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New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the north and west, and Quebec to the north. New York is often referred to as New York State or Upstate New York to distinguish it from the city of New York.
New York City, with a population of over 8,000,000 people, is the most populous city in the United States. It is known for its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center, and for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is also a destination of choice for many foreign visitors. Both state and city were named for the 17th century Duke of York, James Stuart, future James II and VII of England and Scotland.
New York was inhabited by the Algonquian, Iroquois, and Lenape Native American groups at the time Dutch settlers moved into the region in the early 17th century. In 1609, the region was first claimed by Henry Hudson for the Dutch. Fort Nassau was built near the site of the present-day capital of Albany in 1614. The Dutch soon also settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson River Valley, establishing the colony of New Netherland. The British took over the colony by annexation in 1664.
The borders of the British colony, the Province of New York, were roughly similar to those of the present-day state. About one third of all 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 eleventh member of the United States.