|In 1652, the British fought the Dutch in a two year war, known as the "First Anglo-Dutch War." The British, however, were anxious to renew the war, as the Dutch were tough trading competitors.
In 1664, King Charles II granted his brother James a charter to the areas claimed by the Dutch. Later that year, an English fleet arrived at New York, forcing the Dutch to surrender without firing a shot. More on the Capture
Ruling the Colony
The Duke of York intended to run his new colony as money making venture. He issued his own set of laws known as "the Dukes Law". The laws were largely based on English common law and similar to the laws in other colonies. The major problems with these laws was the inability to change them. In addition, under terms of the law there was no local assembly
The Duke of York awarded large estates to wealthy land owners along the Hudson River. They then charged local farmers high rents to farm their lands.
Friction continued between the inhabitants of New York and their English Lord for the next twenty years. The lack of a local assembly and the taxes that the Duke of York tried to collect continued to be points of disagreement between them. Finally, in 1691, New York was granted the right to elect its own assembly and make its own laws and collect its own taxes.