New Netherland 1614–64

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Map Code: Ax00688

After the English explorer Henry Hudson discovered the river that bears his name in 1609, the Dutch followed up on his favourable reports with surveying expeditions of the adjacent coastline. The colony of New Netherland’s primary economic purpose was fur-trading, and its first permanent establishment, Fort Nassau, was well upriver near the sources of supply. In 1626, the building of New Amsterdam as colonial capital was ordered on Manhattan Island. Meanwhile the patroon system, conferring generous land grants in return for promoting settlement, was creating large and prosperous estates along the Hudson, such as Wiltwyck and Rensselaerswyck. Although economically vibrant, New Netherland was threatened by the more populous English colonies; the Treaty of Hartford (1650) bought temporary respite when the Dutch conceded their claims to Connecticut in order to agree a clear border on Long Island. However, in 1664, New Netherland was occupied by the British, and after a brief recapture, from 1674 stayed a British colony. (148)

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