New York

By Brett Ubaldi

Geography: New York is located in the middle area of the eastern coast. New York was made up of around 48000 square miles. 48000 miles of this area is land and 7000 miles are made up of water. The waterways make up a sizeable portion of New York and play a large role in the development of the colony. The major rivers and waterways in the colony were the Hudson River, the East River, and the Long Island sound. These waterways were important in moving supplies around the colony once they arrived at the local ports. The ports that received most of the traffic were The Narrows and West Harbor. These along with many other smaller ports were essential in the colony's ability to survive. New York was important because of its many ports but it also had a large amount of land that could be farmed. Mostly in the northern region of the colony there were many open plains which provided optimal areas for farming. These plains were also accompanied by some of the largest mountains on the east coast. In New York there were the Adirondack Mts. in the north and the Catskills in the south. These landforms made finding routes around and through them essential.

(1)Cayton, Andrew. Prentice Hall America. Princeton New Jersey: n.p., n.d. Print.

2) Timothy Mc Donnell, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2010.)


History: New York was colonized in 1609 by henry Hudson. In 1609 Henry Hudson, already on a voyage to explore the new world, moved his ship into the Hudson river. Hudson originally asked the English to pay for his expedition but they turned him down. His next option was to ask the Dutch who were trade rivals of the English. Though he was hired to find a northeastern passage he chose to head for the new world. There he found the Hudson river and returned to the Dutch. After the voyage the settlers from Holland began to travel to the area that had been named "New Netherlands". These settlers came for similar reasons that most other settlers left their homes for. The colonists came for religious freedom as well as opportunities given by the Dutch government. Once established New York boasted the first synagogue in the new world along with many other places of worship. Along with religious freedom the area had potential for people to become successful. In an effort to entice settlers to come to the new world the government offered cheap land on the coast of the Hudson as well as a sense of freedom in these areas. This creates a type of feudalism where large landowners sell land to other people. Once the Dutch set up a prosperous fur trade the English wanted control of the area. The King of England claimed the land and sent troops to take control. There were no defences and the area was given to the English. These new settlers did not keep in mind that there were already Native Americans living there. In the entire New York (New Netherlands) are there were multiple tribes the largest being the Mohawk's in the northern region. Later these tribes will become a problem once there is not enough land for the two different peoples. ("New York." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. <, Andrew. Prentice Hall America. Princeton New Jersey: n.p., n.d. Print.)

Economics: Colonists were able to farm and hunt local game to survive. Trade as well as shipbuilding became the two most important pieces of commerce in the region. Once England created the Navigation Acts shipbuilding and trade were able to flourish. Since trade was only able to legally take place it must be on an English or colonial ship the ship builders had a constant flow of work, this worked the same way with th people who traded goods who needed to trade to England. There were areas of New York where cattle were raised and crops such as grain, indigo, and wheat were grown. In these places there was a need for cheap labor which came in the form of slaves. Slaves were brought in from the Caribbean through the Triangular Trade. Once in New York the slaves were sold in local coffee houses and outdoor markets. (Slave North. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2010.

Social: Since colonists came from different areas in Europe there were multiple languages that were spoken. The dominant language was English due to the fact that the English owned the colony however there were still many Dutch speakers still there from the original colonization. The main religions were the Catholics, the Protestants, the Lutherans, the Jewish, and a small group of Quakers. New York boasts the first synagogue in the new world which is a testament to the freedom of religion in the colonies. Women's role was to stay at home and tend the house. This was mostly due to the fact that all of the religions put women as the keepers of the home and children.

Political: The colony was given two different charters. They were given a proprietary charter by the Dutch in 1625 which lasted until 1664. Then The English were given a royal charter which lasted from 1664 until 1685. Once this charter ended a new royal document was drawn up lasting from 1685-1776. After the colony was set up a Duke was put in power and ruled with supreme power over the area. Once the English came to power they implemented a similar monarchy system however the leader had Englishmen who would advise what he did.


1. Triangular Trade- This was the three way trade between the colonies, Africa, and the Caribbean, and Britain. Manufactured goods from the colonies would go to Britain, then Britain would trade them for slaves in Africa. After the slaves were brought to the Caribbean islands to resupply and trade extra products. Finally the slaves were brought to the colonies.

2. Salutary Neglect- This was a policy implemented by the British government where crimes such as smuggling are not stopped due to cost effectiveness. democratic

3.Mercantalisim- A policy that was used by Britain based of the idea that a nation depends on how much capitol the nation has.

4.The Great Awakening- A religious movement that took place in the 1730's where religious ideals were brought back after a period where the Church did not have as much influence as it once had.

5.Cash Crop- a plant or crop that is grown for the reason of trading or selling.

(Reference 1)

French and Indian War: New York was involved in the French and Indian war through sheer contact. The majority of fighting took place in the woodlands of New York. This caused the English to call of the militia's of the local towns to come and fight with the British military. As a result of the war many of the colonists lost respect for the British military because they were unable to adapt to new tactics. Colonists also began to feel that the British did not believe they were equals. In New York there were more Loyalists. This was because many of the wealthy landowners and officials lived here and believed there was nothing wrong with what the crown was doing. This in effect left New York not to support the revolution. (Reference 1,3)

Revolution: Though he is thought of as our nations greatest liar, Benedict Arnold was originally an American war hero. He fought for the U.S. at the battles Fort Ticonderoga and Saratoga. Before he decided to desert the U.S. he was New York's greatest military leader. Though there were many colonists who supported revolution the majority stayed loyal to the crown. One of the most famous battles of the revolution later took place in New York. It was the battle of Manhattan where General Howe landed troops and surrounded George Washington and his troops. In a daring attempt George Washington evacuated his troops across the East River away from the British. If he had not done this, the war might have been over at that point. Once the war was over many of the loyalists in the colonies were outcast and sometimes physically hurt, changing New York into a revolutionary colony. Originally New York did not support the Constitution due to the loyalists in the colony but once the war was over the majority was in favor of a set of rights for the colonies.(Reference 1, 5)


1)Cayton, Andrew. Prentice Hall America. Princeton New Jersey: n.p., n.d. Print.

2) Timothy Mc Donnell, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2010.
3)"New York." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. <

4)Slave North. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2010.

5)"Bendict Arnold." Benedict Arnold. N.p., 1 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. <>.