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State of New York - History


Nathanael Greene to George Washington.

Kingsbridge, New-York Island, September 5, '776

the critical situation which the army is in , will I hope, sufficiently apologize for my troubling your Excellency with this letter. The sentiments are dictated, I am sure, by an honest mind- a mind which feels deeply interested in the salvation of this country, and for the honor and reputation of the General under whom he serves.

The object under consideration is whether a general and speedy retreat from this island is necessary or not. To me it appears the only eligible plan to oppose the enemy successfully and secure ourselves from disgrace. I think we have no object on this side of King's Bridge. Our troops are now so scattered that one part may be cut off before the others can come to their support. In this situation, suppose the enemy should run up the North River several ships of force and a number of transports at the same time, and effect a landing between the town and middle division of the army; another party from Long Island should land right opposite; these two parties form a line across the island, and entrench themselves. The two flanks of this line could be easily supported by the shipping; the center, fort)fied with the redoubts, would render it very difficult if not impossible to cut our way through.

At the time the enemy are executing this movement or manoeuvre, they will be able to make sufficient diversions, if not real lodgments, to render it impossible for the centre and upper divisions of the army to afford any assistance here. Should this event take place (and by the by, I don't think it very improbable), your Excellency will be reduced to that situation which every prudent general would wish to avoid that is, of being obliged to fight the enemy to a disadvantage, or submit.

It has been agreed that the city of New-York would not be tenable if the enemy got possession of Long-Island and Governour's Island. They are now in possession of both these places. Notwithstanding, I think we might hold it for some time, but the annoyance must be so great as to render it an unfit place to quarter troops in. If we should hold it, we must hold it to a great disadvantage.

The city and island of New-York are no objects for us; we are not to bring them into competition with the general interests of America. Part of the army already has met with a defeat; the country is struck with a panicle; any capital loss at this time may ruin the cause. 'Tis our business to study to avoid any considerable misfortune, and to take post where the enemy will be obliged to fight us, and not we them.

The sacrifice of the vast property of New-York and the suburbs I hope has no influence upon your Excellency's measures. Remember the King of France. When Charles the Fifth, Emperor of Germany, invaded his kingdom, he hid whole provinces waste, and by that policy he starved and ruined Charles' army and defeated him without fighting a battle. Two-thirds of the property of the city of New-York and the suburbs belongs to the Tories. We have no very great reason to run any considerable risk for its defence. If we attempt to hold the city and island, and should not be able finally, we shall be wasting time unnecessarily and betray a defect of judgment, if no worse misfortune attend it.

I give it as my opinion that a general and speedy retreat is absolutely necessary, and thee the honour and interest of America require it. I would burn the city and suburbs, and that for the following reasons: If the enemy gets possession of the city, we never can recover the possession without a superior naval force to theirs; it will deprive the enemy of an opportunity of barracking their whole army together, which, if they could do, would be a very
great security. It will deprive them of a general market; the price of things would prove a temptation to our people to supply them for the sake of grain, in direct violation of the laws of their country.

All these advantages would result from the destruction of the city, and not one benefit can arise to us from its preservation that I can conceive of. If the city once gets into the enemy's hands, it will be at their mercy either to save or destroy it, after they have made what use of it they think proper


New York is a great place to do research because of the wealth of historical material that can be found at the state's many archives, libraries, and other repositories. Some of New York's best resources for historical research can be found in New York City and at the state capital in Albany. There are many archives and libraries available in both of these cities that would be helpful to your search. In addition to state level archives, records can also be located at the local level at county courthouses, public libraries, churches, town clerks' offices, cemeteries, and local historical societies. Many records are also now available online at a number of great websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch, both of which have searchable databases consisting of billions of records relating to the history of New York.

Records for the entire state of New York can be found at the New York State Archives and New York State Library in Albany. These records include property deeds, court records, newspapers, local histories, military records, family wills, tax lists, vital records, biographies, and other types of records for all parts of the state. However, many records for New York City are generally kept separate from the state's official holdings in Albany. If your ancestors lived in New York City in the past, it would be worthwhile to visit the New York City Municipal Archives and New York Public Library at some point during the course of your research. Both of these places house billions of records relating to New York history and genealogy. Their holdings include vital records, immigration records, newspapers, city directories, biographies, and many other types of records.

There are a number of ways to get copies of vital records (birth, marriage, and death certificates) in New York. New York began statewide registration of vital records in 1880, but some cities began registering these events earlier. The New York State Archives has vital records indexes starting in 1880, but doesn't hold copies of the original records. Uncertified copies of vital records can be ordered from the New York State Department of Health in Albany. Vital records for the five boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island) can be ordered from the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene and New York Municipal Archives. Birth records are open to the general public for births that occurred at least 75 years ago and for marriage and death records that occurred at least 50 years ago. Access to copies of more recent vital records is restricted to immediate family members.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah also holds a large collection of historical records relating to the state of New York. This is the largest and most important genealogy collection in the world and is worth a visit to explore the many billions of records that can be found there. Published material consists of books, microfilm, microfiche, and other records for the 62 counties of New York. The Family History Library also has smaller family history centers located throughout the world where you can order microfilm and have these records shipped from Utah to the local area where you live. The library has also transcribed and indexed millions of New York vital, immigration, census, military, and other records which are available to view or download online at FamilySearch.org.


New York

10 largest cities (2012 est.): New York, 8,336,697 Brooklyn, 2,538,705 Queens, 2,277,251 Manhattan, 1,621,897 Bronx, 1,383,871 Staten Island, 481,026 Buffalo, 259,384 North Hempstead, 227, 058 Rochester, 210,532 Yonkers , 198,449

Geographic center: In Madison Co., 12 mi. S of Oneida and 26 mi. SW of Utica

Number of counties: 62

Largest county by population and area: Kings, 2,486,235 (2005) St. Lawrence, 2,686 sq mi.

State forest preserves: Adirondacks, 2,500,000 ac. Catskills, 250,000 ac.

2000 resident census population (rank): 18,976,457 (3). Male: 9,146,748 (48.2%) Female: 9,829,709 (51.8%). White: 12,893,689 (67.9%) Black: 3,014,385 (15.9%) American Indian: 82,461 (0.4%) Asian: 1,044,976 (5.5%) Other race: 1,341,946 (7.1%) Two or more races: 590,182 (3.1%) Hispanic/Latino: 2,867,583 (15.1%). 2000 percent population 18 and over: 75.3 65 and over: 12.9 median age: 35.9.

Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian-born navigator sailing for France, discovered New York Bay in 1524. Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch, reached the bay and sailed up the river now bearing his name in 1609, the same year that northern New York was explored and claimed for France by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1624 the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange (now Albany). One year later Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for trinkets worth about 60 Dutch guilders and founded the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City), which was surrendered to the English in 1664.

New York's extremely rapid commercial growth may be partly attributed to Gov. De Witt Clinton, who pushed through the construction of the Erie Canal (Buffalo to Albany), which was opened in 1825. Today, the 641-mile Gov. Thomas E. Dewey Thruway connects New York City with Buffalo and with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania express highways. Two toll-free superhighways, the Adirondack Northway (linking Albany with the Canadian border) and the North-South Expressway (crossing central New York from the Pennsylvania border to the Thousand Islands), have been opened.

The great metropolis of New York City is the nerve center of the nation. It is a leader in manufacturing, foreign trade, commerce and banking, book and magazine publishing, and theatrical production. A leading seaport, its John F. Kennedy International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. New York is also home to the New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world. The printing and publishing industry is the city's largest manufacturing employer, with the apparel industry second.

Nearly all the rest of the state's manufacturing is done on Long Island, along the Hudson River north to Albany, and through the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Southern Tier regions to Buffalo. The St. Lawrence seaway and power projects have opened the North Country to industrial expansion and have given the state a second seacoast.

The state ranks sixth in the nation in manufacturing, with 446,200 employees in 2009. The principal industries are printing and publishing, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic equipment, and instruments. The convention and tourist business is also an important source of income.

New York farms produce cattle and calves, corn and poultry, and vegetables and fruits. The state is a leading wine producer.

New York was hit particularly hard by 2012's Superstorm Sandy in late October. The storm was responsible for 60 deaths in the state??43 in New York City, more than 305,000 houses or apartments in the state were damaged or destroyed, a fire in the Breezy Point section of Queens completely devastated more than 100 homes, and New York City's subway system was crippled by flooded stations. Sandy caused nearly $33 billion in damages in New York.


Legends of America

Native Americans watch as Sir Henry Hudson arrives in New York

Before Europeans began to arrive in the 16th century, New York was inhabited by Algonquian and-Iroquoian speaking Native Americans. The Algonquian, including the Mohegan, Lenni Lenape, and Wappinger tribes, lived chiefly in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. The Iroquois, living in the central and western parts of the state, included the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca tribes, who joined together in about 1570 to form the Iroquois Confederacy.

The first European explorer to discover New York was Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian-born navigator employed by France when he came to New York Bay in 1524. Though he is credited with the first discovery, he did little exploring. Henry Hudson, an English explorer working for the Dutch, reached New York Bay and sailed up the river now bearing his name in 1609.

The same year, Samuel de Champlain, a Frenchman from Canada explored and claimed northern New York. The French, who had allied themselves with the Huron tribe of Ontario, continued to push into northern and western New York from Canada but met with resistance from the Iroquois Confederacy, which dominated western New York.

In 1614, Fort Nassau was built near the site of the present-day capital of Albany. The fortification, which served as a trading post and warehouse, was sighted on an earlier French fortification from 1540. Early on, the Dutch claimed the Hudson River region, and the Dutch West India Company, which was organized in 1623, established the colony of New Netherland in 1624. The first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange, which replaced Fort Nassau in present-day Albany. Two years later, in 1626, Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Canarsie tribe for goods worth about 60 Dutch guilders and established the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam on the lower tip of present-day Manhattan Island, which would later become New York City.

The English captured the colony in 1664 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York, with its boundaries roughly similar to those of the present-day state. The city of New York was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange, however, it was returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later. The threat of the French was continuous, and New York was involved in a number of the French and Indian Wars from 1689 to 1763, which hindered the growth of the province and much of western New York remained unsettled by colonists throughout the 18th century.

Slowly, the colony expanded, establishing its first college in 1754 in New York City. Initially, called King’s College, it continues as Columbia University today.

Beginning to establish its own identity separate from England, colonial self-assertiveness grew after the warfare with the French ended. With England’s restrictive commercial laws, the Navigation Acts were flouted by smuggling. When the Stamp Act was passed, New York was a leader of the opposition, and the Stamp Act Congress met in New York City in 1765 and the Sons of Liberty were organized. The policies of Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden, who did not oppose the Stamp Act, caused considerable complaints and unrest grew.

As troubles flared and escalated into the American Revolution, New Yorkers were divided in their loyalties. New York endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776, and the state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains the following day.

The first major battle of the American Revolution, after independence was declared, was the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. The largest battle of the entire war, the British victory made New York City their military and political base of operations for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the center of attention for General George Washington. About one-third of all the military engagements of the American Revolution took place in New York state. The British held New York City to the war’s end. The state had, however, declared independence and functioned with Kingston as its capital. In 1777, Brigadier General George Clinton was elected New York’s first governor. He would become the longest-serving Governor in the US, holding office until 1795, then again from 1801 to 1804, before becoming Vice President of the US in 1805 until his death in 1812.

After the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, was signed on September 3, 1783, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. New York City served briefly as the capital of the new nation from 1789-1790 and was also the state capital until 1797 when Albany succeeded it.

The Fall of New Amsterdam

New York rose quickly and in the 1780’s increased commerce and industry marked the turn away from the old, primarily agricultural, order.

In 1807-1808 new concerns over a possible war with Great Britain, prompted President Thomas Jefferson to renew fortification programs along the east coast, which became known as the Second System of fortifications. These forts in New York included Fort Columbus, Castle Williams, Fort Wood and Gibson, the Humbert Battery and Castle Clinton. In the War of 1812, New York saw action in 1813–14, with the British capture of Fort Niagara and particularly with the brilliant naval victory of Thomas Macdonough over the British on Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh.

Erie Canal, Lockport, New York

New York’s extremely rapid commercial growth is partly attributed to Governor De Witt Clinton, who pushed through the construction of the Erie Canal, which was opened in 1825. The canal along with railroad lines which were built beginning in 1831, made New York the major East-West commercial route in the 19th Century and helped to account for the growth and prosperity of the port of New York.

Cities along the canal including Buffalo, Syracuse, Rome, Utica, and Schenectady prospered. Albany grew, and New York City, whose first bank had been established by Hamilton in 1784, became the financial capital of the nation. New York City also expanded into manufacturing, foreign trade, commerce, magazine publishing, and theatrical production becoming the nerve center of the nation.

In the 1840s famine and revolution in Europe resulted in a great wave of Irish and German immigrants, whose first stop in America was usually New York City.

New York draft riots during the Civil War

Slavery ended in New York State in 1827, yet this victory did not sever the state’s connections to enslaved labor. The conflict between the North and South came right to the streets of New York. Local factories produced food, clothing, and other necessities for the army and the state became a hotbed of slavery politics. In less than half a century, abolitionists convinced many northerners that American slavery could not be reconciled with American freedom. The conflict between the two sides, one favorable to slavery and one opposed, was all but inevitable. In 1863, these tensions came to a head in New York City during the 1863 draft riots, the worst civil unrest in the nation’s history. A measure of a resolution came when black regiments from New York were allowed to join the effort to end slavery.

After the Civil War, New York was changed by immigration, prosperity, and the legal freedoms granted to African-Americans by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Nevertheless, deep-seated racial prejudice remained for years.

As economic growth accelerated, political corruption became rampant. After 1880 the inpouring of immigrants from Ireland, Italy, and Eastern Europe brought workers for the old industries, which were expanding, and for the new ones, including the electrical and chemical industries, which were being established. Labor conditions worsened but were challenged by the growing labor movement, whose targets included sweatshops, which were particularly notorious in New York City.

By 1900, New York was the richest and most populous state and the Burroughs of New York City had combined to make the nation’s largest metropolitan area. The state enjoyed a booming economy during the Roaring Twenties, but, like everywhere else in the nation, would suffer during the Great Depression, facing upwards of 25% unemployment.

When World War II began, as the largest state, New York supplied the most resources and suffered 31,215 casualties. This period constituted New York’s last great industrial era. At its conclusion, the defense industry shrank and the economy shifted towards producing services rather than goods. Returning soldiers disproportionately displaced female and minority workers who had entered the workforce when so many of the men were at war. Companies began to move to the south and west, seeking lower taxes and a less costly, non–union workforce, taking many New York workers with them.

Larger cities stopped growing around 1950. Buffalo’s population fell by half between 1950 and 2000. Reduced immigration and worker migration led New York State’s population to decline for the first time between 1970 and 1980. Growth resumed only in New York City, in the 1980’s, spurred by telecommunication and high technology industries. Upstate did not fare as well as downstate as the new major industries that began to reinvigorate New York City did not typically spread to other regions.

Today, New York state ranks seventh in the nation in manufacturing. Other principal industries include printing and publishing, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic equipment, and instruments, and tourism. New York farms produce cattle and calves, corn and poultry, and vegetables and fruits, and the state is also a leading wine producer.


New York State Culture

Religion in New York State

Catholics represent 40% of New York's population, while 30% of New Yorkers identify as Protestant. Smaller Jewish and Muslim minorities comprise 8.5 and 3.5% of the population, respectively. Approximately 13% of New Yorkers say they have no religious affiliation.

Social Conventions in New York State

While visitors' perceptions of New York State may be that of a liberal state, keep in mind that that perception is shaped primarily by and about New York City. It is often forgotten that there is more to New York State than the New York metropolitan area, where because of their heavy accents and fast-paced lifestyle downstate New Yorkers are prone to being stereotyped as abrasive, loud and snobbish.

Though they are not an insignificant part of the state's population (indeed, they number more than 8 million of the state's 19.5 million residents), they are also not representative of the larger norm. Practices, behaviours, and forms of dress and speech that are perfectly acceptable in New York City may be considered inappropriate in other parts of the state.

Outside of New York City, it is generally considered impolite to discuss religious or political beliefs among acquaintances. People meeting for the first time typically shake hands rather than kiss or embrace. Outside of the city New Yorkers are known for their friendliness.

From downstate to upstate, New York has a very diverse population. Because of the myriad cultures and religions New York possesses an eclectic mix of social conventions, but while cultural diversity is visible in other parts of the state, it is not as evident as in New York City.


Contents

Native American history Edit

The tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Haudenosaunee and Algonquian. [28] Long Island was divided roughly in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape. The Lenape also controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor. [42] North of the Lenape was a third Algonquian nation, the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided roughly along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. [43] [44] [45] [46]

Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, [47] however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time. They may have merged with the Shawnee. [48] [49]

The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes. The Mohawk were also known for refusing white settlement on their land and discriminating any of their people who converted to Christianity. [50] They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock briefly conquered the Lenape in the 1600s. The most devastating event of the century, however, was the Beaver Wars.

From approximately 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other. The aim was to control more land for animal trapping, [51] a career most natives had turned to in hopes of trading with whites first. This completely changed the ethnography of the region, and most large game was hunted out before whites ever fully explored the land. Still, afterward, the Iroquois Confederacy offered shelter to refugees of the Mascouten, Erie, Chonnonton, Tutelo, Saponi, and Tuscarora nations.

In the 1700s, they would also merge with the Mohawk during the French-Indian War and take in the remaining Susquehannock of Pennsylvania after they were decimated in war. [52] Most of these other groups blended in until they ceased to exist. Then, after the American Revolution, a large group of them split off and returned to Ohio, becoming known as the Mingo Seneca. The current six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy are the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora and Mohawk. The Iroquois fought for both sides during the Revolutionary War afterwards many pro-British Iroquois migrated to Canada. Today, the Iroquois still live in several reservations in Upstate New York. [53] [54] [55] [56]

Meanwhile, the Lenape formed a close relationship with William Penn. However, upon Penn's death, his sons managed to take over much of their lands and banish them to Ohio. [57] When the U.S. drafted the Indian Removal Act, the Lenape were further moved to Missouri, whereas their cousins, the Mohicans, were sent to Wisconsin.

Also, in 1778, the United States relocated the Nanticoke from the Delmarva Peninsula to the former Iroquois lands south of Lake Ontario, though they did not stay long. Mostly, they chose to migrate into Canada and merge with the Iroquois, although some moved west and merged with the Lenape. [58]

16th century Edit

In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French crown, explored the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay. On April 17, 1524, Verrazzano entered New York Bay, [59] [60] by way of the strait now called the Narrows into the northern bay which he named Santa Margherita, in honor of the King of France's sister. Verrazzano described it as "a vast coastline with a deep delta in which every kind of ship could pass" and he adds: "that it extends inland for a league and opens up to form a beautiful lake. This vast sheet of water swarmed with native boats." He landed on the tip of Manhattan and possibly on the furthest point of Long Island. Verrazzano's stay was interrupted by a storm which pushed him north towards Martha's Vineyard. [61]

In 1540, French traders from New France built a chateau on Castle Island, within present-day Albany it was abandoned the following year due to flooding. In 1614, the Dutch, under the command of Hendrick Corstiaensen, rebuilt the French chateau, which they called Fort Nassau. [30] Fort Nassau was the first Dutch settlement in North America, and was located along the Hudson River, also within present-day Albany. The small fort served as a trading post and warehouse. Located on the Hudson River flood plain, the rudimentary "fort" was washed away by flooding in 1617, [62] and abandoned for good after Fort Orange (New Netherland) was built nearby in 1623. [63]

17th century Edit

Henry Hudson's 1609 voyage marked the beginning of European involvement with the area. Sailing for the Dutch East India Company and looking for a passage to Asia, he entered the Upper New York Bay on September 11 of that year. [64] Word of his findings encouraged Dutch merchants to explore the coast in search for profitable fur trading with local Native American tribes.

During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois, and other tribes were founded in the colony of New Netherland. The first of these trading posts were Fort Nassau (1614, near present-day Albany) Fort Orange (1624, on the Hudson River just south of the current city of Albany and created to replace Fort Nassau), developing into settlement Beverwijck (1647), and into what became Albany Fort Amsterdam (1625, to develop into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City) and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The success of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck (1630), which surrounded Albany and lasted until the mid-19th century, was also a key factor in the early success of the colony. The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. The city of New York was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange. It was returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later. [65]

18th century, the American Revolution, and statehood Edit

The Sons of Liberty were organized in New York City during the 1760s, largely in response to the oppressive Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765. [66] The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19 of that year, composed of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies who set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence. This included the right to representative government. At the same time, given strong commercial, personal and sentimental links to Britain, many New York residents were Loyalists. The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775.

New York was the only colony not to vote for independence, as the delegates were not authorized to do so. New York then endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. [67] The New York State Constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, finished its work at Kingston on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution drafted by John Jay was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. On July 30, 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston. [68]

About a third of the battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in New York the first major one (and largest of the entire war) was the Battle of Long Island, a.k.a. Battle of Brooklyn, in August 1776. After their victory, the British occupied New York City, making it their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the focus of General George Washington's intelligence network. On the notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay, more American combatants died of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war combined. Both sides of combatants lost more soldiers to disease than to outright wounds. The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, [69] a success that influenced France to ally with the revolutionaries. The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

In an attempt to retain their sovereignty and remain an independent nation positioned between the new United States and British North America, four of the Iroquois Nations fought on the side of the British only the Oneida and their dependents, the Tuscarora, allied themselves with the Americans. [70] In retaliation for attacks on the frontier led by Joseph Brant and Loyalist Mohawk forces, the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 destroyed nearly 50 Iroquois villages, adjacent croplands and winter stores, forcing many refugees to British-held Niagara. [71]

As allies of the British, the Iroquois were forced out of New York, although they had not been part of treaty negotiations. They resettled in Canada after the war and were given land grants by the Crown. In the treaty settlement, the British ceded most Indian lands to the new United States. Because New York made treaty with the Iroquois without getting Congressional approval, some of the land purchases have been subject to land claim suits since the late 20th century by the federally recognized tribes. New York put up more than 5 million acres (20,000 km 2 ) of former Iroquois territory for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in Upstate New York. [72] As per the Treaty of Paris, the last vestige of British authority in the former Thirteen Colonies—their troops in New York City—departed in 1783, which was long afterward celebrated as Evacuation Day. [73]

New York City was the national capital under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first national government. That organization was found to be insufficient, and prominent New Yorker Alexander Hamilton advocated a new government that would include an executive, national courts, and the power to tax. Hamilton led the Annapolis Convention (1786) that called for the Philadelphia Convention, which drafted the United States Constitution, in which he also took part. The new government was to be a strong federal national government to replace the relatively weaker confederation of individual states. Following heated debate, which included the publication of the now quintessential constitutional interpretation—The Federalist Papers—as a series of installments in New York City newspapers, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. [74] New York remained the national capital under the new constitution until 1790, [75] and was the site of the inauguration of President George Washington, [76] the drafting of the United States Bill of Rights, and the first session of the United States Supreme Court.

Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, South Carolina. Slavery was extensive in New York City and some agricultural areas. The state passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery soon after the Revolutionary War, but the last slave in New York was not freed until 1827. [77]

19th century Edit

Transportation in Western New York was by expensive wagons on muddy roads before canals opened up the rich farm lands to long-distance traffic. Governor DeWitt Clinton promoted the Erie Canal, which connected New York City to the Great Lakes by the Hudson River, the new canal, and the rivers and lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal opened in 1825. Packet boats pulled by horses on tow paths traveled slowly over the canal carrying passengers and freight. [78] Farm products came in from the Midwest, and finished manufactured goods moved west. It was an engineering marvel which opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. It enabled Great Lakes port cities such as Buffalo and Rochester to grow and prosper. It also connected the burgeoning agricultural production of the Midwest and shipping on the Great Lakes, with the port of New York City. Improving transportation, it enabled additional population migration to territories west of New York. After 1850, railroads largely replaced the canal. [79]

New York City was a major ocean port and had extensive traffic importing cotton from the South and exporting manufacturing goods. Nearly half of the state's exports were related to cotton. Southern cotton factors, planters and bankers visited so often that they had favorite hotels. [80] At the same time, activism for abolitionism was strong upstate, where some communities provided stops on the Underground Railroad. Upstate, and New York City, gave strong support for the American Civil War, in terms of finances, volunteer soldiers, and supplies. The state provided more than 370,000 soldiers to the Union armies. Over 53,000 New Yorkers died in service, roughly one of every seven who served. However, Irish draft riots in 1862 were a significant embarrassment. [81] [82]

Immigration Edit

Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for legal immigration into the United States. In the United States, the federal government did not assume direct jurisdiction for immigration until 1890. Prior to this time, the matter was delegated to the individual states, then via contract between the states and the federal government. Most immigrants to New York would disembark at the bustling docks along the Hudson and East Rivers, in the eventual Lower Manhattan. On May 4, 1847, the New York State Legislature created the Board of Commissioners of Immigration to regulate immigration. [83]

The first permanent immigration depot in New York was established in 1855 at Castle Garden, a converted War of 1812 era fort located within what is now Battery Park, at the tip of Lower Manhattan. The first immigrants to arrive at the new depot were aboard three ships that had just been released from quarantine. Castle Garden served as New York's immigrant depot until it closed on April 18, 1890, when the federal government assumed control over immigration. During that period, more than eight million immigrants passed through its doors (two of every three U.S. immigrants). [84]

When the federal government assumed control, it established the Bureau of Immigration, which chose the three-acre Ellis Island in Upper New York Harbor for an entry depot. Already federally controlled, the island had served as an ammunition depot. It was chosen due its relative isolation with proximity to New York City and the rail lines of Jersey City, New Jersey, via a short ferry ride. While the island was being developed and expanded via land reclamation, the federal government operated a temporary depot at the Barge Office at the Battery. [85]

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, and operated as a central immigration center until the National Origins Act was passed in 1924, reducing immigration. After that date, the only immigrants to pass through were displaced persons or war refugees. The island ceased all immigration processing on November 12, 1954, when the last person detained on the island, Norwegian seaman Arne Peterssen, was released. He had overstayed his shore leave and left on the 10:15 a.m. Manhattan-bound ferry to return to his ship.

More than twelve million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. More than a hundred million Americans across the United States can trace their ancestry to these immigrants. Ellis Island was the subject of a contentious and long-running border and jurisdictional dispute between New York State and the State of New Jersey, as both claimed it. The issue was settled in 1998 by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that the original 3.3-acre (1.3 ha) island was New York State territory and that the balance of the 27.5 acres (11 ha) added after 1834 by landfill was in New Jersey. [86] The island was added to the National Park Service system in May 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and is still owned by the federal government as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island was opened to the public as a museum of immigration in 1990. [87]

September 11, 2001 Edit

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, and the towers collapsed. 7 World Trade Center also collapsed due to damage from fires. The other buildings of the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and demolished soon thereafter. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 2,753 victims, including 147 aboard the two planes. Since September 11, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored. In the years since, over 7,000 rescue workers and residents of the area have developed several life-threatening illnesses, and some have died. [88] [89]

A memorial at the site, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was opened to the public on September 11, 2011. A permanent museum later opened at the site on March 21, 2014. Upon its completion in 2014, the new One World Trade Center became the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet (541 m), meant to symbolize the year America gained its independence, 1776. [90] From 2006 to 2018, 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, 7 World Trade Center, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Liberty Park, and Fiterman Hall were completed. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center are under construction at the World Trade Center site.

Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Edit

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction of the state's shorelines, ravaging portions of New York City, Long Island, and southern Westchester with record-high storm surge, with severe flooding and high winds causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and leading to gasoline shortages and disruption of mass transit systems. The storm and its profound effects have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of New York City and Long Island to minimize the risk from another such future event. Such risk is considered highly probable due to global warming and rising sea levels. [91] [92]

COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 Edit

On March 1, 2020, New York had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. [93] Since March 28, New York had the highest number of confirmed cases of any state in the United States California and Texas outpaced the state as of February 1, 2021. [94] Nearly 50 percent of known national cases were in the state as of March 2020, [95] with one-third of total known U.S. cases being in New York City. [96] From May 19–20, Western New York and the Capital Region entered Phase 1 of reopening. [97] [98] On May 26, the Hudson Valley began Phase 1, [99] and New York City partially reopened on June 8. [100]

During July 2020, a federal judge ruled Cuomo and De Blasio exceeded authority by limiting religious gatherings to 25% when others operated at 50% capacity. [101] [102] [103] On Thanksgiving Eve, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked additional religious restrictions imposed by Cuomo for areas with high infection rates. [104] New York's government released a new seal, coat of arms, and flag in April during the pandemic, adding "E pluribus unum" below the state's motto. [105] [106] A bill utilizing newly designed flag, arms and seal went into effect in September. [107]

The state of New York covers a total area of 54,556 square miles (141,300 km 2 ) and ranks as the 27th largest state by size. [2] The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks (Upstate New York), at 5,344 feet (1,629 meters) above sea level while the state's lowest point is at sea level, on the Atlantic Ocean in Downstate New York. [108]

In contrast with New York City's urban landscape, the vast majority of the state's geographic area is dominated by meadows, forests, rivers, farms, mountains, and lakes. Most of the southern part of the state rests on the Allegheny Plateau, which extends from the southeastern United States to the Catskill Mountains the section in New York State is known as the Southern Tier. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the Lake Champlain Valley. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York and contains Lake Champlain Valley as its northern half and the Hudson Valley as its southern half within the state. The Tug Hill region arises as a cuesta east of Lake Ontario. [109] The state of New York contains a part of the Marcellus shale, which extends into Ohio and Pennsylvania. [110]

Upstate and Downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York State. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention. [111] Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania, [112] and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canada–U.S. border to everything north of the Mohawk River. [113]

Water Edit

Borders Edit

Of New York State's total area, 13.6% consists of water. [114] Much of New York's boundaries are in water, as is true for New York City: four of its five boroughs are situated on three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island Staten Island and Long Island, which contains Brooklyn and Queens at its western end. The state's borders include a water boundary in (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River) the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, with New York and Ontario sharing the Thousand Islands archipelago within the Saint Lawrence River, while most of its border with Quebec is on land it shares Lake Champlain with the New England state of Vermont the New England state of Massachusetts has mostly a land border New York extends into Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, sharing a water border with Rhode Island, while Connecticut has land and sea borders. Except for areas near the New York Harbor and the Upper Delaware River, New York has a mostly land border with two Mid-Atlantic states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New York is the only state that includes within its borders parts of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Drainage Edit

The Hudson River begins near 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 River and then ultimately the Saint Lawrence River. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware River systems. Niagara Falls is shared between New York and Ontario as it flows on the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. 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. [115]

Climate Edit

In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though under the Köppen climate classification, New York City has a humid subtropical climate. [116] Weather in New York is heavily influenced by two continental air masses: a warm, humid one from the southwest and a cold, dry one from the northwest. Downstate New York, comprising New York City, Long Island, and lower portions of the Hudson Valley, has rather hot summers with some periods of high humidity and cold, damp winters which are relatively mild compared to temperatures in Upstate New York due to the downstate region's lower elevation, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and relatively lower latitude.

Upstate New York experiences warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions, with long and cold winters. Western New York, particularly the Tug Hill region, receives heavy lake-effect snows, especially during the earlier portions of winter, before the surface of Lake Ontario itself is covered by ice. The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and at higher elevations of the Southern Tier. Buffalo and its metropolitan area are described as climate change havens for their weather pattern in Western New York. [117] [118] [119] [120]

Summer daytime temperatures range from the high 70s to low 80s (25 to 28 °C), over most of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of −13 °F (−25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F (−15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands of the Southern Tier. New York had a record-high temperature of 108 °F (42.2 °C) on July 22, 1926. [121] Its record-lowest temperature during the winter was −52 °F (−46.7 °C) in 1979. [121]

Climate change Edit

Climate change in New York encompasses the effects of climate change, attributed to man-made increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in the U.S. state of New York. It is of concern due to its impact on the people, ecosystem, and economy of the state. Many parts of the state are already experiencing weather changes, and sea-level rise, and threatening local communities.

New York State ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This relative efficient energy usage is primarily due to the dense, compact settlement in the New York City metropolitan area, and the high rate of mass transit use in this area and between major cities. [122] The main sources of greenhouse gases per the state government are transportation, buildings, electricity generation, waste, refrigerants, and agriculture. [123] In 2019 the state pledged to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [124]

Flora and fauna Edit

Some species that can be found in this state are american ginseng, starry stonewort, waterthyme, water chestnut, eastern poison ivy, poison sumac, giant hogweed, cow parsnip and common nettle. [125] There are more than 20 mammal species, more than 20 bird species, some species of amphibians, and several reptile species.

Birds of prey that are present in the state are great horned owls, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and northern harriers. Waterfowl like mallards, wood ducks, canvasbacks, American black ducks, Canada geese, and blue-winged teals can be found in the region. Maritime or shore birds of New York are great blue heron, killdeers, northern cardinals, American herring gulls, and common terns. [127] Reptiles species that can be seen in land areas of New York are queen snake, massasauga, hellbender, diamondback terrapin, spotted turtle, and Blanding's turtle. Species of turtles that can be found in the sea are green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle and Kemp's ridley sea turtle. [128] New York Harbor and the Hudson River constitute an estuary, making New York state home to a rich array of marine life including shellfish—such as oysters and clams—as well as fish, microorganisms, and sea-birds.

Regions Edit

Due to its long history, New York has several overlapping and often conflicting definitions of regions within the state. The regions are also not fully definable due to colloquial use of regional labels. The New York State Department of Economic Development provides two distinct definitions of these regions. It divides the state into ten economic regions, [129] which approximately correspond to terminology used by residents:

The department also groups the counties into eleven regions for tourism purposes: [130]

State parks Edit

New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Niagara Falls State Park, established in 1885, is the oldest state park in the United States and the first to be created via eminent domain. [131] [132] In 1892, Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, [133] was established and given state constitutional protection to remain "forever wild" in 1894. The park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined. [133] It is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic National Parks combined. [134] The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, [135] which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km 2 ) of land, [135] the park is a habitat for deer, minks, and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. [136] The state operates numerous campgrounds, and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.

The 1797 Montauk Lighthouse, commissioned under President George Washington, is a major tourist attraction in Montauk State Park at the easternmost tip of Long Island. Hither Hills State Park, also on the South Fork of Long Island, offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen.

National parks, monuments, and historic landmarks Edit

New York State is well represented in the National Park System with 22 national parks, which received 16,349,381 visitors in 2011. In addition, there are four national heritage areas, 27 national natural landmarks, 262 national historic landmarks, and 5,379 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Some major areas, landmarks, and monuments are listed below.

  • The Statue of Liberty National Monument includes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The statue, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and formally named Liberty Enlightening the World, was a gift from France to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence it was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886. It has since become an icon of the United States and the concepts of democracy and freedom.
  • The African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan is the only national monument dedicated to Americans of African ancestry. It preserves a site containing the remains of more than 400 Africans buried during the late 17th and 18th centuries in a portion of what was the largest colonial-era cemetery for people of African descent, both free and enslaved, with an estimated tens of thousands of remains interred. The site's excavation and study were called "the most important historic urban archeological project in the United States". [138] is a United Statesnational seashore that protects a 26-mile (42 km) section of Fire Island, an approximately 30-mile (48 km) long barrier island separated from the mainland of Long Island by the Great South Bay. The island is part of Suffolk County. [139] is more than 26,000 acres (10,522 ha) of water, salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and shoreline at the entrance to New York Harbor, [140] the majority of which lies within New York. Including areas on Long Island and in New Jersey, it covers more area than that of two Manhattan islands. is the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant and is the largest mausoleum in North America. preserves the home of Alexander Hamilton, Caribbean immigrant and orphan who rose to be a United States founding father and associate of George Washington.
  • The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, established in 1945, preserves the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York. Springwood was the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial place of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. was designated by the U.S. Congress in 2008 it stretches from the western boundary of Wheatfield, New York to the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario, including the communities of Niagara Falls, Youngstown, and Lewiston. It includes Niagara Falls State Park and Colonial Niagara Historic District. It is managed in collaboration with the state. preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga, the first significant American military victory of the American Revolutionary War. In 1777, American forces defeated a major British Army, [69] which led France to recognize the independence of the United States, and enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans. , in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights, designated on June 24, 2016. The monument comprises the Stonewall Inn, commonly recognized to be the cradle of the gay liberation movement as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots the adjacent Christopher Park and surrounding streets and sidewalks. [141][142][143]
  • Manhattan's Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is also the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt, the only president born in New York City until Donald Trump.

Administrative divisions Edit

New York is divided into 62 counties. Aside from the five counties of New York City, each of these counties is subdivided into towns and cities, incorporated under state law. Towns can contain incorporated villages or unincorporated hamlets. New York City is divided into five boroughs, each coterminous with a county. The major cities of the state developed along the key transportation and trade routes of the early 19th century, including the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, the New York Thruway acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes. [144] Downstate New York (New York City, Long Island, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley) can be considered to form the central core of the Northeast megalopolis, an urbanized region stretching from New Hampshire to Virginia.

Cities and towns Edit

There are 62 cities in New York. The largest city in the state and the most populous city in the United States is New York City, which comprises five counties (each coextensive with a borough): Bronx, New York County (Manhattan), Queens, Kings County (Brooklyn), and Richmond County (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population. Albany, the state capital, is the sixth-largest city in New York State. The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, in Oneida County. Hempstead is the most populous town in the state if it were a city, it would be the second largest in New York State, with more than 700,000 residents. New York contains 13 metropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. [145] Major metro areas include New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, the Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, and Troy), Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Utica, and Binghamton.

Population Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790340,120
1800589,051 73.2%
1810959,049 62.8%
18201,372,812 43.1%
18301,918,608 39.8%
18402,428,921 26.6%
18503,097,394 27.5%
18603,880,735 25.3%
18704,382,759 12.9%
18805,082,871 16.0%
18906,003,174 18.1%
19007,268,894 21.1%
19109,113,614 25.4%
192010,385,227 14.0%
193012,588,066 21.2%
194013,479,142 7.1%
195014,830,192 10.0%
196016,782,304 13.2%
197018,236,967 8.7%
198017,558,072 −3.7%
199017,990,455 2.5%
200018,976,457 5.5%
201019,378,102 2.1%
202020,201,249 4.2%
Sources: 1910–2020 [147]

The U.S.'s most populous state until the 1960s, New York is now the fourth most-populous state, behind, California, Texas, and Florida. The distribution of change in population growth is uneven in New York State the New York City metropolitan area is growing, along with Saratoga County, while cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, among others, have been losing population for decades. [148] New York City gained more residents between April 2010 and July 2018 (223,615) than any other U.S. city. [149] Conversely, outside of the Ithaca area, population growth in much of Western New York is nearly stagnant. [148]

According to immigration statistics, the state is a leading recipient of migrants from around the globe. In 2008 New York State had the second-largest international immigrant population in the country among the American states, at 4.2 million most reside in and around New York City, due to its size, high profile, vibrant economy, and cosmopolitan culture. New York has a pro-sanctuary city law. [150]

The United States Census Bureau tabulated in the 2020 United States census that the population of New York was 20,215,751 on April 1, 2020, a 4.3% increase since the 2010 United States census. [6] [151] Despite the open land in the state, New York State's population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area, [152] predominantly in the New York City metropolitan area.

Two-thirds of New York State's population resides in the New York City metropolitan area. New York City is the most populous city in the United States, [153] with an estimated record high population of 8,622,698 in 2017, [11] incorporating more immigration into the city than emigration since the 2010 United States census. [154] At least twice as many people live in New York City as in the second-most populous U.S. city (Los Angeles), [155] and within a smaller area. Long Island alone accounted for a census-estimated 7,838,722 residents in 2015, representing 39.6% of New York State's population. [11] [156] [157] [158] [159] Of the total statewide population, 6.5% of New Yorkers were under five years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older.

Race and ethnicity Edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York had a racial and ethnic makeup of 55.1% non-Hispanic whites, 14.2% Blacks or African Americans, 0.2% American Indians or Alaska Natives, 8.6% Asians, 0.6% from some other race, 2.1% from two or more races, and 19.3% Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race. There were an estimated 3,725 Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the state in 2019. [160] Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race were 17.6% of the population in 2010 5.5% Puerto Rican, 4.4% Dominican, 2.4% were of Mexican, 0.4% Cuban, and 9.4% other Hispanic or Latin American origin. According to the American Community Survey, the largest ancestry White American groups were Italian (13.0%), Irish (12.1%), German (10.3%), American (5.4%), and English (5.2%). [161] [162]

The state's most populous racial group, non-Hispanic white, declined as a proportion of the state population from 94.6% in 1940 to 58.3% in 2010. [163] [164] As of 2011 [update] , 55.6% of New York's population younger than age 1 were minorities. [165] New York's robustly increasing Jewish population, the largest outside of Israel, [166] was the highest among states both by percentage and by absolute number in 2012. [167] It is driven by the high reproductive rate of Orthodox Jewish families, [168] particularly in Brooklyn and communities of the Hudson Valley.

New York is home to the second-largest Asian American population and the fourth-largest Black or African American population in the United States. New York's Black and African population increased by 2.0% between 2000 and 2010, to 3,073,800. [169] In 2019, the Black and African American population increased to an estimated 3,424,002. The Black or African American population is in a state of flux, as New York is the largest recipient of immigrants from Africa, [170] while established Blacks and African Americans are migrating out of New York to the southern United States. [171] The New York City neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major cultural capital for Blacks and African Americans of sub-Saharan descent, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn has the largest such population in the United States. Meanwhile, New York's Asian population increased by a notable 36% from 2000 to 2010, to 1,420,244 [169] in 2019, its population grew to an estimated 1,579,494. Queens, in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian American population and is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. [172] [173]

New York's growing Hispanic and Latin American population numbered 3,416,922 in 2010, [174] a 19% increase from the 2,867,583 enumerated in 2000. [175] In 2020, it numbered an estimated 3,811,000. [176] Queens is home to the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States. In addition, New York has the largest Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Jamaican American populations in the continental United States. The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State, which is the top destination for new Chinese immigrants, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into the state. [170] [177] [178] [179] [180] Multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown, in Brooklyn, and around Flushing, Queens, are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves, while also expanding rapidly eastward into suburban Nassau County, [181] on Long Island. [182] Long Island, including Queens and Nassau County, is also home to several Little Indias and a large Koreatown, with large and growing attendant populations of Indian Americans and Korean Americans, respectively. Brooklyn has been a destination for West Indian immigrants of African descent, as well as Asian Indian immigrants. The annual New York City India Day Parade, held on or approximately every August 15 since 1981, is the world's largest Indian Independence Day parade outside of India. [183]

In the 2000 U.S. census, New York had the largest Italian American population, composing the largest self-identified ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish Americans. Albany and the Mohawk Valley also have large communities of ethnic Italians and Irish Americans, reflecting 19th and early 20th-century immigration. According to the American Community Survey, New York had the largest Greek American population too, which counts 148,637 people (0.7% of the state). [162] In Buffalo and Western New York, German Americans comprise the largest ancestry. In the North Country of New York, French Canadians represent the leading ethnicity, given the area's proximity to Quebec. Americans of English ancestry are present throughout all of upstate New York, reflecting early colonial and later immigrants.

Languages Edit

Most common non-English languages (2010) [187]
Language Population
Spanish 14.44%
Chinese (incl. Cantonese and Mandarin) 2.61%
Russian 1.20%
Italian 1.18%
French Creole 0.79%
French 0.75%
Yiddish 0.67%
Korean 0.63%
Polish 0.53%
Bengali 0.43%

In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 69.5% of New York's population aged 5 years and older only spoke English, with 30.6% speaking a language other than English. Spanish remained the second most spoken non-English language with 2,758,925 speakers. Other Indo-European languages were spoken by 1,587,798 residents, and Asian and Pacific Islander languages were spoken by 948,959 people. [188]

At the American Community Survey's 2017 estimates, nearly six million residents spoke a language other than English. Approximately 1,249,541 New York residents spoke Spanish, 386,290 Chinese, 122,150 Russian, 63,615 Haitian Creole, 62,219 Bengali, and 60,405 Korean. [189] [187] In 2018, 12,756,975 aged 5 years and older spoke English alone and 10,415,395 aged 18 and older only spoke English. Spanish-speaking households by majority were not limited English-speaking. [190] An estimated 2.7 million households with residents aged 5 and older spoke Spanish. Chinese, Slavic, and French languages were the following largest household languages spoken in 2018. [191]

In 2010, 70.72% (12,788,233) of New York residents aged five and older reported speaking only English at home, while 14.44% (2,611,903) spoke Spanish, 2.61% (472,955) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.20% (216,468) Russian, 1.18% (213,785) Italian, 0.79% (142,169) French Creole, 0.75% (135,789) French, 0.67% (121,917) Yiddish, 0.63% (114,574) Korean, and Polish was spoken by 0.53% (95,413) of the population over the age of five. In total, 29.28% (5,295,016) of New York's population aged five and older reported speaking a language other than English. [187]

In 2010, the most common American English dialects spoken in New York, besides General American English, were the New York City area dialect (including New York Latino English and North Jersey English), the Western New England accent around Albany, and Inland Northern American English in Buffalo and western New York State. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City, [192] [193] [194] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. [195]

Sexual orientation and gender identity Edit

Roughly 3.8 percent of the state's adult population self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This constitutes a total LGBT adult population of 570,388 individuals. [197] In 2010, the number of same-sex couple households stood at roughly 48,932. [198] New York was the fifth state to license same-sex marriages, after New Hampshire. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, said "same-sex marriages in New York City have generated an estimated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in City revenues" in the first year after enactment of the Marriage Equality Act. [199] Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011, and were authorized to take place beginning thirty days thereafter. [200] New York City is also home to the largest transgender population in the United States, estimated at 25,000 in 2016. [201] The annual New York City Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, ending at Greenwich Village, and rivals the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade as the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June. [202]

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood within Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, [196] [203] [204] [205] and the modern fight for LGBT rights. [206] [207] In June 2017, plans were announced for the first official monument to LGBT individuals commissioned by the State of New York, in contrast to the Stonewall National Monument, which was commissioned by the U.S. federal government. The state monument was planned to be built in Hudson River Park in Manhattan, near the waterfront Hudson River piers which have served as historically significant symbols of New York's central role as a meeting place and a safe haven for LGBT communities. [208] [209]

Also as of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019, known as Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. [210] In New York City, the Stonewall 50–WorldPride NYC 2019 events produced by Heritage of Pride were enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program's LGBT division and included a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events that was open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programing to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn took place throughout the city and the world Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest LGBT pride celebration held in history, drawing an estimated five million people. [211] Brooklyn Liberation March, the largest transgender-rights demonstration in LGBTQ history, took place on June 14, 2020 stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, focused on supporting Black transgender lives, drawing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 participants. [212] [213]

Religion Edit

The majority of New York's religious population are Christian (60%), followed by the irreligious (27%), Judaism (7%), Islam (2%), Buddhism and Hinduism (1% each), and other faiths (0.5%). [215] Before the 1800s, Protestant sects dominated the religious life of New York, although religion did not play as large a role in the public life of New Netherland as it did in New England, with its Puritan population. [216] Historically, New York served as the foundation for new Christian denominations in the Second Great Awakening. Non-Western Christian traditions and non-Christian religions did not grow for much of the state's history because immigration was predominantly from Western Europe (which at the time was dominated by Western Christianity and favored by the quotas in federal immigration law). The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 removed the quotas, allowing for the growth of other religious groups.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in New York (31%). The largest Roman Catholic diocese is the Latin Church's Archdiocese of New York. The largest Eastern Catholic diocese is the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. The United Methodist Church is the largest Mainline Protestant denomination and second largest overall, followed by the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and other Continuing Anglican bodies. The Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and American Baptist Churches USA were the following largest Mainline denominations. Mainline Protestants together make up 11% of Christians in the state as of 2014. [215] In Evangelical Protestantism the Baptists, non-denominational Protestants, and Pentecostals were the largest groups. The National Baptist Convention (USA) and Progressive National Baptist Convention were the largest historically-black Protestant churches in New York. Roughly 10% of Christians in New York are Evangelical Protestants. [215] The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox collectively comprised 1% of the religious demographic alongside Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christians.

Non-Christian faiths accounted for 12% of the religious population. [215] Judaism is the second largest religion as of 2014. In 2010, 588,500 practiced Orthodox Judaism. [217] A little over 392,953 professed Islam. The Powers Street Mosque in New York City was the first Muslim organization in the state. [218] New York is also home to the oldest Zoroastrian fire temple in the United States. Less than 1% of New York's population practice New Age and contemporary paganism. Native American religions are also a prominent minority. [215] The irreligious are a growing community in the New York City metropolitan area. Statewide, 17% practice nothing in particular and 5% each are atheists and agnostic.

New York's gross state product in 2018 was US$1.7 trillion. [219] If New York State were an independent nation, it would rank as the 11th largest economy in the world. [220] However, in 2019, the multi-state, New York City-centered metropolitan statistical area produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $US2 trillion, ranking first nationally by a wide margin and behind the GDP of only nine nations.

Wall Street Edit

Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world. [22] [26] [222] [223] [224] Lower Manhattan is the third-largest central business district in the United States and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, as measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013. [221] [225] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012, [226] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually. [227] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry generated 19% of New York State's tax revenue. [228] New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy. [229] : 31–32 [230] New York also leads in hedge fund management private equity and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment managers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers. [229] : 34–35 New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States. [231]

Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained approximately 520 million square feet (48.1 million m 2 ) of office space in 2013, [232] making it the largest office market in the United States, [233] while Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the nation. [234]

Silicon Alley Edit

Silicon Alley, centered in New York City, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York City metropolitan region's high technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2015, Silicon Alley generated over $7.3 billion in venture capital investment. [35] High tech industries including digital media, biotechnology, software development, game design, and other fields in information technology are growing, bolstered by New York City's position at the terminus of several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, [235] its intellectual capital, as well as its growing outdoor wireless connectivity. [236] In December 2014, New York State announced a $50 million venture-capital fund to encourage enterprises working in biotechnology and advanced materials according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the seed money would facilitate entrepreneurs in bringing their research into the marketplace. [237] On December 19, 2011, then Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a two billion dollar graduate school of applied sciences on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital. [238] [239]

Tech Valley Edit

Albany, [240] Saratoga County, [241] [242] Rensselaer County, and the Hudson Valley, collectively recognized as eastern New York's Tech Valley, have experienced significant growth in the computer hardware side of the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector, digital electronics design, and water- and electricity-dependent integrated microchip circuit manufacturing, [241] involving companies including IBM and its Thomas J. Watson Research Center, [243] and the three foreign-owned firms, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor, among others. [240] [244] The area's high technology ecosystem is supported by technologically focused academic institutions including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. [240] In 2015, Tech Valley, straddling both sides of the Adirondack Northway and the New York Thruway, generated over $163 million in venture capital investment. [35] The Rochester area is important in the field of photographic processing and imaging as well as incubating an increasingly diverse high technology sphere encompassing STEM fields, similarly in part the result of private startup enterprises collaborating with major academic institutions, including the University of Rochester and Cornell University. [245] Westchester County has developed a burgeoning biotechnology sector in the 21st century, with over a billion dollars in planned private investment as of 2016. [246] [247] In April 2021, GlobalFoundries, a company specializing in the semiconductor industry, moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley, California to its most advanced semiconductor-chip manufacturing facility in Saratoga County near a section of the Adirondack Northway, in Malta, New York. [248]

Media and entertainment Edit

Creative industries, which are concerned with generating and distributing knowledge and information, such as new media, digital media, film and television production, advertising, fashion, design, and architecture, account for a growing share of employment, with New York City possessing a strong competitive advantage in these industries. [249] As of 2014 [update] , New York State was offering tax incentives of up to $420 million annually for filmmaking within the state, the most generous such tax rebate among the U.S. states. New York has also attracted higher-wage visual-effects employment by further augmenting its tax credit to a maximum of 35% for performing post-film production work in Upstate New York. [250] The filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly $9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015. [251]

Tourism Edit

I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is a slogan, a logo and state song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and has been used since 1977 to promote tourism in the state of New York, [252] including New York City. [253] [254] The trademarked logo is owned by New York State Empire State Development. [255] The Broadway League reported that Broadway shows sold approximately $1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013–2014 season, an 11.4% increase from $1.139 billion in the 2012–2013 season. Attendance in 2013–2014 stood at 12.21 million, representing a 5.5% increase from the 2012–2013 season's 11.57 million. [256]

Exports Edit

New York exports a wide variety of goods such as prepared foods, computers and electronics, cut diamonds, and other commodities. In 2007, the state exported a total of $71.1 billion worth of goods, with the five largest foreign export markets being Canada ($15 billion), the United Kingdom ($6 billion), Switzerland ($5.9 billion), Israel ($4.9 billion), and Hong Kong ($3.4 billion). New York's largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber. The state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes printing and the production of garments, mainly in New York City and furs, railroad equipment, automobile parts, and bus line vehicles, concentrated in Upstate regions.

New York is the nation's third-largest grape producing state, and second-largest wine producer by volume, behind California. The southern Finger Lakes hillsides, the Hudson Valley, the North Fork of Long Island, and the southern shore of Lake Erie are the primary grape- and wine-growing regions in New York, with many vineyards. In 2012, New York had 320 wineries and 37,000 grape bearing acres, generating full-time employment for nearly 25,000 and annual wages over $1.1 billion, and yielding $4.8 billion in direct economic impact from New York grapes, grape juice, and wine and grape products. [257]

Agriculture Edit

The New York agriculture industry is a major producer overall, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products including maple syrup, apples, cherries, cabbage, dairy products, onions, and potatoes. 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 $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. 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.

Energy Edit

In 2017, New York State consumed 156,370-gigawatthours (GWh) of electrical energy. Downstate regions (Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island) consumed 66% of that amount. Upstate regions produced 50% of that amount. The peak load in 2017 was 29,699 MW. The resource capability in 2017 was 42,839 MW. [258] [259] The NYISO's market monitor described the average all-in wholesale electric price as a range (a single value was not provided) from $25 per MWh to $53 per MWh for 2017. [260]

At the level of post-secondary education, the statewide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY). The SUNY system consists of 64 community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges, and doctoral-granting institutions. [261] The SUNY system has four "university centers": Albany (1844), Buffalo (1846), Binghamton (1946), and Stony Brook (1957). The SUNY system is home to three academic medical centers: Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in Long Island, SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University are among the most prominent of the larger higher education institutions in New York, all of them leading, world-renowned private universities and members of the Association of American Universities, the pre-eminent group of research universities in the United States.

Other notable large private universities include Syracuse University and Fordham University. Smaller notable private institutions of higher education include University of Rochester, Rockefeller University, Mercy College, New York Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Yeshiva University, and Hofstra University. There are also a multitude of postgraduate-level schools in New York State, including medical, law, and engineering schools.

West Point, the service academy of the U.S. Army, is located just south of Newburgh, on the west bank of the Hudson River. The federal Merchant Marine Academy is at Kings Point on Long Island.

A number of selective private liberal arts institutions are located in New York. Among them are Bard College, Barnard College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Marist College, Sarah Lawrence College, Skidmore College, Union College, and Vassar College. Two of these schools, Barnard and Vassar, are members of the elite Seven Sisters, originally all women's colleges with ties to the Ivy League. Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University, its Manhattan neighbor, and Vassar became coeducational in 1969 after declining an offer to merge with Yale University.

New York is also home to what are widely regarded as the best performing arts schools in the world. The Juilliard School, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is one of the world's leading music and dance schools. [262] [263] [264] The Eastman School of Music, a professional school within the University of Rochester, was ranked first among U.S. music schools by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years. [265]

The University of the State of New York accredits and sets standards for elementary, middle-level, and secondary education in the state, while the New York State Education Department oversees public schools and controls their standardized tests. The New York City Department of Education manages the New York City Public Schools system. In 1894, reflecting general racial discrimination then, the state passed a law that allowed communities to set up separate schools for children of African-American descent. In 1900, the state passed another law requiring integrated schools. [266] During the 2013 fiscal year, New York spent more on public education per pupil than any other state, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. [267]

New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering challenges posed by the complex terrain of the state and the unique infrastructural issues of New York City brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome perennially. Population expansion of the state has followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and Mohawk River, then the Erie Canal. In the 19th century, railroads were constructed along the river valleys, followed by the New York State Thruway in the 20th century.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is the department of the government of New York responsible for the development and operation of highways, railroads, mass transit systems, ports, waterways, and aviation facilities within New York State. [268] The NYSDOT is headquartered at 50 Wolf Road in Colonie, Albany County. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is a joint venture between the states of New York and New Jersey and authorized by the U.S. Congress, established in 1921 through an interstate compact, that oversees much of the regional transportation infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the geographical jurisdiction of the Port of New York and New Jersey. This 1,500 sq mi (3,900 km 2 ) port district is generally encompassed within a 25 mi (40 km) radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. [269] The Port Authority is headquartered at 4 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

In addition to the well known New York City Subway system—which is confined within New York City—four suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave the city: the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and five of New Jersey Transit's rail lines. The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is the agency of the government of New York City responsible for the management of much of New York City's own transportation infrastructure. [270] Other cities and towns in New York have urban and regional public transportation. In Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs the Buffalo Metro Rail light-rail system in Rochester, the Rochester Subway operated from 1927 until 1956, but fell into disuse as state and federal investment went to highways.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV or DMV) is the governmental agency responsible for registering and inspecting automobiles and other motor vehicles, as well as licensing drivers in the State of New York. As of 2008 [update] , the NYSDMV has 11,284,546 drivers licenses on file and 10,697,644 vehicle registrations in force. [271] [272] All gasoline-powered vehicles registered in New York State are required to have an emissions inspection every 12 months, in order to ensure that environmental quality controls are working to prevent air pollution. Diesel-powered vehicles with a gross weight rating over 8,500 pounds that are registered in most Downstate New York counties must get an annual emissions inspection. All vehicles registered in New York State must get an annual safety inspection.

Portions of the transportation system are intermodal, allowing travelers to switch easily 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 John F. Kennedy International Airport as well as to the underground New York City Subway system.

The Government of New York embodies the governmental structure of the State of New York as established by the New York State Constitution. It is composed of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The governor is the state's chief executive and is assisted by the lieutenant governor. Both are elected on the same ticket. Additional elected officers include the attorney general and the comptroller. The secretary of state, formerly an elected officer, is currently appointed by the governor.

The New York State Legislature is bicameral and consists of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. The state assembly consists of 150 members, while the state senate varies in its number of members, currently having 63. The legislature is empowered to make laws, subject to the governor's power to veto a bill. However, the veto may be overridden by the legislature if there is a two-thirds majority in favor of overriding in each house. The permanent laws of a general nature are codified in the Consolidated Laws of New York.

The highest court of appeal in the Unified Court System is the Court of Appeals whereas the primary felony trial court is the County Court (or the Supreme Court in New York City). The New York Supreme Court also acts as the intermediate appellate court for many cases, and the local courts handle a variety of other matters including small claims, traffic ticket cases, and local zoning matters, and are the starting point for all criminal cases. The New York City courts make up the largest local court system.

The state is divided into counties, cities, towns, and villages, all of which are municipal corporations with respect to their own governments, as well as various corporate entities that serve single purposes that are also local governments, such as school districts, fire districts, and New York state public-benefit corporations, frequently known as authorities or development corporations. Each municipal corporation is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the New York Constitution. The state also has 10 Indian reservations. There have been several movements regarding secession from the state of New York. Proposals have included a state of Long Island, consisting of everything on the island outside New York City a state called Niagara, the western counties of New York state the northern counties of New York state called Upstate New York making the city of New York a state a proposal for a new Peconic County on eastern Long Island and for the borough of Staten Island to secede from New York City. [273] [274]

Capital punishment Edit

Capital punishment was reintroduced in 1995 under the Pataki administration, but the statute was declared unconstitutional in 2004, when the New York Court of Appeals ruled in People v. LaValle that it violated the state constitution. The remaining death sentence was commuted by the court to life imprisonment in 2007, in People v. John Taylor, and the death row was disestablished in 2008, under executive order from Governor David Paterson. No execution has taken place in New York since 1963. Legislative efforts to amend the statute have failed, and death sentences are no longer sought at the state level, though certain crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government are subject to the federal death penalty. [275] [276] [277]

Federal representation Edit

New York is represented by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate. There are twenty-seven congressional districts, the nation's third equal highest number of congressional districts, equal with Florida and behind California's 53 and Texas's 36. [278] As of 2021, nineteen districts are represented by members of the Democratic Party, while eight are represented by Republicans. Representation was reduced from 29 in 2013 due to the state's slower overall population growth relative to the overall national population growth. [279] New York has 29 electoral votes in national presidential elections, a drop from its peak of 47 votes from 1933 to 1953.

The state has a strong imbalance of payments with the federal government. According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, New York State received 91 cents in services for every $1 it sent in taxes to the U.S. federal government in the 2013 fiscal year New York ranked in 46th place in the federal balance of payments to the state on a per capita basis. [280]

As of April 2016, Democrats represented a plurality of voters in New York State, constituting more than twice as many registered voters as any other political party affiliation or lack thereof. [281] Since the second half of the 20th century, New York has generally supported candidates belonging to the Democratic Party in national elections. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won New York State by over 25 percentage points in both 2012 and 2008. New York City, as well as the state's other major urban locales, including Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse, are significant Democratic strongholds, with liberal politics. Rural portions of upstate New York, however, are generally more conservative than the cities and tend to favor Republicans. Heavily populated suburban areas downstate, such as Westchester County and Long Island, have swung between the major parties since the 1980s, but more often than not support Democrats.

New York City is the most important source of political fundraising 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 W. Bush and Al Gore. [282]

New York State has the distinction of being the home state for both major-party nominees in three presidential elections. The 1904 presidential election saw former New York Governor and incumbent President Theodore Roosevelt face Alton B. Parker, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals. The 1944 presidential election had Franklin D. Roosevelt, following in his cousin Theodore's footsteps as former New York Governor and incumbent president running for re-election against then-current New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. In the 2016 presidential election, former United States Senator from New York Hillary Clinton, a resident of Chappaqua, was the Democratic Party nominee. The Republican Party nominee was businessman Donald Trump, a resident of Manhattan and a native of Queens. [283]

New York City is an important center for international diplomacy. [284] The United Nations Headquarters has been situated on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan since 1952.

New York State is geographically home to one National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills, based in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park. Although the New York Giants and New York Jets represent the New York City metropolitan area and were previously located in New York City, they play in MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York also has two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees (based in the Bronx) and the New York Mets (based in Queens). Minor league baseball teams also play in the State of New York, including the Long Island Ducks, and the Brooklyn Cyclones, downstate, and the Rochester Red Wings, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Syracuse Mets, the Auburn Doubledays, the Batavia Muckdogs, the Hudson Valley Renegades and the Buffalo Bisons upstate. New York is home to three National Hockey League franchises: the New York Rangers in Manhattan, the New York Islanders in Brooklyn and Nassau County in Long Island, and the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo. New York has two National Basketball Association teams, the New York Knicks in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn. New York is the home of a Major League Soccer franchise, New York City FC, currently playing in the Bronx. Although the New York Red Bulls represent the New York City metropolitan area, they play in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

New York hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. The 1980 Games are known for the USA–USSR ice hockey match 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 against Finland. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, Lake Placid is one of the three cities to have hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice. New York City bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics but lost to London.

Several U.S. national sports halls of fame are or have been situated in New York. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cooperstown, Otsego County. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, honors achievements in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. The physical facility of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, also in Otsego County, closed in 2010, although the organization itself has continued inductions. The annual United States Open Tennis Championships is one of the world's four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. [285]

New York state is also home to many intercollegiate division 1 sports programs. The State University of New York's flagship University at Buffalo are the Buffalo Bulls. Syracuse University's intercollegiate teams are the Syracuse Orange.


Diversity and Segregation: Progress and Challenges in the Struggle for an Inclusive Historical Community

(This article was originally published in the March issue of Perspectives on History by the American Historical Association)

As part of a 2013 AHA Roundtable in Perspectives about the Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upheld affirmative action in.


Basic Steps

Step 1. Session Law Citation

  1. Find your law by subject in the "General Index" of the Consolidated Laws. The entry is to a section of the law. For example, the entry, " VILL 14-1434 " is found in topic volume, "Village Law" at "Article 14. Sewers" and Section 1434, "Assessments. ".
  2. The session law citation is in parentheses at the end of the section text. For VILL 14-1434 , it is "(L.1972, c. 892, § 3 amended L.1980, c. 388, § 23.)".
  3. The bill jacket for this law is requested from this Library by citing the year and chapter number. In this example, request as "1972 Chap 892."
  4. You can identify the law by searching the McKinney's Consolidated Laws CD-ROM at the Computer/Internet Sign-Up area at the Library .
  5. You can also identify the law by doing a keyword search on the online database Westlaw , which is available at any Internet computer in the Computer/Internet Sign-Up area at the Library.

We have two sets of annotated New York State statutes:

  • McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated. RT-LAW/NYS.
  • Consolidated Laws Service (CLS) New York Statutes Annotated. LAW/NYS.

Step 2. Annotations to the Law in McKinney's or CLS.

These annotations are useful in compiling a legislative history. They indicate the derivation of the law from prior law, its effective date, and its subsequent amendment. Sometimes they include a note, "Legislative Histories." If these annotations appear incomplete, it may be necessary to go back through the superseded volumes. Previous editions of McKinney's are stored near the Reference Area and are retrieved by staff at the Reference desk.

Check all the amendments to your law to see if your particular subject matter, for example, the definition of a word in the law, is contained among them. The original bills for amendments should be reviewed for changes and compromises in wording.

Annotations of the Consolidated Laws are described in the "Explanation" preface, and may include the following:

  1. Session Law Citation. It consists of the year and chapter number of the law and those of its amendments.
  2. Historical and Statutory Notes. Includes amendments and derivation of the law effective dates.
  3. Cross References. Refers to other sections of the Consolidated Law.
  4. Legislative Histories. Lists memoranda published in McKinney's Session Laws of New York .
  5. Library References. Provides references to legal encyclopedias, WESTLAW, American Digest System.
  6. Notes of Decisions. Provides abstracts of reported decisions of New York courts.
  7. Practice Commentaries. These are usually several- page essays about the law.
  8. Law Review Commentaries. List of journal references.
  9. New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations. Contains any State regulations based on this law.

Step 3. Governor's Bill, Veto and Recall Jackets

The Governor's Counsel's Office maintains files for bills passed both by the Senate and the Assembly, and awaiting the Governor's approval or disapproval. A file consists of a copy of the bill and of material submitted to the Governor's Office, which may be for or against the bill. In particular, the file may contain sponsors' memoranda, commission and agency position statements, and study group comments. Also, it may contain the views of bar associations, lobbyists, and concerned organizations and individuals. These files almost never contain committee or commission reports, or transcripts of debates and hearings of testimony. However, they are useful for finding any references to reports of committees, task forces, or other groups named in memoranda or correspondence.

After the Governor has signed a bill into law, or vetoed it, this material becomes available to the public as a bill or veto jacket.

There are three types of bill jackets:

    Approval Jackets. These files contain material for bills signed into law. They are called bill jackets.

Request bill jackets from this Library by giving the year of passage and the chapter number. For example, "Bill jacket, 1980 chap 301."

The Library has a collection of bill jackets on microform or CD-ROM, with a three to four year lag. Our holdings include:

Selected bill jackets have been digitized and are available via the NYS Library Digital Collections.

Request bill jackets at the Circulation Desk, or through interlibrary loan at your library. Telephone service: call the Reference Desk at (518) 474-5355.

The Archives retains the original bill jackets, holding 1905, 1921-2019. Bill jackets from 1995 to one year prior to the current year are available from the New York State Archives electronically on the Archives Digital Collections page. Contact the Archives directly at 518-474-8955 or by e-mail at [email protected]

The Governor's Counsel's Office keeps bill jackets for the current session. Telephone service: (518) 474-7182.

The New York Public Library has the same holdings as the New York State Library. Telephone service: (212) 592-7082.

The State University of New York at Buffalo Charles B. Sears Law Library has the same holdings as the New York State Library. Telephone service: (716) 645-2047.

Request microfilm copies of veto jackets from this Library by year and either the Bill Introduction Number (1926-1963) or Veto Number (1964-current year).

Veto jackets are also available from the Archives electronically from 1995 to one year prior to the current year on the Archives Digital Collections page.

Step 4. The New York State Legislative Annual

The sponsor's memorandum and the Governor's approval memorandum, also in the bill jacket, have been reprinted in The New York State Legislative Annual (New York: New York Legislative Service, Inc.). This set, 1946 to current, files at R, 328.747 N555. The Legislative Annual is "a compilation of Sponsor's Memoranda for all Chapter Laws of the given year. When no such memorandum is obtainable, the New York Legislative Service strives to present the most relevant material of this nature" (p. iv, 1995 ed.).

The "Main Index" of the Legislative Annual is an alphabetical list by subject and by the section of the Chapter Law. This index is followed by a "Governor's Veto Memoranda Index" and a "Governor's Approval Memoranda Number Index."

The footnotes to the memoranda may refer to reports from commissions, task forces, and other groups interested in this law. This material is available variously from this Library, the State Archives and the New York Legislative Service.

Step 5. Sponsor's Memorandum

Legislators who sponsor bills often provide a memorandum giving their justifications for introducing the bill. As mentioned in previous steps these memoranda are included in the bill jackets and in The New York State Legislative Annual. These memoranda can be found in McKinney's Session Laws (1951 to current), interfiled with Laws of New York in the "Law/NYS" collection. Recent editions refer to the sponsor's memorandum as "Memorandum in Support, New York Senate" (or Assembly). Also check the Public Papers of the Governors series.

The Library has a collection of these memoranda on microfiche:

New York State Senate and Assembly Sponsor's Memoranda . 1983-1990, 1997-2002 (as of 9/07). MA/FF, LEG 481-2 ASSM 87-001170 (or LEG 795.8-3 SENSM 87-001171). Files in Microform Area.

Sponsors' memoranda are also available for many bills in the Legislative Retrieval System , which is available at any Internet computer in the Computer/Internet Sign-Up area at the Library. Search by bill number or keyword.

Intermediate Level

Step 6. Session Laws

Session laws are the laws of each annual session of the Legislature. In New York State new laws are called chapter laws, as federal laws are called public laws. Thus cite by year and chapter number.

Three consolidations of New York State session laws:

  1. Laws of New York (Albany: The New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, 1777- ). Files in "LAW/NYS". The official publication. Contains the major budget bills not found in the two commercial compilations.
  2. McKinney's Session Laws of New York (St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co., 1951- ). Interfiles with Laws of New York. Monthly updates: Session Law News.
  3. New York Consolidated Law Service (CLS) Session Laws (Rochester: Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1977- ). Interfiles with Laws of New York.

The McKinney's and CLS session laws contain memoranda of the Legislature and the Governor, as well as the reports of the Chief Administrator of the Courts and the Law Revision Commission.

Recent amendments to a session law:

  1. McKinney's Session Law News of New York . Files in LAW/NYS at end of Laws of New York. Tables arranged by topic and section.
  2. Legislative Retrieval System . The LRS database is available at any Internet computer in the Computer/Internet Sign-Up area at the Library. Browse by chapter or search laws by keyword. . Click on "Bills and Laws." The chapter number assigned to the revision is needed to search here.

Since some laws have been amended, it may be necessary to refer to an earlier version mentioned in the Historical Notes of the Consolidated Laws. The time when a specific word or phrase was first used can be determined, which will establish a specific time period for checking other sources of legislative history. So session laws are important in determining legislative intent because they indicate what words were added and what words were taken out. It may be necessary to consult all the session laws listed in the amendments to the consolidated laws, because it is often impossible to determine which session laws are pertinent to your history by simply examining the current consolidated laws.

Step 7. Indexes for Legislative Bills

A complete history of each bill introduced in the Legislature is found in the following indexes:

  • New York Legislative Record and Index (Albany: Legislative Index Publishing Co., 1907- 1984 title varies: 1907-1912, "New York Legislative Index"). R, 328.747 qN549 for 1907- 1984.
  • State of New York Legislative Digest (Albany: Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, 1985- current). R, LEG 006.8-3 LEGDI 83-25. The Legislative Digest for the current legislative session is published in paper copy, and is cumulated. After the annual volume has been delivered to the publisher a small "Supplemental Pocket Part" is published containing material received too late for inclusion in the bound volume. Last four years on "RT/LAW" table.
  • "Legislative Digest-Bill Summaries" are received daily, and kept at the "RT/LAW" table on clipboards-one for the Assembly and one for the Senate.

The Legislative Digest is a sequential arrangement of Senate and Assembly bill summaries. It includes dates of legislative action for each bill, and the names of the Committees to which the bill was referred. The Governor's approval and veto messages are printed in full. Proposed bills and enacted laws are listed under the appropriate sections in the consolidated laws, if applicable. A list of bills sponsored by each Legislator is recorded. A table of laws amended or repealed , and cross reference tables by chapter number and bill number are provided.

If your legislative history involves a relatively recent bill or statute, there are additional sources of information besides The Legislative Digest :

  • Contact the appropriate Legislative Committee.
  • Legislative Retrieval System database. Full text. Covers 1994-present. Includes status of bills and governor's approval and veto messages. Search by keyword or bill number. Access at any Internet computer at the Electronic Reference Station. . Full text. Covers current year only. Includes status of bills and governor's approval and veto messages. Search by bill number.
  • Legislative Assistance and Service Office (Senate).
    Legislative Office Building, Room 214.
    Telephone: (518) 455-3216.

Step 8. Official Documents of the New York State Government

Since its establishment in 1818 the State Library has been a repository for the official publications of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, commissions, public authorities, and other agencies of the State government.

  • Availability.
    Many New York State documents may be used at the State Library or borrowed from here. Request such material through your library. New York State government employees, residents of New York State, licensed physicians who are residents of this state, local historians in New York State, retired New York State government employees and duly admitted attorneys who are residents of this State can be issued a borrower's card. Some public and academic libraries are designated as limited depositories for State documents.
  • Finding aids.
    • Butch, Dorothy. New York State Documents: an Introductory Manual (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1987). R, LIB 132-4 NEWYS 87-02992.
    • 1789-1904. Adelaide R. Hasse, Index of Economic Material in Documents of the States of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1907). Volume 31, New York. R, 016.3 qH35, v.31. Also available online through the Library's online catalog.
    • 1905-1946. A gap in printed indexes. See Butch, pp.5-6.
    • 1947-1973. Checklist of Official Publications of the State of New York (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1947- ). Cumulations: 1947-1962 1962-1967 1968-1973. Author index: 1947-1969. Serials: 1947-1969. R, LIB 132-3 CHEOP 79-390. Also available online on the Library's website (annual cumulation 1989-present, monthly issues 1994-2007).
    • 1973-1991. Dictionary Catalog of Official Publications of the State of New York (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1973-1991). R, LIB 132-3 DICCO 77-54091. Includes in a single listing corporate authors, personal authors, titles, subjects.
    1. Current governor.
      • The Governor's web site has the Governor's important public papers in full text. Some documents on this web site:
        • Executive Budget.
        • State of the State address, speeches, briefing papers.
        • Press releases.
      • Bill jackets. Call the Office of the Counsel to the Governor, (518) 474-7182.
      • Approval and veto messages for bills are printed in The Legislative Digest.
    2. Previous Governors.
      • This Library has some public papers of Governor Pataki in its collection. Search variously by corporate author, i.e., name of commission or task force, personal author of the report, title, keywords in title, or subject of report. Examples:
        • State of New York Executive Budget . D, GOV 075.0-3 EXEBU 76-59709.
        • Message to the Legislature. D, GOV 075.0-3 MESLE 76-59892.
        • "Executive Orders" in Title 9A, Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York. RT, LAW 671-4 OFFCC 78-71087.
      • The official papers of governors have been published in yearly compilations. Thus the papers of Governor Cuomo are in Public Papers of Governor Mario M. Cuomo , D, GOV 075.0-4 PUBPA 1983 88-4571.
      • Reports of a governor's commissions, task forces, etc., can be searched in the Library's online catalog.
      • The New York State Archives and Records Administration has collections of papers from several governors, including Smith, Roosevelt, Dewey, and Rockefeller. See Guide to Records in the New York State Archives (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1993), R, ARC 952-4 GUIRN 93-14436 and Guide to Records of the Governor's Office in the New York State Archives (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1995), R, ARC 952-4 GUIRG 97-7141.
      • Indexes: Annotated List and Indexes of Reports of New York State Governors' Committees and Task Forces, 1925-1985 (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1986). Compiled by Robert Allan Carter. D, LIB 460-4 ANNLI 86-11690.

    State agencies present reports, sometimes in the form of annual reports, to the Legislature, in which they may discuss proposed legislation, or comment on existing laws. Agencies often prepare bills they want introduced. They may oppose a specific bill, or criticize a federal mandate.

    State agencies usually are advised by legal counsels. Their counsels issue opinions on the law, and may comment on proposed legislation. These opinions are recognized as primary sources for legislative history by their rendering of legal interpretation of a law.

    Web-site. Current publications, such as annual reports, are often listed on State agencies' web-sites. State agencies' home pages can be reached from the Agencies page on the official NYS web site.

    State Library online catalog. State agency reports in the Library's collection can be searched in its catalog.

    Standing committees and sub-committees of the Legislature occasionally issue reports on specific topics. These reports are difficult to locate because there are few finding aids.

    Joint legislative committees and temporary commissions issue annual reports, usually held by this library. Their additional reports may be published separately. Also these reports are included in the following document series.

    • Document Series.
      • 1789-1904. See Adelaide R. Hasse, Index of Economic Material in Documents of the States of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1907). Volume 31, New York. R,016.3 qH35, v.31. Also available online through the Library's online catalog.
      • 1831-1918. Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York (Albany: J.B. Lyon, 1831- 1918). D, LEG 481.2- 3 DOCAS 1059138.
      • 1831-1918. Documents of the Senate of the State of New York (Albany: J.B. Lyon, 1831- 1918). D, LEG 795.8-3 DOCSS 87-95.

      Indexes: Annotated Lists and Indexes of the New York State Assembly and Senate Document Series, 1831- 1918 (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 3 vols., 1992). Compiled by Robert Allan Carter. Volume I, Part 1- Assembly Separate Documents. Volume II, Part 2- Senate Separate Documents. Volume III, Parts 3- 11, Indexes, Minor and Annual Reports. R, LIB 460-4 ANNLI 86-11287.

      Indexes. Annotated List and Indexes of the New York State Legislative Document Series, 1919- 1976 (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 7 vols., 1986). Compiled by Robert Allan Carter. Volume I, Reports of Temporary Commissions, Joint Legislative Committees, Governor's Messages, etc., 1919-1935. Volume II, 1936-1948. Volume III, 1949-1960. Volume IV, 1961-1976. Volume V, Subject Index. Volume VI, Index by Key Word/ Index by Chairpersons. Volume VII, Annual Reports of Permanent State Agencies, the Legislature and the Courts, and Annual Message of the Governor/ Annual Reports of Public Authorities, Semi-Official State Agencies, State and Private Institutions, Schools and Private Organizations. R, LIB 460-4 ANNLI 86-11287.

      Note: These indexes by Carter include the material in Cumulative Index to Joint Legislative Committees and Selected Temporary State Commissions and Alphabetical List of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Thereof, 1900-1950 (Albany: The University of the State of New York, rev. ed., 1966). Prepared by William S. King, Secretary of the Senate. Bound with 1951-1965 Supplement . R, LEG 795.8-4 CUMIJ 1302385.

      The State judiciary and members of the legal profession have been able to recommend changes in State laws and court procedures by participating in two advisory bodies: the Judicial Conference and the Law Revision Commission.

      • Judicial Conference (1934- present). The Conference was established in 1934 as the Judicial Council for the purpose of surveying current practice in the administration of the State's courts, compiling statistics, and suggesting legislation. Members include the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and judges from the Appellate Divisions. In 1955 it was reorganized and renamed the Judicial Conference. In later years, in addition to general legislation, it has proposed specific recommendations concerning civil practice laws and rules, criminal law and procedure, and the Family Court.
        • Finding aids.
          • Butch, New York State Documents. op. cit.
          • 1934-1954. New York (State) Judicial Council. Annual Report of the Judicial Council of the State of New York (Albany: J. B. Lyon/ Williams Press, 1935-1955). D, JUD 770-1 76-59233.
          • 1955-1962. New York (State) Judicial Conference. Annual Report of the Judicial Conference of the State of New York (New York: Herald Square Press/Albany: 1955-1962). D, JUD 320-1 846363.
          • 1963-1977. New York (State) Administrative Board of the Judicial Conference. Report of the Administrative Board of the Judicial Conference of the State of New York (Albany: 1962/63-1977). D, JUD 410-1 77-51144.
          • 1978-2005. New York (State) Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts. Annual Report of the Chief Administrator of Courts (Albany: 1978-2005). D, COU 010-1 83-15.

          These Annual Reports up to 1976 are included in the Legislative Documents series. Reports included in the Annual Reports and also Judicial Memoranda are published in McKinney's Session Laws of New York (annual), files at LAW/NY. Reports are also published in New York Consolidated Laws Service (annual), at LAW/NY.

          • Finding aids.
            • Butch, New York State Documents. op. cit.
            • New York (State). Law Revision Commission, Report of the Law Revision Commission (Albany: J.B. Lyon/ Albany:, 1935-1994). D, LAW 395-1 77-51360. The 1994 report is also available online.
            • 1935-1951. Cumulative Index to the Reports, Recommendations and Studies of the Law Revision Commission for 1935-1951 with Cumulative Table of Cases and Statutory References (Albany: n.d.). Files with the Report of the Law Revision Commission .
            • 1952-1977. Cumulative Topical Index, 1952-1977 (Albany: n.d.). Files with Report of the Law Revision Commission.

            Advanced Steps

            Step 9. Legislative Hearings and Debates

            A legislative committee may hold public hearings on bills before it, although such hearings are not required. Transcripts of hearings are generally difficult to obtain. A copy of a hearing is available only if the committee tapes or transcribes it, and sends this copy to the Legislative Library, the State Library, or the State Archives.

              1900-present (as of 9/07). Both the State Archives and the Library have some Assembly and Senate public hearings. Search these hearings as separates in the Library's online catalog. The Library also has some uncataloged public hearings. Call the reference desk at (518) 474-5355 for assistance in locating these. The Legislature is not legally required to send their documents and records to the Archives and the Library, so this collection is not complete. From about 1980 the Legislative Library has been receiving the public hearings and microfilming them.

            Microfiche Collection: 1980-1989, 1995, 1997 (as of 9/07). Hearings are filed by date in the Microform Area, MA, 348.74701 qN532 91-27872. The Legislative Library intends to film the hearings in five year batches, and will probably provide a copy to the State Library.

            These collections of debates are untranscribed tapes of the session. Order debates by bill number and date passed.

              Assembly debates.
                1973-present. Order from:

              NYS Assembly Public Information Office (518) 455-4218
              Room 202, Legislative Office Building
              Albany, NY 12248

              NYS Senate Communications Office (518) 455-2264
              Room 416, State Capitol
              Albany, NY 12224

              NYS Senate Microfilm and Records Room (518) 455-3200
              Room 500GA, State Capitol
              Albany, NY 12224

              Step 10. Literature Searches

              Scholarly studies of New York State laws are published in law reviews and monographs. Newspapers, like The New York Times , cover the political, social, economic and legal aspects of society. Observations of editors and columnists may be useful in providing background information on State legislation.


              Laws of New York State

              Revised statutes, compilations, consolidations, or codes are synonyms for edited sets of current laws. These edited sets of current laws are generally comprehensive, arranged by subject and can be produced by official or commercial bodies.

              The New York State Library has a complete collection of New York State Session Laws from the beginning of statehood to the present in print or microform copy.

              Note: Some of the acts that appear in the State Session Laws are not included in the revised statutes or consolidations. For example, "a private act for the relief of a widow" would not be included in the revised statutes.

              Listed below are New York State revised statutes/consolidations that have been digitized from volumes in the New York State Library's collection. As the State Library digitizes other law sets, links to the digital copy will be added to this list.

              Laws of the State of New York, 1802: The Laws of the State of New York published in 1802 is a two-volume set that contains selected early statutes and is the first consolidation of local law (county, town, city and village law), banking laws, corporation (turnpikes and toll bridges) law, navigation law, etc. This set is commonly known as the "Kent and Radcliff Revision" James Kent and Jacob Radcliff were judges of the NYS Supreme Court at the time.

              Laws of the State of New York, 1807: The text of the 1807 edition is almost the same as the 1802 version some errors in text and binding were corrected in the 1807 edition.

              Revised Statutes of the State of New-York, 1829: This three-volume set includes the statutes passed during 1827 and 1828, as well as former acts which had not been revised. The Articles of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of New York State are included in volume one of this set.

              Revised Statutes of the State of New York, 1882: This two-volume set, the seventh edition of revised statutes, was the first of two commercially published editions edited by Montgomery H. Throop. Montgomery Throop was the grandson of Governor Enos T. Throop and a member of the New York State Statutory Revision Commission from 1870-1878. This set includes statutes in force passed from the year 1778 to the close of the Legislative session of 1881, together with statutes as altered by subsequent legislation. Annotations, explanations and references to judicial decisions are also included.

              Consolidated Laws of the State of New York, Official Edition of 1909: Compiled by the Board of Statutory Consolidation in 1909 and 1910. Adolph J. Rodenbeck was chairman of the Board. Volumes include:

              • v.1 Agriculture law to education law
              • v.2 Election law to insanity law
              • v.3 Insurance law to partnership law
              • v.4 Penal law to real property law
              • v.5 Religious corporations law to village law
              • v.6 Statutory record
              • v.7 Index
              • v.8 Education law
              • v.9 Public service commissions law and railroad law.

              The titles listed above are also available in print or microform at the NYSL for use onsite or for loan, depending upon condition and location code. Other materials relating to New York State laws can be found by searching the NYS library's online catalog. For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 518-474-5355 or via email, or see the Digital Collections FAQ.


              New York State Constitution

              The first New York Constitution was adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New-York on April 20, 1777. A second constitution was adopted in 1821, a third in 1846, a fourth in 1894 and a fifth in 1938. Since 1938, the constitution has been amended several times.

              First New York State Constitution and Proposed Constitution, 1868. Courtesy of New York State Archives.

              Courtesy of New York State Library

              Courtesy of New York State Library

              The New York State Library’s website features two invaluable resources on New York’s constitutional history: Charles Z. Lincoln’s The Constitutional History of New York and the NYS Constitutional Convention Reports of 1938, also known as the Poletti Reports. Read more at New York State Constitutional Conventions and Constitutional History .

              About The Society

              The Historical Society of the New York Courts was founded in 2002 by then New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. Its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the legal history of New York, including the proud heritage of its courts and the development of the Rule of Law.

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