New York City : A Comparison Of New York City

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In the early 19th Century, authors Charles Dickens and Alexander Mackay traveled to New York City to learn about the people and their growing infrastructure. Through Mackay’s writing, he told us about what made Americans and residents proud to be apart of New York City. Opposite to Mackay, Dickens wrote about the negatives of New York City and the areas that had less attention. His work was very critical of New York City, including the comparison to other cities such as Boston. Both Mackay and Dickens focused mostly on the “everyday” American who travels down Broadway and Wall Street.
Dickens views on New York was originally created by comparing it to Boston. Even though there were many similar characteristics, New York was a “less polished city”. One of his observations was that of the bricks used. He noticed New York had not quite so red bricks and stone that was not quite so white. On the other hand, Mackay’s first impression of New York came after seeing numerous steamboats in the area. He mentions a story of how excited the people were to partake in celebrations like the Fourth of July and how the scenery was very patriotic. Overall, he seemed to be very impressed with New York, unlike Dickens.
Both Dickens and Mackay wrote about New Yorker’s lives before the Civil War. Dickens, for instance, told a more dark story about New York City. He provided information on the prisons and the poor areas of the city. During this time, many families struggled including immigrants
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