New York City, growing from the small Dutch commercial settlement of New Amsterdam early in the seventeenth century into a bustling multi-cultural city of more than 8 million and metropolis of more than 18 million by the twentieth century, is a place with many stories. A semester of 14 weeks can only touch on some of them.
This course will focus on the social history of the city – the peoples who have built the city and competing efforts by different numbers to authorize their dreams for the city. As arguably the capital for global capitalism today, one focus of this course will seek to plot its development and legacy for the shaping of the city. A more particular and related local story will be studied as well, however: the political and cultural interests, ideologies and players who shape and reshape the city as Manhattan, as New York and as the Metropolis.
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