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The City History Collection. Predominantly Manhattan Views.
The Dutch Golden Age was a period from 1581 to 1672, when the Netherlands experienced the "Dutch Miracle", transcended to the foremost maritime and economic power. In 1568, the Seven Provinces started a rebellion against Philip II of Spain, leading to the Eighty Years' War with Spain and the Thirty Years' War between other European superpowers. Protestants moved from the southern to the northern Netherlands, many settled in Amsterdam, transforming a port town into one of the most important commercial centers in the world by 1630. In addition to the migration of Protestants, there were also influxes of refugees who had previously fled from religious persecution, particularly Sephardi Jews from Portugal and Spain, and Protestants from France. Catholics moved in the other direction - to the southern provinces, modern Belgium. North quickly gained the highest literacy rates in Europe, an abundance of capital, the largest merchant fleet in Europe. The Dutch dominated trade in the Baltic Sea, between China and Japan, and with the English colonies in North America. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was the first multinational corporation, financed by shares that established the first modern stock exchange. The Bank of Amsterdam, the first central bank, was established in 1609. The Dutch Golden Age is the art period dominanted by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Frans Hals. Some notable artistic styles and trends include Haarlem Mannerism, Utrecht Caravaggism, the School of Delft, the Leiden fijnschilders, and Dutch classicism. 1672 is called a disaster year" when the Dutch Republic was attacked by England, France, Münster, and Bavaria. The invading armies quickly defeated most of the Dutch States Army and conquered part of the Republic.
In May 1624, the first settlers in New Netherland arrived on Noten Eylandt (Nut or Nutten Island, now Governors Island) aboard the ship New Netherland. Dutch West India Company wanted to protect the entrance to the Hudson River and sponsored 30 families to move from Nut Island to Manhattan Island, where a citadel to contain Fort Amsterdam was being laid out. By the end of 1625, the site had been staked out and by 1628, a small fort was built with walls containing a mixture of clay and sand. The fort also served as the center of trading activity. In the 1630s and 1640s, New Amsterdam had a population of about 270 people. Settlers built mills and in 1642 a stone church was built within the fort. New Amsterdam received municipal rights on February 2, 1653. On August 27, 1664, while England and the Dutch Republic were at peace, four English frigates sailed into New Amsterdam's harbor and demanded New Netherland's surrender. This was swiftly followed by the Second Anglo-Dutch War and in 1665, New Amsterdam was reincorporated under English law as New York City, named after the Duke of York (later King James II). He was the brother of the English King Charles II, who had been granted the lands. In July 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch briefly and quickly occupied New York City and renamed it New Orange. In 1674, the city was relinquished to the English and the name reverted to "New York".