New York

The king refused to approve..

Wall Street, New Amsterdam/New York

Wall street today represents the center of world finance. In 1660 it was literally a wall that marked the northernmost edge of settlement on the island of Manhattan. Lower Manhattan did not become a business and commercial center until the nineteenth century. First Dutch and then English, most traces of Dutch have disappeared.
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In 1664, James, Duke of York, sent a governor, 400 troops, and several warships to conquer the colony of New Amsterdam, which became New York in 1667. Because the colony was part Dutch and part English, the governors made efforts to satisfy both. The governors confirmed Dutch landholdings and guaranteed them religious freedom, as well as distribute 2 million acres of land. Governors used customs duties to raise revenue necessary to run the colony and send profit to James. This angered local merchants and damaged the economy. In 1683, James allowed New York to have an elective assembly. At the first meeting they passed a Charter of Libertyes and Priviledges. If approved the charter would have guaranteed all freemen the right to vote and be taxed only by their elective representatives, trial by jury, due process, freedom of conscience for Christians, property rights for women, and the continuing right to self government. The king refused to approve the charter because it would give New Yorkers more rights than any other colonists and the New York Assembly might undermine the power of Parliament. Without self government, New Yorkers began to fight amongst themselves, and political instability slowed population growth.


Research taken from Of the People

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