New York, a state in the Middle Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec on the north and by Lake Ontario and Lake Erie on the northwest and west. Pennsylvania lies west and south of New York, and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean lie to the south. On the east the state is bordered by Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Albany is the capital of New York. New York, commonly known as New York City, is the largest city. New York has long been a leader in the political, cultural, and economic life of the United States. It has been called the Empire State since before 1800, a reference to its wealth and variety of resources and probably derived from a comment, attributed to George Washington, that predicted that New York would become the seat of the new empire.
Although California surpassed it in population in 1963 and in manufacturing in 1972, choices made in New York influence much of the country’s commerce, finance, and visual and performing arts. Although New York City is the largest city in the country, much of New York State is still rural. New York is also rich in history, extending to when Native Americans first occupied its shores and river valleys. The state was named in the 1660s for the duke of York, later James II of England, though many place names are from the time when the region was a Dutch colony known as New Netherland.
New York entered the Union on July 26, 1788, as the 11th of the original 13 states. The Erie Canal, now incorporated into the New York State Canal System, set the pattern of commerce early in U.S. history. The Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, was the first vision of America seen by millions of immigrants arriving at New York City. The United Nations, whose headquarters are located on Manhattan Island, works toward a future more peaceful than the past. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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