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New York

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New York

In 1614 the first permanent European settlement was made at Fort Nassau, opposite modern Albany, as an outpost of New Netherland. The Dutch West India Company directed colonization after 1621 and founded New Amsterdam (modern New York) on 4 May 1626. The fur trade was the most important economic activity and led to close ties between the Iroquois Confederacy and Dutch. The Dutch and various Algonquian Indians fought Kiefft's War, the Peach War, and the Esopus wars. On 12 March 1664, Charles II gave his brother James, Duke of York, title to the proprietary colony of N.Y., which Colonel Richard Nicolls conquered on 7 September 1664 in the second Anglo-Dutch War. The Netherlands reoccupied the colony in 1673 during the third Anglo-Dutch War, but returned it to England in 1674. When the Duke of York was proclaimed James II (6 February 1685), N.Y. became a royal colony. When England overthrew James II, Leisler's Rebellion followed in N.Y.
In 1700 N.Y. had 19,000 colonists. It saw much fighting in King William's War, Queen Anne's War, King George's War, and the Seven Years' War. As foodstuffs replaced furs as the most valuable export, it became the only colony where lifelong tenancy was widespread after 1715 on the New York manors. By 1775 settlement had spread through the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys, while 9,000 Iroquois occupied all of the colony's western half.
In the Revolutionary War, N.Y. mustered five of the Continental army's 80 regiments and had more Tories than any other state; it was the site of 228 military engagements, second only to N.J., and was a major war theater in 1776 and 1777. The British occupied New York City from 1776 to 1783. Sullivan's campaign drove most of the Iroquois from western N.Y., but white settlers were reluctant to move there because British garrisons occupied the state at Forts Niagara, Ontario, and Oswegatchie until removed by Jay's Treaty. N.Y. was the third state to ratify the Constitution on 18 December 1787. It abolished slavery by gradual emancipation in 1799.
In 1800 it was the third state in size and had 598,051 residents, of whom slightly more than half were English or Welsh, a sixth were Dutch, and 5 percent were black. N.Y. was a major theater in the War of 1812. It displaced Va. as the largest state in 1820, and continued to grow rapidly due to the Erie Canal and European immigration. Its politics were dominated by the Albany Regency and Tammany Hall. By 1860 it had 3,880,735 people, of whom 1 percent were black and 26 percent were foreign-born; it ranked first among the states in the value of both its manufactures and its farmland and livestock. N.Y. furnished 448,850 USA troops (including 4,125 blacks), but dissatisfaction with the war effort produced the Civil War draft riots in 1863.
By 1900 it stood first among states with 7,268,894 residents, of whom 1 percent were black, 26 percent foreign-born, and 27 percent rural; it ranked fourth in the value of its agricultural goods and first in manufactures. Between 1900 and 1930, 2,590,500 persons moved to the state. Growth moderated after 1930, and Calif. replaced it as the largest state in 1960. In 1990 it was 91 percent urban and had 17,990,455 people (approx. 69 percent white, 14 percent black, 12 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian), of whom 15.8 percent were foreign-born. Manufacturing or mining employed 30 percent of workers. In 1994, Tex. displaced it as the second-largest state.