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This article is about the settlement that became New York City. For other uses, see New Amsterdam (disambiguation).

New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw-Amsterdam) was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, which served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland territory. It was renamed New York on September 8, 1664, in honor of the then Duke of York (later James II of England) after it was traded to the English along with the rest of the Dutch colony in exchange for control of the Spice Islands.

The settlement, outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, in the New Netherland (1614–1664), was a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic as of 1624. Situated on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of the island of Manhattan, the fort was meant to defend the Dutch West India Company's fur trade operations in the North River (Hudson River). Fort Amsterdam was designated the capital of the province in 1625.

The 1625 date of the founding of New Amsterdam is now commemorated in the official Seal of New York City. (Formerly, the year on the seal was 1664, the year of the provisional Articles of Transfer, assuring New Netherlanders that they "shall keep and enjoy the liberty of their consciences in religion", negotiated with the English by Pieter Stuyvesant and his council.)

Sometimes considered a dysfunctional trading post by the English who later acquired it from the Dutch, Russell Shorto, author of "The Island at the Center of the World", suggests that the city left its cultural marks on later New York and, by extension, the United States as a whole.


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