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Ever wondered just how America’s 50 states obtained their names? The etymology the a name supplies an understanding into the background and origins of a an ar that dates ago hundreds, periodically thousands, that years. These chosen titles represent the geography, people, cultures, and traditions that the United says — countless of which exist long prior to the declaration of self-reliance in 1776. You’ll discover recognition of indigenous American tribespeople who initially walked this lands, nods to herbal landmarks, and homages come explorers, europe royalty, and also the homelands that colonists. Yet of the 50 states, four share one point in common: the word “new” in their surname — here’s why.


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To discover the beginning of brand-new Hampshire’s name, we need to travel earlier to the 1620s and the life of brother colonizer john Mason. Having already sailed to and also mapped Newfoundland, Mason enquired around the potential emigration of Nova Scotia upon his return to England. Instead, in 1622, he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges were given a land grant by the Plymouth the supervisory board for new England, covering the region located between the Merrimack and also Kennebec rivers. They separation the territory at the Piscataqua River, with Mason taking the southerly section and also creating the district of new Hampshire in 1629.

Mason determined the surname Hampshire to commemorate the coastal county in the south of England the the exact same name, whereby he had actually lived together a child. He went on to invest in the development of the lands and also sent settlers across from Britain. In a twist of fate, despite chartering and naming the region, Mason passed far in 1635 having actually never set foot here. The district of new Hampshire became the state of new Hampshire in 1788 and also in act so preserved its initial name.

New York

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In the early on 1600s the dutch West India agency began to claim land top top the united States" East shore in stimulate to exploit the fur trade. They founded the swarm of new Netherland, which included locations of present-day brand-new York, brand-new Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and also Pennsylvania. To manage their trade, the Dutch developed a settlement called brand-new Amsterdam in ~ the southern suggest of Manhattan Island.

The Dutch continued to regulate the an ar until 1664, when Richard Nicolls sailed into new York Harbor, besieged ft Amsterdam, and also took regulate of new Amsterdam. Subsequently, the areas of new Netherland dropped into the hands of the English crown, and also King Charles II appointed his brothers James Stuart together proprietor that the territory. James organized the noble location of battle each other of York and thus changed brand-new Netherlands come the province of new York and the city of new Amsterdam to brand-new York. Regardless of the netherlands briefly retaking the province in 1673, it served as one of the Thirteen nests from 1664 to 1776. The was declared the state of brand-new York in an independent United says in 1776.

New Jersey

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The development of brand-new Jersey is closely tied come the colonial history of its neighbor brand-new York; that was originally also component of the Dutch colony of brand-new Netherland. A swedish colony, aptly named new Sweden, likewise established settlements in the region, however these to be seized by the netherlands in 1655. Ripe years later, the English conquered new York Harbor.

When native of the annexing reached the crown in England, King Charles II separated the newly asserted North American lands; the area in between the Delaware and Hudson rivers was granted to sir George Carteret and Sir man Berkeley. They called it the province of new Jersey in storage of Carteret’s birthplace, the brother Channel Island that Jersey. The factor for Carteret and Berkeley receiving the land? Both had been loyal supporters the the English Crown. Carteret, that was the lieutenant governor of the island that Jersey, in certain aided Charles II’s exile there throughout the English polite War.

New Mexico

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This southwestern state’s name is one Anglicized version of Nuevo México. Words Mexico derives indigenous Nahuatl, the language that the old Aztec Empire and also inhabitants that the city-state Mexico-Tenochtitlan. The founders of the empire were likewise known as Mexicas. Fascinated through the wide range and culture of the Mexicas, Spanish explorers traveled north in the hope of discovering an in similar way prosperous civilizations. Francisco de Ibarra arrived there in 1563 and first documented Nuevo México after conference tribespeople the reminded that of the Aztecs. It ended up being an official name in 1598 with the creation of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, a kingdom of brand-new Spain. The area passed in between the hand of the Spanish, Mexicans, and Texans prior to being claimed an main U.S. State in 1912.

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Contrary to famous belief, the state didn’t gain its name from America’s southerly neighbor. In fact, every one of this developed over 250 years prior to modern-day Mexico’s self-reliance from Spain in 1821. The Spanish-ruled regions that consist of today’s Mexico were recognized as Nuevo España (New Spain). Consequently, and unlike the various other “New” states, a ar named brand-new Mexico has actually existed for longer than one named merely Mexico.