New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United
States, and is the country's third most populous state. It is bordered
Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and shares a water border with Rhode
Island as well as an international border with the Canadian
provinces of Quebec
New York City, which is both the largest city in
the state and in the United States, is known for its history as a gateway
for immigration to the United States and its status as a financial,
cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center. It was named after the
17th century Duke of York, James Stuart, future James II and VII of England and Scotland.
New York was inhabited by
and Lenape Native
American groups at the time Dutch
and French nationals moved into the region in the
early 17th century. First claimed by Henry
Hudson in 1609, the region came to have Dutch forts in Fort
Orange, near the site of the present-day capital of Albany
in 1614 and was colonized by the Dutch in 1624, at both Albany and Manhattan;
it later fell to British annexation in 1664. About one third of all of the
battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New
York. New York became an independent state on July 9, 1776 and enacted
its constitution in 1777. The state ratified the United States Constitution on July 26, 1788 to become the
11th state. According to the US Department of Commerce, it is also the
state of choice for foreign visitors, leading both Florida and California
During the 17th
century, Dutch trading posts established for the purchase of pelts from the
and other tribes expanded into the colony of New
Netherlands. The first of these trading posts were Beverwyck
(1614, now Albany); New Amsterdam, (1623, now NYC); and Esopus,
(1653, now Kingston). The British captured the colony
during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it
as the Province of New York.
Agitation for independence during the 1770s brought the American Revolution, which for New York was
also a civil war.
New York declared itself an
independent state on July 9, 1776. The New York state constitution was
framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after
repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York on Sunday evening, April 20,
1777, when the
new constitution was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not
submitted to the people for ratification. It was drafted by John Jay.
On 30 July 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated
as the first Governor of New York at Kingston.
During the revolution, four
of the Iroquois
nations fought on the side of the British. They were defeated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. Suffering
privations, many members moved to Canada. Most,
absent or present, lost their land after the war. Some of the land
purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes.
New York state was one of
the original thirteen colonies that became the United
States. It was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.
Transportation in western
New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the
nineteenth century. The Hudson and Mohawk
Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the St. Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake
Ontario, the way westward to the other Great
Lakes was blocked by Niagara
Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land.
Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a
canal to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie,
and thus all the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie
Canal was finished in 1825. The canal opened up vast areas of New York
to commerce and settlement, and enabled port cities such as Buffalo to grow and prosper.