Newark is the largest city in New Jersey. Its history spans back to several decades dating to the early 1666s. A couple of decades later, during the Industrial Revolution, the city had greatly expanded. This resulted in massive popularity and Newark was newly crowned as the commercial, economic, and cultural hub of New Jersey.
Owing to this massive popularity, the population of the city started rapidly increasing. By the 20th century itself, the city had witnessed significant migration that reached its utmost peak during the 1950s. However, the popularity and craze of Newark weren’t consistent. During the sub-urbanization of the 20th century and the imminent urban decline, the city suffered greatly.
At this point, the city was rampant with corruption, constant economic issues, social strife, and multiple problems. As mentioned in the earlier section, the Great Depression resulted at the beginning of a decline in the urban population of the city. Manufacturers started leaving and as they left, they took plenty of jobs that maintained the crux of Newark.
By the 1960s, Newark turned to a poor urban hub that was wholly disconnected from the suburban middle-class. There was, however, a turning point at this stage. As the white population of the city started shrinking, the black population rapidly compensated for that. Within just one decade, the African American population of Newark became the majority. They mostly concentrated on the below-average housing projects and grappled with pertinent issues like unemployment. To make things worse, there was an underlying political disenfranchisement that took bigger shape with every passing day.
By the late 1960s, racial issues between the black communities and the white Police force of the city resulted in massive riots. This led to deaths, accidents, and property damage worth millions. As the economy of the city continued declining during the 1970s and 80s, the middle-class masses continued leaving Newark, leaving it only with the poverty-ridden and polarized communities.
Who Founded Newark?
Newark was founded by the Connecticut Puritans headed by Robert Treat who belonged to the New Haven Colony. Robert decided to establish a new city in a bid to strengthen his political power. Owing to the rapid development of unions and colonies, he assumed his power to be in threat.
Before getting the status and recognition of a city, Newark was a colony with stringent Church rules on the lines of the Church policies of Milford, Connecticut. Robert initially wanted to name the city Milford. However, another preacher and settler, Abraham Pierson had already adopted this name. He proposed a new name after the ew Ark of Covenant’. This phrase eventually shortened to ew Ark’, and that is how the city’s name came to be.
During the early settlements, both Treat, and his party purchased the Passaic River-based property in exchange for gunpowder, lead, axes, coats, guns, and pistols. They had purchased from the Hackensack Indians who inhabited the land at that point.
Treat along with three other settlers made the first four houses in the region. These houses, currently standing at the intersection of Broad and Market Street are known as our Corners’. The entire city was controlled by the Puritan communities until Josiah Ogden decided to break off from the Church and dismantle the entire Puritan theocracy. This happened after he was reprimanded by the Church for breaking the Sabbath.
Following this incident, Ogden instigated riots and revolts that eventually caused the Puritan system in Newark to wobble and finally diminish. It took almost seven decades for eliminating the final elements of theocracy from Newark. This was marked by Non-Protestants being given the right for holding office.
After a series of turmoil, riots, protests and political instability, Newark finally started reviving during the early 2000s. It is still one of the major distribution points for the East Coast and houses the Newark Liberty International Airport. It is important to note that this is one of the three leading airports servicing the New York City. The Mayor of the city also sanctioned the development of baseball courts and shopping malls to retain popularity and strengthen the economy of the city. Owing to these developments, Newark is currently reviving. The city attracts tourists and its corruption and crime rate have been significantly reduced with proper management and organization.