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New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. With 62 counties, it is the country's third most populous state. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and shares a water border with Rhode Island as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. New York City, which is both the largest city in the state and in the entire United States, is known for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States and its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center. New York was inhabited by the Algonquian, Iroquois, and Lenape Native American groups at the time Dutch and French nationals moved into the region in the very early 17th century. First claimed by Henry Hudson in 1609, the region came to have Dutch forts in Fort Orange, near the site of the present-day capital of Albany in 1614 and was colonized by the Dutch in 1624, at both Albany and Manhattan; it later fell to British annexation in 1664. About one third of all of the battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. New York became an independent state on July 9, 1776 and enacted its constitution in 1777. The state ratified the United States Constitution on July 26, 1788 to become the 11th state. (Wikipedia)

New York covers 54,475 square miles (141,089 km²) and ranks as 27th largest state by size. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York, while Lake Champlain is the chief northern feature of the valley, which also includes the Hudson River flowing southward to the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the valley. Most of the southern part of the state is on the Allegheny plateau, which rises from the southeast to the Catskill Mountains. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware systems. The Delaware River Basin Compact, signed in 1961 by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the federal government, regulates the utilization of water of the Delaware system. New York's borders touch (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada; Lake Champlain; three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut); the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York. Contrasting with New York City's urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular attraction. The Hudson River begins with Lake Tear of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu and then the St Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City's five boroughs are on the three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Brooklyn and Queens on Long Island. "Upstate" is a common term for New York State counties north of suburban Westchester and Rockland counties. Upstate New York typically includes the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes in the west; and Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Oneida Lake in the northeast; and rivers such as the Delaware, Genesee, Mohawk, and Susquehanna. The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks. (Wikipedia)

The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type that prevails in the northeastern United States, but its diversity is not usually encountered within an area of comparable size.[citation needed] The Great Lakes, ocean, rivers, and mountains give New York interesting weather. Masses of cold, dry air frequently arrive from the northern interior of the continent. Prevailing winds from the south and southwest transport warm, humid air, which has been conditioned by the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent subtropical waters. These two air masses provide the dominant continental characteristics of the climate. A third great air mass flows inland from the North Atlantic Ocean and produces cool, cloudy, and damp weather conditions. Nearly all storm and frontal systems moving eastward across the continent pass through or come close in proximity to New York State. Storm systems often move northward along the Atlantic coast and have an important influence on the weather and climate of Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. Frequently, areas deep in the interior of the state feel the effects of such coastal storms. The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions 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 (Southern Plateau). The Adirondack region records from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in normal to severe winters.[citation needed] Much of Upstate New York, particularly Western and Central New York, are typically affected by lake-effect snows. This usually results in high yearly snowfall totals in these regions. Winters are also long and cold in both Western and Central New York, though not as cold as the Adirondack region. The New York City metro area in comparison to the rest of the state is milder in the winter. Thanks in part to geography (its proximity to the Atlantic and being shielded to the north and west by hillier terrain), the New York metro area usually sees far less snow than the rest of the state. Lake-effect snow rarely affects the New York metro area, except for its extreme northwestern suburbs. Winters also tend to be noticeably shorter here than the rest of the state.[citation needed] The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau. The New York City area and lower portions of the Hudson Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s °F (25 to 30 °C) over much of the State, producing an atmospheric environment favorable to many athletic, recreational, and other outdoor activities. New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This efficiency is primarily due to the state's relatively higher rate of mass transit use. (Wikipedia)

New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established in 1892 and given state constitutional protection in 1894. The thinking that led to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature, published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean, he asserted "the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon." The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km²) of land, the park is a habitat for bobcats, minks and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. The state operates numerous campgrounds and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park. The Montauk Point State Park boasts the famous Montauk Lighthouse commissioned by the first President of the U.S.A, George Washington, which is a major tourist attraction and is located in the township of East Hampton, Suffolk County. Hither Hills park offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen. (Wikipedia)

During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the purchase of pelts from the Iroquois and other tribes expanded into the colony of New Netherlands. The first of these trading posts were Beverwyck (1614, now Albany); New Amsterdam, (1623, now NYC); and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. Agitation for independence during the 1770s brought the American Revolution, which for New York was also a civil war. New York declared itself an independent state on July 9, 1776. The New York state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. It was drafted by John Jay. On 30 July 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston. The Woolworth Building, in New York City, was one of the world's first skyscrapers (1913).During the revolution, four of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the British. They were defeated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. Suffering privations, many members moved to Canada. Most, absent or present, lost their land after the war. Some of the land purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes. New York state was one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. It was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. The creation of the Erie Canal led to rapid industrialization in New York.Transportation in western New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the St. Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake Ontario, the way westward to the other Great Lakes was blocked by Niagara Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land. Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a canal to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and thus all the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal was finished in 1825. The canal opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement, and enabled port cities such as Buffalo to grow and prosper. (Wikipedia)