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York is the third most populous state of the United
States of America.
in the Mid-Atlantic region, New York is bordered by
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania. It also shares an international border
with Canada. The state's five largest cities are New
York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse.
The state has 62 counties.
York is known for its history as a gateway for immigration
to the United States and its status as a transportation
and manufacturing center.
York was inhabited by Algonquian and Iroquois Native
Americans at the time Dutch and French settlers arrived
in the 16th century. New York was forted by the Dutch
at Albany in 1614 and colonized in 1624, at both Albany
and Manhattan, before falling under English rule in
1664. About one third of all the military engagements
of the American Revolution took place in New York,
after which it became the 11th state to ratify the
United States Constitution in 1788.
Geography of New York
New York covers 54,475 sq miles (141,089 sq kilometers).
In size, New York ranks 27th compared with the
other 50 states. The Great Appalachian Valley
dominates eastern New York, while Lake Champlain
is the chief northern feature of the valley, which
also includes the Hudson River flowing southward
to the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged Adirondack Mountains,
with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the
valley. Most of the southern part of the state
is on the Allegheny plateau, which rises from
the southeast to the Catskill Mountains. The western
section of the state is drained by the Allegheny
River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware
systems. The Delaware River Basin Compact, signed
in 1961 by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, and the federal government, regulates
the utilization of water of the Delaware system.
York's borders touch (clockwise from the north) two
Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected
by the Niagara River); one former Great Lake (Lake
Champlain); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in
Canada; three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts,
and Connecticut); the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic
states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In addition,
Rhode Island shares a water border with New York.
the state is best known for New York City's urban
atmosphere, especially Manhattan's skyscrapers, most
of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers,
mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack State
Park is larger than any U.S. National Park outside
of Alaska. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as
it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular
attraction. The Hudson River begins with Lake Tear
of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern
part of the state without draining Lakes George or
Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into
Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada,
where it drains into the Richelieu and then the St
Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City's five boroughs
are on the three islands at the mouth of the Hudson
River: Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Brooklyn
and Queens on Long Island.
is a common term for New York State counties north
of suburban Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties.
Upstate New York typically includes the Catskill and
Adirondack Mountains, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Finger
Lakes and the Great Lakes in the west; and Lake Champlain,
Lake George, and Oneida Lake in the northeast; and
rivers such as the Delaware, Genesee, Mohawk, and
Susquehanna. The highest elevation in New York is
Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks.
The climate of New York State is broadly representative
of the humid continental type, which prevails in the
northeastern United States, but its diversity is not
usually encountered within an area of comparable size.
Masses of cold, dry air frequently arrive from the
northern interior of the continent. Prevailing winds
from the south and southwest transport warm, humid
air, which has been conditioned by the Gulf of Mexico
and adjacent subtropical waters. These two air masses
provide the dominant continental characteristics of
the climate. A third great air mass flows inland from
the North Atlantic Ocean and produces cool, cloudy,
and damp weather conditions.
all storm and frontal systems moving eastward across
the continent pass through or in close proximity to
New York State. Storm systems often move northward
along the Atlantic coast and have an important influence
on the weather and climate of Long Island and the
lower Hudson Valley. Frequently, areas deep in the
interior of the state feel the effects of such coastal
winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions
of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a
temperature of -25° or lower can be expected in
the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and -15°
or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands
(Southern Plateau). The Adirondack region records
from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in
normal to severe winters.
summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills,
and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau. The
New York City area and lower portions of the Hudson
Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with
some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The
remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm
summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals
of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures
usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s over much
of the State, producing an atmospheric environment
favorable to many athletic, recreational, and other
Long Pond in the Saint Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondack
State Park.See also: List of New York state parks
New York has many state parks and two major forest
preserves. Adirondack State Park, roughly the size
of the state of Vermont and the largest state park
in the United States, was established in 1892 and
given state constitutional protection in 1894. The
thinking that lead to the creation of the Park first
appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature,
published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation
could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing
of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean,
he asserted "the operation of causes set in action
by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation
almost as complete as that of the moon."
Catskill State Park was protected in legislation passed
in 1885, which declared that its land was to be conserved
and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of
700,000 acres (2,800 km²) of land, the park is
a habitat for bobcats, minks and fishers. There are
some 400 black bears living in the region. The state
operates numerous campgrounds and there are over 300
miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.
History of New York
An early Dutch map of the Hudson river valley c. 1635
(North is to the right)The area was long inhabited
by the Lenape; Lenape in canoes met Giovanni da Verrazzano,
the first European explorer to enter New York Harbor,
in 1524. Giovanni da Verrazzano named this place Nouvelle
Angoulême (New Angouleme) in honor of the French
king François I. A French explorer and mapper,
Samuel de Champlain, described his explorations through
New York in 1608. A year later Henry Hudson, an Englishman
working for the Dutch, claimed the area in the name
of the Netherlands. It was to be called New Amsterdam.
Dutch, who began to establish trading posts on the
Hudson River in 1613, claimed jurisdiction over the
territory between the Connecticut and the Delaware
Rivers, which they called New Netherlands. The government
was vested in "The United New Netherland Company,"
chartered in 1614, and then in "The Dutch West
India Company," chartered in 1622.
1649, a convention of the settlers petitioned the
"Lords States-General of the United Netherlands"
to grant them "suitable burgher government, such
as their High Mightinesses shall consider adapted
to this province, and resembling somewhat the government
of our Fatherland," with certain permanent privileges
and exemptions, that they might pursue "the trade
of our country, as well along the coast from Terra
Nova to Cape Florida as to the West Indies and Europe,
whenever our Lord God shall be pleased to permit."
Hudson River has long been an essential transportation
corridor for the state.The directors of the West India
Company resented this attempt to shake their rule
and wrote their director and council at New Amsterdam:
"We have already connived as much as possible
at the many impertinences of some restless spirits,
in the hope that they might be shamed by our discreetness
and benevolence, but, perceiving that all kindnesses
do not avail, we must, therefore, have recourse to
God to Nature and the Law. We accordingly hereby charge
and command your Honors whenever you shall certainly
discover any Clandestine Meetings, Conventicles or
machinations against our States government or that
of our country that you proceed against such malignants
in proportion to their crimes."
grants embraced all the lands between the west bank
of the Connecticut River and the east bank of the
1663 the Duke of York purchased the grant of Long
Island and other islands on the New England coast
made in 1635 to the Earl of Stirling, and, in 1664,
the Duke equipped an armed expedition, which took
possession of New Amsterdam, which was thenceforth
called New York, after the Duke. This conquest was
confirmed by the treaty of Breda, in July 1667. In
July 1673, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and held
it until it was restored to the English by the treaty
of Westminster in February, 1674.
York was established by its colonial charter. This
constitution was framed by a convention which assembled
at White 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 constitution was adopted
with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted
to the people for ratification. It was drafted by
western part of New York had been settled by the six
nations of the Iroquois Confederacy for at least 500
years before Europeans came. The Iroquois had maintained
the area between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes as a grassland
prairie, which abounded in wild game including grazing
American Bison herds. In colonial times, the Iroquois
were prosperously growing corn, vegetables and orchards,
and keeping cows and hogs; fish were also abundant.
colonial charter of New York granted unlimited westward
expansion, despite Native American presence in the
Area. Massachusetts' charter had the same provision,
causing territorial disputes between the colonies
and with the Iroquois. During the revolution, four
of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the
British, with one exception the Oneidas. In 1779,
Major General John Sullivan was sent to defeat the
Iroquois. The Sullivan Expedition moved northward
through the Finger Lakes and Genesee Country, burning
all the Iroquois communities and destroying their
crops and orchards. Refugees fled to Fort Niagara
where they spent the following winter in hunger and
misery. Hundreds died of exposure, hunger and disease.
After the war, many moved to Canada.
the Oneida nation's assistance in defeating the British,
primarily assisting General Washington's army at Valley
Forge, then President Washington while on tour of
the Mohawk Valley signed the Treaty of Canandaigua.
This Treaty promised the Oneidas among other things
a large swath of land from Pennsylvania to Canada,
forever. The Treaty was violated in the mid-1800s
by New York State. This became the basis for the present
land claim dispute.
York was one of the original thirteen colonies that
became the United States. It was the 11th state to
ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26,
creation of the Erie Canal lead to rapid industrialization
in New York.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
Lakes was 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. The canal opened
up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement,
and enabled port cities such as Buffalo to grow and
prosper. The Welland Canal was completed in 1972.
men returned from the campaign to Pennsylvania and
New England to tell of the enormous wealth of this
new territory. Many of them were given land grants
in gratitude for their service in the Revolution.
From 1786 through 1797 several groups of wealthy land
speculators entered into agreements with one another,
with neighboring states, and with the Indians to obtain
title to vast tracts of land in western New York.
Some purchases of Iroquois lands are the subject of
numerous modern-day land claims by the individual
nations of the six nations.
of 2006, New York was the third largest state in population
after California and Texas, with an estimated population
of 19,306,183. This represents an increase of 329,362,
or 1.7%, since the year 2000; it includes a natural
increase since the last census of 601,779 people (1,576,125
births minus 974,346 deaths) and a decrease due to
net migration of 422,481 people out of the state.
Immigration from outside the United States resulted
in a net increase of 820,388 people, and migration
within the country produced a net loss of about 800,213
York is a slow growing state with a large rate of
emigration to other states, especially Florida and
Arizona. New York state is a leading destination for
international immigration, however. The center of
population of New York is located in Orange County,
in the town of Deerpark. New York City and its
six suburban counties have a combined population of
12,626,200 people, or 65.67% of the state's population.
and ancestral makeup
The major ancestry groups in New York state are African
American (15.8%), Italian (14.4%), Hispanic (14.2%),
Irish (12.9%), and German (11.1%). According to a
2004 estimate, 20.4% of the population is foreign-born.
York is home to the largest Puerto Rican and Dominican
population in the United States. The New York City
neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major
cultural capital for African-Americans. Queens, also
in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian-American
York ethnic distributionIn the 2000 Census, Italian-Americans
make up the largest ancestral group in Staten Island
and Long Island, followed by Irish-Americans. Albany
and southeast-central New York are heavily Irish-American
and Italian-American. In Buffalo and western New York,
German-Americans are the largest group; in the northern
tip of the state, French-Canadians.
of New York's population were under 5 years of age,
24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females
made up 51.8% of the population.
York State has a higher number of Italian-Americans
than any other U.S. state.
to the 2000 U.S. Census, 13.61% of the population
aged 5 and over speak Spanish at home, while 2.04%
speak Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin),
1.65% Italian, and 1.23% Russian.
Catholics comprise more than 40% of the population
in New York. Protestants are 30% of the population,
Jews 5%, Muslims 3.5%, Buddhists 1%, and 13% claim
no religious affiliation.
Midtown Manhattan in New York City is home to the
greatest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in
dairy farm near Oxford, New York.New York's gross
state product in 2005 was $963.5 billion, ranking
third in size behind the larger states of California
and Texas. If New York were an independent nation,
it would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world
behind South Korea. Its 2005 per capita personal income
was $50,038, an increase of 5.9% from 2004, placing
it fifth in the nation behind Massachusetts, and eighth
in the world behind Ireland. New York's agricultural
outputs are dairy products, cattle and other livestock,
vegetables, nursery stock, and apples. Its industrial
outputs are printing and publishing, scientific instruments,
electric equipment, machinery, chemical products,
York exports a wide variety of goods such as foodstuffs,
commodities, minerals, manufactured goods, cut diamonds,
and automobile parts. New York's five largest export
markets in 2004 were Canada ($30.2 billion), United
Kingdom ($3.3 billion), Japan ($2.6 billion), Israel
($2.4 billion), and Switzerland ($1.8 billion). New
York's largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural
gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber.
is a very important economic partner for the state.
23% of the state's total worldwide exports went to
Canada in 2004. Tourism from the north is also a large
part of the economy. Canadians spent US$487 million
in 2004 while visiting the state.
York City is the leading center of banking, finance
and communication in the United States and is the
location of the New York Stock Exchange, the largest
stock exchange in the world by dollar volume. Many
of the world's largest corporations are based in the
state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes
printing and the production of garments, furs, railroad
equipment and bus line vehicles. Many of these industries
are concentrated in upstate regions. Albany and the
Hudson Valley are major centers of nanotechnology
and microchip manufacturing, while the Rochester area
is important in photographic equipment and imaging.
York is a major agricultural producer, ranking among
the top five states for agricultural products including
dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions,
maple syrup and many others. The state is the largest
producer of cabbage in the U.S. The state has about
a quarter of its land in farms and produced US$3.4
billion in agricultural products in 2001. The south
shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils
and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear
and peach orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson
Valley and near Lake Champlain. The south shore of
Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides
have many vineyards. New York is the nation's third-largest
grape-producing state, behind California, and second
largest wine producer by volume. In 2004, New York's
wine and grape industry brought US$6 billion into
the state economy. The state has 30,000 acres (120
km²) of vineyards, 212 wineries, and produced
200 million bottles of wine in 2004. A moderately
sized saltwater commercial fishery is located along
the Atlantic side of Long Island. The principal catches
by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder.
Transportation in New York
The New York City subway is the largest mass transit
system in the world by number of stations.New York
boasts the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation
infrastructures in the country. Engineering difficulties
because of the terrain of the state and the unique
issues of the city brought on by urban crowding have
had to be overcome since the state was young. Population
expansion of the state generally followed the path
of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and
then the Erie Canal. Today, railroad lines and the
New York State Thruway follow the same general route.
The New York State Department of Transportation is
often criticized for how they maintain the roads of
the state in certain areas for the fact that the tolls
collected along the roadway have long passed their
original purpose. Until 2006, tolls were collected
on the Thruway within The City of Buffalo. They were
dropped late in 2006 during the campaign for Governor
(both candidates called for their removal).
The Bear Mountain Bridge crossing the Hudson River.New
York City is home to the most complex and extensive
transportation network in the United States, with
more than 12,000 iconic yellow cabs, 120,000 daily
bicyclists, a massive subway system, bus and railroad
systems, immense airports, landmark bridges and tunnels,
ferry service and even an aerial commuter tramway.
About one in every three users of mass transit in
the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail
riders live in New York and its suburbs.
suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave
New York City, including the Long Island Rail Road,
MTA Metro-North, the PATH system and five of NJTransit's
New York City, many of the other cities have urban
and regional public transportation. Syracuse is the
smallest city in the U.S. to have a commuter rail
line, known as OnTrack. Buffalo also has a Subway
line, sometimes called a Lightrail System run by the
NFTA, and Rochester had a subway system, although
it is mostly destroyed. Only a small part exists under
the old Erie Canal Aquaduct.
of the transportation system are intermodal, allowing
travelers to easily switch from one mode of transportation
to another. One of the most notable examples is AirTrain
JFK which allows rail passengers to travel directly
to terminals at Kennedy Airport.
Government of New York
New York State Capitol Building.Under its present
constitution (adopted in 1894), New York is governed
by three branches of government: the executive
branch, consisting of the Governor of New York
and the other independently elected constitutional
officers; the legislative branch, consisting of
the the bicameral New York State Legislature;
and the judicial branch, consisting of the state's
highest court, the New York Court of Appeals,
and lower courts. The state has two U.S. senators,
31 members in the United States House of Representatives,
and 33 electoral votes in national presidential
elections (a drop from its 41 votes in 1970).
York's capital is Albany. The state's subordinate
political units are its 62 counties. Other officially
incorporated governmental units are towns, cities,
and villages. New York has more than 4,200 local governments
that take one of these forms. About 52% of all revenue
raised by local governments in the state is raised
solely by the government of New York City, which is
the largest municipal government in the United States.
state has a strong imbalance of payments with the
federal government. New York state receives 82 cents
in services for every $1 it sends in taxes to the
federal government in Washington. The state ranks
near the bottom, in 42nd place, in federal spending
per tax dollar.
of New York's public services are carried out by public
benefit corporations, frequently called authorities
or development corporations. Well known public benefit
corporations in New York include the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority, which oversees New York
City's public transportation system, and the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state transportation
York's legal system is explicitly based on English
common Law. Capital punishment was declared unconstitutional
Politics of New York
New York State consistently supports candidates
belonging to the Democratic Party in national
elections. Democratic presidential candidate John
Kerry won New York State by 18 percentage points
in 2004, while Democrat Al Gore won the state
by an even larger margin in 2000. New York City
is a major Democratic stronghold with liberal
politics. Many of the state's other urban areas,
including Albany, Ithaca, Buffalo, Rochester,
and Syracuse are also Democratic. Rural upstate
New York, however, is generally more conservative
than the cities and tends to favor Republicans.
Heavily populated suburban areas such as Westchester
County and Long Island have swung between the
major parties over the past 25 years and often
have tightly contested local elections.
York City is the most important source of political
fund-raising in the United States for both major parties.
Four of the top five zip codes in the nation for political
contributions are in Manhattan. The top zip code,
10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money
for the 2000 presidential campaigns of both George
Bush and Al Gore. Republican Presidential candidates
will often skip campaigning in the state, taking it
as a loss and focusing on vital swing states.
Cities and towns
largest city in the state and the most populous city
in the United States is New York City, which is comprised
of five counties, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn,
and Staten Island. New York City is home to more than
two-fifths of the state's population. Buffalo is the
second largest city in the state. The smallest city
is Sherrill, New York, located just west of the Town
of Vernon in Oneida County. Albany is the state capital,
and the Town of Hempstead is the civil township with
the largest population.
southern tip of New York StateNew York City,
its suburbs including Long Island, the southern portion
of the Hudson Valley, and most of northern New Jerseycan
be considered to form the central core of a "megalopolis,"
a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs
of Boston to the southern suburbs of Washington D.C.
in Virginia and therefore occasionally called "BosWash".
First described by Jean Gottmann in 1961 as a new
phenomenon in the history of world urbanization, the
megalopolis is characterized by a coalescence of previous
already-large cities of the Eastern Seaboard: a heavy
specialization on tertiary activity related to government,
trade, law, education, finance, publishing and control
of economic activity; plus a growth pattern not so
much of more population and more area as more intensive
use of already existing urbanized area and ever more
sophisticated links from one specialty to another.
Several other groups of megalopolis-type super-cities
exist in the world, but that centered around New York
City was the first described and still is the best
Education in New York
Cornell University is New York's land-grant university.
Primary, middle-level, and secondary education
The University of the State of New York (USNY) (distinct
from the State University of New York, known as SUNY),
its policy-setting Board of Regents, and its administrative
arm, the New York State Education Department, oversee
all public primary, middle-level, and secondary education
in the state. The New York City Department of Education,
which manages the public school system in New York
City, is largest school district in the United States
with more students than the combined population of
eight U.S. states. Over 1 million students are taught
in more than 1,200 separate schools.
secondary education in the state consists of high
schools that teach elective courses in trades, languages,
and liberal arts with tracks for gifted, college-bound
and industrial arts students. New York is one of seven
states that mandates the teaching of Holocaust and
genocide studies at some point in elementary or secondary
Colleges and universities
New York's statewide public university system is the
State University of New York (SUNY). With a total
enrollment of 413,000 students and 1.1 million continuing
education students spanning 64 campuses across the
state, SUNY is the largest public university system
in the United States.
library at Columbia University in New York City the
wealthiest university in the state of New York.The
City University of New York (CUNY) is the public university
system of New York City and is independent of the
SUNY system. It is the largest urban university in
the United States, with 11 senior colleges, 6 community
colleges, a doctorate-granting graduate school, a
journalism school, a law school and the Sophie Davis
School of Biomedical Education. More than 450,000
degree-credit, adult, continuing and professional
education students are enrolled at campuses located
in all five New York City boroughs.
York is also home to such notable private universities
as Columbia University, New York University, the Rochester
Institute of Technology, Union College and Syracuse
University. New York has hundreds of other private
colleges and universities, including many religious
and special-purpose institutions. The state's land-grant
university is Cornell University, a private university.
York is the nations largest importer of college
students, according to statistics which show that
among freshmen who leave their home states to attend
college, more come to New York than any other state,
Main article: Sports in New York
New York hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid,
the Games known for the USA-USSR hockey game dubbed
the "Miracle on Ice" in which a group of
American college students and amateurs defeated the
heavily-favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4-3
and went on to win the gold medal. Lake Placid also
hosted the 1932 Winter Olympics. Along with St. Moritz,
Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, it is one of the
three places to have twice hosted the Winter Olympic
of Professional Sports Organizations
There have been at least five United States Navy
ships named USS New York in honor of the state.
USS New York (LPD-21) was laid down on September
10 2004 and will be the sixth Navy ship to be
named for the state. (Credit:
Of New York
New York Times
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