Overview

Lady Liberty
Lady Liberty © Rebecca Kennison

New York City is without doubt one of the top urban travel destinations in the world and the city's immortalisation in numerous movies, books, and television series ensures that most people are familiar with the many attractions of this famous metropolis.

Beyond New York City, however, New York offers prime natural assets like Niagara Falls, a number of beautiful lakes, and some pristine protected wilderness areas, as well as several charming, historic cities and towns.

Until the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, a group of Native American peoples called the Iroquois Confederacy controlled most of the area that is now New York. Henry Hudson named the Hudson River in 1609 and 60 years later the British took control, naming the region New York.

For the most part, the Native Americans prospered during this time, controlling the lucrative fur trade. A century later, during the French and Indian Wars, the British defeated the French and took control of all of northeast America.

The victory was largely thanks to the Iroquois allying themselves with the British. In 1763, all the new British Territory, extending as far as the Mississippi, was declared an Indian reserve. But this was short-lived.

The Iroquois again allied themselves with the British during the War of Independence, and in the reprisals, entire communities were wiped out and much of their land was deeded to the revolutionary war veterans.

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