why was the english colony of new york so diverse
In 1606, King James I divided the Atlantic seaboard in two, giving the southern half to the London Company (later the
Company) and the northern half to the Plymouth Company. The first English settlement in North America had actually been established some 20 years before, in 1587, when a group of colonists (91 men, 17 women and nine children) led by Sir settled on the island of Roanoke. Mysteriously, by 1590 the Roanoke colony had vanished entirely. Historians still do not know what became of its inhabitants. In 1606, just a few months after James I issued its charter, the London Company sent 144 men to Virginia on three ships: the Godspeed, the Discovery and the Susan Constant. They reached the Chesapeake Bay in the spring of 1607 and headed about 60 miles up the James River, where they built a settlement they called Jamestown. The Jamestown colonists had a rough time of it: They were so busy looking for gold and other exportable resources that they could barely feed themselves. It was not until 1616, when VirginiaБs settlers learned how to grow tobacco, that it seemed the colony might survive. The first African slaves arrived in Virginia in 1619.
In 1632, the English crown granted about 12 million acres of land at the top of the Chesapeake Bay to Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. This colony, named after the queen, was similar to Virginia in many ways. Its landowners produced tobacco on large plantations that depended on the labor of indentured servants and (later) African slaves. But unlike VirginiaБs founders, Lord Baltimore was a Catholic, and he hoped that his colony would be a refuge for his persecuted coreligionists. Maryland became known for its policy of religious toleration for all. What Was New Netherland? New Netherland was the first Dutch colony in North America. It extended from Albany, New York, in the north to Delaware in the south and encompassed parts of what are now the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and Delaware. The Dutch claim to this territory derived from their sponsorship of Henry Hudsonвs voyages of exploration. In 1609, Hudson and his crew sailed the ship (the Half Moon) from the Delaware Bay up to the river now named for Hudson. Upon his return to the Netherlands, Hudson described what he had found: a magnificent harbor, wide navigable rivers, and a land rich in natural resources.
The commercial possibilities of New Netherland attracted considerable interest during the era known as the Dutch Golden Age, when the newly independent United Provinces of the Netherlands became Europe's leading commercial power and Amsterdam its preeminent trading city. Soon after Hudson's report was made public, merchants and investors started sponsoring speculative voyages to the new colony. In 1621, the Dutch government chartered the West India Company with the goal both of bringing order to economic activity in New Netherland and of challenging Spanish influence in the New World. Colonists arrived in New Netherland from all over Europe. Many fled religious persecution, war, or natural disaster. Others were lured by the promise of fertile farmland, vast forests, and a lucrative trade in fur. Initially, beaver pelts purchased from local Indians were the colonyвs primary source of wealth. In Europe, these pelts were used to produce fashionable menвs hats. Over time, the Dutch colonyвs economy broadened and diversified.
It became an entrepГt for Chesapeake tobacco and a hub of trade between New England and the Caribbean. New Netherland developed into a culturally diverse and politically robust settlement. This diversity was fostered by Dutch respect for freedom of conscience. Furthermore, under Dutch rule, women enjoyed legal, civil, and economic rights denied their British counterparts in New England and Virginia. Towns within New Netherland were granted the protections and privileges of self-government. New Amsterdam, thus, became the first European-style chartered city in the thirteen original colonies that would comprise the United States. Dutch success produced many rivals, the English chief among them. Between 1652 and 1674, the two nations fought three wars. As a consequence of these wars, New Netherland came under British control in 1664. Despite this transfer of power, Dutch influence remained strong in the former New Netherland, throughout the seventeenth century and beyond; many parts of the colony remained culturally Dutch up to and beyond the American Revolution.
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