Why was New York Founed?
New York's Founding I'm pretty sure that the Dutch, including Peter Minuit (who bought the Manhattan Islands from the Indians) started it all. He called it New Netherlands at first, expanding it by conquering New Sweden, which, was set up about 15 years earlier along the Delaware River. The next thing I remember was when King Charles II of England (don't know where that came from?!) gave New Netherland to his brother, the Duke of York; renaming the colony, New York. The first answer is incorrect. New York was peopled by the Native American Indians long before the Vikings explored it and long before the Dutch colonists rediscovered and settled it. When Peter Minuit bought it, New York was not yet founded for the charter for New Amsterdam (as New York City under the Dutch was called) was not granted until 1624 or almost two years after Peter Minuit purchased it from the Indians. New York was "founded" as a city in 1624 because the Dutch 1) needed a trading outpost for beaver pelts; and 2) the city had a great and strategically located port. The British took New Amsterdam almost by force in 1664 and renamed it New York City after the brother of the King of England, the Duke of York. New York was founded by the Dutch in 1624. The Dutch wanted to expand their land development and trade in order to compete with England, France, and Spain. Why? To make money... The Dutch (or Nederlanders, or Walloons, or whatever...) established "New Amsterdam" (as "New York" was originally known) as a trading post and commercial colony. It was no nation, but rather a private corporation, the Dutch West Indies Company, that wanted to set up colonies as, you might say, franchises: people who wanted to try a new life, could go to one of their pre-established colonies, and give it a shot. They would then support industries in which the DWIC was engaged. The business in New Amsterdam was beaver pelts. This was a very popular material in Europe, particularly for hats (beaver is somewhat waterproof) and the Americas had a huge supply. Trappers would come down the Hudson and other rivers with beaver pelts, and trade them for goods. The DWIC would take their cut, and all would be happy. Problem was, the beaver trade was not lucrative enough to cover the cost of running and protecting a distant colony. So, when the British threatened to take New Amsterdam by force, the Dutch simply gave it up. As to why the Bitish wanted it, it had a good port, and the Dutch were in the way of their consolidating the region under their control. It was mainly settled as a port to bring in and ship goods. Mainly for trappers and traders. As for who settled the area, see the answer to this question: When was New York founded? New York actually started out it's life as New Netherlands and was founded by the Dutch before 1664. Well the English king, King Charles II did not like the Dutch trading with the English colonies so they sent out warships to fight the Dutch. The Dutch saw how many English warships there was and decided to give it up without a fight in August of 1664. They changed the name from New Netherlands to New York named after the kings brother the Duke of York.