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New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west, and Quebec to the north. New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City.
New York City, which is geographically the largest city in the state and most populous in the United States, is known for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States and its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is also a destination of choice for many foreign visitors. Both state and city were named for the 17th century Duke of York, James Stuart, future James II and VII of England and Scotland.
New York was inhabited by the Algonquin, Iroquois, and Lenape Native American groups at the time Dutch and French nationals moved into the region in the early 17th century. First claimed by Henry Hudson in 1609, the region came to have Dutch forts at Fort Orange, near the site of the present-day capital of Albany in 1614. The Dutch colonized the Albany and Manhattan areas in 1624. The British took over Manhattan and the colony by annexation in 1664.
The borders of the British colony, the Province of New York, were roughly similar to those of the present-day state. About one third of all of the battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. New York became an independent state on July 9, 1776 and enacted its constitution in 1777. The state ratified the United States Constitution on July 26, 1788 to become the 11th state.
Main article: Geography of New York
New York covers 54,556 square miles (141,300 km2) and ranks as the 27th largest state by size. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York, while Lake Champlain is the chief northern feature of the valley, which also includes the Hudson River flowing southward to the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the valley. Most of the southern part of the state is on the Allegheny Plateau, which rises from the southeast to the Catskill Mountains. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware systems. The Delaware River Basin Compact, signed in 1961 by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the federal government, regulates the utilization of water of the Delaware system. The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks.
New York's borders touch (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada; Lake Champlain; three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut); the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic States, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York.
New York terrain
Map of the Hudson and Mohawk riversContrasting with New York City's urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. It is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Olympic National Parks combined. New York established the first state park in the United States at Niagara Falls in 1885. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular attraction. The Hudson River begins with Lake Tear of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu and then the St. Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City's five boroughs are on the three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Brooklyn and Queens on Long Island.
Upstate and downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York state. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention.Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania. and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canadian border to everything north of the Mohawk River.
Main article: Climate of New York
Lake-effect snow is a major contributor to snowfall totals in western New York.In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though under the Köppen climate classification, New York City has a humid subtropical climate. Weather in New York is heavily influenced by two continental air masses: a warm, humid one from the southwest and a cold, dry one from the northwest.
The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of −13 °F (−25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F (−15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands (Southern Plateau).
The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau.
The New York City/Long Island area and lower portions of the Hudson Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity.
The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s °F (25 to 30 °C), over much of the state.
New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This efficiency is primarily due to the state's higher rate of mass transit use.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various New York Cities City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Albany 31/13 34/16 44/25 57/36 70/46 78/55 82/60 80/58 71/50 60/39 48/31 36/20
Binghamton 28/15 31/17 41/25 53/35 66/46 73/54 78/59 76/57 68/50 57/40 44/31 33/21
Buffalo 31/18 33/19 42/26 54/36 66/48 75/57 80/62 78/60 70/53 59/43 47/34 36/24
Long Island 39/23 40/24 48/31 58/40 69/49 77/60 83/66 82/64 75/57 64/45 54/36 44/28
New York City 38/26 41/28 50/35 61/44 71/54 79/63 84/69 82/68 75/60 64/50 53/41 43/32
Rochester 31/17 33/17 43/25 55/35 68/46 77/55 81/60 79/59 71/51 60/41 47/33 36/23
Syracuse 31/14 34/16 43/24 56/35 68/46 77/55 82/60 80/59 71/51 60/40 47/32 36/21
Temperatures listed using the Fahrenheit scale
See also: List of New York state parks and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Two major parks in the state are the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park.New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established in 1892 and given state constitutional protection in 1894. The thinking that led to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature, published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean, he asserted "the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon."
The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) of land, the park is a habitat for bobcats, minks and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. The state operates numerous campgrounds and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.
The Montauk Point State Park boasts the famous Montauk Lighthouse, commissioned by President George Washington, which is a major tourist attraction and is located in the township of East Hampton, Suffolk County. Hither Hills park offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen.
Main article: History of New York
New York in 177717th century
During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois and other indigenous peoples expanded into the colony of New Netherlands. The first of these trading posts were Fort Nassau (1614, near present-day Albany); Fort Orange (1624, on the Hudson River just south of the current city of Albany and created to replace Fort Nassau), developing into settlement Beverwijck (1647), and into what became Albany; Fort Amsterdam (1625, to develop into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City); and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston). The success of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck (1630), which surrounded Albany and lasted until the mid 19th century, was also a key factor in the early success of the colony. The British captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York.
The Sons of Liberty were organized in New York City during the 1760s, largely in response to the oppresive Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765. The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19th of that year: a gathering of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies that set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expresed in the United States Declaration of Independence, including the right to representative government.
The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775.
New York endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. The New York state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution drafted by John Jay was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. On July 30, 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston.
The first major battle of the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared – and the largest battle of the entire war – was fought in New York at the Battle of Long Island (a.k.a Battle of Brooklyn) in August of 1776. British victory made New York City their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the center of attention for General George Washington's intelligence network.
The notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay saw more American combatants die of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war, combined.
The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, influencing France to ally with the revolutionaries.
Four of the Iroquois nations fought on the side of the British; only the Onondagas were allies of the colonists. Many Iroquois were defeated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. As Loyalist allies of the losing British, the Iroquois were pushed to Canada after the war. In the treaty settlement, the British ceded most Indian lands to the new United States. Because New York made treaty with the Iroquois without getting Congressional approval, some of the land purchases are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes. More than 5 million acres of former Iroquois territory was put up for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in upstate New York. As per the Treaty of Paris, the last vestige of British authority in the former Thirteen Colonies – their troops in New York City – departed in 1783, which was long afterwards celebrated as Evacuation Day.
Following heated debate, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.
The creation of the Erie Canal led to rapid industrialization in New York.Transportation in western New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the St. Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake Ontario, the way westward to the other Great Lakes was blocked by Niagara Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land.
Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a canal to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and thus all the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal was finished in 1825. It was considered an engineering marvel. Packet boats traveled up and down the canal with sightseers and visitors on board. The canal opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. It enabled Great Lakes port cities such as Buffalo and Rochester to grow and prosper. It also connected the burgeoning agricultural production of the Midwest and shipping on the Great Lakes, with the port of New York City. Improving transportation, it enabled additional population migration to territories west of New York.
Main article: Ellis Island
Scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island
Ellis Island in 1905Ellis Island was the main facility for immigrants, entering the United States in the late 19th Century to the mid 20th Century. The facility operated from January 1, 1892, until November 12, 1954. It is owned by the Federal government and is now part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. It is situated in New York Harbor, between two states and cities, Jersey City, New Jersey and New York City, New York.
More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, between 1892 and 1954. After 1924, when the National Origins Act was passed, the only immigrants to pass through there were displaced persons or war refugees.Today, over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants, who first arrived in America through the island, before dispersing to points all over the country. Ellis Island was the subject of a border dispute between New York State and New Jersey.
Statue of Liberty
Main article: Statue of Liberty
Statue of LibertyThe Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The idea of giving a colossal representation of republican virtues to a "sister" republic, across the sea, served as a focus for the republican cause against other politicians. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886.
Liberty Island closed on September 11, 2001; the island reopened in December, the monument reopened on August 3, 2004, but the statue remained closed until the summer of 2009. The National Park Service claims that the statue is not shut because of a terrorist threat, but principally because of a long list of fire regulation contraventions, including inadequate evacuation procedures. The museum and ten-story pedestal are open for visitors, but are only accessible if visitors have a "Monument Access Pass", which is a reservation that visitors must make in advance of their visit and pick up before boarding the ferry. There are a maximum of 3000 passes available each day, with a total of 15,000 visitors to the island daily. The interior of the statue remains closed, although a glass ceiling in the pedestal allows for views of Gustave Eiffel's iron framework of Lady Liberty.
Census Pop. %±
1790 340,120 —
1800 589,051 73.2%
1810 959,049 62.8%
1820 1,372,851 43.1%
1830 1,918,608 39.8%
1840 2,428,921 26.6%
1850 3,097,394 27.5%
1860 3,880,735 25.3%
1870 4,382,759 12.9%
1880 5,082,871 16.0%
1890 5,997,853 18.0%
1900 7,268,894 21.2%
1910 9,113,614 25.4%
1920 10,385,227 14.0%
1930 12,588,066 21.2%
1940 13,479,142 7.1%
1950 14,830,192 10.0%
1960 16,782,304 13.2%
1970 18,236,967 8.7%
1980 17,558,072 −3.7%
1990 17,990,455 2.5%
2000 18,976,457 5.5%
Est. 2009 19,541,453 3.0%
Main article: Demographics of New York
New York population density mapAs of 2006, New York was the third largest state in population after California and Texas, with an estimated population of 19,541,453 as of July 1, 2009. This represents an increase of 513,481, or 2.7%, since the last census in 2000. It includes a natural increase since the last census of 803,680 people (that is 2,072,765 births minus 1,269,085 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 698,895 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 876,969 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 1,575,864 people.
In spite of the open land in the state, New York's population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area.
New York is a slow growing state with a large rate of domestic migration to other states. In 2000 and 2005, more people moved from New York to Florida than from any one state to another. However, New York state is one of the leading destinations for international immigration and thus has the second largest immigrant population in the country (after California) at 4.2 million as of 2008. Although Upstate New York receives considerable immigration, most of the state's immigrants settle in and around New York City, due to its more vibrant economy and cosmopolitan culture.
The center of population of New York is located in Orange County, in the town of Deerpark. New York City and its eight suburban counties (excluding those in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania) have a combined population of 13,209,006 people, or 68.42% of the state's population.
Racial and ancestral makeup
New York population ethnicity mapThe major ancestry groups in New York state are African American (15.8%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), and German (11.1%). According to a 2004 estimate, 20.4% of the population is foreign-born.
New York is home to the largest African American population and the second largest Asian American population in the United States. In addition it is home to the largest Puerto Rican, Dominican and Jamaican American populations in the continental United States. The New York City neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major cultural capital for African-Americans of sub-Saharan descent, and Bedford Stuyvesant is the largest such population in the United States.
Queens, also in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian-American population, and is also the most diverse county in the United States. The second concentration of Asian-Americans is in Manhattan's Chinatown. Queens is home to the largest Andean population (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Bolivian) population in The United States of America.
In the 2000 Census, Italian Americans made up the largest ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish Americans. Albany and southeast-central New York also have populations with many of Irish-American and Italian-American descent. In Buffalo and western New York, German Americans are the largest group; in the northern tip of the state, French Canadians are. New York State has a higher number of Italian Americans than any other U.S. state.
6.5% of New York's population were under 5 years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females made up 51.8% of the population.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 13.61% of the population aged 5 and over speak Spanish at home, while 2.04% speak Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.65% Italian, and 1.23% Russian.
Catholics comprise more than 40% of the population in New York. Protestants are 30% of the population, Jews 8.4%, Muslims 3.5%, Buddhists 1%, and 13% claim no religious affiliation. The largest Protestant denominations are the United Methodist Church with 403,362; the American Baptist Churches USA with 203,297; and the Episcopal Church with 201,797 adherents.
Cities and towns
For Maps and lists of cities, towns, and counties in New York
List of cities in New York
List of towns in New York
List of villages in New York
List of counties in New York
List of census-designated places in New York
Administrative divisions of New York
New York State is made up of nine regions, these include:
North Country New York
Central New York
Western New York
New York City
Long Island (Southeast New York)
The largest city in the state and the most populous city in the United States is New York City, which comprises five counties, the Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), and Richmond (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population.
The ten largest cities are:
New York City (8,274,527)
New Rochelle (72,967)
Mount Vernon (67,924)
The location of these cities within the state stays remarkably true to the major transportation and trade routes in the early nineteenth century, primarily the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, Interstate 90 acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes.
Grouped by metropolitan statistical area, the twelve largest population centers in the state are:
New York City (18,815,988 in NY/NJ/PA, 12,381,586 in NY)
Buffalo-Niagara Falls (1,128,183)
Albany and the Capital District (853,358)
Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley (669,915)
Glens Falls (128,886)
The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, located just west of the Town of Vernon in Oneida County. Albany is the state capital, and the Town of Hempstead is the civil township with the largest population. If it were a city, it would be the second largest in the state with over 700,000 residents.
The southern tip of New York State—New York City, its suburbs including Long Island, the southern portion of the Hudson Valley, and most of northern New Jersey—can be considered to form the central core of the Northeast megalopolis", a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston south to the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C..
Main article: Economy of New York
The New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the world
Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the largest central business district in the United States
A dairy farm in BrunswickNew York's gross state product in 2007 was $1.1 trillion, ranking third in size behind the larger states of California and Texas. If New York were an independent nation, it would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world behind Turkey. Its 2007 per capita personal income was $46,364, placing it sixth in the nation behind Maryland, and eighth in the world behind Ireland. New York's agricultural outputs are dairy products, cattle and other livestock, vegetables, nursery stock, and apples. Its industrial outputs are printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism.
A recent review by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found 13 states, including several of the nation's largest, face budget shortfalls for FY2009. New York faces a deficit that could be as large as $4.3 billion.
New York exports a wide variety of goods such as foodstuffs, commodities, minerals, computers and electronics, cut diamonds, and automobile parts. In 2007, the state exported a total of $71.1 billion worth of goods, with the five largest foreign export markets being Canada ($15 billion), United Kingdom ($6 billion), Switzerland ($5.9 billion), Israel ($4.9 billion), and Hong Kong ($3.4 billion). New York's largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber.
Canada is a very important economic partner for the state. 21% of the state's total worldwide exports went to Canada in 2007. Tourism from the north is also a large part of the economy. Canadians spent US$487 million in 2004 while visiting the state.
New York City is the leading center of banking, finance and communication in the United States and is the location of the New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume. Many of the world's largest corporations are based in the city.
The state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes printing and the production of garments, furs, railroad equipment and bus line vehicles. Many of these industries are concentrated in upstate regions. Albany and the Hudson Valley are major centers of nanotechnology and microchip manufacturing, while the Rochester area is important in photographic equipment and imaging.
New York is a major agricultural producer, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products such as dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many others. The state is the largest producer of cabbage in the U.S. The state has about a quarter of its land in farms and produced US$3.4 billion in agricultural products in 2001. The south shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear and peach orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain.
New York is the nation's third-largest grape-producing state, behind California, and second-largest wine producer by volume. The south shore of Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides have many vineyards. In addition, the North Fork of Long Island developed vineyards, production and visitors' facilities in the last three decades of the 20th century. In 2004, New York's wine and grape industry brought US$6 billion into the state economy.
The state has 30,000 acres (120 km2) of vineyards, 212 wineries, and produced 200 million bottles of wine in 2004. A moderately sized saltwater commercial fishery is located along the Atlantic side of Long Island. The principal catches by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder. These areas of the economy have been increasing as environmental protection has led to an increase in ocean wildlife.
Main article: Transportation in New York
The Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge carries I-87 over the Mohawk River
The New York City Subway serves more than 5 million rides on a given week dayNew York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering difficulties because of the terrain of the state and the unique issues of the city brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome since the state was young. Population expansion of the state generally followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal. Today, railroad lines and the New York State Thruway follow the same general route. The New York State Department of Transportation is often criticized for how they maintain the roads of the state in certain areas and for the fact that the tolls collected along the roadway have long passed their original purpose. Until 2006, tolls were collected on the Thruway within The City of Buffalo. They were dropped late in 2006 during the campaign for Governor (both candidates called for their removal).
In addition to New York City's famous mass transit subway, four suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave the city: the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and five of New Jersey Transit's rail lines. Many other cities have urban and regional public transportation. In Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs the Buffalo Metro Rail light-rail system; in Rochester, the Rochester Subway operated from 1927 until 1956 but has fallen into disuse.
Portions of the transportation system are intermodal, allowing travelers to easily switch from one mode of transportation to another. One of the most notable examples is AirTrain JFK which allows rail passengers to travel directly to terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In May 2009 the New York City Department of Transportation under the control of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan banned cars from Times Square. The move designed to reduce pollution and pedestrian accidents looks likely to be implemented permantly, and will last at least until the end of the year.
Politics and government
Main article: Government of New York
New York State CapitolUnder its present constitution (adopted in 1938), New York is governed by the same three branches that govern all fifty states of the United States: the executive branch, consisting of the Governor of New York and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch, consisting of the bicameral New York State Legislature; and the judicial branch, consisting of the state's highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, and lower courts. The state has two U.S. senators, 29 members in the United States House of Representatives, and 31 electoral votes in national presidential elections (a drop from its 47 votes during the 1940s).
New York's capital is Albany. The state's subordinate political units are its 62 counties. Other officially incorporated governmental units are towns, cities, and villages. New York has more than 4,200 local governments that take one of these forms. About 52% of all revenue raised by local governments in the state is raised solely by the government of New York City, which is the largest municipal government in the United States, whereas New York City houses only 42% of the state population.
The state has a strong imbalance of payments with the federal government. New York State receives 82 cents in services for every $1 it sends in taxes to the federal government in Washington. The state ranks near the bottom, in 42nd place, in federal spending per tax dollar.
Many of New York's public services are carried out by public benefit corporations, frequently called authorities or development corporations. Well known public benefit corporations in New York include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees New York City's public transportation system, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state transportation infrastructure agency.
New York's legal system is explicitly based on English common Law.
See also: Current United States congressional delegation from New York and New York's congressional districts
As of the 2000 census and the redistricting for the 2002 elections, the state has 29 members in the United States House of Representatives, and two U.S. senators. New York has 31 electoral votes in national presidential elections (a drop from its 47 votes during the 1940s).
New York is represented by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate and has 29 representatives to the United States House of Representatives, behind California's 53 congressional districts and Texas' 32 congressional districts.
Main article: Capital punishment in New York
Capital punishment was reintroduced in 1995 under the Pataki administration but the statute was declared unconstitutional in 2004, when the New York Court of Appeals ruled in People v. LaValle that it violated the state constitution. The remaining death sentence was commuted by the court to life imprisonment in 2007, in People v. John Taylor, and the death row was disestablished in 2008, under executive order from Governor Paterson. No execution has taken place in New York since 1963. Legislative efforts to amend the statute have failed, and death sentences are no longer sought.
David Paterson (D) is the current Governor of New YorkMain articles: Politics of New York, Elections in New York, Political party strength in New York, and New York's congressional districts
In the last few decades, New York State has generally supported candidates belonging to the Democratic Party in national elections. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won New York State by 25 percentage points in 2008, a bigger margin than John Kerry in 2004. New York City is a major Democratic stronghold with liberal politics. Many of the state's other urban areas, such as Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are also Democratic. Rural upstate New York, however, is generally more conservative than the cities and tends to favor Republicans. Heavily populated Suburban areas such as Westchester County and Long Island have swung between the major parties over the past 25 years, but more often than not support Democrats.
New York City is the most important source of political fund-raising in the United States for both major parties. Four of the top five zip codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top zip code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2000 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and Al Gore.
Main article: Education in New York
System Administration Building of the State University of New York in AlbanyThe University of the State of New York oversees all public primary, middle-level, and secondary education in the state, while the New York City Department of Education manages the public school system in New York City.
At the college level, the statewide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY). The City University of New York (CUNY) is the public university system of New York City. The SUNY system consists of 64 community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges and universities. The four university centers are University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook.
In addition there are many notable private universities, including the oldest Catholic institution in the northeast, Fordham University. New York is home to both Columbia University and Cornell University, making it the only state to contain more than one Ivy League school. West Point, the service academy of the U.S. Army is located just south of Newburgh, NY on the banks of the Hudson River.
Main article: Sports in New York
New York hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, the Games known for the USA-USSR hockey game dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" in which a group of American college students and amateurs defeated the heavily-favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4–3 and went on to win the gold medal against Finland. Lake Placid also hosted the 1932 Winter Olympics. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, it is one of the three places to have twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
New York is the home of one National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills, (based in the suburb of Orchard Park). Although the New York Giants and New York Jets represent the New York metropolitan area and were previously located in New York City, they play in Meadowlands Stadium, which is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.There has been much controversy over the building of several building proposals for a new New York Jets football stadium, the owners of the New York Jets were willing to split the $1.5 billion cost of building a new football stadium over Manhattan's West Side rail yards however the proposal never came to fruition.
New York also has two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees (based in The Bronx), and the New York Mets (based in New York City borough Queens). New York is home to three National Hockey League franchises (the New York Rangers in Manhattan, the New York Islanders on Long Island and the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, New York). New York has a National Basketball Association team, the New York Knicks in Manhattan.The former New York Nets from 1968 to 1977 is now titled as a New Jersey team however plans to relocate to New York City are in the works. There are a variety of minor league teams that can be found all through the State of New York such as the Long Island Ducks.