New York or New York State (abbreviation: NY or NY), state of the United States of America, 127,438 km2, with 18 million inhabitants; capital city: Albania.
The islands of Staten Island and Long Island are virtually flat. East of the Hudson, near the New England border, are the foothills of the Green Mountains and the Taconic Mountains. The Palisades and the Shawangunk Range stretch along the west side of the Hudson. The Adirondack Mountains, with the highest point in the state (Mount Marcy, 1629 m), cover most of northeastern New York. The western parts consist of a hilly plateau (along with the Catskill Mountains in the southeast part of the Appalachians) that merges into the plains along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence. The drainage takes place mainly via the St. Lawrence and the Hudson. Many waterfalls arose along plateau edges, of which the Niagara Falls are the best known. There are approx. 8000 lakes. The most important are Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain. Most of the state has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters; the contrasts are less pronounced along the Atlantic coast and in the areas along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
The average population density is 128 inhabitants. per km2. About 84% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are: New York or New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse and Albany. See top cities in New York.
Economically, the state is dominated by the city of New York. Industry is the most important sector. Nearly all industries are represented within state borders. In addition to New York, major industrial centers include Buffalo (Kodak factories), Schenectady, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers. Trade and services are also important economic activities. The state is an important transportation hub: the Mohawk Valley provided opportunities to traverse the Appalachian Mountains. After being the principal agricultural area of the United States in the 19th century, this function has diminished in importance with the rise of the western states. Agriculture now has a nurturing function for the large cities on the coast; As a result, dairy production (accounting for more than 50% of the value of total agricultural production), horticulture and fruit growing is particularly important. The most important minerals are sand and gravel, salt, zinc, petroleum and natural gas.
Despite the large urban areas, there is much and varied natural beauty in the state. The many lakes provide an important recreational opportunity. Of the more than 80 state parks, Adirondack Park is one of the largest and most visited with over 9,000 square miles of forested hillside terrain. Palisades Interstate Park (approx. 200 km2) is one of the recreational areas for the population of the New York metropolitan area, while the beaches along the coast of Long Island (Coney Island), Staten Island and New Rochelle are also popular. New York City and Niagara Falls are also major attractions for foreign tourists.
After Verrazano had already discovered New York harbor in 1524, it was not until 1609 before another European ship entered. Henry Hudson then sailed in Dutch service up the river later named after him to the vicinity of present-day Albany. He gave the whole area the name New Netherland. In 1614 a first Dutch settlement, Fort Nassau, arose, in 1624 also a near Albany, Fort Oranje. In 1625 and 1626, the colonization of Manhattan began, the beginning of New Amsterdam. In 1629 the West India Company introduced a special system of large land ownership, the patronage: whoever could establish a settlement in the new area with fifty adult settlers was given an extensive piece of land along the river. In this way powerful estates arose and an aristocratic element developed,
The history of the Dutch colony is one of many failures. Governor Minuit was recalled in 1631, because he gave in too much to the bosses who were already in conflict with the company. Governor Wouter van Twiller (1633–1638) promoted trade, but also his own interests and was therefore succeeded by Willem Kieft (1638–1647), who in 1643 started a war with the Indians, causing great damage to the colony. The last Dutch governor, Petrus Stuyvesant (1647–1664), ruled vigorously and headstrong, bringing him into conflict with the citizens. He conquered (1655) the Swedish colony on the Delaware, defeated the tribes in the north in a second Indian War, but had to surrender the entire colony himself to the English Colonel Richard Nicholls, who, by order of the Duke of York (later King James II, to whom his brother Charles II had given the area) occupied the area and changed the name to New York. The Dutch element continued to play an important role and in 1673/1674 the colony was briefly in Dutch hands again.
Under the English rule, a system of greater freedom slowly grew. The colony became deeply involved in the ongoing wars between England and France in the 18th century. Although New York’s merchants vehemently opposed English taxes after the Seven Years’ War, New York played no major role in the American Revolutionary War. Still, it sent delegates to the Continental Congress (1775), while its own provincial congress passed the Declaration of Independence and passed a Constitution for the state. In 1778, New York became the 11th state in the Union.
New York politics, long dominated by the aristocratic families, underwent a vigorous democratization in the new Constitutions of 1821 and 1846. As a Democratic candidate, Martin Van Buren became the first New Yorker to be elected president in 1836. Although there were many abolitionists in New York and the Republican party flourished there after its foundation in 1856 under the capable leadership of William Henry Seward, there was quite a lot of opposition in the state and especially in New York City to participation in the American Civil War, fearing damage to trade. After that, New York experienced a tremendous boom through immigration and industrialization, but the associated urbanization and corruption led to major problems. Time and again, however, the state proved to have capable reformers at its disposal.