History of New York City
History 4712
Midterm Prep
Fall 2001

Structure of Exam:
The actual exam will consist of two parts.  There will be NO CHOICES
in either section.
Part I 50 Points 10 Identifications [5 points each]
Part II 50 Points 1 Essay

Possible Essays:  [On the day of the exam, you will be presented with
only ONE of these essays, and will have to answer that essay fully and

1. Discuss the origins of New York City, 1609-1860.  Why did the
Dutch choose New York City?  How did the Dutch origins shape the
future of the City?  Make sure you bring into your answer
geographical, political, and socioeconomic considerations.

2. What does the building of the Erie Canal reveal about
politics, economy, and society of early New York?

3. Pick a neighborhood in New York City, perhaps one that you
have visited on one of your walking tours for this class.  If you were
Jane Jacobs, how would you assess this neighborhood?  What shaped the
structure and character of the particular area you chose?  Evaluate
the principles outlined in Jacobs' book, and discuss her attitudes
toward city planning.

4. By analyzing past urban problems and crises faced by the
people of New York City, can you put in historical perspective the
recent terrorist attack on the World Trade Center?  You may wish to
reflect upon specific city epidemics, fires, or other disasters, as
well as subsequent efforts to rebuild the metropolis and make it more

5. How do you explain the rise in infectious diseases in New York
City in the 19th century?  Be sure in your answer to address
immigration / population issues and the problems of an expanding

6. Why and how did New York play a central role in the American