New York, an American City, 1783-1803: A Study of Urban Life

New York, an American City, 1783-1803: A Study of Urban Life

New York, an American City, 1783-1803: A Study of Urban Life

New York, an American City, 1783-1803: A Study of Urban Life

Excerpt

This is a study of the extent to which the successful outcome of the War for Independence influenced the development of the City of New York in the closing years of the eighteenth century. The evacuation of the war-ridden town by the British troops in 1783 marked the advent of an era of unprecedented change, the results of which by the turn of the century were apparent in the government, the politics, and the economic and social life of the city. It was a period of extraordinary achievement and innovation, fraught with significance not only for New York but for all America. Once the Revolution was over a transformation set in that by the end of the old and the beginning of the new century placed New York first in population among the cities of the United States, refashioned the machinery of municipal government to meet the problems of an expanding community, swept the Republican Party into complete control of the Common Council for the first time in the city's history, made the city and its citizens powerful factors in determining the political destinies of state and nation, raised New York to foremost rank among the commercial cities of the country, and fixed the character of the metropolis as a leading center of American cultural life. In 1932 the Committee on the Planning of Research of the American Historical Association stressed the need for studies of urban life and urbanization as forces in the rise of American civilization. As a contribution to what it is hoped will be a growing literature on the subject, this book has been written.

To Professor Evarts B. Greene, of Columbia University, I owe a special debt of gratitude for his critical suggestions, advice, and encouragement at every stage in the preparation . . .

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