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about Jersey City

Jersey City is a city located in Hudson County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 240,055. It is the county seat of Hudson County.

Jersey City is on the Hudson River, across from New York City. The second largest city in the state and a commercial and industrial center surpassed only by Newark, it is a port of entry and a manufacturing center. With 11 mi (17.7 km) of waterfront and significant rail connections, Jersey City is an important transportation terminal point and distribution center. It has railroad shops, oil refineries, warehouses, and plants that manufacture a diverse assortment of products, such as chemicals, petroleum and electrical goods, textiles, and cosmetics. The city has benefited from its position across from the island of Manhattan, and many Jersey City companies are extensions of those originating in New York City. Further developments have included increased housing and shopping areas; other parts of the city, however, remain run-down after years of commercial inactivity. A large number of various ethnic groups, particularly Hispanics, Filipinos, and Indians, have made their home in Jersey City.

The acting mayor of Jersey City is L. Harvey Smith, who has recently announced that he will run for the unexpired term of the late Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham, the first African American mayor of Jersey City, who died of a heart attack in May 2004 a year before his first four-year term was about to end.

The city is presently governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.

Jersey City geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.7 km² (21.1 mi²). 38.6 km² (14.9 mi²) of it is land and 16.1 km² (6.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 29.37% water. Jersey City is bordered to the east by the Hudson River, to the north by Union City and Hoboken, to the west by Kearny and Newark, and to the south by Bayonne.

Jersey City history

The land comprising what is now known as Jersey City was wilderness inhabited by the Lenni Lenape until 1609 when Henry Hudson and failing in that mission, anchored his small vessel in Sandy Hook. After spending nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants, he returned to Holland. The Dutch organized the United New Netherlands Company to manage this new territory and named it New Netherlands. In June of 1623, New Netherlands became a Dutch province. Soon after, Michael Pauw, a burgermeister of Amsterdam and Lord of Achtienhoven, received a grant on the condition that he would plant a colony in New Netherlands of not fewer than fifty persons, within four years. He chose the west bank of the Hudson River and purchased the land from the Indians. This land grant is dated November 22, 1630 and is the earliest known conveyance for what is now Jersey City.

The first settlement was at Communipaw, an area adjacent to present-day Liberty State Park. A house was built here in 1633 for Jan Evertsen Bout, superintendent of the colony, which was then called Pavonia. Shortly after, another house was built at Harsimus (near the present-day corner of Fourth Street and Marin Boulevard). This second house became the home of Cornelius Van Vorst, who succeeded Bout as superintendent. These were the first two houses in Jersey City.

Jersey City was incorporated as The City of Jersey in 1820, and reincorporated under its present name in 1838.

Jersey City was a dock and manufacturing town for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Much like New York City, Jersey City has always been a landing pad for new immigrants to the United States. In its heyday before World War II, German, Irish, and Italian immigrants found work at Colgate, Chloro, or Dixon, the pencil maker. However, the largest employer at the time was the railroads, whose national networks dead-ended on the Hudson River. Until 1911, when the Pennsylvania Railroad Company built the first tunnel under the river, rail passengers transferred in Jersey City to ferries headed to Manhattan or to trolleys that fanned out through Hudson County and beyond. The last streetcar was decommissioned in 1949 and today, only one rail line, the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad, survives, with its terminus in Hoboken.

From 1917 to 1947, it was ruled by Mayor Frank Hague, whose name is synonymous with the early 20th century urban American blend of political favoritism and social welfare known as bossism. "Hanky-Panky," as he was known then, ruled the city with an iron fist while, at the same time, moulding governors, United States senators, and judges to his whims. He was known to be loud and vulgar, and would often dismiss his enemies as "reds" or "commies." Citizens of Jersey City dared not speak out against him for fear of being harassed by Hague's police or being ostracized or publicly embarassed in some way. Hague also lived like a millionaire, despite having an average annual salary of $8,000. He was able to maintain a fourteen-room duplex apartment in Jersey City, a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, and a palatial summer home in Deal, New Jersey, while travelling to Europe yearly in the royal suites of the best liners.

The city developed a reputation for corruption, even after Hague left office. By the 1970s, the city was caught up in a wave of urban decline that saw many of its wealthy residents fleeing to the suburbs, and led to an influx of working class citizens scarred by rising crime, civil unrest, political corruption, and economic hardship. From 1950 to 1980, Jersey City lost 75,000 residents, and from 1975 to 1982, it lost 5,000 jobs, or 9 percent of its workforce. The city experienced a surge of violent crime during this time period. New immigrants sought refuge in Jersey City because of low housing costs, despite the fact that many of Jersey City's neighborhoods were decaying and suffering from abandonment and neglect.

However, the city is quickly undergoing a renaissance. As the Waterfront continues to grow, Jersey City's downtown neighborhoods are experiencing rapid gentrification as yuppies and other professionals working in Manhattan are beginning to move in. The downtown area has a significant number of Victorian brownstones, and at prices that are far lower than one would find, for a similar home, in Manhattan, or even Brooklyn.

Additionally, many financial corporations including Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch, and the investment firm Charles Schwab have relocated to Jersey City or expanded their offices in the city since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jersey City, New Jersey".

This city is also known as: Jersey City.

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