History of New York

The history of New York is an exciting glimpse into the early history of The United States, and travel to New York might well include stops at some of the state"s most significant historic sites.

First inhabitants of the area that is now New York State were the Algonquian and Iroquois Native Americans. First settlers of the area comprising New York State were the Dutch beginning in 1613, who proclaimed it New Amsterdam. In 1664 the English claimed it and the region was re-named New York.

Roughly one-third of the military engagements that occurred during the American Revolution took place in New York. In 1777, the British forces surrendered at Bennington Battlefield, and visitors can check out this New York historic site within Grafton State Park in upstate New York.

One of the original 13 colonies, New York ratified the United States Constitution in 1788, and was the 11th state to do so. During 1789-90, New York City stood as the nation"s capital.

Things took off for New York from then on. It became home to increased commerce and industry, and, with the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 and major railroad lines parallel to it, the prominent east-west commercial route in the 19th century. Thus, cities along the canal prospered, such as Buffalo, Syracuse, and Schenectady.

The history of New York City is filled with exciting stories and the chronicling of one of the world"s best-known and beloved cities.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to this country from the French government and was dedicated in 1886, commemorating the 1776 Centennial. Beginning in 1892, European immigrants poured into America and became United States citizens via Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island National Historic Monument in New York City is a popular tourist destination.

The early 20th century brought with it the 1898 incorporation of New York City's five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. In 1904 the first New York City subway system was created, and the history of New York City reached a pivotal point, as early mass transit paved the way for further city inhabitation and development. Additionally, thanks to an enhanced railroad system, travel to New York, both city and state, by train granted quick and convenient access for both visitors and newly-arrived residents.

Several of the well-known New York City attractions came to be in the early 1930s, including Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and The Empire State Building. These magnificent works of architecture are New York historic monuments in and of themselves, and showcase a period when New York City, despite the Great Depression, grew as a center of commerce, finance, and entertainment. Travel to New York often includes stops at these and other attractions such as Central Park, the Museum Mile, and Madison Square Garden---all of which offer a history all their own.

Any mention of New York history would be remiss without acknowledgment of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center"s twin towers in Manhattan. The site of the former twin towers is now referred to as "Ground Zero", and is open to visitors.

New York historic facts are available city and state-wide in libraries and museums, and endless information on the history of New York State and New York City is available on the Internet.

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