History of New York

By | September 23, 2022

Located in the northeast of America with an area of ​​141,205 km²: New York. According to ablogtophone, the state is nicknamed Empire State and is home to approximately 19.5 million residents. The state of New York has Albany as its capital.

Although the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered New York harbor as early as 1524, it wasn’t until 1609 that the area was visited again by whites. In the seventeenth century it was the English navigator Henry Hudson who was employed by the Dutch East India Company .(VOC) explored the area. He was actually looking for the Northwest Passage with his ship the Halve Maen (with a mainly Dutch crew on it). However, a thick pack of ice caused Hudson to change course. The ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean and then set out in search of a passage through North America. Via Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, he reached the river in present-day New York that would later be named after him: the Hudson.

The ship sailed up the river for about 200 kilometers, to the area around the current capital of the state: Albany. All the land he encountered in the meantime, the English navigator gave the name New Netherland.

The first Dutch settlement in the area, Fort Nassau, was established in 1614. Ten years later, a second settlement followed near Albany: Fort Oranje. The following years the colonization of Manhattan began. This was the beginning of New Amsterdam, the city that would later be renamed New York. The Dutch instituted a system of large land ownership, the so-called patronage. This meant that persons who could establish a settlement with more than fifty persons were allocated a large piece of land along the river. This arrangement created several large and powerful estates. The best known of these is Rensselaerwijck, founded by the Dutch diamond trader Kiliaen van Rensselaer.


In 1631, this aristocratic arrangement, among other things, caused conflicts between the so-called patrons and the delegates of the VOC. The Dutch governor in the area was recalled in 1631 for yielding too much to the patrons. Wouter van Twiller was then governor between 1633 and 1638. He was in turn succeeded in 1638 by Willem Kieft. In 1643, this governor unleashed a major war with the Indians, which caused considerable damage to the Dutch colony. The last Dutch governor in the area was Peter Stuyvesant. This governor was at the helm from 1647 to 1664.

In 1664 the Dutch period came to an end. A British fleet then entered and captured the port of New Amsterdam. A few years later (1667), during the Peace of Breda, the Netherlands completely refrained from requiring the British to allow their troops to leave the area. In exchange for this, the Netherlands could keep British Guiana in South America. The Dutch had occupied this area earlier that year.

In 1673 the area was again briefly Dutch possession. This is thanks to the actions of Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest during the Third Anglo-Dutch War. However, during the Peace of Westminster on November 10, 1674, the area was definitively handed over to the British. These, of course, no longer used the name New Netherlands. They renamed the area New York in tribute to the Duke of York.

Flag, coat of arms & motto

New York Flag

According to bestitude, the New York state flag consists of a dark blue field with the state coat of arms in the center. The shield is supported by two figures, on the left the goddess of liberty and on the right the goddess of justice. The goddess of freedom shows the Phrygian cap, a headgear that was a symbol of freedom during the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution. The blindfolded goddess of justice carries a sword and scales. The coat of arms shows the area surrounding the Hudson River. The ships on it symbolize (inter)national trade. Above the coat of arms is a globe with an eagle on it. Under the coat of arms on a white ribbon is the motto of the state: Excelsior, which is Latin for Always up.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Landmark is located in Hyde Park in downtown New York. It is one of the typical palatial residences that were built here by wealthy industrialists during the so-called Golden Age of America. It took place after the civil war during the 19th century.

The classicist building is set in richly decorated Hyde Park and is the work of the architectural firm McKim and Mead&White. This stately mansion boasts 54 rooms and is a typical example of fine art. The most beautiful residential projects were created in this Beaux Art style. The mansion’s interiors are decorated with archetypes from the American Renaissance. In them you will find a number of European antiques and many reproduced items.

This property has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1939. It is located on the east bank of the Hudson River and includes 85 hectares of land in the Hyde Park area. This resort has beautiful views of the river and the distant Catskill Mountains. The surrounding area is wooded and includes Italianate gardens, which were restored by Garden Association volunteer Frederick W. Vanderbilt, who lived from 1856-1938.

He bought extensive land here in 1895 and built his summer residence on it. Vanderbilt died in 1938, and his estate was inherited by his niece Margaret van Alen. She later donated part of the property, including the original equipment, to the National Park Service, which still takes care of it today. When visiting the Vanderbilt Mansion, you can go back in time and learn about the history of Hyde Park and its surroundings.