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Settled in 1666 by Puritans from New Haven Colony, Newark is one of the oldest European cities in the United States.
Newark's Central Ward, formerly known as the old Third Ward, contains much of the city's history including the original squares Lincoln Park, Military Park and Washington Park.Newark was settled in 1666 by Connecticut Puritans led by Robert Treat from the New Haven Colony.It was conceived as a theocratic assembly of the faithful, though this did not last for long as new settlers came with different ideas.Today, Port Newark-Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast.In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.It was incorporated on February 21, 1798 by the New Jersey Legislature's Township Act of 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships.
During its time as a township, portions were taken to form Springfield Township (April 14, 1794), Caldwell Township (February 16, 1798; now known as Fairfield Township), Orange Township (November 27, 1806), Bloomfield Township (March 23, 1812) and Clinton Township (April 14, 1834, remainder reabsorbed by Newark on March 5, 1902).
Nevertheless, the wards remain relatively distinct. Industrial uses, coupled with the airport and seaport lands, are concentrated in the East and South Wards, while residential neighborhoods exist primarily in the North, Central, and West Wards.
State law requires that wards be compact and contiguous and that the largest ward may not exceed the population of the smallest by more than 10% of the average ward size.
Newark was reincorporated as a city on April 11, 1836, replacing Newark Township, based on the results of a referendum passed on March 18, 1836.
The previously independent Vailsburg borough was annexed by Newark on January 1, 1905.
Newark is divided into five political wards; the East, West, South, North and Central wards and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves.