What Was New Netherland?

What happened to New Netherland?

New Netherland was a Dutch colony from 1614 to 1664, about 50 years. In 1664, the English took the colony from the Dutch by force--even though the two countries were not at war and few if any shots were fired.

Even after New Netherland became an English possession, Dutch settlers remained, and life in the colony did not much change. It remained distinctively Dutch. Decades after the English seizure, many settlers continued to speak the Dutch language and to live as they had in the past.

In the former New Netherland, Dutch influence can still be felt. Many famous Americans--including three US presidents--are descendants of those early settlers. We can also thank the Dutch for cookies, Santa Claus, pancakes, and coleslaw, traditions that they began centuries earlier and that we still enjoy today. Most importantly, a distinctive culture of diversity, entrepreneurship, religious tolerance, and global engagement remains in the region where the Dutch once ruled.

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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By supporting NNI you help increase awareness of the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland and its legacy in America.