Tuesday, 13 October 2015

"New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American." - Djuna Barnes

(Once again, New York. It's just that much of an influential place.)

The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company in 1624. It was conceived as a private business venture to exploit the North American fur trade. 

To legitimise Dutch claims to the area, New Amsterdam was purchased from the local Lenape Native American tribe for 60 guilders (approx. $24). As they were ignorant of European customs of property and contracts, they eventually came into armed conflict with the expanding settlement.  A war was fought between the colonists and the Manhattans, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Indians and settlers. 

In 1664, Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Nicolls. The settlement was then renamed New York, to honour the Duke of York. The region existed as a colony of Great Britain for until July 9th 1776, when New York declared its independence. New York City became the first Capital of the United States of America. 

New York City currently has the largest indigenous population of any city in the U.S. (111,749 Native American and Alaska Natives according to census data.) However, many of these are probably migrated from other areas of the U.S. and are not remnants of the tribes living in the area during the 17th century.

The original settlement has grown into the largest metropolis in the United States. Like the province’s mother country, the region has remained tolerant and occasionally embraced growing multiculturalism. Also inherited from the Dutch Republic was the Stock Market, which today is one of the many factors as to why New York City topped the first Global Economic Power Index in 2012. New York State today is the 3rd largest merchandise exporting state in the U.S.

This video - which is of One World Trade Center’s visual lift to its observation deck - shows the growth of Lower Manhattan as a small colony to a metropolis.

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