New York Values

The New York City draft riots / Harper's Weekly

If New York City had guided the country, America probably would not have rebelled against King George III. For that matter, if New York had set the national tone, the North probably would not have fought the Civil War, and the South would have been allowed to secede into the Confederacy. At least since the early 1900s, when New York overtook Boston to become the nation’s largest cultural center, the city has prided itself on being the Great City of America. But the truth is that New York doesn’t march comfortably alongside the rest of the country. The Pied Piper of Manhattan has never managed to make much of America follow.