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Trends in New York City

HPLC 2803. HONORS: TRENDS IN NYC. (3 Credits)

This course surveys the history of New York City from its 17th century origins as a Dutch colony to its 21st century status as a cosmopolitan post-industrial city. The course will proceed chronologically, but will focus on several themes: the people of the city, in particular their origins in waves of immigration and internal migration; the use of space in the city, especially the social meaning and rise and fall and rise of distinct neighborhoods; urban politics, including the recurring conflict between political machines and reform movements; social problems such as crime and disorder; and the tension between the city as a seat of power and wealth, on the one hand, and as a site of poverty and dislocation, on the other. In addition, important events in the city's history will be discussed, including Leisler's Rebellion, the slave revolts of 1712 and 1741, the 1863 Draft Riots, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, consolidation of the five boroughs, the 1970s fiscal crisis, and September 11. One week will be devoted to the controversial role of Robert Moses in building the modern city, as well as alternative visions to his. The goal of the course is to enable students to view New York four-dimensionally, with layers in time as well as space.