New York City, also known as NYC, NY, The Big Apple, Gotham, or just New York, is a city on the United States East Coast and one of the largest cities in the world (7th place) and the most populous US city, with 8,337,000 people. It is also known for its diversity, with people from every country living there and bringing their culture with them. The city had quite a history of organized crime and gangs before the 1980s, when Mayor Ed Koch cleaned up the city, and the city of Los Angeles took its place as gangland's capital.
New York City was founded in 1624 by Dutchmen who wanted land to sell their trading goods, naming it New Amsterdam. The city prospered, and the Dutch explorer Henry Hudson later explored the Hudson River and the Dutch civilization grew in America. In 1667 the British captured New Amsterdam from the Dutch in the Anglo-Dutch Wars and the state was renamed after the northern English city of York, with the city coming to be known as New York City.
The English were forced out in 1782 in the American War of Independence, with the colonists taking over and founding the United States. From then on, more people settled in the city, creating five cities: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
In the early 1840s, the first wave of immigrants came from Ireland with the famine, founding several gangs, including the Dead Rabbits, and bringing Catholicism to the USA. In 1848, following revolutions across Europe, the Germans began immigrating, along with some other nationalities, including a few Italians. The immigration transformed America from a Methodist state to a multi-religious nation, with the great immigration occurring from the 1890s until the 1920s. By 1901, millions of Europeans had come from their homes to get better jobs, with immigrants mainly coming from Italy, Ireland, and Russia, with most of the Russians actually being Jews who experienced pogroms. In 1898 the cities were united as New York City, turned into five boroughs and united by subway lines and bridges.
As political events changed in the other parts of the Old World, more people arrived in the city. With the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, many Chinese came to Los Angeles and San Francisco, but some arrived in New York to settle in a more-famous city. Chinatown was born in Manhattan, while other enclaves such as Little Italy, Little Brazil, Little Syria, Yorkville, Hell's Kitchen, Spanish Harlem, Italian Harlem, and Little Germany in Manhattan, Little Poland in Brooklyn, and Little Liberia in Staten Island.
As far back as the 1840s, Irish gangs started to form, with the Dead Rabbits becoming powerful, and American gangs formed, such as the Natives, who hated the Irish immigrants, made up of the descendants of British settlers. The 1890s brought Italian, Jewish, and other gangs, with the Italians being the most powerful, although the Yiddish Black Hand and Eastman Gang of the Jewish were also powerful. The gangs mainly fought gangs of rival races, with the Italians hating the Irish and fighting a series of wars, culminating in the Colosimo-White Hand Gang war on the Brooklyn docks that resulted in Richard Lonergan's death.
The city's organized crime was cleaned up by the police, although the Five Families of the Italian Mafia are still strong in their territories, especially in their golden age in the 1930s, and their reign of terror in the 1940s-1970s. Now, crime is generally taken over by gangs such as the Latin Kings and MS-13, as well as some chapters of The Lost MC and Angels of Death, and some eastern sets of the Crips and Bloods.
- List of Brooklyn neighborhoods
- List of Queens neighborhoods
- List of The Bronx neighborhoods
- List of Manhattan neighborhoods