New York

From One New To Another New

A Wall On A Street

Today’s Wall Street used to be just literally a wall. The wall was located on the island of Manhattan and marked the northern edge of settlement in 1660. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Lower Manhattan became a business and commercial center. Many merchants, lawyers, brokers, and ship masters resided in the original New Amsterdam.

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Two Groups, One Fight

Our colony of New York used to be New Netherland. The colony was composed of both Dutch and English. The Dutch were mainly in New York City and along the Hudson while the English were on Long Island. Our first governor tried to keep both sides happy. Our governors promised the Dutch religious freedom and gave land to the English, but failure to regulate trade and direct the economy didn’t go over well with many of us merchants. This in turned harmed the economy that we did have. In order to combat this, King James allowed us to have an elective assembly in 1683. We had our first meeting where a “Charter of Liberties and Privileges” was drawn up. This charter would have given us civil liberties, right to self-government, freedom in our social lives, right to vote, and a trial by jury. The king refused our charter because he said it would give us more rights than any other colony and our assembly could undermine the Parliament’s power. The refusal cause fighting among us and slowed our population growth.

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