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Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York, and the seat and largest city of Albany County. Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River, and approximately 135 miles (220 km) north of New York City.
Albany is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany–Schenectady–Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs. With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 1.1 million, the Capital District is the third-most populous metropolitan region in the state. As of April 1st, 2020, Albany's population is 99,224.
The Hudson River area was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Mohican (Mahican) who called it Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw. The area that later became Albany was settled by Dutch colonists who, in 1614, built Fort Nassau for fur trading and, in 1624, built Fort Orange. In 1664, the English took over the Dutch settlements, renaming the city as Albany, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and Ireland/James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 under English rule. It became the capital of New York in 1797 following the formation of the United States. Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and is the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of trade and transportation. The city lies toward the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal connecting to the Great Lakes, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world.
In the 1920s, a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in Albany. In the latter part of the 20th century, Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl and suburbanization; however, the New York State Legislature approved a $234 million building and renovation plan for the City in the 1990s that spurred renovation and building projects around the downtown area. In the early 21st century, Albany experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector.
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Upstate New York is a geographic region consisting of the portion of New York State lying north of the New York City metropolitan area. Although the precise boundary is debated, Upstate New York excludes New York City and Long Island, and most definitions of the region exclude all or part of Westchester and Rockland counties. Major cities across Upstate New York from east to west include Albany, Utica, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo.Before the European colonization of the United States, Upstate New York was predominantly populated by several Native American tribes. It was home to the Iroquois Confederacy, an indigenous confederation of six tribes, known as the Six Nations. Henry Hudson made the first recorded European exploration of the region in 1609, and the Dutch erected Fort Orange (present-day Albany) in 1624, which was the first permanent settlement in New York. The region saw many battles during the American Revolutionary War, with the Iroquois split between supporters of the loyalists and supporters of the revolutionaries. After the war ended, the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix kicked off a series of treaties and purchases that saw the Iroquois cede the vast majority of their land in Upstate New York to the newly-formed United States.The 1825 opening of the Erie Canal across Upstate New York transformed the economy of the region and the state. The canal greatly eased the movement of goods across the upper Midwest, the cities along the Great Lakes, Upstate New York, and the port of New York City. As a result, Upstate New York became a hotbed for manufacturing during the Second Industrial Revolution, giving birth to such firms as General Electric, IBM, Kodak, and Xerox. The rapid industrialization led to a large influx of immigrants seeking jobs at factories across the region. Since the mid-20th century, American de-industrialization has contributed to economic and population decline, and the region is largely considered part of the Rust Belt. There are a wide variety of land uses in the region, including urban, suburban, forested preserve, and rural landscapes. Due to its vast areas of rural land, Upstate also supports a strong agricultural industry, and is notable for its dairy, maple syrup, and fruit production (especially apples), as well as winemaking. Upstate New York includes a number of notable waterways, with the Susquehanna, Allegheny, Delaware, and Hudson Rivers all originating in the region, and is bordered on its northern and western edges by the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. As a result, the region is a significant source of hydroelectric power (going back to the creation of the world's first hydroelectric dam by Nikola Tesla at Niagara Falls) and drinking water (with multiple reservoirs serving New York City). Upstate New York is home to numerous popular tourist and recreational destinations, including Niagara Falls, the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, the Thousand Islands, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Finger Lakes.
Rensselaer County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 159,429. Its county seat is Troy. The county is named in honor of the family of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the original Dutch owner of the land in the area. Rensselaer County is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Clifton Park is a suburban town in Saratoga County, New York, United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 2010 population was 36,705. The name is derived from an early land patent. The town is in the south part of the county and is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of Albany, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Schenectady, and 10 miles (16 km) south of Saratoga Springs.
Schenectady () is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135, making it the state's ninth-largest city by population. The name "Schenectady" is derived from the Mohawk word skahnéhtati, meaning "beyond the pines". Schenectady was founded on the south side of the Mohawk River by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, many of whom were from the Albany area. The Dutch transferred the name "Skahnéhtati" which is in reality the Mohawk name for Albany, New York. These Dutch were prohibited from the fur trade by the Albany monopoly, which kept its control after the English takeover in 1664. Residents of the new village developed farms on strip plots along the river. Connected to the west via the Mohawk River and Erie Canal, Schenectady developed rapidly in the 19th century as part of the Mohawk Valley trade, manufacturing, and transportation corridor. By 1824, more people worked in manufacturing than agriculture or trade, and the city had a cotton mill, processing cotton from the Deep South. Numerous mills in New York had such ties with the South. Through the 19th century, nationally influential companies and industries developed in Schenectady, including General Electric and American Locomotive Company (ALCO), which were powers into the mid-20th century. Schenectady was part of emerging technologies, with GE collaborating in the production of nuclear-powered submarines and, in the 21st century, working on other forms of renewable energy. Schenectady is in eastern New York, near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers. It is in the same metropolitan area as the state capital, Albany, which is about 15 miles (24 km) southeast.