New York

Walloon (French-speaking Belgians) and Dutch settlers established New Netherland as the English were settling Virginia and Massachusetts Bay, later adding the fortified town of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. A rigorous policy of religious toleration led to a small but exceptionally diverse ethnic population. Possession of the region passed back and forth between England and the Netherlands during the several Anglo-Dutch wars of the mid-seventeenth century. It formally passed into English hands-specifically those of Charles II's younger brother, James, at the time Duke of York-as New York in 1667 as part of the Treaty of Breda.

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