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Exploration of North America and New Netherlands Edit
European contact began with the exploration of the New Jersey shore by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524, At the time of European contact, the area was populated by many tribes of the Lenape. The New Jersey region soon came under the control of the Swedes and the Dutch resulting in a struggle in which the Dutch were victorious. However, the Dutch colony of New Netherlands was seized by the English in 1664.
British Land Edit
From the colony of New Netherland, the Dutch interfered with Britain's transatlantic trade with its North American colonies. Insisting that John Cabot had been the first to discover North America, the British granted the land that now encompasses New Jersey to the Duke of York, who ordered Colonel Richard Nicolls to take over the area. In September 1664, a British fleet under Nicolls' command sailed into what is now New York Harbor and seized the colony. The city of New Amsterdam was renamed New York (after the Duke of York).
Foundation of Gotham Edit
In 1665, a year after the british take-over, a young british aristocrat called Victor Hays took twenty families to establish a harbor-like settlement in an abandoned dutch outpost in South Jersey Island (original name for the location where the city is now) which he called Haysville. However, during the first months of construction, there where heavy storms and a number of accidents that took many lives. Later on there was an indian raid that provoked a fire that destroyed everything they had built. The villagers started to call it the "God Damned City".
Hays died in 1668 after a long disease and was succeded in goverment by his son, Peter Hays, after the town had begun to develop again. Receiving word from Britain that the city couldn't be reffered to as "God Damned", young Hays decided to change the name of the town to one that was similar phonetically. And given that the indians reminded him of the stories about barbarians in Europe, especially the goths, he renamed Haysville as "Gothamville".
Gothamville started to develop quickly thanks to the port and the transatlantic commerce, and suddenly became "Gotham City". However, it's greatest expansion would come during the industrial revolution.
In 1682, Patrick Lawrence Wayne, member of one of the families that has originally come with Hays, after acheiving some fame in the managing of the docks, gained a royal permit to build his own independent trade company. The company became very succesful, trading more efficiently some products for which normal trade was slow. Later on, Patrick began to invest in other business and the famous Wayne fortune started to grow. In 1721, by the time the town was becoming a city, Wayne created the "Wayne Trading Company".
American Revolution Edit
Even if New Jersey saw major events in the American Revolutionar War, Gotham itself didn't see direct action on land, except for small skirmishes in 1780. However, it helped establish a privateer system in the Atlantic that was a great success for the american cause.
The War came to an end in 1783, and Gotham was now part of the newly formed United States of America.
Industrial Revolution Edit
In the nineteenth century, Gotham became the cradle of industrial revolution in America. The city began to grow exponentially, and would, by the end of the century, the largest city in America, and later in the world, when the USA became a superpower after WWI).
In 1832, Abraham Wayne, grandson of Patrick, creates "Wayne Enterprises", inviesting in all areas of this new technologies, including many of Thomas Edison's creations at the end of the century.
Abraham built Wayne Manor in 1850 and used the caverns below it as part of theUnderground Railroad, before and during the Civil War.
Twentyeth Century Edit
Gotham and companies like Wayne Enterprises played a grat part in shipbuilding and manufacturing during World War I.
After the war, Gotham entered a prosperous state, and, with America becoming a superpower, it finally became the largest city in the world, due to the development and a huge amount of inmigration.
Later, because of its strategic location on the East Coast, Gotham played an important role the United States' Cold War defense. 14 Nike anti-aircraft missile batteries in two groups were constructed to protect the metropolitan areas around Gotham, Philadelphia and New York City. Also, a regional command center was built in the city outskirts . By 1974, the missile sites became inactive. In addition to these, air defense radar sites, bases for interceptor aircraft, anti-aircraft gun batteries, surface-to-air missile sites, and command and control facilities were constructed to defend against an attack by long range, nuclear-armed aircraft of the Soviet Air Force. Wayne Enterprises made a lot of military contracts in this period, making a great deal of fortune. However, Frederick Wayne dies in 1968, and his son Thomas (Bruce's father) becomes the new CEO, and due to his more idealistic and pacifist personality, breaks many of this contracts, in favour of a more civil development centered policy. Some contracts are kept and continue over the years, but their R&D results end up being just prototypes (that Bruce would tater use as the Batman).
During the seventies several gangs become important mobs and the city moral decays as criminality raises. Examples of this are the Falcone family and the Triads.
In the eighties, Gotham enters a Second Great Depression that limits only to the city and the New Jersey area, that's why it's also known as the "Gotham Great Depression". What happened was that in this period five companies domained the local market: Wayne Enterprises, SynComm, the Gotham Commerce Federation (G.C.F), Lyman Funds, and the Oceanic Corporation. Many of the people in Gotham had their savings invested in stocks in one or more of this companies. Several fake-named groups had a lot of money invested too (a cospiracy by the League of Shadows). In the early eighties, the cospirators start to circulate rumours that this companies were unstable. In 1982, they massively withdraw all the money they had invested, leading G.C.F., Lyman and Oceanic into bankrupcy. More than one third of the city's inhabitants lose their jobs and savings. The city enters an economic depression, and even the financial aid from Washington doens't seem to help. Crime, that was already a main issue, raises exponentially. Thomas Wayne tries to help the city with various projects, including a cheap railway system, all of which almost leads his company also to bankrupcy. This depression would last, with ups and downs until the end of the century, with criminals now owning the city, and Gotham being known as the most decadent city in the western world. One of the facts that kept Gotham going was the murder of Thomas Wayne and his wife. This events inspired the wealthy to try to save the city.
Coming of the 21th Century and the appearance of the Batman Edit
In 2007, with Gotham partly recovered from the depression, but owned by crime, suffers a big surprising shock when a masked vigilante known as the Batman takes on the Underworld, starting by bringing down the leader of the Italian Mafia, Carmine Falcone.
A few days after his appearance, the League of Shadows unleash a terrorist strike in an attempt to destroy the city but they are stopped by him.
Since then there is an increase in gang wars between the remaining criminal leaders and groups for the control of their territories: The Triads, Barkow, Yuri Dimitrov (The Russian), and Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (The Penguin) aided by Edward Nashton (The Riddler), but they are all stopped by the Batman.
One year later, desperate, some criminal families (Salvatore Maroni and The Chechen) would turn the Joker, an act that would lead to what is known as the "Joker's Reign of Terror". Betrayed by the Joker, this groups lose not only their leaders but also their power, which, togheter with the Dent Act leads to the dissapearence of organizad crime in Gotham.
The Dent Act and 8 years of "peace"Edit
The Siege of GothamEdit