away by momentously practical matters: the Irish felt they were being targeted by Anglo-Americans, which proved to be the ignition for multiple points of contention among the lower classes of New York.

It is estimated that over 100 people were killed in the riots in New York City with many more injured, but recent research calculates about 500 deaths. The reasons for not having exact numbers are owned to the fast removal of the dead bodies, often hurried outside of the city or secretly buried. There was a vast amount of damage done to the city due to fires and widespread looting that took place, with the property damage estimates as high as $5 million (about $60-100 million in today’s dollar). The government did investigate the riots and made 443 arrests, but only 19 men were ever convicted. The New York City Draft Riots demonstrated the turmoil going on in the city in regards to racism, immigration, and the labor market at a time when the country was already at war with itself. One historian has even called the Draft Riots “the largest civil insurrection in American history other than the South’s rebellion."

Repercussions[edit | edit source]

The long term damage to New York’s African-American population due to the New York City Draft Riots was significant. The population of African-Americans greatly decreased after the riots as many decided to leave New York due to the hostilities that they faced in the city. Of those who did remain in the city, they relocated from their racially mixed neighborhoods into areas with an elevated police presence or to the relative safety of the outskirts of the city . One month after the riots, New York City’s Civil War-Era draft resumed, this time peacefully, and concluded ten days later . Due to physical deferments, exemptions and commutations, fewer than 2,400 of the 80,000 men drafted from New York State entered the United States Army through the new draft. There was one group of American citizens who did join the armed forces willingly, patriotically and without legal action. In March of 1864, the city’s first all African-American volunteer troop regiment of one thousand men marched through the same streets that had held the riots just a year before. Some African-American clergymen dispensed aid to those in need and collaborated with local newspapers to convey a desire to move forward and live in an atmosphere of peace and fairness. The city of New York was finally starting to look inclusive of the races that existed and now thrived within its borders.

Gilded Age New York State

Introduction to the Gilded Age[edit | edit source]

"Petit Chateau" Vanderbilt Mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue. It was built in 1882 and served as an influential example for other Gilded Age mansions, while also demonstrating the visual outpouring of wealth.

In the United States the Gilded Age spanned from the 1870s until the dawn of the twentieth century. The term “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, as a contemporaneous criticism of the hidden inequality of the age. It was a comment on the splendor and gold harnessed by financial moguls of the time carefully disguising the social problems plaguing the United States. Mark Twain came to epitomize the era when he declared that "the chief end of man was --to get rich. In what way? dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.” This demonstrated the defining features of the era. Americans who became wealthy celebrated in ostentatious ways, never before seen, choosing to spend their leisure hours at the New York opera or theater. Increased industrialization especially in New York brought with it the development of new inventions and an indulgent commercial society.

A New York City Slum in 1888

However in sharp contrast to the gold and glitter of the social elite, most Americans lived in the shadow of poverty. Foreign and domestic immigration into urban areas caused dissension among middle and working class citizens, culminating in violent strikes, riots and an increase in crime and poverty. The Gilded Age was an era of paradoxes; for while the rich wore diamonds, many wore rags.

Electricity in New York[edit | edit source]

Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Rapid industrialization in the Gilded Age brought with it the opportunity for Americans to make their fortune. Some of the wealthiest men in history made their fortunes during the economic boom of the Gilded Age, including such notable figures as J.P. Morgan, William Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller. Financial moguls J.P. Morgan, and William Vanderbilt with their increased wealth, invested in new technologies and became financial backers for one of the most important developments of the Gilded Age, Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb. Edison's creation of an incandescent light bulb in 1879, was revolutionary as it had a carbon filament that burned for forty hours. This development made the incandescent bulb more effective and efficient than earlier forms of lighting. Arc lighting, the precursor to the incandescent bulb, first used in the Paris Opera House in 1878 was unreliable and only advantageous in large indoor spaces and outdoors. The catalyst for the incandescent bulb was a desire for electrical generation for use in private homes and businesses. This desire found an audience in New York City, as wealthy businessmen participated in the ever-increasing commercial industry, and electricity provided an opportunity for a new display of wealth and power.

In this quest Thomas Edison, dubbed the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” played a vital role as he sought to create a practical energy system that would focus on distribution and sustained illumination. Edison first developed a working model of an energy distribution system at the Menlo Park laboratory, and in 1880 he moved his operation for practical use to Pearl Street, in New York City. A new investor owned company entitled the Edison Illuminating Company was created in order to produce a commercial and economic power distribution center and system. The Pearl Street Station in Lower Manhattan was the first commercial electric system. When the station was switched on for the very first time on September 4, 1882 it powered not only homes but businesses as well. The square mile south of Fulton Street, lit up by the Pearl Street Station, was home to the increasingly important financial district of New York City, and in a demonstration of wealth and prestige, first provided power to the investment banking firm Drexel, Morgan & Company, owned by financier J.P. Morgan. In addition, the Pearl Street Station provided power to manufacturing and banking houses in the area and such notable businesses as the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Times, and the New York Herald. The success of the Pearl Street system in Manhattan became the prototype for subsequent electrical distribution centers that would become prevalent throughout the United States in the twentieth century.

An artist's rendering of the Pearl Street Station (1882-1890)

The example of the Pearl Street electrical system dramatically altered the city of New York. Electricity soon overtook gas, almost entirely replacing the gas system in New York by 1892. Gas had lit the homes of New Yorkers beginning in 1825, but as electricity entered the city, city-employed lamplighters were no longer needed, and factory workers in industries such as oil lamp and candle manufacturing were displaced. This reaction caused many working class men to lose their jobs and search for security by forming new working class unions. However, electric light offered a cheaper and safer alternative to the system of gas lighting. Gas lighting created smoke that causes health problems as well as damaged walls, paintings, and other valuables, a tragedy for the wealthy that placed great pride in their accumulation of valuable possessions. The demonstration of the Pearl Street Station in New York, with its large complex city landmass and equally large population, proved to investors and the population of the United States that incandescent lighting was a dependable form of energy, which could be adapted to fit other cities. The success of the Pearl Street Station began the electrification process in the United States. Yet, the success of electricity in New York created larger distinctions between the wealthy and working classes. Initially, electricity was expensive and so was adopted into the homes of the wealthy as an ostentatious display of their status within society, while the working classes looked for new forms of job security in order that they too could take part in the sweeping new improvements of the late nineteenth century.

The Working Class And Unions In New York[edit | edit source]

By the time of the Gilded Age, New York had more or less completed its transformation from an agricultural society to a flourishing industrial economy. Rapid industrialization in this era had wide and far-reaching effects as it completely altered the lives of the working class. The Gilded Age saw some attempts at collective action through unions. Unions were aiming at getting better wages and working conditions for members of the working class. These failed in general, and as a result the ‘Gilded Age’ was anything but that for those part of the working class.

EW Bliss Co munitions factory DUMBO Brooklyn New York 1884

For the most part, the quality of life the working class had during this era was quite poor. Industrialization came about quickly, and it took a long time for legislation to be passed that even attempted to solve some of its problems. The creation and development of machinery led to a high demand for unskilled labour, making workers expendable. This drastically reduced bargaining power with employers, resulting in the workers having little control over their wages and working conditions. Exasperating the situation was the introduction of new immigrants into the economy, as immigrants from Ellis Island flooded the job market. These newly arrived immigrants joined the ranks of the working class, creating an even larger pool of labourers.

Despite the awful conditions, attempts to radically change the system were ultimately unsuccessful. Reforms generally resulted in modest or no gains, and although social revolution was discussed at times, it never came to fruition. There was, however, a brief period of optimism for labour unions from 1885-1888. This was known as ‘The Great Upheaval’, a resurgence in unionism across the United States, and it was present in New York as well. However, this movement was more about ideals, and as a result it accomplished very little social change. Improving the lives of the working class met with many obstacles. The government and upper classes were generally quite hostile to any kind of unionism among the workers. Strikes and political movements were ineffective during the Gilded Age, chiefly because of brutal methods used by employers and, occasionally, the government, which crushed labour movements in their infancy.

Eventually minimal reform bills were passed, as members of the Senate and Assembly became more interested in the votes of the working class. Legislation that established factory inspectors, limited the maximum workday to 12 hours, and banned child labour under the age of 13 were passed in 1886. Additionally, in 1887 a Board of Arbitration for New York was instituted in order to settle disagreements between employers and their employees. While it should be noted that most of these laws did little at first to change the reality of the working classes, they were an important first step in combating the rapid effects of industrialization and increased immigration.

Immigration and Ellis Island[edit | edit source]

Located in Upper New York Bay near the southern tip of Manhattan, Ellis Island, during the Gilded Age welcomed the arrival of millions of immigrants. The island began at 3.3 acres, but by 1890 through the use of landfills it was increased to its current size of 27.5 acres. The increase in size was due to the flood immigrants arriving in the United States.

Ellis Island Video

The Immigration Act of 1891 allowed the government to take control of regulating immigration movement into the United States. Ellis Island was not the first immigration station in the United States, however it was the first federal immigration station. Ellis Island station opened on the first of January in 1892, and it cost the government about $75,000 to construct. It has been estimated that twelve million people made their way through the immigration processing at Ellis Island by the time it closed.

Around the 1900s the majority of the immigrants who moved to the United States were of Irish, Russian Jewish or Italian descent. Prior to 1880, there were only approximately 12,000 individuals of Italian descent in the United States, however it is estimated that after the majority of immigration took place at Ellis Island this number increased to almost 350,000. The number of Russian Jewish immigrants in this same time period grew at an even larger rate; beginning with 14,000 and increasing to a little over 480,000 individuals.

The main purpose of Ellis Island was to welcome and process new immigrants and the main immigration building was opened in December 1900 for this explicit purpose. Yet, before the construction of this building was complete, a building known as "Castle Garden" was used to process immigrants and approximately eight million people were welcomed into the United States at this location.

Immigration Process[edit | edit source]

Immigrant Children at Ellis Island

The most likely way for an individual to arrive onto Ellis Island for immigration processing was on a steamboat. The most common steamboat companies at the time were: White Star, Red Star, Cunard and Hamburg-America. If an immigrant was a passenger in first or second class they were given special privileges. These passengers were not required to undergo the inspection that took place on Ellis Island. Instead they were allowed a cursory inspection aboard the steamboat. The steamboat would then dock at a pier near Ellis Island were the first and second class passengers were allowed to directly enter the United States. The only way these first and second class citizens were required to go through the immigration process on the island was if they had legal problems or if they were sick. The third class and steerage passengers were transported to Ellis Island by ferry in order to begin the immigration processing. For the majority of passengers who were being processed on the island it took approximately three to five hours in order to be allowed as residence in the United States. However, there was a small percent that were required to stay much longer and this is how the island earned its name "Island of Tears".

Job Prospects[edit | edit source]

Ellis Island's main attraction was the job prospects it offered to the public. One individual who took advantage of this prospect was Harvey Snider, who worked as a United States Immigrant Inspector. Snider was one of many Americans who went to Ellis Island looking for work. He rose up in the ranks to eventually become chief inspector of the Night Division. His job entailed doing a large amount of paperwork, maintaining files on immigrants and passenger manifests of newly arriving immigrants. Even though his job was very time consuming, he still took it upon himself to help out the newly arriving masses by doing small things, such as carrying their luggage.

Policing and Crime in New York[edit | edit source]

The paradoxes of the Gilded Age had created tensions among different classes and races of people, resulting in an increase of crime. The period between 1866-1900 saw the growth and development in both policing and crime. The policing model of New York had been developed throughout the Gilded Age and proven successful by the 1900s. The crime ridden slum, known as Five Points garnered the attention of police, as crime became prevalent in this area at an unprecedented level. Early forms of organized crime were developed and refined in this period, culminating in the 1920s proliferation of gangs and gangsters.

1871 Hardy Map of New York City Police Departments showing wards and police precincts

Policing in America with respect to patrols and the prevention and detection of crime originated in the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century iterations of the policing model took its form from London adaptations of policing. After much debate and in response to high crime rates in New York, the city settled and developed a policing model in 1845 resembling London's Met which had been created in 1829. In 1870 when the control of New York City's police shifted from state to city control, the New York City Municipal Police became the New York Metropolitan Police. The New York City police model included both a day and night shift. As well as consisting of large patrolling units, usually made up of about 800 men, who could arrest without a warrant. This model proved effective and many other large American cities developed a model similar to that of New York's. It is interesting to note that in the present day, London has looked to remodel it's police force based on the New York Police Department.

As the years moved forward, many Americans became skeptical of police forces, arguing they would be detrimental to the ideals of freedom and democracy. Mass migration to New York City made it the epicenter of crime and poverty. In the 1830s, an economic depression had swept through most of America, and this decade was marked in the city of New York with mass riots, fire and an increase in disorder and crime. Citizens began to feel that it would be necessary to have better law enforcement, as they hadn't felt safe in the 1830s, when policing was largely ineffective. For them to feel safe and secure the foundation of a police force was required. Once established, this system was effective for a short time. Eventually, the New York Police lost its effectiveness in controlling an outbreak of crime due to the massive amount of immigration from the 1850s and onward. From 1860-1870 there were over 32,000 arrests made in New York for petty larceny and 40,000 arrests on charges of assault and battery.

View of fight between two gangs, the "Dead Rabbits" and the "Bowery Boys" in the Sixth Ward, New York City.

Many immigrants flooded towards the area in New York called Five Points. This slum exemplified the division between the poor and the rich. Originally, Irish immigrants formed gangs and held power over the streets, and competed with Jewish and Italian immigrants who formed their own strong gangs. The most important gangs in New York were the Dead Rabbits, the Bowery Boys, the Wyhos, Five Pointers, Eastman gang, Day Break Boys and the Forty Thieves. These gangs plagued the streets of New York, and for many reasons caused the formation of the police department. Criminals often found greater protection in this area because police would not intervene there, either because of corruption with the department or lack of police power to stop these gangs.

Map of Five Points, circa 1911.

The main gangs that surfaced in the mid to late nineteenth century were the Five Points gang and their rivals the Eastman gang. The leader of the Five Points gang was an Italian immigrant named Paolo Antonio Vaccarelli, or Paul Kelly. The Five Points gang was one of the most influential street gang on modern organized crime. Many members of the gang become mob bosses and prominent members of organized crime like Al Capone, John Torrio and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. The rivalry between the Eastman gang continued and proved to be a bloody and violent one. Citizens were so enraged by the warfare that took place on the streets that many upper class men attempted to start vigilante groups in response. The police eventually stepped in and threatened to stop giving the gangs political protection. It all culminated in a boxing match between Paul Kelly and Monk Eastman leader of the Eastman gang to see who would gain the territory. The match lasted two hours and ended in a draw. In 1904, Eastman was arrested in a failed robbery attempt, knocked out by a police officer and was sentenced to ten years in prison. His successor died in 1908, and that marked the decline of the Eastman gang. Eastman came out of prison and entered military service and for his patriotism, he was rewarded. Eventually during the prohibition in 1920, he was shot and killed. Paul Kelly survived several hit attempts against his life by his lieutenants and died of unnatural causes in 1936.

Since its formation the Police department in New York deterred crime more successfully than it had previously had done. However, it could not stop the massive crime wave that erupted in New York due to the Five Points area. Eventually corruption made it ineffective, and not until the prohibition era did it become effective in deterring crime. The crime element flourished in the period 1866-1900. All of the Five Point gangs, like the neighborhoods were eventually paved over and replaced.

The Role of Horses in Cities[edit | edit source]

The nineteenth-century city sparked the climax of human use of horse power. Throughout the nineteenth century horses aided humans in establishing large urban centers. Horses too benefited from their new found utilization. Although the tasks horses performed were demanding at times, they were rewarded by being well stabled, well fed, and protected from cruelty. The horse population boomed (increasing by 51% from 1850-605), and evidence suggests that horses living in these urban centers tended to be larger and lived longer than other livestock. Together, horses and humans created a partnership which allowed both parties to evolve into what they are today.

Public Transportation[edit | edit source]

Nineteenth century horse-drawn omnibus on 5th Avenue

Horse-drawn omnibus and horse railways are widely credited for dramatically changing American cities and allowing for rapid geographic expansion. Although these modes of transportation were excellent for transporting the masses from one urban city to the other, they were not ideal for inner city travel. Due to the size of the transport (12 to 14 passengers), horses could only manage five to eight miles per hour and could only cover short distances. Cleanliness was also an issue; in New York City roughly 175,000 horses operated daily, and each produced close to 24 pounds of manure and quarts of urine every day. Evidence also suggests that horses used for these large modes of transport were overworked, and often did not live past two and a half years of work, creating an estimated 15,000 horse carcasses in the city of New York City every year. In order to solve these mass-transport issues, New York City introduced elevated railroads and cable cars, and began using smaller forms of horse drawn-transit such as the hackney, buggy, two-wheeled carriage, and heavy carriage.

Hackney carriages were an important element of public transportation. These were hired carriages which ranged in various sizes. The term “hackney” used to be attributed to the typical riding or carriage horse, however the term was later skewed to mean a carriage for hire. Hackneys, also often called “hacks” came in two main forms of carriages: the broughams (designed for large transport) and the cabriolets (small, two wheeled carriages). The smaller, sleeker cabriolet became the more popular of these two carriages throughout large urban cities. The cost to hire a hack was quite high- in New York City the fare was $1 (the cost of other modes of public transportation ranged from $0.03-$0.10), and this fare increased based on the number of passengers and the distance traveled. Due to the high fare, hacks became a popular mode of luxury transportation that only the wealthy could afford.

Buggies were often popular modes of transportation amongst ladies, the elderly, and physicians. Buggies were light, mid sized coaches with four wheels and a top. They seated one or two people, and were drawn by one or two horses. Both imported and domestic buggies were available.

C. T. Conover and S. L. Crawford in horse and carriage on 5th Avenue between Cherry and Columbia Streets, ca. 1889

Light bodied two-wheeled carriages were also available. They came in a variety of names and styles. One popular style known as a calash (also known as a cart) which featured a removable folding hood and ran effectively on low wheels. These carriages often ranged from $39.50-$45. Sulkies, road carts designed for speed, were another popular model. These were much more affordable, typically ranging in price from $9-$29.

Heavy carriages were available in various styles which include, but was not limited to, the open buggy or wagon, the barouche, and the brougham (the large transport version of a hackney). An open buggy or wagon closely resembled buggies without tops, costing $22-$50. The barouche was a large four wheeled carriage which featured a folding cover which only extended over the two rear seats. It was not equipped with a side covering, so although the folding cover may protect occupants from light wind or rain, the it would not have been equipped for severe weather. The barouche was often out of the price range for most Americans, selling for $1550 or more in New York City markets. The brougham was another elite style of carriage, and much like the barouche it was out of the price range of most Americans. It was designed to have a closed boxy frame, and came in one and two seat models which could carry two and four passengers. The driver was seated on the outside of the carriage.

Horses as an Economic Expansion[edit | edit source]

Humans developed a reliance upon horses for transportation of people and goods. As a result, horse breeding became an important part of industrial production. Breeders began producing horses with specific characteristics and temperaments which met the requirements for specific markets. Horses not only functioned as a commodity to breeders, but also as consumers. Horses developed a market for hay and oats, and manufactured goods such as harnesses, blankets, and shoes. This created jobs and income for farmers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, stable hands, and more. Finally, the dependence on horses for transportation also created a demand for properly constructed streets provided by the government of urban centers.

Modern New York

The Harlem Renaissance[edit | edit source]

Location of Harlem

Harlem is a district located in New York City, it began as an unassuming neighbourhood which transformed into an area that flourished racially and culturally. The Harlem Renaissance, now seen as a time of empowerment for African Americans, was made possible due to the Great Migration. This was a movement which involved an estimated 1.6 million African Americans migrating from the southern regions of America to the northern United States. Prior to the 20th century, Harlem was inhabited mostly by upper and middle-class Caucasians, however it became significantly more multicultural due to blacks pursuing equality and better lives for themselves. A shift in the economy and the willingness of migrating African Americans and Irish to work for lower wages gave them the advantage over Anglo-Americans in the New York City job market, making this pursuit possible. With European migration on the decline, many black workers saw this as an opportunity to shift from working in outdoor environments to a new urban indoor lifestyle primarily in the Harlem area. Although the living conditions were not ideal, the largely black neighbourhoods that emerged from this migration allowed people to have a centralized area in which to create a sense of cultural identity and autonomy. The sense of community that was gained was unique because people were finally able to embrace the culture that they were previously taught to repress by the dominant white society. It was said that “black men of the 1920s…talked of the end of Negro accommodation, of the importance of ethnic identity, of the new day a dawning when black men would have and would wield power” , which was evident through the organizations formed and the new art forms that were produced during this time period.

The literary scene in New York blossomed during the twenties, presenting a large group of fresh and interesting African American writers. Many of these writers grew up in small towns, becoming largely influenced by the literacy and music of New York City. A variety of publishers including Alfred Knophf began endorsing the works of these young African American writers. Their abilities and contributions to literacy became more appreciated and encouraged. Young writers were nurtured by large and influential journals and figures that printed pieces through contests or arranged for contact with patrons or publishers. Alain Locke for example, an assistant professor at Howard University, and supporter of young writers, was invited by Paul U. Kellogg the editor of Survey Graphic magazine to collaborate with him on a special edition issue in 1925 centred on Harlem. Locke then published a book of his own entitled "The New Negro" which contained pictures, poems and essays representing the new image of African Americans. Locke proved influential in promoting the New Negro movement and supporting young aspiring writers. Additionally,there were some organizations and literature that aimed at giving more awareness to the equality of races in the United States. The New Negro Movement, founded by Hubert Harrison, aimed to produce economic prosperity and create equality for all black peoples. Hubert claimed to “protest against lynching in the land of liberty and disenfranchisement in the home of liberty". The connection being publicly made between race and class was a new and radical notion seldom accepted and publicized in the United States’ history. Drawing from his speeches, he created a newspaper named The Voice, which gave additional exposure to what eventually became a societal movement named the New Negro Movement. Another organization that aided in the appeal to some blacks located in the Harlem area was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. This association began a few years before the Harlem Renaissance took place and was aimed at promoting equal rights for all races. Opposing the lynchings of blacks and fighting for the improvement of the educational system for all members of society were the main goals of this organization. The changing ideals due to the Harlem Renaissance lead to a newly emerging pride and culture of the African American race.

Louis Armstrong

These changing ideals also carried over into other art forms, including music. Jazz music, though popular before, gained worldwide appreciation. An example of an artist that became popular throughout this period is Louis Armstrong, who despite growing up in a poor neighbourhood, became the first great jazz soloist of the time, after moving from King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band to Fletcher Henderson’s band, located in New York City . Not only was Fletcher’s band becoming widely popular, but bands with directors like Duke Ellington and Chick Webb gained more respect among the international community, with a beginning in places such as the Cotton Club. These clubs and bands also allowed for black female vocalists to secure a place in the musical community, such as Billie Holiday. Holiday originally began her career singing in small jazz clubs, but quickly became one of the first black women to work with a white orchestra. She was revolutionary in the way that she sang the selected music by manipulating the phrase and tempo of her songs. The influence of these phenomenons were widespread and became a basis for white and black jazz artists to follow. Unlike anything seen before, the new pride the African Americans took in their music showed the shifting of ideals within society.

Prohibition in the State of New York[edit | edit source]

Prohibition came into full effect under the Eighteenth Amendment, otherwise known as the Volstead Act. In January 1920 the bill was passed by both Houses of Congress winning with two thirds of the majority vote. The Volstead Act declared that an intoxicating beverage can be defined as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol. In New York State, officers had difficulty enforcing the Prohibition law due to the state’s proximity to the Canadian border, as well as having its state coast bordering the ocean making it easier for bootleggers and rum runners to import illegal alcohol. Bootleggers began to mass incredible amounts of wealth as they increased prices of alcohol smuggled into the state due to the unavailability of the product. Buffalo, New York was a favourite amongst smugglers for harbouring illegal alcoholic goods due to its proximity to Lake Erie, and the Ontario border. Prohibition bureaus were largely unsuccessful in Boston as local authorities aided the bootleggers in smuggling alcohol across the border as well as engaging in the bootlegger’s sales. In 1921, five enforcement agents were sent to jail in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for assisting bootleggers in Buffalo. The government also assumed that citizens would aid bureaus in capturing bootleggers however a majority of the population in Buffalo enjoyed drinking alcoholic beverages thus deterring citizens from exposing smugglers to the authorities. The lack of support for Prohibition bureaus in Buffalo was exemplified in 1921, when Francis X. Schwab ran for mayor and won by several thousand votes. Thereafter, the local government became more sympathetic towards sellers and buyers of alcohol than those who supported Prohibition.

Disposal of alcohol during the Prohibition Era

New York City was also a particularly difficult city in the state of New York to enforce Prohibition due to the city being located next to an ocean, this meant easy transportation of alcoholic goods from sellers. Rum running, which can be described as smuggling alcohol illegally over a body of water, was exceptionally bad in New York City making it one of the worst examples of the nation during the dry years as it seemed to carry on alcohol business as usual. Maurice Chevalier, a singer in New York, described in an interview with New York’s night life in the 1920’s as: “It was supposed to be Prohibition, but everybody was drinking.” Speak easy clubs, which were clubs which served alcohol illegally, were popular during Prohibition with 30,000 to 100,000 speak easy clubs in New York alone in 1925.

The enforcement of Prohibition across the New York state was a failure for several reasons. One major reason for this failure was that Prohibition bureaus that were used to prevent alcoholic beverages legally, suffered immediately after the Eighteenth Amendment was passed due to its lack of economic backing and resources. Finally on May 4th, 1923, New York state`s legislature repealed the Mullan-Gage Act, which incorporated provisions of prohibition into state law. Repealing the law provincially, did essentially nothing legally for the use of alcohol as the federal constitution still dictated that the sale and use of alcohol was illegal. However, because it was only considered a federal law and not a state law, only federal officers could charge those who broke the prohibition law. Only a small number of officers were available to the state to enforce the law therefore the Prohibition law was effectively dead. New York was not the first state to repeal the Mullan-Gage Act however it was significant due to the large population in New York compared to other states. Following the repeal, the dry sentiment generally continued in upstate New York although New York City continued to challenge Prohibition right up until it was repealed federally in 1933.

The Wall Street Crash[edit | edit source]

The Wall Street Crash occurred in October 1929, and is known as the most devastating stock market crash in American history. It is considered to be one of the key factors which lead to the world wide Great Depression of the 1930s, the crash of Wall Street in New York City, New York being the place that sent a ripple effect through out America and the world.

The 1920’s were a time of great prosperity and wealth for the United States, especially in New York. During this time there was a booming economy as well as expanding banks and markets. The decade that lead up to the Wall Street crash was known as the Roaring Twenties characterized by its wealth, prosperity and excess. However, by 1929 all of the prosperity and wealth in the country came to a screeching halt. The excitement of the soldiers coming home from the war, the mass production of goods by factories and the overall wealth of the country all came to an end with the fall of the stock market. With the growth of bank credit and loans, people began to establish a relationship of trust with the banks. Unfortunately with this rapid growth came the inevitable Wall Street Crash. In October of 1929 the markets began to fall. Major investors tried to halt this collapse by investing large amounts of money into the market. Investing the money into the markets worked temporarily, until people began to trade their shares. When taking into account the full extent and duration of its fallout, the Wall Street Crash is one of the most devastating stock market crashes to have ever occurred.

October 29, or ‘Black Tuesday’, is known as the official day of the stock market crash on Wall Street, however days before in October had shown signs that a collapse was impending. Throughout the era of the ‘roaring twenties’, Americans had been spending large amounts of money and production of goods had been high, however by the end of the decade, consumers had built up excessive amounts of debt and production rates had slowed down. Earlier in March 1929, the buying of bonds in the stock market had led to a sudden rise. The rapid rise caused fear of a resulting sudden collapse . The fear caused investors to quickly sell shares, which revealed the stock market’s unstable foundation, as its’ success in the twenties had been built mainly with investors’ borrowed money . The National City Bank who invested money to level the small decline saved this but it foreshadowed what could potentially happen within the stock market. By September 1929, the stock market had reached its’ peak. It was short lived; by October 3, stock values had begun to slightly decline. By October 28, or ‘Black Monday’, the stock market had fallen 22.6%, the highest one day decline in United States history. The following day, investors were panicked about the drastic decline from the day before. Everyone attempted to sell their shares at once, resulting in over 16 million shares of socks sold on October 29, 1929. The stock tickers could not keep up with the heavy volume of sellers. By the end of the day, the market was down 33 points, ultimately falling 89% - 12% on October 29 alone.

1929 wall street crash graph

The Wall Street Crash can also be linked to the beginning of the Great Depression and arguably World War II. In March of 1929 the first blow to the shaky foundation of the market was seen when investors began selling stocks at a rapid pace. The slide was halted by the credit from the National City Bank buying some of the stocks, which brought a temporary halt to the crisis. However in June 1929 the indexes of industrial and factory production reached a peak and turned down. Steel production began its decline, so did car sales, and construction. Many Americans were falling into debt due to the easy access to credit. By autumn of 1929 the American economy was well into a depression. Through September and into October the general trend in New York stocks was on the decline. Thursday October 24th, 1929 termed “Black Thursday”. On this day the market lost 11% of its value at the opening bell, which forced the market to surrender to blind fear. Using a tactic similar to the one that ended the Panic of 1907, several leading Wall Street bankers bought several of the stocks at a higher price then their current value. This only stopped the collapse momentarily. On the Monday following (Black Monday) more investors began to fear what would happen if they did not pull themselves out of stocks soon which allowed the collapse to continue. On Tuesday October 29, (Black Tuesday) about sixteen million shares were traded, and dropped 12%. The New York Stock market would continue to slide in a downwards trade, with a few minor influxes over the next three years.

The public reaction in New York was immediate; crowds gathered out side the Exchange on Broad Street as stocks were now selling for nothing. The early Newspaper fascination with the stock market crisis was based on the psychological effects. Stories of suicides, and brokers jumping from the Wall Street skyscrapers were reported. Reassurance from Government officials or financial experts that the market was fundamentally sound was ignored through out the panic. Stockbrokers went out of their way to reassure their clients through out the crisis, but failed. The Wall Street crash is an illustration of several features associated with crashes; stock market crashes are often unforeseen for most people, especially economists, and a financial collapse has never happened when things are looking bad- before every collapse, economists say the economy is at its best. Although the crash is by no means seen as the sole reason for the Great Depression that followed, it is seen as signaling the downward economic slide that initiated it.

The causes of the Wall Street Crash can come down to two different explanations; willful mismanagement and violation of every principle of sound finance and the vulgar grasping for gain at the cost of the community.

Crowd outside the New York Stock Exchange

President Hoover stated that the causes were found only in financial characteristics and had nothing to do with sectors of business or industry of the country. Hoover refused to believe the fact that the crash had something to do with the way he was running the industry. He had decided that the only explanation for the collapse of the stocks was the characteristics of the financial sector during this period. The Federal Reserve System can also be looked at as a large cause of the Wall Street Crash. The Federal Reserve permitted the use of baking funds in an unnecessary large degree and without proper protection. Despite this the Federal Reserve System continuously reassured the public and Senate that everything would be fine and that the stocks were well protected. The media was unwilling to attempt to fix the situation; instead they only reported on negative aspects that came out of the collapse. This was bad news, as well as tight credit, rising interest rates and doubts that production would continue to grow and dampened societies enthusiasm. During the First World War large stocks of goods were hoarded and during the time after the First World War these stocks were being eliminated. While the stocks were being eliminated, much of the American population was acquiring some sort of loan domestically but at the same time international loans were being given out to foreign countries. These loans put extra stress on the American stock market. The Crash also resulted from the weakness on Wall Street and in Washington and the creation of an unhealthy nexus between businesses and speculation, especially in brokers’ loans. Many of the financial and political leaders could not come to grips with the nations problems and possibilities after the First World War.

The effects of the Wall Street Crash lasted throughout the 1930s. The stock market lost over $30 billion in two days , ultimately affecting the economy, and leading the worst depression the world has ever seen. The crash was not seen as the sole reason for the depression, but it was a very significant factor in what led up to the Great Depression. Giant businesses and corporations had invested in the stock market, and had lost tons of money in the crash on Wall Street. This caused a mass amount of unemployment, as companies couldn’t afford to pay employees anymore. Newly unemployed families couldn’t afford to pay their bills or pay the debt they had acquired from the twenties. Neither could they pay for things such as food or clothing, causing smaller businesses to suffer also. The banks were not receiving the money they needed from citizens, and had also lost money from loans to investors in the stock market. Therefore, nobody had any income leading to mass poverty in America. It has been reported that the suicide rate on October 29 spiked and there was a continued high suicide rate throughout the depression. The actual number of suicides that occurred on October 29 however has been largely overstated. At the time of the Wall Street crash, the United States had been one of the leading and wealthiest powers of the world, the crash ignited the Great Depression in America, ultimately affecting trades with other countries and causing the depression to spread overseas. This era lasted until 1939, and is considered to have truly started on October 29,1929 on Wall Street, New York City, New York.

The Wall Street Crash marks a point in the domestic banking system as well as the relations between foreign countries. After the Wall Street Crash the prestige of the American banking system had crumbled. The United States was no longer seen as such a large and important banking power, they were no longer viewed as world bankers. The Wall Street Crash also worried the domestic bankers. Many people then decided to be more careful as to where they placed their money and how they spent their money. The Wall Street Crash can be seen as the result of unsatisfactory conditions in banking and in financial management. Many events that occurred after the Wall Street Crash can be directly linked back to the decline of the American stock markets. The only solution that Americans saw that would put an end to the ever declining stock market and the suffering of the countries people would be a change in government. The Wall Street Crash is now known in all parts of American finance, and caused major national trauma.

The Empire State Building[edit | edit source]

Empire State Building

In order to comprehend why the Empire State Building is considered a significant cultural icon not only for New Yorkers but also for Americans as a whole, it is important to understand the history behind its design and construction. Governor of New York, Al Smith, was the driving force behind the conception of the Empire State Building. He wanted to create a monument for a culture that he hoped would weather the hard times of the Great Depression. In the 1920s, architects in New York City were faced with the challenge of providing buildings for the influx of people into a relatively small city. Luckily, because of technological advances such as steel framing and the elevator, architects could begin to look upward. Skyscrapers became a reality and buildings such as the Woolworth Building, which was completed in 1913, began to rise over the city. The site of the Empire State Building would be at the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street, the former site of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Construction on the building began in 1930, only one year after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The devastation of the economy meant that the Empire State Company had to find men willing to work for pennies an hour and millionaires willing to gamble their money at a time when few were inclined to. When construction concluded in 1931 the building had reached a total height of 1250 feet, officially making it the tallest building in the world, a title it would hold for almost 50 years. The fact that a building of its size had been planned and built in less than two years was not only an architectural feat, but it had given hope to New Yorkers suffering in a time of economic depression. John Raskob, the executive of General Motors and a driving force behind the project, famously said that the Empire State building would “do more to galvanize the American people and incidentally save the financial markets, than any number of make-work projects or free lunches”. The Empire State Building itself is not a symbol of capitalism; it is a cultural icon in New York City. It would define the skyline of New York City and become a pop culture icon for filmmakers, photographers, writers and advertising campaigns. However, the Empire State building is not simply a cultural icon but a symbol of American aspiration in a time of economic despair not only for the city, but for the entire nation. In fact, building the skyscraper in the Great Depression may have actually helped the men behind the construction because what was to originally cost $41 million actually ended up totalling $24.7 million as a result of slashed wages and the low cost of construction materials. The Empire State Building seems significantly more impressive when it is juxtaposed against a city in economic depression.

World War II[edit | edit source]

Service on the Home Front

World War II erupted in 1939 and would become an armed conflict that affected much of the globe. At the outbreak of World War II American foreign policy asserted that the country would not take a side in the conflict because it did not directly affect the United States of America’s domestic interests. This non-interventionism kept the United States of America away from the front lines of the war until 1941. Although the United States of America was not involved in the battles and military conflicts before 1941 it was actively exporting goods to Europe and making a tremendous profit. New York City was the centre of this mass exodus of exports. New York City went through a dramatic change during this time. Before the onset of World War II the state of New York and New York City experienced an extremely high unemployment rate and many people relied on government support in order to survive. However, with the onset of war New York City no longer had problems with unemployment and millions of people were being employed in the war effort. The United States of America saw the Second World War as a time to take advantage of European countries economically. Millions of new jobs were created in labour, creating munitions and weapons which were exported to the European countries that were actively involved in the Second World War. The economy was mostly comprised of industrial output, petroleum and technological innovation. Within the state of New York personal income reached the highest in state history. The price of goods did not increase along with the wages, which gave many New Yorkers extra money to help with the war effort and invest into war bonds. New York City was thriving and this lead to an increase in populace.

The United States of America was still employing its policy of neutrality until the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. This raid on American soil caused the United States of America to end its policy of neutrality and entered the war effort with the Allies. New York State was once again a key state in the war effort. Although New York City already had millions employed in factories to produce weapons and munitions, millions more volunteered to join the war effort as soldiers. In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the United Service Organizations, which are non-profit organizations which were created to increase moral and recreation services to the military, thousands of New Yorkers quickly joined these organizations and tried to help with the war effort. Some of these organizations are still present and predominant in today’s society and these include the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association and many others. However, this caused a rift in family life because many parents were involved with the First World War and did not want their children to join the front lines. None the less millions of people from the state of New York quickly joined the war effort either through labour, fighting or volunteering. This act of patriotism throughout the state lasted throughout the war until it ends in 1945. Soldiers from the state of New York distinguished themselves as elite warriors in both theatres of battle during the Second World War. In 1945 the state of New York contributed significantly to the baby boom. Millions of soldiers coming back from years of fighting returned home, got married and had children. The overall contributions to the war made by the populace of New York greatly increased the country’s GDP and would help to make the United States of America the global power that it is today.

Famous New Yorkers in Federal Politics[edit | edit source]

Theodore "T.R" Roosevelt Jr.[edit | edit source]

The state of New York also produced one of the most prominent political figures in American history; Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt Jr. (21 October 1858 - 6 January 1919) known for his determination, innovation and willingness to contradict traditional political protocol. Roosevelt held multiple positions in the state's politics prior to his presidency, including being a member of the New York State Assembly, the NYC Police Commissioner and the Governor of New York. As police commissioner, he radically reformed the conduct and protocol of the most corrupt police force in America; he established harsher disciplinary rules, created the first mounted unit of officers, standardized the use of firearms and reformed the necessary credentials for entering the force. After rapidly gaining popularity with the American people for his promise to eliminate crime and corruption, he served a brief stint as the Governor of New York before becoming vice-president to President McKinley in 1901.

Theodore Roosevelt's Nobel Peace Prize Photograph

Upon the death of President William McKinley on September 14th 1909, Teddy Roosevelt inherited the presidency at the age of 42 making him the youngest president to date. Roosevelt was never timid about publicizing his willingness to contradict his party's traditional views, mainly in regards to industrialism and wealth. Roosevelt made it clear that corporate greed could cause social problems and emphasized the need for big business to be controlled by a central government. Roosevelt realized the importance of capitalism, he just would not tolerate it coming at the expense of the individual worker's rights, leading to the unprecedented republican presidential support of unions. He displayed this belief when dealing with the Alabama Miner's Strike of 1920, which was called the greatest stoppage in industrial development up until then. Unlike previous presidents who used federal authority to break widespread strikes, Roosevelt tried to resolve the strike considering the demands of the workers in equal consideration with the coal mine operators. Despite it ending in defeat for the unions, Roosevelt's position made it clear that large corporations would not be given free reign during his term.

Theodore Roosevelt also displayed brilliance in dealing with foreign affairs, going down in history as the first American president to fully integrate the United States globally. Roosevelt was the first president to truly appreciate America's potential to become a world super power, as he sought to achieve world peace through balancing the powers of the great nations. The best example of this is his mediating of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Roosevelt made clear that he would not tolerate Russian attempts to expand their influence in Asia and supported Japan in their military resistance both on land and at sea against Russia. However, in order to preserve America's international influence and ensure Japan didn't win a victory too great that would essentially jeopardize American interests in China and the Philippines, Roosevelt decided to mediate the war. This was seen globally as a daunting and even impossible task with both countries' interests so polarized, but Roosevelt stayed persistent getting both countries to continue to attend meetings in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and eventually achieved the peace Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905. For these efforts he received the Nobel Peace Prize, the first president in US history to do so. He also played an important role in the development of the Panama Canal as a "highway of the future" and spreading American dominance throughout the world with the creation of the Great White Fleet and development of the American navy.

The legacy that Roosevelt left can be seen decades after his presidency concluded, transforming the economic, social and industrial contours of the nation. He also established a new tolerance for Presidents to exercise freedom and independence from their respective party. Theodore Roosevelt's impact on future presidents is undeniable, especially in the longest serving president in US history, fellow New Yorker and distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt[edit | edit source]

Portrait of Franklin Roosevelt as Governor of New York

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (30 January 1882 - 12 April 1945) also known as FDR, served as the 32nd President of the United States. Roosevelt had to lead the country in what was arguably the most difficult period of its recent history, through both one of the greatest economic depressions in history and the First World War. His early life was made up of experiences that would later assist him in running a country that was riddled with turmoil. In 1913 Roosevelt joined Woodrow Wilson’s administration as Assistant Secretary of the Navy where he helped mobilized the United States military in 1917 as the US joined the First World War. During this time, Roosevelt gained valuable experience in managing a country and government during a period of war, knowledge that would benefit him during his later years in office. In 1920 Roosevelt was chosen to serve as the Democrats’ candidate for Vice President. Shortly after he was given this title, Roosevelt fell victim to polio, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite the physical and emotional devastation Roosevelt admitted to have endured from the disease, he remained upbeat and hopeful in the public eye. In fact, his disability remained mostly unknown to the public until after his presidency, both due to the weaker media coverage and medical devices designed to assist him in appearing able-bodied.

Roosevelt was dubbed a reformer after stripping Tammany Hall, a prominent New York City political organization, of their official federal patronage in 1932. His election into the state-senate is what propelled Roosevelt on his climb to the top of the political ladder. Following his time as a state senator, Roosevelt was elected to be the Governor of New York in the 1928 election. During his term as Governor of New York (1929-1932), Roosevelt set up the New York State Temporary Relief Administration on September 23, 1931. Roosevelt appointed Harry Hopkins, one of his advisers, as director along with Douglas Falconer as associate director. Roosevelt stated that, “where there had been prosperity and growth in the cities, its measure had not been extended to the rural communities.” He understood that it was the farming populace that had been neglected the most by former governments. In order to save the state of New York, Roosevelt had understood that the farmers had to be taken care of. He formed the notion, “equality for agriculture” which became a popular slogan in the farming towns that signified what Roosevelt would do for the farmers throughout his campaign of 1928. Roosevelt took pride in seeing himself as a reflection of all facets of American society, representing the farmers, the labourers, the lawyers, all ages and all classes. New York was the first state to undertake assistance to municipalities in meeting the relief needs precipitated by long periods of unemployment. Roosevelt set aside twenty million dollars for the relief of the unemployed. Able-bodied workers without jobs would get funding from the state, first direct relief and then work relief. With the collapse of the stock market on October 24, 1929, it was now not only a case of assisting the farmers but an entire nation of people. Living standards were rapidly declining and families began to feel the effects of this disastrous event.

By 1930 industrial production dropped below 17% and by 1932 it had fell to below half of what it was prior to the collapse. Looking at the economy in 1932, people were able to see that the government in power at the time was not helping the country recover from its economic depression. Hoover's government was in fact plunging the country into an even worse state. Financial stability was steadily declining under Hoover and the American populace knew that a change in power was crucial if there was any hope of returning to normal.

Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Germany

Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election winning 57% of the votes. Roosevelt maintained influence over many American citizens due to his strategical use of radio as an instrument to convey his platform focused on relief, recovery, and security. In his 1933 inaugural speech Roosevelt stated the following, “our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” The citizens of the United States had put their faith into Roosevelt as being the person who could pull them out of this depression. Over one in five able citizens were unemployed and starvation was becoming more and more common. People resorted to selling their possessions just to buy any sort of food. The president understood that drastic measures needed to be taken.

In Roosevelt's first one hundred days of presidency he launched into his first objective of providing immediate relief to American citizens in financial need. Roosevelt had come up with an plan he believed would bring the necessary change to the county; a legislation called “The New Deal”. This new legislation would have the ability to create thousands of government jobs for the people who were struggling to stay afloat during the economic crisis. During the winter of 1932-1933 banks across the nation had been falling from debt and closing their doors. By March of 1933 about three-quarters of the banks in America had become inactive and the State of New York had stopped banking all together. Roosevelt realized with the entire nation in economic turmoil and all citizens terrified of worsening their financial situation, there was no circulation or fluidity of currency. Roosevelt famously proclaimed "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" and immediately announced the need for a “bank holiday”. Instead of investing in big businesses like his predecessor Hoover did, the government needed to invest in infrastructure. Along with the building of infrastructure to stimulate the country, Roosevelt introduced many organizations and agencies, for example, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which gave work to approximately 270,000 unemployed men in rural and suburban communities. This gave these men payment to work on local projects within their communities, this included the building of schools in small towns and the building of roads into rural areas. Along with the CCC, the Securities and Exchange Commission was created. This changed the laws in the area of buying stock; no longer could a stock be bought on credit. With the implementation of this new legislation, Roosevelt was able to bring stimulus to a country that had been broken during the Hoover administration. It would be the beginning of World War II which would allow the United States to end the Great Depression.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin at the Livadia Palace in Yalta

Roosevelt was President from the beginning of World War II until one month before the surrender of German forces. During this time, Roosevelt’s focus switched from the New Deal to emerging victorious in the war, aware that incorporating the entire population into the war effort would not only help the economy but, if successful, solidify America's position as a global superpower, “‘Dr. New Deal’... was being replaced by ‘Dr. win-the-war.” Although Roosevelt’s New Deal policy did not achieve economic success, World War II was the event that would stimulate the economy in a way it hadn't been in a long time. The boom created by the production and purchase of war time goods would eventually transform the structure of industry in the United States and allow the country to pull out of its financial crisis. During the period of World War II unemployment decreased to a mere 1.2%, by 1944. In terms of his contributions to the war effort Roosevelt was essential in solidifying and mediating the relations and alliance between himself, Churchill and Stalin. On the 1st of January 1942 Roosevelt and Churchill officially enacted the "Declaration by United Nations" forming an international alliance of over 25 countries to oppose the tri-alliance of Germany, Japan and Italy. Roosevelt also promised the United States would act as a reserve both financially and for artillery shipping fifty-three billion dollars in war-goods to Britain and Russia as well as appointing Eisenhower to lead the majority of the American attack strategies. Roosevelt realized the benefits of the United States playing a big part in World War II, and he also recognized that America would have to act as economic guarantor of the new world order.

John Lindsay[edit | edit source]

File:John Lindsay Central Park.jpg
John Lindsay in Central Park on his way to see the New York population

John Lindsay followed Wagner into office in 1966 as the 103rd Mayor of New York City. Robert Wagner Jr. served three terms as the Democratic Mayor of New York City with his final term concluding in 1965. Wagner focused on building public school and housing systems as well as eliminating housing discrimination based on race. He was the first Mayor to hire and incorporate large amounts of African Americans into the political system. Lindsay was welcomed as the Republican Mayor of New York City with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) going on strike. This meant all the subway and bus services were no longing running so Lindsay was expected to act fast and come to an agreement with the TWU. He turned a quite serious situation humorous as he famously claimed that New York is a “Fun City”. The public did not act in favor of Lindsay’s lax attitude, as it appeared he had no political skill. The strike resulted in the TWU being granted everything they wanted and an additional 15 percent raise, which they were not initially requesting. Lindsay failed the public from his first day in office.

The Transportation strike was only the first conflict during Lindsay’s time in office. In 1968 there were several wrongful terminations of teachers in Ocean Hill-Brownsville based on things such as race and religion. This lead to a massive teachers union strike lasting from May to November, essentially shutting down the public school system for a total of 36 days . Lindsay did not play a significant decision making role throughout the entire strike, basically leaving the problem solving to The New York Board of Education. This only decreased his support from the public, as this was the second major issue he was unable to solve causing much displeasure to the citizens of New York City. The final major strike throughout Lindsay’s time in office was the Sanitation Strike of 1968. With garbage everywhere, the air quality of New York declining and the streets ridden with filth, Lindsay remained incapable of fixing the problem. The strike ended when Governor Rockefeller had the state government temporarily take over the city’s Sanitation Department. Lindsay publicly announced that the year of 1968 was the worst and most humiliating political year of his life and career.

Lindsay remained in office for another term, finally retiring in 1973. It is said that he regretted the lack of change he instilled upon New York. Upon leaving office he became a guest host of Good Morning America and attempted a career in acting. He was not overly successful in this, making him realize that politics was his primary talent. Lindsay made a bid for nomination to be United States Senator, but finished third. Abraham Beame followed Lindsay as the 104th Mayor of New York.

Post-War New York

Post-War New York[edit | edit source]

Post- war New York was a time that experienced many ups and downs. The economy was booming due to the increasing importance of New York State's ports. Suburbanization was a new phenomenon in this period that provided families with quality housing and areas to raise children. There were also the hippies who, while quite controversial, expressed themes of freedom, love and unity. There was also an increase in entertainment industries such as music and sport. It was also in this time period that New York City became a city of international prestige. However, New York also experienced hard times during this period, especially with the events of the Civil Rights reform and the increasing amount of "ghettos" that appeared throughout the state.

Post World War II Economic Boom[edit | edit source]

The economic state of New York prior to World War II was disastrous. With the depression in full swing, the economy was ravished with unemployment in New York soaring above twenty percent. The War itself however brought great change to the United States of America, specifically New York, lifting the state out of the depression and ushering in a “period of unparalleled prosperity”. After World War II, the state of New York’s economic engine began to turn like never before, especially due to the fact that they were the world's largest port.

World War II created an explosion of economic activity within the state of New York. The state and New York City in particular became the world’s largest manufacturing center. By the late 1940’s over forty thousand factories had been created employing over one million workers. A main reason for the explosion in manufacturing and economic activity is the fact that New York City was the home to the worlds largest port handling over 40% of the nation’s waterborne freight, equating to about 150 million tons a year. Having a water based route for trade was a great benefit to the state as it allows them to trade with virtually every country in the world.

USS Queen Mary arrives at the New York skyline

New York was also the world’s financial capital with one hundred and thirty-five of the nation’s five hundred industrial corporations calling the state home. Along with the economic boom came the importance of women within the industrial business. In 1947 women made up 38% of the state’s industrial production, compared to 26% nationally. However discrimination was very present with men earning around 67 dollars weekly and women earning only 42 dollars.

New York City grew to one of the largest cities in the world greatly due to the flourishing economy after World War II. The size of the City’s Metropolitan area was so vast that over one in twelve American citizens lived in this area alone. Supplying the demands just for the city was big business. Four of the state’s largest manufacturing establishments were for newspaper companies. In addition, 22 thousand businesses sold baked goods mainly for local consumption. Due to New York’s economic dominance in relation to others among the world, The United Nations chose New York City as the new, permanent headquarters. E.B White stated that "New York is not a state capital or a national capital, but it is by way of becoming the capital of the world." This statement was very much true as New York had broken trade barriers across the world that no state, let alone country, had ever done before.

Economic Impact on segregation[edit | edit source]

The economic boom that occurred in New York State had an impact on segregation. This can be seen with the GI Bill, which benefited many returning soldiers. The GI bill was an economic stimulus mainly used to by veterans to buy homes. In 1947, William J Levitt developed single family, tract housing for World War II veterans. However, some of these housing units were built primarily for white citizens only. Thus, even economic stimulus plans showed racist attitudes as many retuning African American soldiers were unable to benefit from them.

Conclusions[edit | edit source]

New York after World War II experienced an economic boom like never seen before. Ports grew along the coast allowing industries to grow rapidly. Because of this rapid economic growth, businesses flourished and people enjoyed the benefits. The vastly growing economy not only benefit individuals but entire movements in the art world as well. The economic boom that occurred in New York during the late 1940's arguably shaped the state into what it is today.

The New York Schools[edit | edit source]

The economic prosperity being experienced by New York in the late 1940's created much more leisure time, which in turn allowed specific fields to develop. One of these fields that experienced change in the late 1940’s was art. Art at the time experienced a massive transformation with the introduction of abstract expressionism. For years the center of the art world had been Paris, however due to recent conflict in Europe, the art world shifted to New York, specifically Manhattan. The recent conflict as well as the rise of Fascism in Europe brought many influential artists to New York, artists who would later establish the “New York School of Abstract Expressionist Painters".

The New York School refers to groups of artists and composers who worked in and around Manhattan from the 1940's to the 1950's. There was no specific style to the Schools though its American radical approach had a major international influence that made New York the center of the postwar art world. New York City became the cultural center where the artists and composers in this group helped to further develop various types of art. The groups worked internally with each other in loose, personal relationships but also interacted with the other groups and drew inspiration from the different styles of art that were emerging in New York. By the early 1960's, these groups had achieved a leadership position in the art world.

Artists[edit | edit source]

The group of artists included people such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston. These were abstract expressionists, impressionists and actions painters that rejected past traditions and aimed for individual expression. They received global recognition and in the early 1950's were considered a main source for creative ideas in the art world. While there was no specific style of art in the New York School, abstract expressionism was a major draw for artists at the time due to its expressive power and sense of freshness. One of their goals was to create a clear slate for a new kind of painting. They also strove to achieve abstraction and physicality in their art.

William de Kooning (1904-1997) was an innovator for abstract expressionism as well as a very influential artist at the time. He was one of the founders of the Eighth Street Artists Club which allowed artists to come together to exchange ideas. He sought to paint something that could not be predicted and refused to fall into a habitual style. His Woman series was a stimulus for figurative art and the first of these canvases was massively reproduced during the ‘50s. De Kooning was a great inspiration for the artists in the New York School.

Composers[edit | edit source]

Another art form that was rapidly taking hold and gaining inspiration as well as fame was music. The group of composers in the New York School consisted of Christian Wolff, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown and John Cage who mainly worked with each other during the 1950's. This group became the first American composers to have a major international impact. One of the core principles linking them was enacting new and different kinds of sonic ‘continuities’. Like the visual artists, they began to break away from the past traditions of composing music for more innovative and personal expression. They came together through a chance meeting by Cage and Feldman and they introduced them to the others who would help form the group. They began to redefine the relationship between notation and performance.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987) was a New York-born composer who helped start the New York School with John Cage. He held that art needed to be grounded in the subjectivity of its creator and his music in the early 1950's controlled the experience. Feldman started to write music with a graphic notation at the beginning of the 1950's. He started on a series of works called Projections which helped launch a vast repertory of experimental music. The framework in which it was written was actually hindered his ability to specify details in a piece but it showed a step away from the more conventional notation. Morton wanted to create music that was not tied to the past, something he shared with John Cage and they brought to the New York School. Morton’s Projections also helped spur Cage to adopt the I Ching as a tool for composition. The graphic notation was meant to allow the composer to direct the experience of the listener; it meant that the terms under which it did were different from the conventional notation.

Conclusions[edit | edit source]

The postwar period saw the peak of the exchange between musicians and artists. Both groups took inspiration from the other for their works. The New York School highlighted this exchange of inspiration as seen with John Cage’s 4’33” which took some from Rauschenberg’s all-white and all-black canvasses. Painters of the New York School were drawn to composers such as Edgar Varèse for inspiration in their artistic freedom. Varèse himself took part in the theories and practices of the New York School and through them began an interest in improvisation and jazz.

Before the war, Paris had been the center of the art world and with the New York School bringing together artists of many different disciplines, the focus was shifted towards New York City.

Hippies and Woodstock[edit | edit source]

Hippie Ideals and Dress[edit | edit source]

America has long been a culture focused on materialism, however the hippies challenged this ideal. Being a generation that grew up after the war, they were lucky enough to avoid the economic struggles of the previous generation. Those who did not pursue careers that, as Janet Spence (1985) saw, were expressions of idealism, became part of a large self expression movement. This movement rejected materialistic goals and the formal ways of previous decades. Hippies also embraced a more promiscuous sense of sexuality in their personal habits. Christopher Lasch, according to Geczy, in 2013 called the hippies the “culture of narcissism” because of their individualistic ideals, which many other critics place judgment upon as well.

A distinct element of hippie culture stemmed from their clothing choices. With the quick onset in popularity of the hippie mentality, their style of dress was also a common criticism. When it came to fashion, everything to do with the 1950’s and 1960’s was out of the question. Their Bohemian style of clothing reflected their ideals of peace, love and freedom, as well as showing no tie to class hierarchies or the class system. The hippie clothing style reflected a different way of living that went against the middle class, capitalist system and many people were not fond of this rebellion. Adam Geczy stated that Gandhi’s non-violent influences on India gaining independence in the 1930’s acted as an inspiration for the hippies in America, though he was not the only foreign influence for this subculture. A lot of the clothing choices were inspired by the dress in other countries and other cultures. There is a notion of the Apache society in the beige suede jackets with hanging tassels that were prominent among the people of the hippie culture. There is also an Asian influence in the baggy and loose cotton pyjama pants that hippies wore; the first time these pants were worn in public. With the clothing choices that were made by this subculture, it is evident that flowing fabric like the pajama pants resembled their free thoughts and ideas. Geczy argued that the pajama pants were lacking pockets to reflect the hippie mentality that “property is theft” and that this period should not be known as prominent in inventions of fashions but as a widespread mass adoption of these fashions from around the world. Overall, the hippie style of clothing shows their general ideals and outlooks as well as their rejection of the ways and appearances of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Hippie Music and Music Festivals[edit | edit source]

Janis Joplin Big Brother and the Holding Company

Many of the musicians of the time period were seen as hippie leaders and role models. Although the music of bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were extremely influential in hippie culture and music, they themselves were not accepted into the hippie culture because they lived in large mansions in England and played at large expensive venues. Bands like Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother, the Holding Company, and the Grateful Dead on the other hand, actually immersed themselves into the counter-culture by living with the hippies communally, taking drugs and playing music with them, as well as adapting their hair and clothing styles to the appearance of this new group.

It is no surprise then, that when hippie culture and outdoor music festivals became popular in the late 1960's, these were the bands that performed at them. These outdoor music festivals were seen as an extension of hippie culture and it showed how their communal living practices began to centre around rock music. Music festivals started in San Francisco at the free-admission Monterey Pop Festival. At these events, hippies would congregate and camp out in large fields to take part in spiritual freedom, sex, drugs and of course, to dance and listen to the musical acts and entertainment. Festivals were gatherings where the hippies could express themselves with like-minded people and feel a sense of unity in their love for peace, music and non-conformity. The largest of these festivals was the widely known and famous Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

The First Woodstock[edit | edit source]

The very first Woodstock Music and Art Fair was scheduled to take place August fifteenth to August seventeenth in 1969, however it was extended an additional day. The festival has become known simply as ‘Woodstock’, a term which has formed to define the general culture of hippies. It was also coined as the festival of “three days of peace and music”. Potter shows in 2007 that at its highest peak the event contained close to 500 000 spectators. The event was held on the 600 acre dairy farm of Max Yasgur just out of the boundaries of Bethel, New York. Considering the large number of people that attended, the festival was generally considered as occurring peacefully. The event was shadowed by terrible weather conditions and almost constant rain. This led to significant mud that was up to one’s ankle at some places within the crowd. Potter in 2007 concludes that due to the weather prior to the event, the planned fencing was not completed in time. This resulted in, as estimated by the events promoters, about only one tenth of the entire crowd actually paying the entry fee of seven dollars. As many as 18 000 of these pre sales were given refunds because they were unable to make it to the show to due the record breaking traffic jams backing up freeways for more than 8 hours in all directions of the festival. The New York Times reported that spectators of the festival, upon the heavy rainfall, started to bang on metal cans and join in a dance and chant of “Sun’s Comin’” while looking up to the sky. Even with the downpours and deep mud, the members of the Woodstock crowd and hippie culture proved to bond strongly together. Regardless of the obstacles, the peaceful, free as, loving mentality and ideals that the people of the hippie subculture sternly believed in connected them together. It was a three‐day journey that almost a half a million people took, with last minute preparations and a massive debt following it. Despite all the tribulations leading up to the event it somehow came off as one of the most memorable and largest gatherings in music history.

The festival's musician lineup included all the main psychedelic and hippie acts such as Richie Havens, Joan Baez, country Joe and the Fish, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, The Band, Janis Joplin Big Brother and the Holding Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Who, Steppenwolf , The Rascals, Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix. The music played by these groups at Woodstock reflected the key values of the hippies which was peace, love and freedom. That is why many of the songs played were political protests and commentaries on the Vietnam War, such as Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son”, Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, and Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze". Hendrix's performance also included his infamous version of "The Star Spangled Banner" which incorporated innovative amplifier feedback and sustain that ultimately influenced the playing of future guitarists.

The Big Pink (crop)

Contrary to its name, the festival did not in fact take place in Woodstock New York. As mentioned above, it was held in the small village of Bethel in the Catskills of New York state an hour North of New York City. This was not the original selection of the venue, it had originally been planned to happen in Mills Industrial Park located in the town of Wallkill, New York. However, due to insistent protesting by town residents event co-ordinators Michael Lang and John Roberts were forced to find a new venue at the last minute.The promoters of the festival chose to name it after Woodstock because it was well-known by rock-music fans as the town where Bob Dylan and the Band bought a house called "The Big Pink" and lived there while recording their collaborative album “The Basement Tapes”. This house was also what The Band’s very successful 1968 debut album “Music From Big Pink” was named after since they had written all of the album’s songs there.

Aftermath of Woodstock[edit | edit source]

Initially the event was a financial disaster due to the minuscule ticket sales resulting in no revenue and leaving Woodstock Ventures over a million and a half in debt after until the release of documentaries on festival and live concert CD's were released. On June 18th, 1970 the movie “Woodstock”, a documentary about the festival, premiered in the village it was named after. In the weeks leading up to the premier, the residents of Woodstock feared that thousands of hippies would arrive to see the film and bombard the little town. They were worried that there would not be enough room in their tiny movie theatre, or even in their small village, to fit all of them. However, only 30 people were turned away from the premier.

This was only the first of many incidents in which the town feared a hippie take-over. Because Woodstock was a symbol of peace, love and the greater mood of the festival, it was natural that in the years following the festival, many hitch-hiking hippies would congregate there. The town was not prepared for these large amounts of drifters trespassing and setting up camps on their properties. The Woodstock Town Board had to have several meetings regarding this issue. At one point they even had to close all the public swimming pools for fear of the hippies swimming naked in them. But what the hippies were trying to express throughout their music and clothing, was the opposite of what was occurring for African Americans, who were struggling to gain a sense of equality.

Woodstock was a turning point for youth culture, by the end of the festival the older generations had come to realize that the festival had not been primarily about political rallies or defying the established order. Instead it was more about connecting with similar minded individuals, sharing ideas, and enjoying a sense of peace and freedom during troubled times.

The Music and Fashion Industries[edit | edit source]

Fashion[edit | edit source]

Christian Dior ballgown dating back to the 1950s

Post-war America was a time of economic growth that saw Americans spending vast amounts of money on consumer goods and services including fashion. Because the American economy was doing so well, consumers didn’t mind spending extra money on more expensive clothing, especially in New York City, which had already been defined as the fashion capital of the United States. By 1950, New York’s fashion industry was already making clothing for most men, women and children in America. During this time New York was also a hub for major fabric companies that were beginning to incorporate new materials, designs and fabrics into everyday fashion. This was also an era of change as many stereotypes in fashion where changing. Due to the war, women in factories were not necessarily looking “prim and proper”. Post-war fashion brought about the idea of everybody, including women, wearing everyday pants and ‘workout’ clothes. Like today, fashion was always evolving and Americans during this time were trying to discover their own style. This however did not stop them from being influenced by some major European designers.Christian Dior boomed after the war; Dior wanted his designs in America, knowing that they would be popular there and started influencing New York City fashion. People were just emerging from a time of neutral coloured uniforms that lack originality and personal flare. Dior wanted the complete opposite of the uniform and focused on colours and body shape. Because of the huge industry in New York, many trends that came over from Europe started in New York and made their way westward. In New York during this time, one would see women wearing clothes that emphasized their waist, shoulders and bust. Dior wanted to embrace the woman’s body and compared it to a flower. New York was a place of fashion during the postwar era that influenced many designers and manufacturers in Europe to produce the “ready to wear” look on an affordable budget. This was a direction that New York fashion houses had already taken, to get away from the neutral and shapeless uniforms that men and women had to wear during the war. Men and women of all ages embraced the new trends for their style, colour and comfort.

Music[edit | edit source]

Music during this time related back to political and social issues that were going on in the United States. Many songs were inspired by the civil rights movement at the time and actually sparked greater interest in the matter once notable performers began speaking about the issues. New York played a key role in promoting aspiring artist such as Bob Dylan, who travelled there when he was first starting out. Although American acts at the time had to compete with the British invasion (most notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) they were still well respected in the music industry. New York is famous for housing performers in their notorious Greenwich Village. Greenwich village was a place for all music types to come together and create something new. It is known that in “the Village” country, blues, folk and rock and roll artists would all come together to support each other’s music.

Musical Theatre[edit | edit source]

Musical Theatre had been a staple in New York long before the post-war era. The Economist stated that musical theatre in New York hit it big during the war, when they used music and screenplay to send out war related messages. Hits like “Oklahoma!” were shown during these years, and are still influential to the music and musical theatre industry today. Not only was New York a place of music and musical theatre, but it was also a business capital. People wanting to make a living by performing knew that New York was the place to be.The high pace and glamorous life style of New Yorkers has always had an appeal to the public. New York has created many pop culture moguls that have influence the entire world.

The Mamas and the Papas Ed Sullivan Show 1968

The Ed Sullivan Show[edit | edit source]

The Ed Sullivan Show, filmed in New York City, was the quintessential television program in the 1960s for singers, rock bands, and other rising stars of the day. Every Sunday night Americans all over the country would gather with friends and family to watch the musical performances at the end of Ed Sullivan's variety show. It was the best way for one to see their favourite artists perform live right in the comfort of one's own living room. The artists of the British invasion had their first performances in America on Sullivan's stage, playing their biggest hits. The Beatles were the first of these groups, who came in 1964 and played on Ed Sullivan's program to the screaming teenage fans all over the country. Following The Beatles was The Rolling Stones with their hit "Satisfaction`, The Turtles with "Happy Together", Herman's Hermit's "Mrs Brown" and later, in the psychedelic period of the sixties, Tommy James and the Shondells debuted their biggest hit of the day, "Crimson and Clover". Those who played on Ed Sullivan's stage were seen as the best and most popular acts of the time. It is no surprise that all artists from The Mamas and the Papas to The Beach Boys to the Doors had their most memorable and career-making performances on this variety show. This was all possible due to the rising popularity and affordability of the television set. By 1954, 55.7% of Americans owned a television and that number sky rocketed by 1962, when over 90% of american households owned a television.

Other Notable television programs to be filmed in the city of New York include I Love Lucy(1951), The Dick Van Dyke Show(1961), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Carson(1962) and Bewitched(1964).

Sport and Society[edit | edit source]

Post- war New York found entertainment in sports, from the time the Second World War ended up to the 1970s. New York added many professional sports teams to their state including the Mets (Baseball), the Knicks and the Nets (Basketball) and the Jets (Football). The addition of these professional sports teams meant more entertainment for New Yorkers and more pride in their teams, especially since there was multiple teams for each sport.

Baseball[edit | edit source]

Baseball, in particular, had 16 teams starting in 1901 and the additions of new teams was very important to the league. The addition of the New York Mets along with others came in 1961-62 and brought about new excitement for the entire city to watch. The Mets sold out game after game yet lost many games and earned themselves the title of the “Lovable Losers”. However, they had big names in order to sell seats despite losing. They used profits to fund their minor league teams in order to make their future Mets team better. Having developed a large fan base when unsuccessful, allowed the team to give back to their fans in the years to follow. The Mets won a championship which put real faith in the expansion of Major League Baseball as well as giving a confidence boost for New York sports fans. Along with the expansion of the league, came an expansion of players.

Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform: 1950

The league needed players to fill the spots on these new teams and then to fill the spots of the minors to which these players came from. When new players started to come up from the minors to the major league, African American players got their chance to play in the minor leagues. Often unwelcome, the African American and Latino players were often unable to stay in certain hotels and eat at restaurants with the rest of the team. On April 15, 1947 baseball, and sports entertainment in general, saw a change when the Brooklyn Dodgers played first baseman Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in major league sports. Jackie Robinson served in the Second World War from 1942-44, and upon returning to America played in Negro baseball leagues. After successful seasons in the lower leagues he was called up to the minors and continued to amaze people with his talent. The Brooklyn Dodgers gave him the chance he deserved. Jackie won rookie of the year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and was inducted into the hall of fame in 1962. Robinson's success in the major league was a huge breakthrough for African Americans in Baseball. It gave the opportunity for many African Americans to follow his path and play in Major League Baseball.

Baseball in Post-War New York was nothing short of exciting. With the end of WWII and the beginning of a new age, baseball was at the peak of many people’s interests. However, the excitement did not come without headache for those in charge and changing demographics and an unknown political landscape provided challenges for Major League Baseball. There were also threats of a third league being introduced in New York state called the Continental League, this came in response to the loss of the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers to the state of California in the late 1950’s.

Politics of New York State were dysfunctional after the war and with changes demography, many attractions became unpopular. The beginning of the franchise move for the Dodgers and the Mets came as a result of the dip in attendance of baseball games. The fault lies specifically with suburbanization and Western expansion as the majority of New Yorkers at the time held low-paying and low-skilled jobs whilst living in poor housing. Government subsidized housing was only just beginning at this crucial stage of growth for the United States and it could not of came sooner. Without government housing, all the low-paid workers looked to the west for much cheaper land and higher wages. Moreover, 1.2 million new immigrants arrived to the states every year, bringing with them a sense of goals and ideals that landed them in the suburbs, away from the industrialized state of New York. As a result of all these demographic changes, attendance in baseball dropped by 6 million from 1949-1952.

With cheaper land becoming available in the West, many people moved from New York to the Western United States. This caused a rift in professional baseball as New York held three teams before the demographic shift to the West. The automobile revolution also played a significant role in the shift as car sales increased 133 percent after the war. Citizens could now travel more than ever before and hunted for cheaper land and better paying-work. These demographic changes caused the owners of the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers to figure out a plan to move their clubs to the West. Once their plan took form and the clubs were moved, the state of New York responded with drafting a plan to create a new league with interests all over the East Coast, including Toronto. The threat caused Major League Baseball to make important decisions to save the league.

Talks of the move of franchises to the West Coast did not come until Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Dodgers, was refused any attempts at getting a new stadium for the team. He got the Giants to also move as a result. Doing so would create a west coast rivalry and hopefully spark interest in baseball and up the attendance. Not only did the move create new fan bases on the West Coast, but it also shook the relations between the government of New York and its professional sports franchises. Not only was O’Malley a factor but the stadium that the Dodgers played in also was a large contributor to the move. The Dodgers' stadium, called Ebbets Field, was far from any highway and, with automobiles becoming increasingly popular, did not provide adequate means for fans to arrive at the stadium. Therefore O’Malley had to focus on his business nature and not let the Dodgers wilt away at Ebbets Field.

The MLB drafted up new documents allowing clubs to move based upon a series of rules basically ensuring that the moving club would do so only after all factors were considered and their negotiations were done at the discretion of the affiliated parties. Once these moves took place, more shifts occurred in the relationship that the state had with their sports teams. The threat to create the CL came with much financial backing from the government of New York State willing to create taxpayer-funded stadiums. The promise to build new stadiums marked the start of a changing relationship between professional team sports and post-Second World War US cities. Part of the cause was the slump in attendance of the MLB, which came as a result of a growing population and newer attractions that citizens could now reach with their automobiles.

Franchise relocation was unpopular among almost everybody as cities lost their favored teams. However, the Continental League was created in response to this unhappiness and although it did not field a single team, the threat to form it did prove instrumental in facilitating the expansion process.

Football[edit | edit source]

In a Post- war society, sports had a major impact not only for entertainment purposes but also for culture. Joe Namath played for the New York Jets in the third Super Bowl. Namath, a troubled white youth, who many Americans disliked, often received hateful letters calling him a “Draft Dodger”, claiming he used a exaggerated knee injury to avoid going to war. Namath’s reputation was to have fun, party and rebel, although many did not like his attitude towards the game. Just before Super Bowl three, Namath told the media "we’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee it”. This did not do well for his image as many saw this as boasting. Although his prediction was ignored due to the statistics that showed the Jets should have lost, Namath carried his team to victory. He changed the game of football from a typically conservative sport, into one which could find a balance between work and leisure. Thus, the culture of football and sport began to change into "America's Game".

Hockey[edit | edit source]

The sport of Hockey from 1942-1967 was a period of dynasties. The original six teams, consisting of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, and the New York Rangers who played out of historic Madison Square Gardens. The New York rangers became the first American hockey team to win the Stanley Cup in 1927, and would proceed to win the championship three more times. The Rangers struggled during the era of the original six, making the playoffs only twice from 1943 to 1955. The New York Rangers had many notable players that played during this era such as the likes of Buddy O'Connor who became the first Ranger to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP and rookie goaltender Chuck Rayner who won it again in 1950. New York Rangers games were very popular to attend during the 1950's, attracting many people including sports figures, Broadway entertainers, politicians, and the wealthy business class.

Civil Rights Reform[edit | edit source]

The Civil Rights Movement was a social uprising that exploited racial segregation and discrimination against African-Americans. The roots of the movement trace back to the 19th Century with the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed the freedom of slaves. Although slavery was abolished, African-Americans were still being segregated, oppressed and subjected to discrimination one hundred years later. This lack of full-citizenship rights for African-Americans gave rise to the many prominent leaders of the Civil Rights era. The movement was ultimately carried out by civil resistance and non-violent protest, which became the driving force for change. The ultimate means of the movement was to put an end to segregation, discrimination and the minor indifference's between Blacks and Whites. By the end of the movement, African-Americans had gained voting rights under the American Constitution and were provided better educational, social and economic opportunities.

Beginning around late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the civil rights reform began to reach a tipping point. The American South received much attention for their civil rights activism, but there was a lot going on in the Northern parts of the United States as well, especially in New York, which had the largest black population in the country, which did not gain much attention.

After World War II, New York still had many social issues to deal with, especially with regards to the ongoing civil rights movement. In New York, like many other states, African Americans were denied basic social rights, of which include; using the same washrooms as whites, riding anywhere they please on the bus and even going to un-segregated schools. The first big break through for equal rights for African Americans occurred in 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s colour barrier by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. This gave African Americans some hope that one day they will all be looked at as equals. This also brought New York to the forefront of the civil rights movement in the north, and for the next twenty years, New York was the home of northern civil rights activism. Throughout the 1950’s, African Americans continued to fight for their civil rights in New York with the help of some very important figures such as New Jersey born singer and actor Paul Robeson and Nation Of Islam activist Malcolm X. African Americans were persistent in desegregating New York, as they pushed opened the doors of public hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and nightclubs in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Activism and Resistance[edit | edit source]

While the 1950’s brought notice to civil rights reform in New York, the 1960’s offered the most radical form of activism of the movement. On February 3rd of 1964, the largest civil rights boycott of the era took place in New York City when 465,000 children stayed home from school to protest the racial segregation. Bayard Rustin, who was a civil rights, peace and gay activist, was the main organizer of the school boycott. Rustin and his partners organized the biggest boycott of the time and fuelled an offensive rising for the rest of the northern states, leading to a much more tense situation in New York.

After the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the attention turned from the need for civil rights to accommodating the issues of inequality and economic opportunity. These issues led to the growth of Black Nationalism and the formation of the Nation of Islam where leaders such as Malcolm X would promote violence against whites. This prompted many riots and rebellions in the later half of the 1960s.

This tension exploded in July of the same year when a riot broke out in Harlem, the riot was caused by the killing of a young black male named James Powell by police officer Thomas Gilligan, who claimed that Powell attacked him with a knife. The incident enraged fellow students and led to riots in Harlem two days later, following three days of rioting in Manhattan and Brooklyn, one person was dead, 141 were injured and 519 were arrested. After these riots, the movement began to turn away from a non- violent approach and African Americans were no longer going to turn the other cheek, as many felt the reforms were insufficient in results and that liberation must be taken not gained.

Malcolm X was a major leader and inspiration for many African Americans across the United States and was one of the main activists of this violent approach to the civil rights movement. While Malcolm X’s activism ranged all across America, his unfortunate assassination occurred in New York. Malcolm X was murdered on February 21st, 1965 while giving a speech for the Organization of African American Unity at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. He ironically was murdered by the very group he belonged too, the Nation of Islam. Three of its members shot Malcolm X twenty one times, and he died later that afternoon. America mourned his death, and inside the Audubon Ballroom there is a museum commemorating the day he was assassinated and his vast contributions to the civil rights movement.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

The civil rights reform began to slow down in the 1970’s, as the Cold War began to reach a high priority level for the government. But those twenty years in New York following World War II had many important people and events that contributed to the Civil Rights Reform. This Civil Rights Reform can also account for the state of the African American population and their relation with "ghettos" throughout New York. Although the movement solved many of the civil rights issues, racial discrimination and personal social relations and behavior remained largely the same in American society.

Post-War Demobilization and "Ghettos": The State of the African-American population of New York City 1945-1968[edit | edit source]

City of Opportunity[edit | edit source]

New York City was one of many “Rust Belt” cities throughout the United States which featured high volumes of manufacturing, for example steel and automobiles. New York’s role in this industrial culture made it a desirable city to seek work in. The various ethnic demographics of New York City set the stage for large social divisions, particularly between that of the Whites and the African-Americans. The diversification came through an expansion of the African-American population to that of the largest in the United States. White citizens of various regions of New York would displace themselves from neighbourhoods that were taking on more and more African American migrants in order to take part in the increasing amount of sub-urbanization that was taking place concurrently to the Urban Crisis in question. This movement by the white population would be known as the “white flight”. The social division was apparent in part due to the presence of segregated neighbourhoods that appeared as the white flight took effect, also known as “ghettos”. These areas were scenes of poverty and this led to greater volumes of crime as well as incarceration within predominantly African American populations.

Obstacles[edit | edit source]

Though African Americans flocked towards New York City seeking employment, the demobilization of industry due to periods of peace took away many of the jobs that they coveted. Factories relocating to outside of the city center also hurt job prospects for African Americans, as they had settled in poor neighbourhoods that had little in the way of transportation infrastructure (subways, buses, expressways). As the volume of migrants continued to increase and the places of their origins began to diversify (there were not only migrants from southern states, but also countries in the West Indies), different regions were designated to be the home for the diversifying African-American population. Harlem would become the most prominent African-American community in New York after the war. Even before the Second World War, let alone the post-war years, the African population tripled from 1920 to 1930, resulting in a population of nearly two hundred and forty thousand people in Harlem alone. Growth was also steady after the war in different regions such as Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan.

The State of Ghettos[edit | edit source]

Throughout various ghettos, the standard of living was often the same, with sanitation, fire and health standards being very low. Racial discrimination was present in the fact that higher rent was charged to tenants of these ghettos simply because of the colour of their skin. Post-war, federal programs were introduced to provide social relief in the form of better housing for African-Americans, but the population of various slums were often just consolidated, with few exceptions. African Americans found employment during the Second World War and they were added onto the present wartime workforce to augment the war effort. But when war production stopped, lack of production as well as discrimination led to thousands of African-American workers being subjected to the trending notion of ‘last hired, first fired’. African-Americans who managed to keep their positions in the blue collar work place still found themselves excluded in other aspects, such as skilled crafts in the expanding public works sector, training programs and even unions. As these trends continued, by the 1960's the median family income was lower than the national median that was $5,600 per year.

Consequences[edit | edit source]

Crime became part of the urban crisis as segregation and poverty remained constant throughout the overcrowded ghetto society of the African Americans. A factor in this is the building of more correctional facilities, forcing prosecutors and judges to meet quotas in order to fill these institutions. The notion of the ‘American Dream’ became more prominent in the Post-war era, but this idea of material and financial wealth was not easily attained by African-American citizens in New York due to the disadvantages previously discussed. In their own bid to attain such wealth, African-American new Yorker's would frequently find themselves turning to crime and delinquency. This trend can account for a rise in crime in New York City of 23.8 percent from 1958 to 1962.

Suburbanization[edit | edit source]

Post World War II brought many changes to the state of New York. One of which was the move to the suburbs. New York City had always been one of the most densely populated cities in the United States but in the period of 1946-1968, the city’s population began to expand outwards in a phenomenon referred to as 'suburbanization'. Suburbs of the city of New York began as commuter neighbourhoods as far back as the 1800s. The idea was to live outside the city and travel into it via a short commute by train or car. It was not until the early 1950s, when families were once again expanding after periods of war and depression, that suburbanization exploded.

Social Factors[edit | edit source]

A variety of factors influenced the suburbanization of New York State in this the postwar period. Some of these factors fall into the category of social factors. For the average man or family living in New York City in the late 1940s, privacy, spacious homes or even land was an unrealistic dream. Professionals who wanted family homes in clean and healthy neighbourhoods moved outside of the city to counties like Westchester and Nassau. In these counties, land was plenty, homes were abundant and there was a community feeling much unlike anything available in New York City. Another social factor leading to suburbanization was the influx of returning war veterans. The federal government, as well as many others in society, felt that returning veterans should own their own home. These ideas led to many suburban developments including Levittown, New York, one of the first. In addition to the growing idea of suburbs, the advancement of the automobile played a large part in suburbanization. Vehicles allowed people to live farther from their work and thus helped the movement into the suburbs.

Economic Factors[edit | edit source]

While the need and desire for suburbs was clear by the late 1940s, making it happen financially was also vital. Suburbanization in New York State in the early 1950s was possible due to the federal government partnering with private real estate developers as well as the GI bill. The GI Bill of 1944 greatly benefit returning soldiers because it allowed them to purchase goods such as houses and cars using cheap loans provided to them by the government. The benefits of the GI Bill was that it allowed veterans to purchase housing throughout Long Island, New York as well as Buffalo. Suburban home prices were cheap and down payments were rarely required making it appealing to middle class families in addition to young veterans. The federal government provided many New York State real estate developers with funding for sewage in these new suburbs as well as such things as police services. In addition, the federal government underwrote home ownership through mortgage insurance. Loans for new homes were also much easier to obtain than loans for home renovations. Other factors included property tax deductions in the suburbs and lower interest rates on suburban home mortgages.

A Closer Look: Levittown[edit | edit source]

Houses in Levittown, New York

Located in Nassau County, on Long Island, Levittown is 25 miles east of Manhattan. With the heavy infrastructure development in the decades earlier, it was an ideal location for a commuter town of middle class families. Though not the first suburban community built in the United States, Levittown, New York is unanimously considered to be the most well-known and first planned suburban community. Levittown was not just a grouping of homes, it was a revolution in living for American families; it was a community with access to education, recreation and employment. Levittown, similar to other suburban communities of the period, allowed the American dream to be an affordable reality. While there is no doubt Levittown was a success — 17,000 homes were sold in only 4 years — there was a lot of doubt in its early stages. Many feared it would turn into a slum and/or its residents would lack individuality. There was also a fear by the upper class Long Island residents that suburbia would lower Long Island’s prestige. However, by 1957, not only were these predictions incorrect, the opposite was true: the suburb continued to grow, home prices continued to rise and suburbia was an essential part of the American dream.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

While suburbanization in New York State, specifically focused around New York City, began as a response to social desires, it had an impact on culture and American society as a whole. Many cultural norms of today stem from this period and suburbanization is a significant factor. For example, the stereotype of white, middle class suburbia has a direct link to the post WWII time period as the early residents of Levittown were very homogeneous.

New York State since the Nixon Era

New York State since the Nixon Era[edit | edit source]

New York City and rising crime rates[edit | edit source]

NYC wide-angle south from Top of the Rock

Crime rate increased drastically during the 1960s due to various reasons. There were many things that were changing for the state of New York, as well as the crimes that were taking place. The reasons for the growing crime rate in New York City (NYC) can be tied to the expanding drug use and an increase in homeless people. Another factor for the increasing crime rates was an ongoing dispute between the NYPD and the government on the under payment and benefit plans of police officers. This labor dispute led to over 75% of the cops in New York City going on strike, which resulted in a crime outbreak in (NYC). Criminals jumped on this opportunity, as they knew law enforcement at this time was very unstable and unreliable. The strike did not last long but throughout the 1960s it caused major damage that would take a long time to fix. Before the 70s, people felt safe to leave their doors unlocked at night. However, beginning in the 70s, this was no longer the case. The suburbs of New York felt this shift in crime the most, as the rate of reported crime in suburbs was rising faster than in cities. One of the possible reasons behind this inclination in crimes was due to the fact that New York was growing so much. The population growth could be a main reason, which in itself breeds crime. Crime rates since the 1960s have also changed seeing as there have been increases and decreases in crime rates in New York over time.

1970s[edit | edit source]

New York City saw a major increase in violent criminal activity throughout the 1970s. Specific examples of this were spikes in murder numbers (from about 80 murders in 1970 to 140 in 1980) and assault cases (from 1500 in 1970 to 2100 in 1980). One factor that correlated with the increase in crime rates was the decrease in police officer numbers in New York City, from approximately 32,000 officers in 1970 to about 21,000 in 1980. Another explanation was the economic state of New York City during the 1970s. The American economy was struggling during the early 1970s, which increased the unemployment rate and therefore decreased the average income of people living in New York City which caused people to branch out to crime. The climax of this repression was the fiscal crisis in 1975, which almost led to the city declaring bankruptcy. These economic struggles directly led to more criminal activity during this decade and also resulted in the dismissal of 5000 junior police officers, contributing to the decline in officer numbers. Another factor in crime rate increase during the 1970's was the “white flight” phenomenon that had occurred in New York City. This resulted in many upper or middle-class Anglo-American families moving out of the city into suburbs, leaving a greater proportion of minority races in the city. Since these minorities generally had less money than Anglo-Americans, criminal activities increased in New York City. Another contributing factor to the rising crime rates are tied to the 1977 blackout, touched on later in the chapter (Economic Decline). Because of New York’s burglary issue at this time, officials decided it was time to do something about it. From 1973 to 1974, there were 700 men that were hired to be a part of Nassau County police force. They also had a crime prevention unit set up, and burglary patrols that would drive around in unmarked vehicles. Measures were enforced to prevent crimes, and did eventually help the crime rate decrease again. There was also a rise in crime in the suburbs, and the amount of theft by youths, which was said to be caused by the increase in narcotics usage and trafficking. However, in 1974 there was a decrease in the total homicide rate, yet an increase in killings by random strangers. This caused problems to the public, as people feared everyone around them in their society. During this time, methadone, which is a narcotic substitute for heroin, was available and this was said to be related to the decrease in narcotic related murders. According to Dr. Blumberg, the Dean of Social Sciences at John Jay College of City University at the time, “assaults and robberies can easily become murders.” This explains that smaller crimes can ultimately lead to much larger and more severe crimes. It is not always intended, but there are cases in which this does happen. An article in New York Times explained New York as being a “very impersonal city with racial and ethnic groups furiously competing for a place in the sun” which is another reason as to why the crime rates were so high in the 1970s.

NYPD police car

1980s: Peak in crime rates[edit | edit source]

As time went on, crime rates continued to be quite high in New York, even into the 1980s. From 1980 to 1985, the crime rates in New York City dipped slightly, with murder numbers having decreased from 140 in 1980 to about 120 in 1985. Causes for this were an increase in police officers (from 21,000 to 25,000) and a slight economic boom during these five years. However, criminal activity drastically increased during the last five years of the decade. The number of murders rose to about 180, a 50% increase from the 120 murders in 1985, while the number of assaults rose from about 2500 in 1985 to 3800 in 1990, which was an increase of 52%. The crime which saw the greatest increase during this time period was automobile theft, which rose from approximately 6800 in 1985 to 11600 vehicles stolen in 1990, an increase of about 71%. The largest reason for this increase in criminal activity was the crack cocaine epidemic that hit New York City during the 1980s. This increased the numbers of drug-related deaths from 53 in 1985 to 90 in 1989, as well as a large increase in gang member numbers, which directly led to an increase in crime rates. For example, according to police officers there were approximately 200 murders in 1987 that were directly linked to gang involvement. Surprisingly, the number of police officers in New York City increased from about 25,000 to 26,300 during this five-year span, likely in attempt to deal with the rising numbers of gang members. There was an economic boom in the 1980s, which could also be one of the reasons the crime rate was so high.

1990s decline in crime rates[edit | edit source]

Crime rates in New York City dropped significantly from 1990 on wards. Violent crimes fell by approximately 56% from 1990 to 1999. By 1996, the number of murders had decreased from 180 to approximately 80 deaths and assault cases had dropped from 3800 to about 2400 incidents. Robberies fell from about 7200 in 1990 to just below 5000 occurrences in 1996. Non-violent criminal activity, such as burglaries (from 10100 in 1990 to 5100 cases in 1996) and automobile theft (from about 11,600 in 1990 to about 5000 cases in 1996) also declined during the 1990's. One reason for this drop in crime rate was an economic boom which occurred in the 1990s. This economic growth resulted in a decrease in unemployment rate (reduced by 39 percent in New York City during the 1990s), which led to a decrease in poverty and greater average income, therefore reducing criminal activity. Another reason was a change in law enforcement policies during the 1990s. The approach changed to a “broken windows” approach, which is more aggressive enforcement and punishment of lower-level crimes. In addition to this, New York hired more officers (30% increase in officers) and therefore were able to set up a community policing strategy. This meant that police officers were assigned areas in communities to go on foot patrol walks throughout the nighttime. This contributed to the decreased criminal activity during this decade. The number of police officers in New York City also rose during the 1990's. For example, cop numbers increased from about 26,300 in 1990 to nearly 31,000 officers in 1996, an 18% increase.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The people of New York were scared during the 70s and 80s, but things were different after that. Crime rates declined in areas of New York City where high-risk minority populations remained stable and where single-parent households exceeded the national average by a wide margin. Single-parent households were more common in this time period than ever before, and this could have a lot to do with the decrease in crime rates. The change in policing strategies was the factor that had the greatest impact on the decline in crime at this time. Other things like population, drug use and economics could be contributing factors as well, but not as much. The changes that occurred in the policing of New York City were putting more officers on the street, increasing the number of detectives and using crime analysis and crime mapping to locate “crime hotspots which eventually led to a decreased crime rate. New York’s crime rate has fluctuated over time, and will most likely continue to do so, depending on contributing factors like police strategies, economics, population, and governmental issues. From increasing crime rates in the 1960s to decreasing rates in the 1990s one could draw a direct correlation with poverty and the number of cops to the amount of crime in New York City.

New York Stock Exchange

Economic Decline[edit | edit source]

The Nixon Shock (August 15th, 1971) was a series of economic measures that were put in effect by President Nixon. Still not financially recovering from the second world war and having to finance the war in Vietnam, the U.S economy was struggling. When Nixon decided to close the gold window and impose a ten percent surcharge on imported goods he was trying to change the value of other countries' currencies, when in reality all that happened was imports revenue decreased drastically. While the Nixon Shock was not specific to New York, it did affect the amount of goods being imported in the state from other countries. New York City was the first large accessible city for the western hemisphere and as a result saw a lot of immigrants as well as imports arrive and never leave the city.

The United States (US) went through many peaks and troughs throughout and after the Nixon shock. Although there was never a dramatic economic incline or decline, there were many independent events that impacted the economy of New York State. The Economy was affected not only by the Nixon Shock during the 70's but also the oil crisis, 1972-73 bear market where investors anticipate losses, the statewide blackout in 1977, increasing unemployment rates and the previous great depression.

New York (NY), along with the rest of the US, experienced an oil crisis that had the whole population anxious on what would happen next with the economy. The oil crisis would cause the fuel prices to rise, causing macroeconomic effects throughout the world. Japan is one country that capitalized on the spike in oil prices, producing the first fuel-efficient car. This drastically influenced the American economy, particularly northern states like New York, because American car sales declined and the car industry had changed permanently.

The 1973-74 bear market (a general decline in the stock market) had a strong affect on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and major stock markets around the world. The New York Stock Exchange’s Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 45% between the days of January 11th 1973 and December 6th 1974. New York City is home to one of the worlds main financial districts, Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange is located on Wall Street and it is the worlds largest stock exchange where from 1973-1974 it was in a bear market. Investors prefer to be in a Bull market where there is optimism and prices are rising. The financial institutions on Wall Street run the economy and saw New York go through ups and downs after the economic measures were introduced by Nixon.

Portrait of President Nixon - NARA - 194402

In 1977, there was a blackout that affected almost all of the state of New York. The only places unaffected were southern Queens and neighborhoods that were powered by the Long Island Lighting Company. The blackout caused an increase in crime rates and riots throughout the state, resulting in 4500 arrests and over 550 policemen injured. The city is estimated to have incurred 1 billion dollars in damage due to crime and riots resulting from the blackout. This blackout was significant in New York history because it was one of the first times that the general population living in this era were without power for more than 24 hours (1965 North-eastern blackout lasted about 13 hours).

The Nixon era would bring the New York unemployment rate to its modern day peak. In 1976 the unemployment rate was recorded at 10.3% compared to 4.5% in 1970. 789,000 citizens were unemployed in New York State in the year of 1976, including 125,000 people who were not Caucasian. With unemployment rates this high, the state of New York would experience large monetary losses through lack of tax income and money being paid through unemployment programs. The unemployment rate would eventually average out to 5.6% throughout the next few decades. In 2012, the unemployment rate stood at 8.7%, relatively high compared to rates before the 2008 economic recession when the unemployment rate was at 4.4% in 2006 and 4.7% in 2007.

New York and New York City[edit | edit source]

New York State can be specifically divided into two very distinct areas. Those are, the urban areas of New York City and its surrounding boroughs and other major cities such as Buffalo and Rochester, and the rural areas and suburbs that surround these cities. These major cities are strict contrasts to the rural areas of New York State that are predominantly composed of suburbs closer to urban centers and undeveloped lands and developed commercial lands . The cities of New York State, specifically New York City, have very large immigrant and visible minority populations in contrast to the surrounding suburban and rural areas, which are predominantly affluent, white Americans and Europeans

Culturally[edit | edit source]

The incredibly varied cultural and ethnic diversity combined with the small geographic area of New York City allows for a

mingling of different cultures that only happens in a few places in the world. This allows for cultures to develop together, creating a unique cultural scene in New York City that is renowned around the world. Art, film, music, and theatre are all aspects that flourish throughout New York City due to its cultural diversity. New York City also has different cultures within each neighborhood, giving each their own unique style. Brooklyn, for example, is popular for its development of rap and hip-hop stars such as Christopher Wallace Jr. (The Notorious B.I.G.) and Shawn Carter (Jay Z).

The different boroughs that make up New York City

These rap and hip-hop artists have written their music on the struggles of growing up in New York City which includes: race, poverty, inequality, gang violence and crime in the boroughs, which reached their peak in the early 1990’s because of the increase of individuals with low social economic standing. The large African American populations located in many of the boroughs of New York also contributed greatly to its culture and development. Carter and Wallace have both become heroes amongst those living under the poverty line in the boroughs looking for a way out. During the civil rights movement for example New York City was a center of protest, showcasing its liberal attitudes toward issues such as race relations, gender roles, and homosexuality.

Gay Pride celebrations in New York City in 2011

Politically[edit | edit source]

Politically, urban and rural New York had always been on opposite sides. With its larger and more varied population, urban areas of New York State have been typically liberal whilst rural New York is seen as more conservative and looking to maintain moral values. The contrast between liberal and conservative values can be clearly seen during the rise of homosexual activism in the United States during the 1970s. During this period New York and San Francisco were large metropolitan areas that were centers of the movement that looked to provide equal rights for gays. To this day New York City and San Francisco both have large homosexual populations indicative of their liberal values. Political leaders have also acknowledged this political divide, describing New York State as a "red state and blue city", which refers to the conservative attitudes of the rural areas but liberal ideals of New York City. However, the large discrepancy in population between rural conservatives and urban liberals means the state usually goes Democrat in presidential elections.

The 1970's in New York State also gave rise to an important political movement that would define American politics for decades. The movement, neo-conservatism, was focused on American foreign policy and specifically on stopping the spread of communism. New York intellectuals who had traditionally been associated with the Democratic party began to question their party's approach to foreign policy. Neo-conservatism was the first political movement engineered mainly by people of a Jewish descent. Drawing inspiration from political thinker Leo Strauss, neo-conservatives emphasized an almost empirical United States. Above all else they valued capitalism and placed a great deal of emphasis on the market. Through "Commentary" a journal published by American Jewish Community, they got their message out. Ronald Reagan became a talisman for neo-conservatives and the rise of the Republican party in New York State associated with neo-conservatives became known as the Republican revolution. Neo-conservatives have had a lasting effect on American politics with many presidents since having advisers with strong neo-conservative views. The Iraq war in 2003 can be drawn on as an example of a modern day application of neo-conservatism. New York State's intellectual community helped shape American foreign policy for decades.

John Lennon’s Death in 1980[edit | edit source]

John Lennon was a very talented singer/songwriter as well as a founding member of the legendary band The Beatles. However, Lennon was more than just a musician: he was someone who changed and impressed people all over the world. John believed in world peace and played a huge part in anti war rallies. Originally from the United Kingdom but living in New York City, John Lennon was shot and killed On December 8, 1980. John and his wife Yoko Ono were shooting a photo shoot together for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Little did they know that this photo shoot and interview was going to be his last. The cover of Rolling Stone magazine featured John and Yoko after his death and was one of their most popular issues. Just before 11:00pm, John and Yoko returned from the studio to their apartment Dakota in New York City, right across from Central Park. Mark Chapman, who was there previously to get his copy of Double Fantasy signed earlier that night, shot Lennon five times with a revolver. John managed to stumble towards the Dakota saying, “I’m shot, I’m shot.” What happened next was quite bizarre. The doorman took the gun out of Chapman’s hands and Chapman decided to stay at the scene. He then started reading The Catcher in the Rye, making no attempt to escape. In a statement released later, Chapman said, “I didn't mean to hurt anybody, I like John Lennon.” Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival when he arrived at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

John Lennon was cremated and his remains were given to Yoko Ono who decided not to have a funeral. His death was first announced on Monday Night Football. On December 14, 1980 Yoko asked everyone to pause for 10 minutes resulting in a radio silence in New York City. Since Lennon's death, Mark Chapman has been denied parole seven times and is still in jail after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, despite the fact that his lawyer urged him to plea insanity.

John Lennon's Effect on Society[edit | edit source]

Lie In 15 -- John rehearses Give Peace A Chance

Lennon was involved in many movements in the US, seeking equality for African-Americans and women before he died. In an age of cynical superstars, he struggled against becoming a commodity. He was also part of a movement to end the Vietnam War. John and Yoko were about selling peace, with slogans such as “Give peace a chance.” The Beatles not only gave people faith to change themselves, but also to change the world around them. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, John became more politically active by using his songs and celebrity status. Before his death, Lennon shaped the culture of wanting peace as his song “Imagine” became an international anthem for peace. After his death, John Lennon the Beatle was reinvented, being seen as a political activist, spiritual leader and contemporary philosopher.

Even 25 years after his death he is still being remembered for everything he contributed to the world during his shortened life. In 2001, Liverpool, England, where Lennon was from, changed the name of the Airport to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. On Oct 9th, 1985, a section of Central Park was named Strawberry Fields as a memorial for John Lennon, named after his song “Strawberry Fields Forever” which was about an orphanage in Liverpool. Countries from around the world donated trees to Central Park to be placed in the memorial, showing how Lennon’s songs and messages reached people all around the world. An Imagine tile mosaic was also placed in Central Park, right across the street from the Dakota where Lennon was killed. Every year on December 8th, crowds gather in Strawberry Fields in memory of the great John Lennon.

John Lennon used his popularity as a musician to touch on sensitive topics that were important to him and what he wanted the world to be. John Lennon will forever be remembered as a great musician but also as a peace activist and humanitarian who strived to change the world. New York City was very multicultural with many different genres of music.

Significant Events in New York City in the 21st Century[edit | edit source]

September 11, 2001[edit | edit source]

Early in the morning, on September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked in the United States by members of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, with the intention to attack the United States in New York City and Washington, D.C. These four passenger airliners were hijacked with the coordinated intent to fly into buildings in a series of suicide-terrorist attacks. American Airlines Flight 11 was the first, it was flying from Boston to Los Angeles that morning with al-Qaeda hijackers onboard. The hijackers became violent within fifteen minutes and, it cannot be known for sure but, it is believed that someone onboard died within these first fifteen minutes. After these fifteen minutes the hijackers had control of the plan; they turned off the plane's transmitter, which was alarming to air traffic control. Hijackers did not confiscate the passengers' cell phones, therefore many people on board were able to contact people on the ground. Air traffic control tried unsuccessfully to contact the cockpit and after receiving passenger confirmation, authorities knew that Flight 11 had been hijacked. At 8:46am the plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex. New York City is a huge tourist destination, therefore many people witnessed this attack. With wide access to camera phones civilians on the ground took pictures of the tower just after the attack, showing the significant impact and destruction. The media first speculated the crash to be an accident, however authorities soon confirmed that the plane was, in fact, hijacked.

The World Trade Center Buildings after impact

South Manhattan was in a state of terror in the aftermath of the crash. People were falling from buildings while buildings were falling on people. Civilians on the ground were running to get as far away from the attack as possible.

While all this was happening, another plane, United Airlines Flight 175 (also departing from Boston headed for L.A.) was overpowered by al-Qaeda terrorists within thirty minutes of its flight. Unlike Flight 11, the lead hijacker on Flight 175 was a trained pilot, and therefore the plane's transmitter was left on. Because of this, the plane had deviated from its path for four minutes before air-traffic control had even noticed. At 8:51am (5 minutes after the initial crash) air-traffic control noticed the deviation and tried, in vain, to contact the cockpit. Like Flight 11, many passengers were able to make cell phone calls onboard and therefore, would have known about the first crash and predicted their fate. At 9:03am–seventeen minutes after the first attack–Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC complex. The crash became, and is to this day, the only impact ever to be seen live on TV right as it happened. The South Tower was in ruins within 56 minutes of the crash and within 2 hours both buildings had completely collapsed. The debris and resulting fires damaged and destroyed all other building in the WTC complex and ten other large surrounding structures.

Outside of New York, but within the same coordinated attack, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93 were both hijacked by al-Qaeda members and destined to crash into buildings in Washington, D.C. At 9:37am, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, which is the Headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense. This lead to the partial collapse of the western side of the building.

Flight 93 saw a different fate. When passengers and employees onboard learned about the other attacks, by contacting the ground via cell phone, they immediately knew their fate. Some passengers and employees of Flight 93 attempted to regain control of the plane, the exact events of this struggle remain unknown. We do know, however, that the plane never reached Washington, D.C. Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03am, killing everyone onboard. If this plane had of crashed into its al-Qaeda-planned target, there would have been many more innocent casualties; however, because of modern technology and civilian heroism many lives were spared. In total almost 3,000 people died during the day's attacks including all 227 civilian plane passengers and 19 hijackers.

For weeks after the attack people in NYC were trapped under buildings. The rescue effort was huge but dangerous–it is considered the deadliest incident for firefighters in United States history. The United States (under the Bush Administration) responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan then Iraq in order to remove the Taliban from power. The Taliban had been supporting the al-Qaeda. After the attacks, the United States, and many other countries around the world, increased security and border control. New security features were put in place at airports including bolted pilot doors so no one can take over a plane and new screening measures such as full body scans to make sure nothing dangerous got on a plane.

Osama bin Laden was the known leader of the al-Qaeda and the man behind the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001. He evaded capture for almost ten years but was located and killed by U.S. forces (under the Obama Administration) in May 2011. The killing of Osama bin Laden has become controversial because under the United States law, he should have been given a fair trial and a subsequent death sentence at a federal penitentiary. His killing is not, however, considered unlawful and his killer's identity is hidden from the public in order to ensure his or her safety and privacy.

The destruction of the Twin Towers caused closings, evacuations, and cancellations worldwide, some of these were out of fear of further attacks while others were out of respect for those directly impacted. Lower Manhattan saw serious economic damage and Wall Street was closed until September 17, making a significant effect on global markets. Cleanup of the WTC site was finished in May 2002 and some time it was undecided what would be done with it. On November 18, 2007 the construction of One World Trade Centre began, at the site–the building was complete scheduled to open November 2013. Previously called the Freedom Tower, the One World Trade Centre is the tallest building in the United States and the fourth tallest in the world. The skyscraper was built more architecturally sound to be able to sustain a terrorist attack if attacked again.

Many memorials have been constructed to remember the events of that day and the lives that are forever changed. New York City has a National September 11 Memorial & Museum while Washington and Pennsylvania had memorials for their respective crashes. The attacks on September 11th took place in a postmodern world with internet, live TV, and camera cell phones, therefore when the planes hit, the world was quickly informed and today, people all over the world still remember where they were on September 11th, 2001.

In the past twelve years, the events and outcome of September 11, 2001 have been depicted in the media and entertainment industry as a major historical event in the history of the United States of America.

Occupy Wall Street Movement[edit | edit source]

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the title given to a politically and financially motivated protest that started in the financial district of New York City. The protest began on September 17th, 2011, however the movement initiated in the preceding weeks. The inaugural call for action was made outside of New York, stemming from the anti-consumerist Canadian magazine Adbusters. A poster they created became the antecedent for the entire movement, culminating on September 17th with an organized protest in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street district of New York City.

Occupy Wall Street

The protest garnered immense media coverage, and gained many supporters in its 2 month span. The main focuses of the movement were based upon political corruption, and economic inequality, and protestors lobbied for equal wealth distribution in the United States. The Occupy Wall Street movement boasted the slogan “We are the 99%.” This slogan made reference to the 99% of the population who felt that they were unfairly represented economically and in regards to taxation. It petitioned for the 1% of the population who control the majority of America’s wealth to be taxed proportionally, alleviating taxation on the lower class citizens of the 99%. The OWS protest also sought to diminish the influence of large corporations on American politicians, an increase in jobs in the country, as well as student debt forgiveness.

During the Zuccotti Park encampment, donations were made by all those involved to cover the costs of living in the park. The average donation was $22, however some affluent members of the movement donated much more. Approximately 100-200 people slept in the park during the 2 month span, and initially tents were not allowed. Protestors brought sleeping bags or blankets to keep them warm, as temperatures were relatively low at night. The Occupy Wall Street movement was generally peaceful; however local residents began to raise concern over the sanitation condition of the park in November. Just before 1:00am on November 15th, police began removing protestors from the park after failing to vacate the area for a scheduled cleaning. Several protestors, including journalists, were arrested through the night. The Occupy Wall Street movement garnered a vast amount of social media attention, using Twitter as its basis for communicating with the masses. Over the course of the 2 month initial encampment, millions of people tweeted using the Twitter hashtag “#OccupyWallStreet” to voice their opinions regarding the protests. Many people joined in on the discussions and the movement soon gained worldwide support from others who shared in their struggle. The movement was not without tribulation, though. As many people disagreed with the protestors, and felt that they were merely whining, without legitimate reason for protest. The movement was covered by the media as a very black and white issue, pitting young against old; however the age and affluence of the protestors varied greatly.

Without the use of social media, the OWS movement would not have gained anywhere near the support that it did. Twitter and Facebook were integral in the process of raising awareness for the protest, as well as gathering supporters throughout the state of New York who came to join the movement in Zuccotti Park. Prior to Occupy Wall Street, social media had never played such a vital role in a protest; past movements relied upon word of mouth, local news outlets and small market advertising to rally activists. Although the internet had been used effectively in the past, most notably during the WTO protests in Seattle, Occupy was the first to use the internet as its main source of communication and mobilization. The Seattle WTO protests used the internet to assemble nearly 40,000 protestors, made up of anti-capitalist groups, environmentalists and labor supporters; it was also the first protest to popularize the use of online petitions, assisting in its notoriety.

To mark the one year anniversary of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment, protestors gathered on September 17th, 2012 to form a human barrier around the New York Stock Exchange, as well as barricading other intersections in the area. This protest sparked much controversy, as police involvement grew violent throughout the city. In total, 185 protest related arrests were made, and the demonstration was broken up relatively quickly. The movement gained even more attention with this final demonstration, and though it is not still an active protest physically, the Occupy Wall Street movement is still active throughout social media, and its ideals continue to amass support around the world. Although the movement has yet to cause the amount of change it endeavored to, it has brought its issues to the attention of leaders across the globe, and may still be further explored in the future.

Hurricane Sandy[edit | edit source]

New York was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy on October 29–30, 2012, particularly New York City, its suburbs, and Long Island. Sandy's impacts included the flooding of the New York City Subway system, of many suburban communities, and of all road tunnels entering Manhattan except the Lincoln Tunnel. The New York Stock Exchange closed for two consecutive days. Numerous homes and businesses were destroyed by fire, including over 100 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Large parts of the city and surrounding areas lost electricity for several days. Several thousand people in midtown Manhattan were evacuated for six days due to a crane collapse at Extell's One57. Bellevue Hospital Center and a few other large hospitals were closed and evacuated. Flooding at 140 West Street and another exchange disrupted voice and data communication in lower Manhattan.

At least 43 people died in New York City as a result of the storm, and 53 in the state. Thousands of homes and an estimated 250,000 vehicles were destroyed during the storm, and the economic losses in New York City were estimated to be roughly $19 billion with an estimated $32.8 billion required for restoration across the state.

COVID-19 pandemic in New York State[edit | edit source]

New York State suffered greatly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused lockdowns and store closures, devastating the economy.

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. state of New York during the pandemic was confirmed on March 1, 2020, and the state quickly became an epicenter of the pandemic, with a record 12,274 new cases reported on April 4 and approximately 29,000 more deaths reported for the month of April than the same month in 2019. By April 10, New York had more confirmed cases than any country outside the US. As of January 30, 2023, the state reported 126.8 million tests, with 6,557,018 cumulative cases, and 77,761 deaths.

New York had the highest number of confirmed cases of any state from the start of the U.S. outbreak until July 22, 2020, when it was first surpassed by California and later by Florida and Texas. Approximately half of the state's reported cases have been in New York City, where around 40% of the state's population lives.

This period of time saw New York State gain its first female governor.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

New York State in American Popular Culture

New York in Film[edit | edit source]

New York state and its cities have been the subject and location of many films, both literally and fictionally. New York has also been the birth place and home of many famous actors, directors, and other film stars. Famous examples of New York film makers include Woody Allen, Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. Many of these director's films take place in New York, inspired by the city they love and grew up in.

Martin Scorsese, one of New York City's best-known film directors (2010).

New York has been used in films for many reasons. It is a versatile city, with many atmospheres and endless room for potential. It holds onto people's imaginations because of its endless possibilities: it is compact, violent, energetic and constantly changing. It is unpredictable, unreal, and a “zone of eternal play and perpetual unease.” It is more than the “bustling metropolis” that it is often portrayed as (which holds true to the real life atmosphere of daytime New York.) At night, New York is “more nocturnal than any other place onscreen.” The deserted streets portrayed in New York films are places of violence and danger. These are just a few examples of the kind of atmospheric diversity that is possible when filming in New York.

An early example of New York in film is Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River (1903). The film provides shots of the city, a view of the waterfront, the crowded and busy city streets, and an “endless chain” of its many unique skyscrapers and other architectural structures. New York has many iconic buildings which have been shot in movies, making their locations easily recognizable. Some iconic New York locations include the Empire State Building (most notably in 1933's King Kong), Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and, prior to the terrorist bombings of September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center. 9/11 and the Twin Towers would also become popular subjects of film in the 21st century. The documentary World Trade Center, and a scene from Spike Lee's 25th Hour, would both serve as sad reminders of where these buildings once stood.

Because New York is a famous backdrop in many films, viewers associate a feeling of familiarity with the city, whether they have been there or not. New Yorkers would be able to recognize various film scenes located within their city. A number of buildings and also various structures within New York, would be a part of many film's scenery and action. In the 1953 film How to Marry a Millionaire, Fred Clark and Betty Grable spent a scene of the film crossing the George Washington Bridge. Penn Station was also used in the opening shot of the film The Seven Year Itch (1957) starring Marilyn Monroe.

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park (2006).

New York is arguably the best location for filming as it provides a specific atmosphere, unattainable elsewhere. For example, Black Edward's Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) starring Audrey Hepburn, could not have been located in anywhere other than New York, “because in that era-before-franchises Tiffany's was New York just as New York was Tiffany's.” Robert Wise's West Side Story (1961), a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is another film in which it is difficult to separate the story from the city. Originally a Broadway musical, deriving its roots from the streets of New York, it is difficult to imagine West Side Story taking place anywhere else. Other notable examples include Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002) and much of the film Goodfellas (1990), also directed by Scorsese.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

Some films do not go as deeply into the atmosphere and environment of New York. For instance, the New York that Hitchcock portrays in films such as Rear Window (1954), Rope (1949) and North by Northwest (1959) typically stars an eager, but distant outsider who becomes “addicted” to New York on the basis of visits to this city. In this sense, Hitchcock is described as looking at the city from the surface, rather than really digging into its environment. Hitchcock's New York is often an “abstraction, a packaging, [and] a memento” of lived experiences in New York, rather than more casual ones.

For other films, New York would merely serve as a backdrop, and not as much attention would be paid to the specific location of the film. Even so, they may be recognizable to a New Yorker with good knowledge of the city. Woody Allen used many New York locations in his films; however there were times when the location was not the central focus, or even obvious. In Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), the camera “glides past characteristic locales” of New York with little attention paid to the location, focusing more on the protagonists of the film. In Annie Hall (1977), the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park served as scenery for Woody Allen and Diane Keaton's people-watching. Even though such locations would have been strategically chosen, they would not be central to the film's story. The same locations may merely be scenery for one film, but crucial to another film. The Bethesda Fountain, especially with its angel statue, would be both a significant location and symbol, central to Angels in America (2003). At the beginning of the film the statue comes to life, and at the end, it serves as “a symbol of hope for a confused country and world.” Other movies filmed in New York, or set in a fictional version of New York, include: Citizen Kane (1941), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), On the Waterfront (1954), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Godfather (1972), Taxi Driver (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Raging Bull (1980), and Ghost Busters (1984).

Television and Film Industry[edit | edit source]

New York’s annual revenue from the film industry amounts to billions of dollars. Beginning in 1919, when famed movie creator D. W. Griffith announced his departure from Los Angeles to take up production in New York. He said, “Here in the East are all the properties and backgrounds, interior and exterior, that we require for luxurious settings. New York is the metropolis and the home of wealth. It is the home of the best actors, the best artisans, the best and the newest in theatrical production.” This idea has resonated through time and can still be said today.

New York City is the largest city in the United States. It is comprised of multiple villages and boroughs, which contain diverse visual settings and cultures that allow film makers to create different types of movies. For example, Manhattan, with its tall buildings and corporate setting, allowed for films like Wall Street and Woody Allen’s Manhattan to be filmed. More residential and cultural areas, like Greenwich Village, played host to films like Taxi Driver and The Godfather trilogy.

New York is home to many well known production companies in the television and film industry. In the television industry, NBC is located at Rockefeller Centre and produces hit shows like 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live. In the film Industry, Miramax Films is located in Manhattan and has produced such films as Gangs of New York and Kate & Leopold. These production companies have multiple reasons why they set up shop in New York. New York and New York City, for instance, offer tax rebates of 15 percent to filmmakers who shoot at least 75 percent of their movies in New York City. New York attracts actors to live close to work, which is why many A-List celebrities call New York home. Some of these celebrities that call New York home include Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Tina Fey.

Many shows and films are based in New York because the writers and directors who create them base their shows around their own lives. Many of them also got their start in New York. An example of this is the show How I Met Your Mother. The writer’s and creator’s love of New York, shown through their work, advertise New York to future potential residents. Mayor Giuliani said, “I've talked to people whose decision to come and live here was based on a movie that they saw about New York City. When New York's citizens are frustrated by the large number of movies that are shot here, they really ought to know the facts. Movies help continue New York's reputation as one of the most unique and well known city in the world.” Since New York is so large, it has come to be known as a place where anything can happen. There are many opportunities for people from different backgrounds to connect. It allows far fetched ideas and scenarios to become plausible, which gives film creators a plethora of options and ideas.

Friends apartment building in Greenwich Village, NYC.

Unfortunately, not all films and shows can be shot in New York; however, that does not mean that they can still be set in New York. Sound Stages in Los Angeles are created to look like New York. Shows like Everybody Hates Chris and How I Met Your Mother are filmed in studios like this. Another option is to film in different cities. The hit show Suits is set in New York but filmed in Toronto. Sometimes New York based shows are filmed in Toronto because production costs are far less. New York has a large effect on the TV and film industry around the world, which will always be the case.

Tourism[edit | edit source]

As a result of New York's popularity in film and television, either as a set location or as a subject, the city experiences a great deal of tourism. In fact, film tourism is recognized as a significant force of tourism development for many cities and other destinations. Certain areas in New York have become “metonyms” for lifestyles that are portrayed in television shows and movies. John Urry and Jonas Larsen comment that “we have all been to New York”, while viewing television shows such as Seinfeld, NYPD Blue, Friends, Law and Order and Sex and the City. Representations of New York in media allows people to travel to imaginary destinations, where real places and locations “take on fantasy-like” qualities. These imaginary spaces filled by our favorite television characters may “inhabit our minds just as real locations” would. Greenwich Village (“the Village”) in New York City in particular has attracted a lot of attention of movies, television series and even commercials. Settings in television shows which have been shot in the Village include The Cosby Show townhouse, the NYPD Blue precinct, and the Friends apartment building. However, the Village is not only a popular television series location, but has also been used as a setting in a number of films. For instance, one of neighbourhoods with a public swimming pool was the location of a scene in Scorsese's Raging Bull, where characters Cathy Moriarty and Robert De Niro meet up. Both East 6th Street and MacDougal Street served as locations in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, respectively. It is of no surprise that New York has attracted an overwhelming amount of tourism following the creation of some of the most well-known and loved films and television shows. The establishment of film festivals in major cities, including New York, have also attracted a great deal of tourism.

New York and Broadway[edit | edit source]

Present day Times Square

Before theatre took its name, Broadway was simply a street in New York City, coined by the Dutch upon their arrival. It was not until the 20th century that theatrical shows in New York City became known as Broadway. The play Broadway to Tokyo, written by Roy Somlyo, which opened on January 23, 1900, coined the term Broadway as it "gracefully executed saltatorial divertissements that codified the Broadway appellation as a signal of the theatrical ideal." Following Broadway to Tokyo, many other writers used the name Broadway in their play titles as “shorthand for the locus of cultural production." Many of the plays that included Broadway in their titles were performed in theatre houses located on the Great White Way in Manhattan. The Great White Way was located on Broadway Boulevard, which is presently known as Times Square. It is here that Broadway theatre became known to New York City.

By the late 1920’s, Broadway plays took a shift in style, structure and thematics. Theatre companies that used to stage popular commercial melodramas were now staging naturalism, realism and modernism. A tragedy written by Eugene O’Neill entitled Beyond the Horizon was credited as the reason that Broadway plays changed. His play "reflected cultural dislocations not only in drama but also in the 1920’s American experience." Two other driving forces that saw changes in Broadway in the 1920’s was the invention of motion picture and the growth of radio. The Depression was a changing force as well and many plays suffered in audience attendance because of it. The early 1920’s nightlife culture was vibrant and people visited theatres every night, came to an end due to the effects of the Depression.

Broadway and Race[edit | edit source]

Broadway in the 1920s and 30s also began to address many important social issues. The most predominant of these social issues included the addressing of racism within America. Show Boat, based on the novel by Edna Ferber under the same name, is regarded as the first musical to deal with issues of racism. Opening on Broadway in 1927, Show Boat is seen as the monumental musical that altered public opinion. The show was able to influence the general public as its increasing popularity had brought the issue of racism to the forefront of public attention. One aspect that contributed to Show Boat’s popularity were the creators of the show. Two of musical theatre’s most esteemed composers came together and collaborated on this musical: Jerome Kern wrote the music and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics and book. The way in which Show Boat addresses race in a very complicated way, also appealed to American audiences. Race was no longer a one dimensional issue, it was messy and complex, and this appealed to audiences. This was partly achieved by the synthesizing of both white and African American indigenous music. This fusion can be heard in one of the songs from the musical, "Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man".

Soprano opera singer, Ruby Elzy, as the original Serena in George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess (1935)

"Show Boat" was racially empowering as black characters were now displayed as three dimensional, not the one dimensional, stereotypical characters they had previously portrayed. The use of the word ‘nigger’ was also replaced in the musical by the phrase ‘colored folk’ to evolve to racial sensibilities. The use of both black and white characters helped to aesthetically bring the two races together before the very eyes of the spectators. The influence of Show Boat was so immense and empowering to the racial issue that the song "Ol’ Man River" was used in numerous African American protests around the country.

Porgy and Bess, like Show Boat, was another musical which addressed the sensitive issue of race, in a way which was empowering to African Americans. This 1935 musical was written by legendary Broadway composer, George Gershwin and DuBose Hayward. DuBose Hayward was the author of the 1925 novel, Porgy, for which the musical was based upon. Porgy and Bess received much controversy as this musical had been written by a white individual who could never possibly understand the hardships of the African-American life. However, the fact that this musical was created by Gershwin, a popular white composer, contributed to the success of the show. The high popularity of Porgy and Bess allowed it to be viewed and impact a greater number of people. Like Show Boat, the song "I Ain’t Got No Shame", employed the fusion of both African-American and white indigenous music, which audiences greatly enjoyed. Porgy and Bess addressed the general despair and violent nature of life that occurred within black neighborhoods, which helped to educate the predominantly white audience of the struggles that African American citizens faced in the United States.

Broadway and the War[edit | edit source]

During World War Two, Oklahoma!, a musical about a love triangle based in northern Oklahoma, became the most successful play at this time, with over eight million audience members. The opening number, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning", became one of the many musical hits that Oklahoma! performed. Oklahoma! created excitement for new beginnings and a hopeful mindset during the war. Because of the war, the song also encouraged the audience to relax and have fun, and to enjoy a couple of hours of fun.

Post World War II Broadway[edit | edit source]

After World War Two, Off-Broadway plays appeared as an alternative to Broadway theatres in Times Square. These plays got their title because they were not performed on the Great White Way in Times Square, but in theatre houses located in other parts of New York City. Off-Broadway plays produced shows which could not been seen on Broadway, and tickets were cheaper as well, making them more appealing to general audiences.

The 1970s and 1980s saw a change in Broadway musicals. Instead of a romanticized version of American life, musicals now portrayed a real world with real problems. These two decades changed the Broadway musical as they became more relatable to everyday American life. This change occurred because the country and culture had changed as well. Musicals such as Follies, directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, portrayed the illusion of the glamorous American dream verses ordinary American lifestyle.

Following the attacks on September 11th 2001, Broadway saw a loss of 16.3 million dollars in 2002. Theatrical entertainment in New York City declined. Audiences felt guilty being entertained while others in the city were grieving. Many commercial theatres started to perform plays centered around the war on terror, and the anger that it created. Most plays were antiwar, which became known as political theatre. Plays such as Warriors, written by Michael Garneau, which examined the way that advertising sells war, and The Women of Lockerbie written by Deborah Breevort which focused on the events of 9/11. Broadway today sees many famous Hollywood actors taking its stages in order to produce a higher revenue. Today, the typical run of a show depends on audience reception and critical response. Many shows are celebrated and honored at the annual Tony Awards. Established in 1947, The Tony's recognize the outstanding achievements of on and Off-Broadway shows.

Alternative Dressing and Performance Scene[edit | edit source]

Ball Culture[edit | edit source]


Immensely popular on the New York scene in the 1980s and early 1990s were gay balls, houses of extravagance, avant garde fashion, and acceptance. Performers could walk the ‘runway’ and win trophies, becoming famous within the ball circle. The balls were a place where people could belong; it was described as being in a personal fantasy of what it would be like to be a superstar. And, for many who participated in the balls, it was a place to have a warm shelter to forget the fact that they had no homes to go to, or no acceptance within their own families. In the award-winning, 1990 documentary film Paris Is Burning, which chronicles the ball culture of New York, one of the ballgoers interviewed described the ball scene as being like "crossing into the Looking Glass. Wonderland. You go in there and you feel—you feel a hundred percent... right. Being gay." He goes on to say, “It’s not what it’s like in the world. It should be like that in the world.”

For those ‘walking’ at a ball, there were many categories of dress to choose from, including drag queens, movie stars, models, ‘luscious body’, ‘town and country’, ‘executive realness’, ‘ ‘high fashion evening wear’, and also more serious-toned outfits, such as military uniforms. The balls gave the LBGT community the opportunity to become anything or anyone, without people questioning it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78TAbjx43rk The trailer for the film, Paris is Burning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWuzfIeTFAQ The film, Paris is Burning.

Voguing[edit | edit source]

Lady Gaga

In the early 1990s, the biggest dance fad was a style called ‘Voguing’. It began as an alternative to fighting with someone in one of the balls. If two people found themselves in conflict, they would dance around each other and battle it out through dance moves instead of actually fighting. As described in Paris Is Burning, "Voguing is the same thing as, like, taking two knives and cutting each other up, but through dance form." The movements of the dance style were pantomime, taking inspiration from gymnastics and Egyptian hieroglyphics; the idea was to strive for perfect lines in the body, while in awkward positioning. The name ‘Voguing’ was taken from the magazine Vogue, because some of the dance moves were based off of model poses in the magazine. Madonna used this style in her famous music video for her song, ‘Vogue’.

Modern Alternative Scene[edit | edit source]

In the late 1980's when the movie Paris Is Burning was filmed, the gay balls were a safe place for the LBGT community. They were still being persecuted and targeted even though New-York society was generally more accepting. As noted in the film, “When you’re a man and a woman, you can do anything. You can—you can almost have sex on the street if you want to. [...] But when you’re gay, you monitor everything that you do. You monitor how you look, dress; how you talk, how you act; do they see me? What do they think of me?” There was almost a sense of having to hide away. Now, the LBGT community is anything but hidden. Artists over the years, from Madonna to Lady Gaga, fearlessly express themselves through manners reminiscent of the 80s/90s avant garde scene. Certainly Gaga, a New-York native, found influences in her daily life, as the once-hidden expressions of the LBGT began to emerge more obviously. Gaga’s “distinct aesthetic” is described by some as a “social imaginary that upholds much of Warhol’s Pop Art vision” and an “active quest to produce the memorable and celebrate the freakish." Now, the "mass appeal and subcultural allure of the aesthetic crafted by Gaga and her ‘‘Haus of Gaga’’ creative team, which she modeled after Warhol’s Factory,” is also reminiscent of the Gay Balls, in that they were held in a ‘House’ named after the ‘Mother’ running it. From this, it is easy to see where the self-styled Mother Monster drew inspiration for her Haus of Gaga. It is a mark of just how far things have come in a few short decades, where the LBGT community was virtually hidden away in ball Houses, to being strongly expressed in modern music. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation was created for the purpose of keeping it this way: to give young people, as Oprah Winfrey put it, “A big, Lady Gaga boost, teaching them to be fearless and free in their own skin.” Gaga herself, when asked what message she most wants people to receive from her, said, "I want them to free themselves and I want them to be proud of who they are, and I want them to celebrate all the things they don't like about themselves the way that I did."

New York: The Birthplace of Comic Books and Superheroes[edit | edit source]

Comic book creator Stan Lee and Captain America star Chris Evans (2011)

New York has not only served as the birthplace of the American comic book, but also the birthplace of many American superheroes and villains. In 1933, the American comic book was invented. The original comic books were bound reprints of comic strips from newspapers and premiums attached to children’s products, cheaply repackaged for resale. The first superhero comic book that featured Superman was published by National Periodical (now known as DC Comics) in 1938. The Empire State Building was the 1940s headquarters of their rival, Timely Comics (which is now known as Marvel Comics). A rival that continues to this day between comic book lovers. New York City became a hub for American comic book artists. These artists helped establish the popularization and subsequent economic success of New York’s two superhero comic book empires, Marvel and DC.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg posing with Spider-Man at Midtown Comics (2010)

Acting as the diverse urban backdrop for the fears and desires that reflect a society constantly undergoing massive cultural shifts, New York City is the archetypical metropolis in U.S. pop culture. Many American comic book artists attributed recognizable New York addresses (sometimes inspired by the places they had once lived), buildings, and tourist attractions to the stories they created. Spider-Man, otherwise known as Peter Parker, lived with his Aunt May in Forest Hill, Queens. The Baxter Building, a fictitious complex and the long-time headquarters of the Fantastic Four, was located at Madison and 42nd. Comic book writer-artist Bill Everett lived at 177A Bleecker Street in the sixties, the location later used by fellow writer Roy Thomas as the address for Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. The Frick Collection was used as the Avengers Mansion – the original headquarters of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. The Perisphere, built for the New York 1939 World's Fair, functioned as the fictional headquarters for the DC superhero collective, the All-Star Squadron. Even when not explicitly mentioned, Batman’s home Gotham City is modeled after New York City (Gotham is a common nickname for New York). Marvel chairman and one of the co-creators of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, Stan Lee said about his comics: “The stories were our tribute to the Big Apple.”

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment took advantage of the city’s connections to superheroes as a creative way of implementing new ways of informing New Yorkers on how to navigate the job market. It was unveiled on November 17, 2010 that Mayor Bloomberg had teamed up with Marvel Comics to create Spider-Man, You’re Hired: “a special print and digital comic promoting New York City’s free job placement resources,” available for free to the New York public. The full-color, eight page comic illustrates an out-of-work Peter Parker who has a chance meeting with Mayor Bloomberg, the man who gives him a helpful push in finding a job. The comic was printed in a special edition of The New York Daily News, has been made available in all Workforce 1 Centers in the City, has appeared in over 600,000 papers, and is available for free download online via iTunes. Alongside the featured comic, two additional one-page comics were also launched. The first features Spider-Man at various New York City attractions describing the great free job services available to citizens. The second features Spider-Man’s friend Mary Jane who learns about Made in NY, “a free program [that] helps diverse New Yorkers gain access to entry level positions in the entertainment industry.”

New York State in Music[edit | edit source]

New York's Hip Hop Scene[edit | edit source]

New York can be considered the hip hop music capital of the world. Hip hop as a subculture of New York was born in the poor black neighbourhoods, extending into the South Bronx. In the 1970s there was a drastic cut in available employment when 40% (about 600,000) of jobs within the manufacturing sector disappeared. Many people were left unemployed and living well below the poverty line. The community was poor and segregated. Youth found an outlet and a voice in the form of rapping, beat boxing, graffiti art and break-dancing, all significant artistic aspects of hip hop. These art forms permeated outside of New York City and rap music went main-stream in the late 1980s because it spoke to so many youth in a way they could relate to. Rap music incorporates soul and funk music combined with new rhythms and beats. Hip Hop displayed the call and response patterns of African American religious ceremonies in an early rap form that was most commonly portrayed through church preaching. Along with the new sound was the incorporation of powerful political views reflected in the lyrics of hip hop. In the 1980s rap music reflected the inequality that the black communities faced and the discrimination young black people continued to face.

"Ghetto 4 Life" Banksy in South Bronx October 2013

Artists like Run DMC, Slick Rick, Wu-Tang Clan, EPMD, LL Cool J and Public Enemy were behind the success of New York's hip hop scene. In 1994, Brooklyn born Biggie Smalls released his 4 times platinum record "Ready to Die". The popularity of the record increased New York’s credibility in the hip hop scene once again and helped to create a clear distinction between east and west coast hip hop. New York in the present day is still home to a thriving underground hip hop scene as well as being the home of many popular artists like Nicki Minaj and ASAP Rocky. Modern New York is brimming with hip hop clubs and concerts where the scene is still progressing.

New York's Punk Scene[edit | edit source]

The first 'punk counterculture' was developed in the early 1970s in New York. Punk politics cover a whole spectrum of social issues. Originally, young, middle-class youth developed the culture based on ideas of personal freedom from defining one’s self and anti-establishment views. There are many sub-cultures of punk and many types of punk music, visual art and literature to accompany these sub-cultures. A particular theatrical punk fashion was the product of need for self-expression, an element that makes punks distinguishable. Punk music was the key element in the punk counterculture, as it was the predominant way in which youth were able to create their own unique identities. From 1973 when it opened through the 80s, the famous club CBGB, located in Manhattan, New York, was the heart of punk culture and music. Artists like The Ramones and Blondie first played at the club and, as a result, they significantly grew in popularity. The peak of the club’s popularity was 1975 when punk shows were televised every Sunday giving punk music a popular platform. Punk music and style evolved in the 21st century as the main philosophies remained and the style and music changed to fit a new generation’s taste.

New York's Disco Scene[edit | edit source]

Emerging from the deep southern states of the United States, the rise of disco was a collaborative form of pop culture that hit the club scene with a burst of energy and exuberance. The 1970’s were a time of innovation and rejuvenation of the music scene, and disco was a more than appropriate candidate to take on the challenge of creating this change. Disco had been heard on the radio and through the ears of the public prior to its debut in the 70’s, however, it was segmented and broken up within different genres that had yet to come together to produce this new melody of music. The combination of jazz, R&B, funk, and rock is what disco music was comprised of.

Disco music grew to extreme popularity in the 1970s out of the New York nightclub scene. The 70s were a time when young people were worried about themselves, and the dance music was about the freedom to be yourself. Disco was appealing in 1970s American society because it was a way to escape or ignore changes that came with mass sub-urbanization, economic turmoil and conservative attitudes of the decade. People caught onto the music style, the clubs and the fashion because of the popular New York nightclub Studio 54 which was open from 1977 to 1981. By 1976 there were reportedly 10,000 discos in the U.S. There were discos for kids, senior citizens, roller-skaters, and portable discos set up in shopping malls. The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta was a huge hit and was accompanied by a widely popular soundtrack that brought disco into the mainstream commercial marketplace. In 1976 usually 5 out of 10 singles on Billboard’s weekly charts were disco. Unsurprisingly, rock stars, punk stars, and superstars all started “going disco.” Rod Stewart’s "Do Ya Think I’m Sexy", The Rolling Stones groovy hit "Miss You" and Blondie broke out of New York’s CBGB with a chart-topping single "Heart of Glass." Disco culture and the dance music it was based upon united people from all social and economic backgrounds. It was this inclusiveness that made disco so popular.

Culture Change of Disco[edit | edit source]

Not only was disco a newfound staple in the music industry, but the social impact of the music hit New York hard and fast with cultural change. Disco had brought the title of the “golden age” to radio diversity. Disco was becoming popular in all races, ages, classes, and gender divisions across the New York state. Popular clubs such as Othello’s, Justine’s, and Mellon’s were creating strong community connections within the disco industry. Initially, disco was said to only be targeted at a white demographic, however, the spread of disco became popular in varying races such as Blacks, Latinos, and Italians. Providing a wider demographic in New York for this emerging social phenomenon, disco was a common medium that brought people together. Disco was also becoming widely popular in other diverse nightclubs within New York such as gay discos, fashion trend discos, 'new wave' discos, and hip hop discos, providing an intense demand for the role of a disc jockey or DJ.

Legendary disco singer, Donna Summer (1977)

Emergence of the Disco Disc Jockey[edit | edit source]

The role of the DJ was honourable and dignified at the time of the rise of disco in New York. In order to be an established DJ you must have consolidated a certain degree of trust, love, and loyalty within the disco world. It wasn’t just a fad or hobby to be a DJ at the time of disco in New York, but instead a lifestyle. One would dedicate all the money they had into improving or upgrading to an appropriate sound system in order to produce the highest quality of music. This would also be a test to whether or not you were at an honourable level to play in the higher quality clubs in New York such as the Mudd Club, the Roxy and the Fun House.

Disco in Dance[edit | edit source]

In addition to the impact on the club and music industry in New York during the 70’s, this new music took on the role of changing the dance scene as well. Prior to the influence of disco, dance was focused on the tradition of men leading women in a structured dance such as the tango or the waltz. The dance disco was still paired in a male-female partnership, however it was co-dependent rather than the male leading the entire dance. Disco was a dance that consisted of control and emphasis, which was put on connecting with your partner through sight and one-way manipulation. Creating a new form of expression, disco can be seen as an influence in many other types of dance such as aerobic dancing, through its expression of focus, controlled movements, and explicit technique.

With inspirational disco singers such as Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, and Barry White, the introduction of disco within New York became more than just a trend or fad of the 70s. Disco was a movement that shaped culture, changed mindsets, and created an everlasting impression on the music industry, dance industry, and social standings of people from all across the state. Continuing into today’s current music stream, disco is without a doubt, definitely not dead.

Woodstock[edit | edit source]

The guitar used by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock to play the Star Spangled Banner (featured here at the Experience Music Project in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2009)

From August 15th to 18th, 1969 the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was held. An estimated 450,000 young music lovers converged in rural New York State. Woodstock is known as the iconic cultural event that defined the 1960’s. The event was so popular that it resulted in the most famous traffic jam in New York's history as fans amassed in Bethel, New York to witness an unprecedented rock extravaganza. Promoters introduced the event as an “Aquarian exposition” and “three days of peace and music.” The Woodstock Festival did not take place in Woodstock, New York, but rather the name came from the location of the organizers’ headquarters. Instead it took place nearly sixty miles away in Bethel, on Max Yasgur’s farm. Although receiving much criticism, Max Yasgur, a dairy farmer, allowed his 600 acres of farmland to be used as the festival grounds. Yagur said he offered his land in order to help close a generational gap as well as garnish a fee of $50,000.

Hippies at Woodstock Music and Arts Fair

Artists of Woodstock[edit | edit source]

Music at the festival ranged from folk to psychedelic to rock and roll. Day one of the event included acts such Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez, while day two included The Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Band and Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix is often cited as being one of the most memorable components of the festival. The festival was interrupted by rain throughout the weekend and many acts were delayed as a result. Amplifiers and other electronics had to be covered in order to avoid damage to equipment. A large proportion of the audience stayed either greeting the rain or having parked too far to return to dryness. This all added to the adversity facing the concert-goers, as food supplies were often not adequate as well as other logistical inefficiencies the concert promoters had not accounted for.

The Impact of Woodstock[edit | edit source]

A group of teenagers on the last day of Woodstock (1969)

Woodstock has become a symbol of the culmination of change in the American 1960’s. The 1960’s were about passing the torch from the pre-World War II generation to the baby boomers that had grown up very differently than their parents. This youth movement had grown from affluence, education and Rock and Roll. More so Woodstock also served as a chief vehicle of 1960’s counter culture and was a mark of 1960’s youth rebellion. This counter cultural movement was known as the hippie movement. This movement was a product of those who could not grapple with consumerism and the procurement of material wealth. The hippies in a sense inverted traditional values and rather than striving for upward mobility, often lived in voluntary poverty as they were more concerned with the relationship between body and mind. Hippies often wished for peace and harmony and saw property and prejudice as barriers to this lifestyle. The hippie culture also embraced and glorified drug use and sexual freedom.

Grateful Dead (1970)

The Woodstock festival also acted as a sign of dissent amongst youth against American involvement in the Vietnamese War. The performers and audience demonstrated unrelenting criticism of the war. Their protest was conveyed through peaceful living and promoting harmony.

Another concert in December of the same year would mark an end to the hippie counter culture movement. The Altamont Speedway Free Festival was headlined by the Rolling Stones. The festival resulted in the death of several concertgoers, which was quite the opposite to the atmosphere of peace and love displayed at The Woodstock Festival. Ang Lee, famed director of the film "Taking Woodstock", has been quoted as calling Woodstock ”America's last moment of innocence.” This statement holds truer when Woodstock is compared to its Western counterpart Altamont.

One of the most notable homages to the festival comes from Joni Mitchell who wrote the song “Woodstock.” Mitchell had been unable to attend the concert as she was scheduled to appear on The Dick Cavett Show that very weekend. However, her song is the one that most embodies the spirit of Woodstock.

Further Reading

Books[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

  1. Condon, Thomas J. New York Beginnings: The Commercial Origins of New Netherland. New York: New York University Press, 1968.
  2. Eisenstadt, Peter R. and Laura-Eve Moss. The Encyclopedia of New York State. New York: Syracuse University Press, 2005.
  3. Englar, Mary. September 11. Minnesota: Capstone, 2006.
  4. Fandel, Jennifer. The Statue of Liberty. Minnesota: Creative Education, 2006.
  5. Filippelli, Ronald L. Labour Conflict in the United States: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990.
  6. Hulsebosch, Daniel. Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
  7. Pierce, Alan. September 11th 2001. ABDO, 2005.
  8. Prentice, William Reed. History of New York State. New York: C.W. Bardeen, 1900.
  9. Sullivan, James. History of New York State, 1523-1927, Volume 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1927.

Pre-Colonial History and the "Province of New York"[edit | edit source]

  1. Ellis, David, James Frost, Harold Syrett, and Harry Carman. A Short History of New York State. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1957.
  2. Henry, Thomas R. Wilderness Messiah: The Story of Hiawatha and the Iroquois. New York: Bonanza, 1955.
  3. Michael, Johnson. Tribes of the Confederacy. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2003.
  4. Roberts, Ellis . New York, the Planting and the Growth of the Empire State. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1896.
  5. Spicer, Edward Holland. A Short History of Indians in the United States. New York: Van Nostrand, 1969.
  6. Terrell, John Upton. American Indian Almanac. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1971.
  7. William, Fenton N. The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.

New York State: American Revolution to Civil War[edit | edit source]

  1. Andrews, J. Cutler. The North Reports the Civil War. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955.
  2. Barnes, David M. The Metropolitan Police: Their Service During Riot Week. Their Honorable Records. New York: Baker & Godwin, 1863.
  3. Bernstein, Iver. The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  4. Cook, Adrian. The Armies of the Streets: The New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1974.
  5. Fahrney, Ralph Ray. Horace Greeley and the Tribune in the Civil War. Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1936.
  6. Headley, Joel Tyler. The Great Riots of New York 1712-1873. New York: E.B. Treat, 1873.
  7. McKay, Ernest A. The Civil War and New York City. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1990.
  8. McPherson, James. Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  9. Spann, Edward K. Gotham at War: New York City, 1860-1865. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 2002.
  10. Stewart, Mitchell. Horatio Seymour of New York. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970.
  11. Wallace, Michael, and Edwin G. Burrows. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  12. Weeden, William B. War Government, Federal and State, in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Indiana 1861-1865. New York: The Riverside Press, 1906.
  13. Werstein, Irving. The Draft Riots: July 1863. New York: Julian Messner Inc., 1971.
  14. Werstein, Irving. July, 1863. New York: Julian Messner Inc., 1957.
  15. “The Civil War in America.” (March 16th, 1863) In The American Civil War: Extracts from The Times 1860-1865, edited by Hugh Brogan. London: Times Books, 1975.
  16. “The Riots in New York.” (July 28th, 1863) In The American Civil War: Extracts from The Times 1860-1865, edited by Hugh Brogan. London: Times Books, 1975.

Gilded Age New York State[edit | edit source]

  1. Baldwin, Neil. Edison: Inventing the Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  2. Cashman, Sean Dennis. America in the Gilded Age: From the Death of Lincoln to the Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: New York University Press, 1993.
  3. Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, Harold C. Syrett, and Harry J. Carman. A History Of New York State. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967.
  4. Melosi, Martin V. "Thomas A. Edison and the Modernization of America.” In The Library of American Biography, edited by Oscar Handlin. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
  5. Millard, Andre. Edison and the Business of Innovation. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.
  6. Miller, Wilbur R. Cops and Bobbies: Police Authority in New York and London, 1830-1870. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.

Modern New York[edit | edit source]

  1. Bagli, Charles V. “102 Floors, 10 Million Bricks and One Tangled History.” The New York Times. May 4 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/business/empire-state-building-has-a-tangled-history.html.
  2. Berman, John S. "The Museum of the City of New York: The Empire State Building." New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing Inc., 2003.
  3. Esthus, Raymond A. Theodore Roosevelt and Japan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967.
  4. Fishback, Price V. and John Joseph Wallis. What Was New About the New Deal? Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series, 2012.
  5. Fowles, Henry. Theodore Roosevelt; A Biography. New York: Columbia University Press, 1956.
  6. Galbraith, Kenneth John. The Great Crash 1929. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1961.
  7. Heale, Michael. Franklin D. Roosevelt: The New Deal and War. New York: Routledge, 1999.
  8. Peterson, Barbara Bennett. Franklin Delano Roosevelt As Governor of New York. New York: AMS Press, 1968.
  9. Thompson, Lee J. Theodore Roosevelt Abroad: Nature, Empire and the Journey of an American President. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
  10. Urofsky, Melvin I. The American Presidents. Boston: Boston University Press, 2000.
  11. Yarbrough, Jean. M, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition." Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2012.
  12. Kingwell, Mark. "Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams." New York: Vail-Ballou Press, 2006.

Post-War New York[edit | edit source]

  1. Friedlander, Paul. "Rock and Roll: A Social History". Boulder: Westview Press, 2006.
  2. Geczy, Adam. "Hippies and Counterculture in the 1960's and 1970's." In Fashion and Orientalism: Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.
  3. Halliwell, Martin. American Culture in the 1950s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
  4. Jackson, Kenneth T. “The Greater City: New York and Its Suburbs, 1876-2076.” In New York: The Centennial Years 1676-1976, edited by Milton M. Klein, 169-187. New York: Kennikat Press, 1976.
  5. Johnson, Steven. The New York Schools of Music and Visual Arts. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  6. Kelly, Barbara M. Expanding The American Dream: Building and Rebuilding Levittown. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.
  7. Sandler,Irving. The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1978.
  8. Sorrell, Richard and Carl Francese. From Tupelo to Woodstock: Youth, Race, and Rock-And-Roll in America 1954-196. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 1998.
  9. Steele, Valerie. "Fifty Years of Fashion". Paris: Adam Biro, 1997.

New York State Since the Nixon Era[edit | edit source]

  1. Jackson, John Wyse. We All Want to Change the World: The Life of John Lennon. London: Haus Publishing Limited, 2005.
  2. Kim, Illsoo. New Urban Immigrants. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981.
  3. Massood, Paula J. Making a Promised Land Harlem in 20th Century Photography and Film. Rutgers University Press, 2013.
  4. Rosenwaike, Ira. Population History of New York City. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1972.
  5. Strongman, Phil and Alan Parker. John Lennon and The FBI Files. London: Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 2003.
  6. Wiener, Jon. Come Together: John Lennon in His Time. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

New York State in Popular Culture[edit | edit source]

  1. Alleman, Richard. The Movie Lover's Guide: The Ultimate Inside Tour of Movie New York. New York: Random House LLC, 2013.
  2. Blake, Richard A. Street Smart: The New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese, and Lee. Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2005.
  3. Block, Geoffrey. Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  4. Bronfen, Elisabeth. Home in Hollywood: The Imaginary Geography of Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
  5. Chang, Jeff. Cant Stop Wont Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation. New York: St Martin's Press, 2005.
  6. Evans, Mike, and Paul Kingsbury. Woodstock: Three Days that Rocked the World. New York: Sterling, 2009.
  7. Fitzmaurice, Tony, and Shiel, Mark, ed. Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in an Urban Context. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001.
  8. Graziano, John . "Images of African Americans: African-American Musical Theatre Show Boat and Porgy and Bess," In The Cambridge Companion to the Musical, edited by William Everett and Paul Laird. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  9. Jacobs, James B., Coleen Friel, and Robert Radick. Gotham Unbound: How New York City was Liberated from the grip of Organized Crime. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
  10. Lawson-Peebles, Robert. “Introduction: Cultural Musicology and the American Musical," In Approaches to the American Musical, edited by Robert Lawson-Peebles. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1996.
  11. Pomerance, Murray. City That Never Sleeps: New York and the Filmic Imagination. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2007.
  12. Taylor, Millie. Musical Theater, Realism and Entertainment. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012.
  13. Urry, John, and Larsen, Jonas. The Tourist Gaze 3.0. London: Sage, 2011.

Articles[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

  1. Hepfer, Cindy and Will Hepfer. "The Periodicals of New York State." Serials Review 11, no. 1 (1985): 47-62.
  2. Kwasny, Mark. "The Forgotten Revolutionary War in the Middle States." The Johns Hopkins University Press 36, no. 1 (2008): 553-556.
  3. Williams, Oscar. "Slavery in Albany New York 1624-1827." Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 34, no. 2 (2010): 154-169.
  4. Woods, Joshua. "The 9/11 Effect: Toward a Social Science of the Terrorist Threat." The Social Science Journal 48, no. 1 (2011): 213-233.

Pre-Colonial History and the "Province of New York"[edit | edit source]

  1. Lamanna, Bernadette. "Charting His Own Course: The Remarkable Voyages of Henry Hudson." New York State Conservationist 64, no. 1 (2009):2-8.
  2. Longmore,Paul K. "They… Speak Better English Than the English Do: Colonialism and the Origins of National Linguistic Standardization in America". Early American Literature 40, no. 2 (2005): 279-314.
  3. Sandra, Cleary V. "Of No Party: The Independent Newspaper and the Rhetoric of Revolution, 1765-1775." Communication Studies 44, no. 2 (1993)157-167.
  4. Starna, William A. "Retrospecting the Origins of the League of the Iroquois." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 152, no. 3 (2008): 279-321.
  5. Warner, William Beatty. "Communicating Liberty: The Newspapers of the British Empire as a Matrix for the American Revolution." ELH 72, no. 2 (2005): 339-361.
  6. Vecsey, Christopher. "The Story and Structure of the Iroquois Confederacy." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 54, no. 1(1986): 79-106.

New York State: American Revolution to Civil War[edit | edit source]

  1. Cronin, Mary M. "The North is to Us Like the Grave." Journalism History 38, no. 2 (2013): 66-81.
  2. Cruz, Barbara C. and Jennifer Marques Patterson "In the Midst of Strange and Terrible Times: the New York City Draft Riots of 1863.” Social Education 69, no. 1 (2005): 10.
  3. Hauptman, Laurence M.. “John E. Wool and the New York City Draft Riots of 1863: A Reassessment.” Civil War History49, no. 4 (2003): 370-387.
  4. Man, Albon P., Jr. “Labor Competition in the New York Draft Riots of 1863.” The Journal of Negro History 36, no. 4 (1951): 377-405.
  5. Reaves, Wendy Wick. "Thomas Nast and the President." American Art Journal 19, no. 1 (1987): 61-71.
  6. Rutkowski, Alice. “Gender, Genre, Race, and Nation: The 1863 New York City Draft Riots.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 40, no. 2 (2007): 111-132.
  7. Taylor, Brian. "A Politics of Service." Civil War History 58, no. 4 (2012): 451-480.

Gilded Age New York State[edit | edit source]

  1. Hargadon, Andrew B. and Yellowlees Douglas. “When Innovations Meet Institutions: Edison and the Design of the Electric Light,” Administrative Science Quarterly 46, no. 3 (2001): 476-501.
  2. Miller, Wilbur. "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Policing America." History Today 50, no.8 (2000): 29-35.
  3. Walkowitz, Daniel J. "Working-Class Women in the Gilded Age: Factory, Community and Family Life Among Cohoes, New York, Cotton Workers." Journal Of Social History 5, no. 4 (1972): 464-490.

Modern New York[edit | edit source]

  1. Goodwin, Doris Kearns. "Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Time 154, no. 27 (1999): 96-98.
  2. Heller, Charles E.“The U.S.Army, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Leadership for World War II, 1933–1942.” Armed Forces & Society 36, no. 3 (2010):439-453.
  3. James, Harold. “1929: The New York Stock Market Crash.” Representations 110, no. 1 (2010): 129-144.
  4. Kindleberger, Charles, The World in Depression 1929-39 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973) 291-308.
  5. Klein, Maury. “The Stock Market Crash of 1929: A Review Article.” Business History Review 75, no.2 (2001): 325-351.
  6. Lundberg, Emma Octavia. “The New York State Temporary Emergency Relief Administration.” Social Service Review 6, no. 4 (1932): 545-566.
  7. Romer, Christina. “The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 105, no.3 (1990): 597-624.
  8. Sornette, D. “Critical Market Crashes.” Physics Reports 378, no. 1 (2003): 1-98.
  9. Slichter, Gertrude Almy. “Franklin D. Roosevelt's Farm Policy as Governor of New York State, 1928-1932.” Agricultural History Society 33, no. 4 (1989): 167-176.
  10. Watts, Duncan, Dictionary of American Government and Politics: The Wall Street Crash (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) 3.
  11. Willis, H. P. "Who Caused the Panic of 1929?." The North American Review 229, no. 2 (1930): 174-183.
  12. “1929 and All That: Echoes of the Depression,” The Economist 389 (2008): 76.

Post-War New York[edit | edit source]

  1. Biondi, Martha. "How New York Changes the Story of the Civil Rights Movement". Afro Americans in New York Life and History 31, no. 2 (2007): 15-32.
  2. Blaszcyk, Regina Lee. "Styling Synthetics: DuPont's Marketing of Fabrics and Fashion in Post-war America." Business History Review 80, no. 3 (2006): 485-528.
  3. Boutwell, Brett. “Morton Feldman’s Graphic Notation: Projections and Trajectories.” Journal of the Society for American Music 6, no. 4 (2012): 457-482.
  4. Darnton, John. “20,000 Youths Attend Rock ‘Festival for Peace’ Here”. The New York Times, August 7, 1970.
  5. Dean, Clarence. “Levittown, At 10, Wears New Face.” The New York Times, Monday, September 30, 1957.
  6. Eyerman, Ron and Andrew Jamison, "Social Movements and Cultural Transformation: Popular Music in the 1960s." Media Culture & Society 17, no. 3 (1995): 449-468.
  7. Kaufman, Michael T. “Woodstock Uptight As Hippies Drift In”. The New York Times, June 19, 1970.
  8. Potter, Sean. "August 15-18, 1969: Woodstock." Weatherwise 60, no. 4 (2007): 14-15.
  9. Ruff, Joshua. “For Sale: The American Dream.” American History 42, no. 5 (2007): 42-49.
  10. Sadi-nakar,Merav. "Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era." Ethnic and Racial Studies 35, no. 4 (2012): 788-789.
  11. Taylor, Clarence. "The Civil Rights Movement in New York City." "Afro-Americans in New York Life and History" 31, no. 2 (2007): p.7(7)
  12. Spence, Janet T. "Achievement American Style: The Rewards And Costs Of Individualism." American Psychologist 40, no. 12 (1985): 1285-1295.
  13. Taylor, Clarence. Introduction to special issue: “Introduction to Special Issue: The Civil Rights Movement in New York”. Afro Americans in New York Life and History 31, no. 2 (2007): 7-14.
  14. Hutcheson, Philo. Gasman, Marybeth. Sanders-McMurtry, Kijua. "Race and Equality in the Academy: Rethinking Higher Education Actors and the Struggle for Equality in the Post-World War II Period." (2011) : 124-147

New York State Since the Nixon Era[edit | edit source]

  1. "Afterthoughts; Occupy Wall Street." The Economist, September 22, 2012: 40.
  2. Corman,Hope and H. Naci Mocan. “A Time-Series Analysis of Crime Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City.” The American Economic Review 90, no. 3 (2000): 584-604
  3. Corman, Hope and Naci Mocan. “Carrots, Sticks, and Broken Windows.” Journal of Law & Economics 48, no. 1 (2005): 235-266.
  4. Darnton, “Stratagems in Suburbs,”
  5. Eagleton-Pierce, Matthew. 2001. "The Internet and the Seattle WTO Protests." Peace Review 13, no. 3 (2001): 331-337.
  6. Franklin Zimring, “The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (Studies in Crime and Public Policy),” New York: Oxford University Press, volume #87, no 3 & 4 (June 1 2012).
  7. Inglis, Ian. “The Continuing Story of John Lennon.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 22, no. 5 (2005):451-455.
  8. Kron, Josh. "Red State, Blue City." The Atlantic, November 30, 2012.
  9. Kruse, Robert J. “Contemporary Geographies of John Lennon.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 22, no. 5 (2005): 456-461.
  10. Raab, Selwyn. “Links to 200 Murders in New York City Last Year.” The New York Times, March 20, 1988.
  11. Selewyn Raab, “Felony Murder Here Rose Sharply in ’74: Slayings by Strangers Increased to 34% as Total Killings Declined Felony Murder Rose Here Sharply in ’74 but Over-All Slayings Declined,” The New York Times, March 23, 1975.
  12. Schneider, Nathan. "From Occupy Wall Street to Everywhere." Nation 293, no. 18 (2011): 13-17.
  13. Schwartz, M. “Pre-Occupied.” The New Yorker, 87, no. 38 (2011): 28.
  14. Verhovek, Sam Howe. "A Rural New York County Mired in Poverty: Rural New York County is Mired in Deep Poverty." The New York Times, April 18, 1992: 1, 24.
  15. White, Michael D. “The New York City Police Department, its Crime Control Strategies and Organizational Changes, 1970-2009.” Justice Quarterly 30, no. 6 (2012): 1-22.

New York State in Popular Culture[edit | edit source]

  1. Aldridge, Derrick P., and James B. Stewart. “Introduction: Hip Hop in History: Post, Present, and Future.” Journal of African History 90, no. 3 (2005): 190-195.
  2. Collier, Barnard L. "Tired Rock Fans Begin Exodus." The New York Times, August 18, 1969.
  3. Connell, Joanne. “Film Tourism – Evolution, Progress and Prospects.” Tourism Management 33, no. 5 (2012): 1007-1029.
  4. Cooper, Carol. “Disco Knights: Hidden Heroes of the New York Dance Music Underground.” Social Text 45 (1995): 159-165.
  5. Dessner, Lawrence J.. ""Woodstock," A Nation At War." The Journal of Popular Culture 4, no. 3 (1970): 769-776.
  6. Howard, John Robert. "The Flowering of the Hippie Movement." Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science 382 (1969): 43-55.
  7. Irving, Christopher. "A Land of Geeks and Goblins: New York Swarms with Graphic Artists, Comic-Book Stores, and Fictional Fighters Defending the Universe – or Conspiring to Destroy it – from their Manhattan HQ. Below, some notable locations." New York 42, no. 8 (2009): 88-89.
  8. Isserman, Maurice. "3 Days of Peace and Music, 40 Years of Memory." The Chronicle of Higher Education 55, no. 43 (2009).
  9. McAllister, Matthew Paul. "3 Cultural Argument and Organizational Constraint in the Comic Book Industry." Journal of Communication 40, no. 1 (1990): 56-57.
  10. Novack, Cynthia J. “Looking at Movement as Culture: Contact Improvisation to Disco.” TDR 32, no. 4 (1988): 102-119.
  11. Rugg, Rebecca. “What It Used To Be: Nostalgia and the State of the Broadway Musical.” Theatre 32, no. 2 (2002): 44-55.
  12. Sheehy, Michael. "Woodstock." Journalism History 37, no.4 (2012): 238-246.
  13. Stibal, Mary E. “Disco. Birth of a New Marketing System.” American Marketing Association 41, no. 4 (1977): 82-88.
  14. Tyrangiel, Josh. "Taking Stock." Time 174, no.7 (2009): 42.
  15. "Farmer with Soul." The New York Times, August 18, 1969.

Web Pages[edit | edit source]

New York State in Popular Culture[edit | edit source]

  1. Ghomeshi, Jian. "At home with Joni Mitchell." . Radio Q. CBC. 28 Aug. 2013. Radio http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2013/08/28/joni-mitchell-2/#igImgId_72443
  2. Shakur, Tupac. "Changes" Interscope Records, October 13 1998, New York: New York

Other Media[edit | edit source]

New York State: American Revolution to Civil War[edit | edit source]

  1. New York: A Documentary Film – Episode Two: Order and Disorder (1825-1865). DVD. Directed by Ric Burns. 1999; New York, NY: Steeplechase Films, 1999.