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20th Century: Domination of NYC

NYC dominated the nation in terms of trade, finance, popular culture, and communications. In fact, more than 1/4 of the 300 largest corporation were headquartered in NY. The five boroughs were established. With this domination came a fair share of struggles. The Great Depression led to a rise in unemployment rates, specifically among the working class. Furthermore, the city’s worst maritime disaster, the excursion steamship General Slocum catching fire and sinking and killing more than 1000 people, occurred. In 1911, 146 garment workers were killed after a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village. The city established advancements in the fire department and implemented regulations and building codes.

The first NYC subway company, Interborough Rapid Transit, was established and railroads operating outside of Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station were seen. Furthermore, the city became a destination for immigrants. One example is the African Americans who sheltered in NYC during the Great Migration from rural America. The Harlem Renaissance also thrived during this time. The city’s demographics began to stabilize, and labor unions helped the working class gain middle class status and affluence.

A summary of the immigration patterns over 400 years can be seen below: