Henry Hudson, an Englishman, was hired by the Dutch to find a shortcut to the Pacific Ocean back in the early 1600s.
When he sailed up the river now named after him, he was able to claim the land around it, today’s states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and part of Connecticut, for the Netherlands.
This area was called New Netherland, and the town the Dutch settled in 1625 on Manhattan Island was called New Amsterdam, named after the city in the Netherlands.
Some Dutch names remain in the New York City area today. For example, the borough of Brooklyn was originally the Dutch town of Breuckelen.
The English and the Dutch fought for many years in the mid-1600s for control of this region.
When the English finally won control of the colony in a peace treaty in 1674, it was renamed New York, after the duke of York.
The duke’s brother, King Charles IT of England, had given him a charter for the land.