New York, the Empire State, is located in the Northeastern United States; in 1788 it became the 11th of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution. New York is the third largest state in terms of population, and the second largest in size of economy and industrial output. New York is marked by a heavily urbanized southern, or downstate area, and an agricultural upstate which is a leading area for the production of apples and dairy products. New York City is the largest city in the United States, and the nation's financial and cultural center. The state is divided into counties. In New York, a town is legally the major division of a county, not to be confused with the term as commonly used, nor with "township" as used elsewhere. Populated areas are classified as cities, villages, or hamlets. Cities and villages are incorporated. Cities are larger, usually within a single county, and are governed by charters which may vary widely. Villages are smaller, usually within a single town, and are governed uniformly according to state law. Hamlets are unincorporated populated areas. New York was settled by the Algonquin and Iroquois peoples prior to the establishment of the first European colony, New Amsterdam, founded by the Dutch in 1624 on Manhattan Island. The British took control of the region in 1667 and renamed it New York.

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