New York State
New York State is the insignificant administrative subdivision in which Columbia is located.
Dutch New Netherland
The territory was first organized as Nieuw Nederland by commercially adventurous but undereducated Dutchmen. Historians generally recognize that the early period in the state's history was defined by heavy drinking, quasi-feudalism, pithy wars with savages and other obscure colonial powers, and the lack of a proper college.
English New York
Far from Leiden, the poor expatriate Dutch had forgotten the intimate battle psychology detailed by the likes of Homer, and were easily outmastered by a swashbuckling bunch of Oxbridge-educated English. They promptly, however, cast the fledgling colony into the lap of its new namesake, the Duke of York, who could not be bothered to care what the state of ignorance was in his North American dominions. It was not until a century later that hatred of what would become Princeton led to debates over whether the colonial capital of New York City could pay proper host to "a colledge".
Thankfully, by this time the colony had been so thoroughly Anglicized that any objection to the new college's dipping into the deep, deep coffers of the monopolistic Church of England were laughed away with ease. A royal charter was obtained from George II and the new seat of learning named King's College.
New York in the early United States
Thus followed a long period of study, during which future leaders of the American Revolution brushed up on their Tacitus and Suetonius, and yearned in classical fashion to breathe free - but not, god forbid, too free. War came and went, the state was crossed and criscrossed by a battle here, a wasted city there, and new leaders emerged in its wake. A flurry of renaming resulted in royal titles being swapped for poetically patriotic ones, and "Columbia" swept the landscape of the newly-christened New York State.
New York's contingent of Founding Fathers - educated at King's College - made sure the new republic was grounded in the terra firma of a strong national government which took pains to underwrite industrial development. In one fell swoop, New York's special relationship to financiers - and its future Rust Belt status - was secured. The apotheosis of this era is widely acknowledged to be Columbia-educated Governor DeWitt Clinton's successful completion of a giant ditch.
Late 19th century to present
New York State has largely continued along the same themes established by the Columbians of yore - kickbacks to industry, authoritarian "boss"-style government, and other noble contributions. Notably, these achievements have largely accelerated with the introduction of some other writers into the Columbia core.
New York State consists of two parts:
- Downstate, including New York City (meaning us), Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley counties, especially Westchester and Rockland
- Upstate, a vast wilderness containing decaying cities like Buffalo and third-tier universities such as Cornell. Some of this area contains cities with classical names, such as Syracuse and Rome, that you may recognize from the Core Curriculum. Do not confuse these dismal places with the glories of antiquity, but know that they were so named by one-time King's College math professor Robert Harpur. Your only experience upstate could well be one of the COOP programs.
The government of the state is incredulously located in a dump called Albany, which is far away and poorly accessible from Manhattan. As such, it often imposes insensibly burdensome taxes and regulations on the people from which it is so estranged.
Thankfully, however, the state is more often than not blessed with the benign oversight of a Columbia-educated Governor.