The Founders of the Big Apple

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The history of Manhattan is one that is not all that well known to even the people that dwell under its skyscrapers.  When most people think of the early colonization of America, they think of the mighty British empire sailing across the ocean to find a new world.  But they were not the only ones.  The Dutch were the first to create trading posts in many places along the eastern cost line, mostly in New York.  This was formerly known as New Amsterdam.  Originally it was a man with the name of Henry Hudson, an English explorer who was chartered by the Dutch East India Company to find a route to India through Norway.  When that failed he turned his ship around and crossed the Atlantic eventually landing in what is now known as the Hudson river.  After realizing the potential of this land, the Dutch then chartered the West India Company to send 30 families and establish a colony in known as New Amsterdam (nps.com).

Once the West India Company took its grasp off of New Netherlands, the colony really began to build up steam.  After the West India Company gave up its trade monopoly, New Netherland was allowed to be invested in by wealthy Dutchmen from the main land of Netherlands as well as other European nations.  These new investors encouraged economic growth as well as the production of other products that could be used by the townspeople or traded.  This greatly helped the people of New Netherlands because they were finally beginning to provide for themselves and create potential exports to raise money for the colony.

In order to survive and make money on their new colony, they began to create farms and produced tobacco, timber, food, and even sent slaves to other nations.  They found these fertile lands to make their profit in the land of the Esopus Indians.  They worked alongside for many years, sharing their knowledge until disputes began to break out over who owned what land.  Things quickly escalated from theft and kidnappings to the two sides being on the brink of an al out war.  This was not uncommon between tribes and new settlers.  When settlers came across new lands and the natives met these foreigners, hostility usually arised.  Luckily for both sides, the issues were averted and the two groups remained at peace.

Starting a colony in a completely foreign place that had not even been thought to exist is no easy task.  Although, miraculously, the Dutch did it with gracefulness and prosperity.  Unlike many other colonies who arrived and immediately started conflicts with native cultures, the Dutch got there and used the natives to their advantage.  They shared farming land and shared knowledge.  This put them in a position to succeed from the very start.  There is a reason their colony became the largest city in the world and that is because the Dutch who founded the colony put it in a position to succeed by being compassionate but most of all smart.

 

 

 

Source:  https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/kingston/colonization.htm

 

 

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