Lecture 1: Dutch (1625-1665)
The first Europeans to settle permanently at the mouth of the Hudson River came for profit and established a thriving trading post they called New Amsterdam. Although the settlement only lasted a few decades, it left a lasting legacy on the geography, culture, and identity of what would become New York.
Lecture 2: English (1665-1775)
From the conquest of New Amsterdam to the American Revolution, New York grew from a minor colonial outpost into a bustling city, one of the largest in the British Empire. This growth was primarily driven by migration from the mother country as people flocked to the opportunity offered by a fresh start in the New World.
Lecture 3: German and Irish (1776-1850)
In the first half of the 19th century, New York's population exploded 20 fold, driven by the opening of the Erie canal and unprecedented industrial growth. While domestic immigration accounted for some of the thousands of new workers chasing new opportunities, the majority of them came from Western Europe, in particular Germany and Ireland, seeking to escape political unrest and famine respectively.
Lecture 4: Chinese (1840-1880)
The first of America's immigrant waves to come from outside Europe, the Chinese arrived first on the West Coast, but like the other groups before them, eventually made their way in droves to New York seeking opportunity. Despite facing brutal discrimination, they persevered and produced one of the city's most enduring and iconic ethnic enclaves, Chinatown.
Lecture 5 Eastern European and Jewish (1880-1925)
With the opening of Ellis Island and the symbolic gift of the Statue of Liberty, New York cemented its place as the world's haven for refugees, not only in the popular imagination and in reality. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, large numbers of Eastern Europeans, including many Ashkenazi Jews left the Old World's stagnation and oppression for the promise of the American dream. In the process, they made New York the largest city on Earth.
Lecture 6 Italian (1900-1930)
Few immigrant communities in America are as universally associated with New York as the Italians. Arriving by the millions in the early 20th century, the Italian community not only gave New York Little Italy, and dozens of its most famous political and cultural leaders, but also the city's most iconic food tradition, New York pizza.
Lecture 7: African American (1915-1970)
The Great Migration of African Americans out of the South and into the cities of the Northeast and Midwest permanently reshaped urban America, and New York is no exception. Following jobs and opportunities, the city's new Black residents overcame discrimination to give the city some its most enduring cultural engines from New York Jazz to the Harlem Rennaissance to East Coast Hip Hop.
Lecture 8: Caribbean and Latin American (1960-the present)
New York remains a vibrant center of immigration even to this day, welcoming tens of thousands of new arrivals every year. Since the 1960s the most numerous of the city's immigrant communities have come from the Caribbean and Latin America, including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Colombia. Like so many groups before them, they have added new food, music, art, and holiday traditions to the already rich tapestry of life in New York City.