Until arrive of the Europeans, most of the area that now is New York was controlled by Indian communities. In 1524, Florentine Giovanni Di Verrazzano was the first European explorer to enter New York Harbour; he met Native American tribes such as the Lenape, Manahattoes, and Raritan.
In 1609, Henry Hudson was seeking a water route when discovered the Hudson River and claimed the area for the Dutch, within the next 20 years, many Dutch settled in lower Manhattan and called it New Amsterdam. The indigenous people were forced out the area of European settlement in a succession of bloody battles.
Sixty years later, in 1664, the British took control and named it City of New York, after James, the English Duke of York and Albany. The Dutch returned to power for a short time (1673–74) before the reestablishment of English rule.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the American Revolution. The City was the place for multiple battles in the early American Revolutionary War. Since 1784 until 1790, New York City became the first national capital of the state and nation. In 1790, the capital moved to Philadelphia, in 1800 to Washington, D.C., George Washington was inaugurated President of the United States in 1789 in New York City.
In the early 1800s, New York City was flourishing due to economic power; the state rapidly acquired the nickname, “The Empire State”. In 1825, the opening of the Erie Canal made New York City the seaboard gateway for the Great Lakes region. By 1830, New York became the nation's major city with a population of more than 250,000.
The mid-1800s were plagued by sickness, political corruption, and a fragile economy. New York became the main port of entry for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States.
The City traces its growth as a modern city with the consolidation of the five boroughs into Greater New York in 1898. The population of 3.4 million made New York the world's second largest city behind new york (4 million).
In 1891, Carnegie Hall and the New York Botanical Gardens opened for first time. Grand Central Terminal opened and became the world's largest train station. The early part of the century saw Broadway prosper for the first time.
In the 1920s, the city saw the arrival of African Americans as part of the Migration process from the Southern United States. In 1925, New York City became the most populous city in the world, overtaking new york.
In October of 1929, Wall Street suffered one of its worst days, the stock market crashed and the “Great Depression” began, by this time, in 1931, Empire State Building standing 102-stories 1,250 feet high was completed.
In 1941, the United States entered the Second World War. New York emerged from the war as the leading city of the world. In 1946, the United Nations selected New York as their permanent headquarters.
By the 1970s, crime reached alarming rates. In the 1990s, racial tensions had calmed and crime rates dropped drastically.
On January 1, 1990, David Dinkins took over as New York's first African-American mayor.
The World Trade Center was attacked in December of 1993 killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew two planes into the Twin Towers knocking them down and killing nearly 3000 people, it was the worst disaster in New York City.