In 1605 the first Europeans came to Manhattan island from Holland. In 1626, Peter Minuit, governor of the Dutch settlements in North America known as New Amsterdam bought the island from the Native Americans for a few glass necklaces, valued about twenty-four dollars today. In 1609 Henry Hudson entered the River of the Mountains. In 1613 the Dutch built only four small houses on Manhattan as a fur trading station. It was not until 1623, ten years more, that they started a real settlement, town of New Amsterdam in honour of the capital of their country in Europe. In 1644, when the English acquired the island, the village New Amsterdam was renamed . Today Manhattan is the heart of America's business and culture. It is the most important banking centre in the world. Fewer than two million of the city's eight million people live on the island.
In 1789 on the steps of Federal Hall George Washington took the oath of office when he became the first president of the United States of America. During the years 1785 to 1790 New York was the capital of the United States. Due to its natural advantages as a harbour, and the rising tide of immigration from all parts of the world the role of New York as the leading city accelerated. Villages grew throughout the entire area.
For the visitor New York means skyscrapers, tremendous traffic, dazzling neon advertisements. Manhattan is full of parallel rows of buildings, those running from north to south are called avenues while those running from east to west are called streets. The avenues and streets have only numbers instead of names. Wall Street from its very beginning became the market place of money. It was here that a walled stockade was erected to repulse the Indians, hence its name. As the city expanded the stockade was dismantled as of no further use, but the market place for the purchase of bonds and securities remained.
Like every big city, New York has its own traffic system. Traffic jams can be terrible, and it is usually quicker to go by subway. It goes to almost every corner of Manhattan. New York is an international city, the place to try something new. It may be an experience you will never forget.
settlement - колония
necklace - ожерелье
value - стоимость
governor - губернатор
skyscrapers - небоскребы
dazzling neon advertisements - сверкающие неоновые рекламы
market place - рынок
stockade -укрепление, форт
dismantle - разобрать
purchase - покупка
bonds - облигации
securities - ценные бумаги
traffic jams - дорожные пробки
subway - метро
1. How did the Europeans acquire Manhattan?
2 Were the Dutch interested in the development of New Amsterdam?
3. Why was New Amsterdam renamed?
4. What is Manhattan today?
5. What happened in New York in 1789?
6. When was New York the capital of the United States?
7. What accelerated the role of New York as the leading city?
8. What does New York mean for visitors?
9. What can you say about New York traffic system?