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New York, the "Empire State", has been at the center of American politics, finance, industry, transportation and culture since the Dutch Republic first founded New Amsterdam as a trading colony in the 17th century. The Kingdom of England arrived on its shores and took it over. New York gained its independence from Great Britain in the American Revolution to become part of the new nation of the United States.

Contents

Early history of New York

An early Dutch map of the Hudson River Valley c. 1635 (North is to the right)

The western part of New York had been settled by the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy for at least 500 years before the first Europeans came. The Iroquois used controlled burns to maintain the area between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes as a grassland prairie, which abounded in wild game, including grazing American Bison herds. In colonial times, the Iroquois were prosperously growing corn, vegetables and orchards. They used crop rotation to keep their fields fertile. They also kept cows and hogs; they took advantage of abundant fish in the lakes and rivers.

The far-southern area around what is now New York City was long inhabited by the Lenape; Lenape in canoes met Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European explorer to enter New York Harbor, in 1524. Giovanni de Verrazzano named this place Nouvelle Angoulême (New Angoulême), in honor of the French king François I. A French explorer and mapper, Samuel de Champlain, described his explorations through New York in 1608.

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Province of New Netherland

Province of New York

In 1673 the Duke of York purchased the grant of Long Island and other islands on the New England coast, which had been made in 1635 to the Earl of Stirling. The following year, the Duke equipped an armed expedition that took possession of New Amsterdam, which was thenceforth called Province of New York after him.[1][2] This conquest was confirmed by the Treaty of Breda, in July 1667. In July 1673, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and held it until it was restored to the English by the Treaty of Westminster in February 1674.

The Province of New York was established by its colonial charter of 1664. The colonial charter of New York granted unlimited westward expansion to settlers, despite Native American presence. Massachusetts's charter had the same provision, causing territorial disputes between the colonies and with the Iroquois. The separate colony of New Jersey was created out of the southwestern part of New Netherlands, and the far southwestern portion was given to Pennsylvania.

The vast tract of land from the upper Mohawk River to Lake Erie was thinly occupied by the Iroquois and virtually unknown to the colonists. Since the colonial charters of both Massachusetts and New York granted unlimited westward expansion, the colonies disputed the claim to this tract. Tensions arose between the original Dutch settlers in the Hudson and Mohawk river valleys, and the English who were increasing in number in eastern New York. Under English rule, in the early decades of the 1700s, Governor Burnet allowed Palatine Germans to lease land from the Mohawk (in what was called the Burnetsfield Patent) to found settlements in the central Mohawk Valley area west of Schenectady. He was fulfilling a contract they made with Queen Anne's government, when they received transport to the colony, in hopes of future land. Burnet believed the Germans could be a buffer to the Iroquois and French to the west.

In 1710 Queen Anne's government had arranged the transport of about 2800 Palatine German refugees in ten ships from London to New York. Manhattan then had a population of only 6,000. This was the largest single immigrant group to the colonies before the American Revolution. The Germans were sent to work camps set up on both sides of the Hudson River near Peekskill to work off their passage. In 1723 the first 100 heads of German families were allowed to acquire land west of present-day Little Falls in the Mohawk Valley. They were the first Europeans to buy land from the Mohawk. Other settlements in the area followed, including Palatine Bridge, Schoharie and Cherry Valley.

American Revolution

The Patriot organization, the Sons of Liberty, were active in New York in the 1760s and early 1770s following the Stamp Acts. Their activities continued under the Intolerable Acts, and clashes with British troops peaked with the Battle of Golden Hill and the long-running skirmishes over Liberty poles. A Committee of Correspondence was created by Patriots by 1774 to coordinate with like-minded people in the Thirteen Colonies. They demanded what they saw were their rights as Englishmen denied by the preceding laws and lack of representation in the British Parliament. The Committees of Correspondence led to the creation of the New York Provincial Congress, which effectively replaced the British ruling apparatus by 1775. The New York Provincial Congress sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress, where they voted for independence unanimously. The state of New York was created on July 9, 1776.

Soon after, a permanent Committee for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies was formed. It passed many laws allowing the prosecution of proven or suspected enemies of the rebellion. In the tumultuous times, some people used such laws to settle private grievances and conflicts. After their civil rights were revoked and their property confiscated (see Bill of attainder), many Loyalists sought refuge in British-controlled areas. In 1777, the state required a stringent oath of allegiance from its citizens; those who refused were exiled to British-occupied New York City. The New York Provincial Congress was replaced with the state government with the adoption of the Constitution of New York, 1777.

The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775. It provided the staging ground for the unsuccessful 1775 invasion of Canada. The first major battle of the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared – and the largest battle of the entire war – was fought in New York at the Battle of Long Island (a.k.a Battle of Brooklyn) in 1776. The Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain took place that year as well. General George Washington withdrew from Manhattan Island, where because of longstanding trade and family ties, there was more support among the people for the British. At the same time, New York became a center for escaping slaves, who had been promised freedom by the British.d

The British made New York City their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict. It was consequently the center of attention for Washington's intelligence network. More American combatants died of intentional neglect in the notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay than were killed in combat in every battle of the war, combined (see Prisoners in the American Revolutionary War).

The first of two major British armies to surrender during the war was captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, preventing the British from connecting their forces in Canada with those in New York City. This defeat resulted in France's allying with the revolutionaries. In 1780, Benedict Arnold unsuccessfully attempted to turn West Point over to the British, a move that would have given the British control of the Hudson Valley. As per the Treaty of Paris, the last vestige of British authority in the former Thirteen Colonies – their troops in New York City – departed in 1783. For years afterward the occasion was celebrated as Evacuation Day.

During the revolution, four of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the British, with the exceptions of the Oneida and the Tuscarora. In 1779, Major General John Sullivan was sent to defeat the Iroquois. The Sullivan Expedition moved northward through the Finger Lakes and Genesee Country, burning all the Iroquois communities and destroying their crops and orchards. Refugees fled to Fort Niagara where they spent the following winter in hunger and misery. Hundreds died of exposure, hunger and disease. After the war, many moved to Canada, where the Crown set aside a land grant to compensate the Iroquois for support during the war, which became known as the Six Nations at Grand River First Nation. Great Britain ceded its land claims to the new United States south of Canada and east of the Mississippi River. In New York, the Iroquois were considered also to have lost their lands, although the US had to negotiate separate treaties with them. At the same time, New York purchased land and made treaties with some of the nations to settle on reservations. Some of the land purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes.

Early national period: 1783–1820

Sullivan's men returned from the campaign to Pennsylvania and New England to tell of the enormous wealth of this new territory. Many of them were given land grants in gratitude for their service in the Revolution. From 1786 through 1797 several groups of wealthy land speculators entered into agreements with one another, with neighboring states, and with the Indians to obtain title to vast tracts of land in western New York. Some purchases of Iroquois lands are the subject of numerous modern-day land claims by the individual nations of the Six Nations.

For the Oneida nation's assistance in defeating the British, primarily assisting General Washington's army at Valley Forge, then President Washington while on tour of the Mohawk Valley signed the Treaty of Canandaigua. This Treaty promised the Oneidas among other things a large swath of land from Pennsylvania to Canada, forever. The Treaty was violated in the mid-1800s by New York State. This became the basis for the present land claim dispute.

After the end of the American Revolutionary War, Isaac Sears and others, in New York City, revived the Sons of Liberty. In March 1784, they rallied an enormous crowd which called for the expulsion of any remaining Loyalists from the state starting on May 1. The Sons of Liberty gained sufficient seats in the December, 1784 election to have enacted punitive Loyalist laws. These laws remained in effect until, 1786 when Loyalists not banned by name were allowed to return to the state, 1788 when confiscation of Loyalist property was stopped, and 1792 when those banned by name were allowed to return to the state provided they did not contest their previous forfeiture of their property.[citation needed]

The new federal United States Constitution was controversial in New York. The Federalist Papers, largely written by New Yorker Alexander Hamilton, were printed in local newspapers to convince voters to support ratification. On July 26, 1788, New York became the 11th state in the union, and New York City became the federal capital until 1790.

Settlement of northern New York

In 1791, Alex Bahret (1748–1831), who had gotten rich as a merchant in the American Revolution, bought 3,670,715 acres (14,855 km²) of northern New York at about twelve cents an acre. This tract, along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario, included the Thousand Islands and was divided into ten large townships; the deeds for all the lands that are now included in Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, as well as portions of Herkimer and Oswego Counties are derived from this purchase. The land was divided into townships and sections for sale. See also the history of the Adirondacks and the Treaty of Hartford, 1786.

The Erie Canal

Roads of the era were poor and often muddy, rutted, and narrow. Absent "highway departments" to maintain roadways, roads crossed private lands and the landowners used the English model of turnpikes (toll roads). Prior to the Erie Canal, the northern lake plains of New York state was a snake and mosquito-infested swamp from spring to autumn, making travel impossible. Most westward travelers took a southern route from the Philadelphia and Baltimore area up the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, to what is now Corning and Elmira, up the Canisteo River to Arkport (named for the arks or shallow-bottomed boats used) across the Eastern Continental Divide in Allegany County, and then down the Allegheny River, to Pittsburgh, Pa. and on down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River.

Cargo capacity was limited to what a small wagon could carry, and daily progress was measured in a few miles per day. Ships, which were typically faster, could easily navigate up the Hudson to Albany, but no further. The Mohawk River provided a route to the central part of the state, but due to rapids and falls along its course, was suitable only for canoes and small bateaux (which could be portaged around the obstacles). From 1807 there was much talk of building a canal system. Governor DeWitt Clinton became the chief sponsor, and in 1817 the first portion of a canal was begun, to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie (and thence to the rest of the Great Lakes). The easy part was built first, a series of bypasses of rapids on the Mohawk River. Later sections were cut through the wilderness, often with Irish immigrant labor.

Though there was opposition, and the canal was derisively called "Clinton's Ditch" or worse, "Clinton's Folly", the canal was finally completed in 1825. Officially the event was celebrated by cannon shots along the length, and by Governor Clinton ceremonially pouring Lake Erie water into the New York Harbor in the "Wedding of the Waters." The Erie Canal proved to be a stroke of genius, as settlers now poured from New England, Eastern New York and Europe into the central and western part of the state. Others went on to Ohio and Michigan. The Canal was the first serious route for settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, which had previously been a geographic barrier. Now upstate farms and industries could easily ship their products to the large and growing market of New York City and beyond. The canal shortened the trip across the state of New York from weeks to days. The cost of shipping cargo dropped precipitously as well.

The Erie Canal, though no longer so important a trade route (it is supplanted by railroads and highways) still defines the central commerce belt of New York State. The port city of Buffalo, Lockport, where the canal crossed a great limestone ridge, mill-town and beautiful 'Flower City' Rochester on the Genessee, and many smaller cities owe their growth, perhaps even their existence, to the Erie. Connecting canals were also built to Lake Ontario and the larger Finger Lakes. The success of the Erie Canal in led in turn to a series of other canals throughout the Northern US.

Empire state industrializes: 1820–1920

The Anti-Rent War and the development of the New York Central Railroad and other transport improvements encouraged the conversion of New York's primarily agricultural economy to an industrial one.

Pre-Civil War

Upstate New York was the "Burned-Over District", a zone of intense religious and reform activity typified by revivalist Charles Grandison Finney.

Two denominations emerged: the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Benevolent reform movements (establishing Sunday Schools, and orphanages), temperance groups (abolishing the consumption of alcohol), antislavery societies, and women's rights activists also found enthusiastic supporters in upstate New York between 1825 and 1860. Social experiments in communal living appeared in utopian communities at Oneida and Skaneateles; the best known are the Shaker villages near Albany. Historian Alice Felt Tyler called it a "ferment of reform."

At the same time, upstate New York was at the cutting edge of the transportation revolution, the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and even the urban revolution. Turnpikes, canals, and railroads connected eastern cities with western markets. Especially important was the route from Albany to Buffalo, connected with the Seneca Turnpike (1803), Erie Canal (1825), and New York Central Railroad (1853). In agriculture, New York's farmland, much of it former Haudenosaunee homeland, was some of the most productive in the nation. The Genesee country, from the Finger Lakes west, became known as the breadbasket of the nation for its extraordinary grain production. At key sites (such at Troy-Cohoes, the Sauquoit Creek west of Utica, Oswego, Seneca Falls, and Rochester), rapid-flowing rivers offered power for major industrial sites. In terms of urban growth, cities in New York State, along with those in the rest of the country, grew more rapidly between 1820 and 1860 than in any other period in U.S. history.

Following these expanding economic opportunities, people (including African Americans as well as European Americans of many different backgrounds) poured into upstate New York. They came from several different culture hearths—New England Yankees, Dutch and Yorkers from eastern New York, Germans and Scots Irish from Pennsylvania, and immigrants from England and Ireland. Upstate New York State became a place where people of many different backgrounds moved rapidly into the same area and created a volatile combination of voices and dramatic new movements.

Civil War

Although New York State was not the scene of any battles, its involvement in the Union war effort was considerable.

Draft riots

The New York Draft Riots (July 11 to July 16, 1863; known at the time as "Draft Week"[3]), were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the American Civil War.[4] President Abraham Lincoln sent several regiments of militia and volunteer troops to control the city. The rioters numbered in the thousands and were mainly Irish.[5] Smaller scale riots erupted in other cities about the same time.

Gilded Age

Railroads became the dominant transport after the war, though the traffic of steamboats and canal boats continued to increase. The victorious Republican Party split into acrimonious factions over questions of patronage, while the Tammany Hall machine of the Democrats in New York City perfected their system of looting public funds. Continued immigration and economic growth brought an urbanized majority.

Progressive Era

The governorships of Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Evans Hughes and Al Smith made New York a major factor in the Progressive Era.

Modern state: 1920–1975

Boom years: 1920–1929

Depression and war 1929–1945

The Great Depression was a severe economic crisis that started with the U.S. stock market crash in 1929. It did share some of the basic characteristics of other crises, but its length was unprecedented and it caused wholesale poverty and so much tragedy on the society.

A graph showing the 1929 Wall Street crash

Economists agree on its certain causative factors, but not over its causes.

Suburban growth

Politics: Smith, Lehman, Dewey,

Postmodern state: 1976–2008

Rustbelt economy

New York

Service economy

Bibliography

Surveys

  • Eisenstadt, Peter, Laura-Eve Moss, and Carole F. Huxley, eds. The Encyclopedia Of New York State (2005) 1900 pages of articles by experts.
  • Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, Harold C. Syrett, and Harry J. Carman. A History of New York State. Rev. ed. Cornell University Press, 1967.
  • Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, and William B. Fink. New York: The Empire State . 4th ed. Prentice–Hall, 1975.
  • Flick, Alexander C. (ed.). History of the State of New York. 10 vol, 1933–37
  • Hedrick, U.P. A History of Agriculture in the State of New York (1983)
  • Jackson, Kenneth T. ed, The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995)
  • Klein, Milton M., ed. The Empire State: A History of New York. Cornell University Press, 2001. the latest scholarly overview
  • Thompson, J. H. ed., The Geography of New York State (rev. ed. 1977);

Pre 1820

  • Becker, Carl Becker. The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760–1776. (1909).
  • Bonomi, Patricia U. A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. 1971.
  • Countryman, Edward. A People In Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760–1790. 1981.
  • DePauw, Linda. The Eleventh Pillar: New York State and the Federal Constitution. Cornell Univ. Press, 1966.
  • Fox, Dixon Ryan. The Decline of the Aristocracy in the Politics of New York. Columbia Univ. Press, 1919.
  • Kammen, Michael. Colonial New York: A History. 1975.
  • Kenney, Alice P. Stubborn for Liberty: The Dutch in New York.Syracuse University Press, 1975.
  • Kim, Sung Bok, Landlord and Tennant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society 1664–1775 (1978)
  • McManus, Edgar J – A History of Negro Slavery in New York (1966)
  • Spaulding, E. Wilder. New York in the Critical Period, 1781–1789. Columbia Univ. Press, 1932.
  • Young, Alfred FE. The Democratic Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763–1797. U. of North Carolina Press, 1967.

1820–1920

  • Martin Bruegel. Farm, Shop, Landing: The Rise of a Market Society in the Hudson Valley, 1780–1860 (2002)
  • Cross, Whitney R. The Burned Over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800–1850 (1950)
  • Kaminski, John P. George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic (1993)
  • Niven, John. Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics (1983)
  • Shaw, Ronald E. Erie Water West : a history of the Erie Canal, 1792–1854. (University of Kentucky Press, 1966)
  • Van Dusen, Glyndon, William Henry Seward (1967)
  • Yellowitz, Irwin. Labor and the Progressive Movement in New York State, 1897–1916. [1965].

1920–2006

  • Bellush, Bernard; Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York (1955) online
  • Connery, Robert H. and Gerald Benjamin. Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years, (1974) online.
  • Davis Kenneth S. FDR: The New York Years, 1928–1933. 1979.
  • Galie, Peter J.; Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (1996)
  • Gallagher, Jay. The Politics of Decline, A Chronicle of New York's Descent and What You Can Do To Save Your State (2005), conservative critique
  • Ingalls, Robert P. Herbert H. Lehman and New York's Little New Deal (1975)
  • Liebschutz, Sarah F., Robert W. Bailey, Jeffrey M. Stonecash, Joseph F. Zimmerman, and Jane Shapiro Zacek; New York Politics & Government: Competition and Compassion (1998) textbook online
  • McClelland, Peter D., and Alan L. Magdovitz, Crisis in the Making: The Political Economy of New York State since 1945 (1981)
  • McElvaine Robert S. Mario Cuomo: A Biography. 1988.
  • Marlin, George J. Squandered Opportunities: New York's Pataki Years (2006) by Conservative party activist
  • Moscow Warren. Politics in the Empire State. 1948.
  • Munger Frank J., and Ralph A. Straitz. New York Politics. 1960.
  • Mumpower, Jeryl L., and Warren F. Ilchman, New York State in the Year 2000 (1988)
  • New York State Writers' Program; New York: A Guide to the Empire State (1940) famous guidebook by WPA online
  • Pecorella, Robert F., and Jeffrey M. Stonecash. Governing New York State (2006)
  • Slayton, Robert A. Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith (2001)
  • Smith, Richard Norton. Thomas E. Dewey and His Times. 1982,
  • Stonecash, Jeffrey M., John K. White, and Peter W. Colby, eds., Governing New York State (1994)
  • Thompson, John Henry. The Geography of New York State (1977)
  • Zeller, Belle; Pressure Politics in New York: A Study of Group Representation before the Legislature (1937) online

See also

References

  1. ^ New York State Facts: New York State History, New York State Department of State. Accessed July 3, 2007. "It was conquered by the English in 1664 and was then named New York in honor of the Duke of York."
  2. ^ "Yorks of the World", City of York (England) Tourism Bureau. Accessed July 3, 2007. "The most famous of York's descendants, New York state and city were both renamed when the British captured what was then a Dutch colony known as New Netherlands (and its city New Amsterdam) in 1664. James Duke of York, brother of King Charles II, became the proprietor of the colony and so it was that the state and the city become called New York."
  3. ^ Barnes 5
  4. ^ Foner, E. (1988). Reconstruction America's unfinished revolution, 1863–1877. The New American Nation series. Page 32. New York: Harper & Row.
  5. ^ "The Riots". Harper's Weekly, volume vii, no 344. Sonofthesouth.net. pp. 382, 394. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/august/new-york-riot.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-16. 

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article is about the history of New York State.
For a history of the city see: History of New York City.

New York, the "Empire State" has been at the center of American politics, finance, industry, transportation and culture since it was created by the Dutch in the 17th century.

Contents

Origin

New Netherlands

Main article: New Netherlands

The Dutch, who began to establish trading-posts on the Hudson River in 1613, claimed jurisdiction over the territory between the Connecticut and the Delaware Rivers, which they called New Netherlands. The government was vested in "The United New Netherland Company," chartered in 1616, and then in "The Dutch West India Company," chartered in 1621.

The Dutch were the first European settlers in the colony known as New Netherland. Fort Nassau was founded near the site of present-day Albany in 1614 and abandoned in 1618. About thirty Walloon families settled on the shores of the Hudson River now in present-day New York City and on the Delaware River around 1624, making them the first European inhabitants of the site. The Dutch also established Fort Orange near present-day Albany in 1624. New Amsterdam was established on the island of Manhattan which a year later Peter Minuit purchased from the Lenape. After the English took over in 1664, the colony was renamed New York, after the Duke of York, the future King James II.

In 1649, a convention of the settlers petitioned the "Lords States-General of the United Netherlands" to grant them "suitable burgher government," such as their High Mightinesses shall consider adapted to this province, and resembling somewhat the government of our Fatherland," with certain permanent privileges , that they might pursue "the trade of our country." These grants embraced all the lands between the west bank of the Connecticut River and the east bank of (the) Delaware.

Province of New York

See also: Province of New York

The Duke of York in 1664 sent an army which took possession of New Amsterdam and which was thenceforth called Province of New York. This conquest was confirmed by the Treaty of Breda, in July 1667. In July 1673, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and held it until it was traded to the English by the Treaty of Westminster in February 1674. The second grant was obtained by the Duke of York in July 1674 to perfect his title.

The western part of New York had been settled by the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy for at least 500 years before Europeans came. The Iroquois had maintained the area between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes by annual burning as a grassland prairie, abounding in wild game including grazing American Bison herds. In colonial times, the Iroquois were prosperous, growing corn, vegetables and orchards, and keeping cows and hogs; fish and game were abundant. Upstate New York (as well as parts of present Ontario, Quebec, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) was occupied by the Five Nations (after 1720 becoming Six Nations, when joined by Tuscarora) of the Iroquois Confederacy for at least a half millennium before the Europeans came.

The colonial charter of New York granted unlimited westward expansion. Massachusetts' charter had the same provision, causing territorial disputes between the colonies and with the Iroquois.

On November 1, 1683, the government was reorganized, and the state was divided into twelve counties, each of which was subdivided into towns. Ten of those counties still exist (see below), but two (Cornwall and Dukes) were in territory purchased by the Duke of York from the Earl of Stirling, and are no longer within the territory of the State of New York, having been transferred by treaty to Massachusetts, Dukes in 1686 and Cornwall in 1692. While the number of counties has been increased to 62, the pattern still remains that a town in New York State is a subdivision of a county, similar to New England.

The British government appointed the governors of the Province of New York, they were not elected. They are listed at List of colonial governors of New York

Upstate New York was also the scene of fighting during the French and Indian War, with British and French forces contesting control of Lake Champlain in association with Native American allies. Sir William Johnson and other agents promoted the participation of the Iroquois, and the Proclamation Line of 1763 which protected the Indians from further English settlement.

State of New York

At the onset of the Revolutionary War, there lay a vast tract of land from the upper Mohawk River to Lake Erie, that was thinly occupied by the Iroquois and virtually unknown to the colonists. Since the colonial charters of both Massachusetts and New York granted unlimited westward expansion, the claim to this tract was disputed. There were also many tensions between the original Dutch settlers in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys and the English who were rapidly arriving in Eastern New York, and the Germans were also establishing settlements in the Mohawk area. The Sullivan Expedition of 1779 and other military actions resolved the situation in favor of the English settlers.

During the period prior to the American Revolution, a territorial dispute developed between New York and the Republic of Vermont that continued until after the war. Ultimately, the colonial counties of Cumberland and Gloucester became part of Vermont after 1777.

Early national period: 1783-1820

After a furious controversy, led by Alexander Hamilton, New York ratified the new federal United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788, and New York became the 11th state in the union with New York City being its national capital (until 1790).

The Erie Canal

Main article: Erie Canal

Roads were poor and very slow, so bad they were that travelers often went astray, venturing into Indian camps and risking life and limb. The easiest and cheapest travel was by waterway. Ships could easily navigate up the Hudson to Albany. The Mohawk river provided a more difficult connection to the central part of the state. From 1807 there was much talk of building a canal system. Governor DeWitt Clinton became the chief sponsor, and in 1817 the first portion of a canal was begun, to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie (and thence to the rest of the Great Lakes). The easy part was built first, a series of bypasses of rapids on the Mohawk River.

Though there was opposition, and the canal was derisively called "Clinton's Ditch" or worse, "Clinton's Folly," the canal was finally completed in 1825. Officially the event was celebrated by cannon shots along the length, and by Governor Clinton ceremonially pouring Lake Erie water into the New York Harbor in the "Wedding of the Waters." The Erie Canal proved to be a stroke of genius, as settlers now poured from New England, Eastern New York and Europe into the central and western part of the state. Others went on to Ohio and Michigan. The Canal was the first serious route for settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, which had previously been a geographic barrier. Now upstate farms and industries could easily ship their products to the large and growing market of New York City and beyond. Had the Welland Canal, which bypassed Niagara Falls to connect Lakes Ontario and Erie, been built first, instead of in 1833, the history of North America could have been far different, with Montreal possibly becoming the main eastern port, instead of New York City.

The Erie Canal, though no longer so important a trade route (it is supplanted by railroads and highways) still defines the central commerce belt of New York State. The port city of Buffalo, Lockport, where the canal crossed a great limestone ridge, mill-town and beautiful 'Flower City' Rochester on the Genessee, and many smaller cities owe their growth, perhaps even their existence, to the Erie. Connecting canals were also built to Lake Ontario and the larger Finger Lakes.

Settlement of Northern New York

In 1791, [Alex Bahret (1748 - 1831)|had gotten rich as a merchant in the American Revolution, bought 3,670,715 acres (14,855 km²) of northern New York at about twelve cents an acre. The tract, that ran along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario, including the Thousand Islands, was divided into ten large townships; the deeds for all the lands that are now included in Lewis, Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, as well as portions of Herkimer and Oswego Counties are derived from this purchase. The land was divided into townships and sections for sale. See also the history of the Adirondacks.

Empire state industrializes: 1820-1920

Pre-Civil War

Upstate New York was the "Burned-Over District", a zone of intense religious and reform activity. typified by revivalist Charles Grandison Finney.

Two denominations emerged: the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Benevolent reform movements (establishing Sunday Schools, and orphanages), temperance groups (abolishing the consumption of alcohol), antislavery societies, and women’s rights activists also found enthusiastic supporters in upstate New York between 1825 and 1860. Social experiments in communal living appeared in utopian communities at Oneida and Skaneateles; the best known are the Shaker villages near Albany. Historian Alice Felt Tyler called it a "ferment of reform."

At the same time, upstate New York was at the cutting edge of the transportation revolution, the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and even the urban revolution. Turnpikes, canals, and railroads connected eastern cities with western markets. Especially important was the route from Albany to Buffalo, connected with the Seneca Turnpike (1803), Erie Canal (1825), and New York Central Railroad (1853). In agriculture, New York’s farmland, much of it former Haudenosaunee homeland, was some of the most productive in the nation. The Genesee country, from the Finger Lakes west, became known as the breadbasket of the nation for its extraordinary grain production. At key sites (such at Troy-Cohoes, the Sauquoit Creek west of Utica, Oswego, Seneca Falls, and Rochester), rapid-flowing rivers offered power for major industrial sites. In terms of urban growth, cities in New York State, along with those in the rest of the country, grew more rapidly between 1820 and 1860 than in any other period in U.S. history.

Following these expanding economic opportunities, people (including African Americans as well as European Americans of many different backgrounds) poured into upstate New York. They came from several different culture hearths—New England Yankees, Dutch and Yorkers from eastern New York, Germans and Scots Irish from Pennsylvania, and immigrants from England and Ireland. Upstate New York State became a place where people of many different backgrounds moved rapidly into the same area and created a volatile combination of voices and dramatic new movements.

Civil War

Gilded Age

Trains and local railways brought urban sprawl to rural areas surrounding cities, which were rapidly filling with immigrants. The amalgamation of these suburbs became a political issue.

Progressive Era

The governorships of Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Evans Hughes and Al Smith made New York a major factor in the Progressive Era.

Modern state: 1920-1975

Boom years: 1920-1929

Depression and war 1929-1945

WPA

Suburban growth

Politics: Smith, Lehman, Dewey, Rockefeller

Postmodern state: 1976-2006

Rustbelt economy

Service economy

Bibliography

Surveys

  • Eisenstadt, Peter, Laura-Eve Moss, and Carole F. Huxley, eds. The Encyclopedia Of New York State (2005) 1900 pages of articles by experts.
  • Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, Harold C. Syrett, and Harry J. Carman. A History of New York State. Rev. ed. Cornell University Press, 1967.
  • Ellis, David M., James A. Frost, and William B. Fink. New York: The Empire State . 4th ed. Prentice-Hall, 1975.
  • Flick, Alexander C. (ed.). History of the State of New York. 10 vol, 1933–37
  • Hedrick, U.P. A History of Agriculture in the State of New York (1983)
  • Jackson, Kenneth T. ed, The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995)
  • Klein, Milton M., ed. The Empire State: A History of New York. Cornell University Press, 2001. the latest scholarly overview
  • Thompson, J. H. ed., The Geography of New York State (rev. ed. 1977);

Pre 1820

  • Becker, Carl Becker. The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776. (1909).
  • Bonomi, Patricia U. A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. 1971.
  • Countryman, Edward. A People In Revolution: The American Revolution and Political Society in New York, 1760-1790. 1981.
  • DePauw, Linda. The Eleventh Pillar: New York State and the Federal Constitution. Cornell Univ. Press, 1966.
  • Fox, Dixon Ryan. The Decline of the Aristocracy in the Politics of New York. Columbia Univ. Press, 1919.
  • Kammen, Michael. Colonial New York: A History. 1975.
  • Kenney, Alice P. Stubborn for Liberty: The Dutch in New York.Syracuse University Press, 1975.
  • Kim, Sung Bok, Landlord and Tennant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society 1664-1775 (1978)
  • McManus, Edgar J - A History of Negro Slavery in New York (1966)
  • Spaulding, E. Wilder. New York in the Critical Period, 1781-1789. Columbia Univ. Press, 1932.
  • Young, Alfred F. The Democratic Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763-1797. U. of North Carolina Press, 1967.

1820-1920

  • Martin Bruegel. Farm, Shop, Landing: The Rise of a Market Society in the Hudson Valley, 1780-1860 (2002)
  • Cross, Whitney R. The Burned Over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800-1850 (1950)
  • Kaminski, John P. George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic (1993)
  • Niven, John. Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics (1983)
  • Shaw, Ronald E. Erie Water West : a history of the Erie Canal, 1792-1854. (University of Kentucky Press, 1966)
  • Van Dusen, Glyndon, William Henry Seward (1967)
  • Yellowitz, Irwin. Labor and the Progressive Movement in New York State, 1897-1916. [1965].

1920-2006

  • Bellush, Bernard; Franklin D. Roosevelt as Governor of New York (1955) online
  • Connery, Robert H. and Gerald Benjamin. Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years, (1974) online.
  • Davis Kenneth S. FDR: The New York Years, 1928-1933. 1979.
  • Galie, Peter J.; Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (1996)
  • Gallagher, Jay. The Politics of Decline, A Chronicle of New York's Descent and What You Can Do To Save Your State (2005), conservative critique
  • Ingalls, Robert P. Herbert H. Lehman and New York's Little New Deal (1975)
  • Liebschutz, Sarah F., Robert W. Bailey, Jeffrey M. Stonecash, Joseph F. Zimmerman, and Jane Shapiro Zacek; New York Politics & Government: Competition and Compassion (1998) textbook online
  • McClelland, Peter D., and Alan L. Magdovitz, Crisis in the Making: The Political Economy of New York State since 1945 (1981)
  • McElvaine Robert S. Mario Cuomo: A Biography. 1988.
  • Marlin, George J. Squandered Opportunities: New York's Pataki Years (2006) by Conservative party activist
  • Moscow Warren. Politics in the Empire State. 1948.
  • Munger Frank J., and Ralph A. Straitz. New York Politics. 1960.
  • Mumpower, Jeryl L., and Warren F. Ilchman, New York State in the Year 2000 (1988)
  • New York State Writers' Program; New York: A Guide to the Empire State (1940) famous guidebook by WPA online
  • Pecorella, Robert F., and Jeffrey M. Stonecash. Governing New York State (2006)
  • Slayton, Robert A. Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith (2001)
  • Smith, Richard Norton. Thomas E. Dewey and His Times. 1982,
  • Stonecash, Jeffrey M., John K. White, and Peter W. Colby, eds., Governing New York State (1994)
  • Thompson, John Henry. The Geography of New York State (1977)
  • Zeller, Belle; Pressure Politics in New York: A Study of Group Representation before the Legislature (1937) online

External links

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