Wondering Why?

Why Is New York Called The Empire State?

Why Is New York Called The Empire State?

Gotham city, the big apple, the city that never sleeps and the empire state, to mention just but a few, are all nicknames that are used to refer to New York City. The most common being the empire state and the big apple. The origin of most of these nicknames, are well established and known like the nickname Gotham that stems from the comic of the batman series.

Unfortunately, no one really knows where the nickname empire state hailed from or who had been the first to refer to New York City as the empire state. However some theories by historians have been put across to try and explain where the name originated from.

First, it is speculated that the name originated from the first president of America, George Washington. In a letter that he wrote to the mayor of New York City in the mid 1780’s he referred to New York City as the seat of the emperor. This, many believe is where the city got the nickname empire state. This is a documented fact and is as close as to understanding the origin of this nickname.

The other theory states that the name was coined by the early English settlers. York was originally an English city. The English men then decided to name the city New York as an extension of their ‘empire’, the English empire, and as a sign of their extension of power. This is also believed as to be the reason why the city is referred to as the empire state.

The other theory suggests that the city got its name from the fact that it was well endowed with vast wealth and riches, especially when the city overtook the well established Virginia City by then, in terms of wealth and development.

In addition, it is not true as many have believed that the nickname was coined from the empire state building.


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