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History >> US Geography >> US State History

New York

State History

Native Americans

Prior to Europeans arriving in New York, the land was inhabited by Native Americans. There were two major groups of Native Americans: the Iroquois and the Algonquian peoples. The Iroquois formed an alliance of tribes called the Five Nations which included the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, and the Seneca. Later the Tuscarora would join and make it the Six Nations. This alliance formed the first democracy in the Americas.


The Empire State Building in New York City
The Empire State Building by Unknown

Europeans Arrive

In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson found New York Bay and the Hudson River while exploring for the Dutch. The Dutch laid claim to the surrounding land and began to settle the area. They traded with the natives for beaver furs which were popular in Europe at the time for making hats.

Colonization

The first Dutch settlement was Fort Nassau established in 1614. Soon more settlements were built including Fort Orange in 1624 (which would later become Albany) and Fort Amsterdam in 1625. Fort Amsterdam would become the city of New Amsterdam which would later become New York City. Over the next several years, the Dutch colony continued to grow. People from many countries moved into the area including many from England.

In 1664, an English fleet arrived at New Amsterdam. The English took control of the colony and renamed both the city and the colony New York.

French and Indian War

In 1754, France and England went to war in what is called the French and Indian War. The war lasted until 1763 and a lot of the fighting took place in New York. This was because the French allied with the Algonquian tribes and the English with the Iroquois. In the end, the British won and New York remained an English colony.

American Revolution

When the thirteen colonies decided to rebel against Britain and declare their independence, New York was in the middle of the action. Even before the war, the Sons of Liberty were formed in New York City to protest the Stamp Act. Then, in 1775, one of the first conflicts of the war occurred when Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys captured Fort Ticonderoga.


The British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga
British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga
by John Trumbull

Some of the largest and most important battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. The Battle of Long Island was the largest battle of the war. It was fought in 1776 and resulted in the British defeating the Continental Army and gaining control of New York City. However, the turning point of the war took place at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. During this series of battles, General Horatio Gates led the Continental Army to victory resulting in the surrender of the British Army under British General Burgoyne.

Becoming a State

On July 26, 1788 New York ratified the new U.S. Constitution and became the 11th state to join the Union. New York City was the nation's capital until 1790. Albany has been the state capital since 1797.

9-11

On September 11, 2001 the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history occurred when two hijacked planes were crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The attacks were launched by nineteen members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. Both buildings collapsed killing nearly 3,000 people.


Skating rink at Rockefeller Center
Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center by Ducksters

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Works Cited

History >> US Geography >> US State History





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