In the musical "Hamilton," the Schuyler sisters sing of New York City as "the greatest city in the world". The scene is set in 1776, I believe.
This feels like an anachronism. Was New York regarded as even the greatest city on the eastern coast of North America in the 18th Century? At the time, Boston and Philadelphia may have had a greater claim. And it can't have held a candle to London or Paris.
Perhaps the song is intended ironically, to show how provincial these girls were despite coming from an extremely wealthy family, but I see no other sign of that in the play.
So this leaves us with the question -- would any reasonable person have described New York as "the greatest city in the world" in 1776?