- The Prehistory Of Brooklyn
- European Settlement In Brooklyn
Brooklyn, the twin city of Ny, includes a rich and illustrious history. The swampy land continues to be inhabited for centuries, but at various points ever, the borough and adjacent city were abandoned because of changing rapidly climate conditions. Owing to its access to the East River, Atlantic, and inland land bridges, Brooklyn was geographically destined for greatness. Today, when the borough was ranked as a city, it would be the third most populous city in the United States, following La and Chicago. Coney Island, the indication of American decadence, were built with a transformative effect on the borough, and marked the beginnings of large-scale de-industrialization, turning the once glorious port city right into a hub for counter-cultural currents.
The Prehistory Of Brooklyn
There is some scant archeological evidence suggesting that humans had settled the area around 10,000 years back. This primary wave of inhabitants left out hardly any to become remembered by, though the fact that a few of their artifacts have survived for so many millennia suggests that these were a fairly advanced civilization.
About time these mysterious, prehistoric Brooklynites lived, the earth underwent an extreme and severe drop in temperature — a global ice age that lasted for more than a thousand years. There are several theories to describe what triggered the ice age, the most compelling to be the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, but ultimately, nobody really knows what went down. However, scientists have deciphered the outcome that the ice age and subsequent climatic change had around the flora and fauna of Earth. All the Pleistocene megafauna were destroyed, including mammoths, saber-toothed cats, woolly rhinoceroses, and, surprisingly, North American camels. It's likely the early inhabitants of Brooklyn were forced off the land by drastic climate change at the outset of the Holocene Epoch.
The second wave of settlers arrived about 3,000 years back. Since there has not been an extreme global event since the Younger Dryas Ice Age, the more recent inhabitants left lots of evidence behind. A large number of arrowheads and other such objects have been found throughout the borough.
It isn't known exactly who the 2nd wave of inhabitants were, but they were possibly early ancestors of the Lenape Indians, who were present in the region when the Dutch found its way to Ny. The Lenape were using complex slash and burn techniques to cultivate vegetation and lift livestock. They also collected seafood from the coasts, which in Brooklyn range from the modern coastal neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Red Hook, and Coney Island.
Thanks to the abundance of seafood and arable land, the Lenape could support a relatively large population when compared with hunter-gatherer tribes elsewhere — meaning that the characteristic population density of Brooklyn predates industrialization.
European Settlement In Brooklyn
The first European to reach the shores of New York was Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer working for the King of France. In 1524, he was met by thousands of curious Lenape who greeted his ship in fleets of canoes. Verrazzano named the land New Angoulême, which was the very first European name given to New York and Brooklyn.
It was only until 1613 that a non-Native settled in the region. Juan Rodrigues was at control of establishing trading post with respect to the Dutch. Right after, the New Netherland Company was established, which officially turned Ny into a fiscal hub. The Company was renamed the Dutch West India Company in 1623, and the land was officially settled en mass because of the expansion of commercial opportunities.
While the Lenape were thriving just before Western contact, their population quickly dwindled after trading with the Dutch for a few decades. The Dutch exploited the truth that the Lenape used Wampum as a currency. They debased the precious beads in order to make method for industrialized barter.
The commitment of guns and metal tools from the Dutch created internal pressure in the Lenape economy, resulting in the men abandoning hunting and fishing. Instead, all of them started trapping beavers and exchanging their pelts for European technologies. This created severe economic dependencies because the Lenape economy and culture were overly specialized — the tribe was not capable of sustaining itself without trading using the Dutch. The Lenape, now weakened, vulnerable, and atomized by the specialization of labor, began to decline in population, often starving due to the inequalities developed by European commercial practices. Quite soon, all of the beavers in the area were trapped and killed, therefore the natives moved upstate in which the wildlife was relatively untouched.
At the time that New Amsterdam (Manhattan) become a commercial trading hub, Brooklyn was mostly settled by Dutch farmers — similar to in modernity how people who work in Manhattan live in Brooklyn to possess much more of a residential experience. By 1645, the borough of Brooklyn was officially named "Breuckelen" following the merchant town in the Netherlands. Though it is debated, the name "Breuckelen" probably translates to "Broken Land".
New York grew in economic prominence within the next many years, attracting migrants from all over the planet. In 1664, the British finally arrived. Interestingly, they first touched land in Brooklyn, at Gravesend Bay. Quickly, with little resistance, the British captured Dutch ferries and army infrastructure. The infantrymen were sent back to the Netherlands and within a year, the British renamed New Amsterdam "New York", following the Duke of York, and anglicized the area names to sound more English. Breuckelen came into existence referred to as Brooklyn, however the new name was just formalized later within the 18th century.
At the time from the British arrival, the Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam was Peter Stuyvesant. He was incredibly unpopular one of the immigrants and workers from the city, which made things simple for the British.
Fast-forward towards the 1880s, Brooklyn had outpaced Manhattan in terms of industrial output. Manhattan was beginning to de-industrialize, becoming more and more of the financial and repair hub. Brooklyn however, acquired the slack and was handling more tonnage than Manhattan. The main industries were sugar refining and ironworks, however these industries were already starting to wane and move inland with the construction from the cargo trains. Like a manifestation of changing times, the amusement park at Coney Island was built-in 1890, officially marking the transition of Brooklyn from the gritty factory city to some residential suburb.