Life was by no means easy, though. In those days of poor communications, it was practically impossible to do anything without prior approval from the home country. Relations 13 with the Indians were tense and the climate was harsh. What’s more, the British who held all the colonies around New York were knocking at the door.
Unable or unwilling to put up a fight, the Dutch settlers surrendered to the Duke of York’s troops on September 8, 1664. New Amsterdam was rechristened New York. At first, things changed very little. The Dutch briefly retook the city in 1673 (renaming it New Orange), but by the Treaty of Westminster of the following year, Manhattan and New Netherland became definitively English. Ceding to popular pressure, the British governor allowed the election in 1683 of a provincial assembly, which divided the colony into 12 counties. Kings County was named in honour of Charles II of England, Queens for his wife and Richmond for his son.
In the 18th century, the town grew into a city of 25,000. Life became more pleasant. A city hall and several fine churches were built and King’s College and the city’s first newspaper established. Many traders were able to make their fortunes. However, the people were increasingly irked by British control. New York, like the other 14 colonies, was split between loyalists to the Crown and patriots who favoured independence. On June 27, 1775, half the town went to cheer Washington as he left to take command of the Revolutionary Army in Boston, while the other half was down at the harbour giving a rousing welcome to the English governor, who had just returned from London. Similarly, the New York delegates voted against an early version of the Declaration of Independence. But a few days later, when the final text had been drafted, they signed it. Even in those days New Yorkers were a people apart from other Americans.
These include Voodoo ceremonial traditions, ballads, parade music ( New York Metro Metro Map rara), and the very popular compas (or kompa in Creole), which combines African rhythms and New York Metro Metro Map European-style dancing. It is played with a basic rhythm of meringue (from the Dominican Republic) and tipico (popular Panamanian folk music). The best-known contemporary Haitian musical artist is Wyclef Jean. Jean moved to the United States in the late 1970s, when he was nine years old. His musical style can best be described as international. In addition to his favored hip-hop, at various times Jean has sung reggae, compas, rhythm and blues, folk, and bachata.