What makes this such an interesting place? Maybe it’s the buildings, broadway, or maybe just because it’s one of the busiest places in america! This is the one place I want to go to! Why?! I don’t know! To see ONE of THREE Statues of Liberty. Huh? Some people probably didn’t know that one did ya? The history of New York starts during the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois and other indigenous peoples expanded into the colony of New Netherlands. The first of these trading posts were Fort Nassau (1614, near present-day Albany); Fort Orange (1624, on the Hudson River just south of the current city of Albany and created to replace Fort Nassau), developing into settlement Beverwijck (1647), and into what became Albany; Fort Amsterdam (1625, to develop into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City); and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The success of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck (1630), which surrounded Albany and lasted until the mid 19th century, was also a key factor in the early success of the colony. The British captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York.

American Revolution

The Sons of Liberty were organized in New York City during the 1760s, largely in response to the oppressive Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765. The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19 of that year: a gathering of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies that set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence, including the right to representative government.

The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775.

New York endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. The New York state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled atWhite Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution drafted by John Jay was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. On July 30, 1777, George Clintonwas inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston.

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 August of 1776. British victory made New York City their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the center of attention for General George Washington’s intelligence network.

The notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay saw more American combatants die of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war, combined.

The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, influencing France to ally with the revolutionaries.

Four of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the British; only the Onondagas were allies of the colonists. Many Iroquois were defeated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. As Loyalist allies of the losing British, the Iroquois were pushed to Canada after the war. In the treaty settlement, the British ceded most Indian lands to the new United States. Because New York made treaty with the Iroquois without getting Congressional approval, some of the land purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes. More than 5 million acres of former Iroquois territory was put up for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in upstate New York. 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, which was long afterwards celebrated as Evacuation Day.

Following heated debate, which included the publication of the now quintessential constitutional interpretation – the Federalist Papers – as a series of installments in New York City newspapers, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

19th Century

Transportation in western New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the St. Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake Ontario, the way westward to the other Great Lakeswas blocked by Niagara Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land.

Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a canal to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and thus all the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal was finished in 1825. It was considered an engineering marvel. Packet boats traveled up and down the canal with sightseers and visitors on board. The canal opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. It enabled Great Lakes port cities such as Buffalo andRochester to grow and prosper. It also connected the burgeoning agricultural production of the Midwest and shipping on the Great Lakes, with the port of New York City. Improving transportation, it enabled additional population migration to territories west of New York.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island was the main facility for immigrants, entering the United States in the late 19th Century to the mid 20th Century. The facility operated from January 1, 1892, until November 12, 1954. It is owned by the Federal government and is now part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. It is situated in New York Harbor, between two states and cities, Jersey City, New Jersey and New York City, New York.

More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, between 1892 and 1954. After 1924, when theNational Origins Act was passed, the only immigrants to pass through there were displaced persons or war refugees. Today, over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants, who first arrived in America through the island, before dispersing to points all over the country. Ellis Island was the subject of a border dispute between New York State and New Jersey.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The idea of giving a colossal representation of republican virtues to a “sister” republic, across the sea, served as a focus for the republican cause against other politicians. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886.

Liberty Island closed on September 11, 2001; the island reopened in December, the monument reopened on August 3, 2004, but the statue remained closed until the summer of 2009. The National Park Service claims that the statue is not shut because of a terrorist threat, but principally because of a long list of fire regulation contraventions, including inadequate evacuation procedures. The museum and ten-story pedestal are open for visitors, but are only accessible if visitors have a “Monument Access Pass”, which is a reservation that visitors must make in advance of their visit and pick up before boarding the ferry. There are a maximum of 3000 passes available each day, with a total of 15,000 visitors to the island daily. The interior of the statue remains closed, although a glass ceiling in the pedestal allows for views of Gustave Eiffel’s iron framework of Lady Liberty.

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