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Ever wondered just how America’s 50 states gained their names? The etymology the a name provides an understanding into the background and beginnings of a region that dates ago hundreds, periodically thousands, that years. These chosen titles represent the geography, people, cultures, and also traditions that the United states — countless of which exist long before the declaration of freedom in 1776. You’ll discover recognition of indigenous American tribespeople who originally walked these lands, nods to organic landmarks, and also homages to explorers, european royalty, and also the homelands of colonists. But of the 50 states, 4 share one thing in common: words “new” in their name — this is why.


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To find the beginning of new Hampshire’s name, we must travel back to the 1620s and the life of brother colonizer man Mason. Having already sailed to and mapped Newfoundland, Mason enquired about the potential emigration of Nova Scotia ~ above his return to England. Instead, in 1622, he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges were offered a land grant by the Plymouth council for brand-new England, spanning the are located between the Merrimack and Kennebec rivers. They break-up the region at the Piscataqua River, with Mason taking the southern section and also creating the district of new Hampshire in 1629.

Mason determined the surname Hampshire come commemorate the coastal county in the southern of England of the exact same name, wherein he had actually lived together a child. The went on come invest in the advance of the lands and also sent settlers across from Britain. In a twist of fate, in spite of chartering and also naming the region, Mason passed away in 1635 having actually never set foot here. The province of brand-new Hampshire ended up being the state of brand-new Hampshire in 1788 and also in law so maintained its original name.

New York

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In the beforehand 1600s the dutch West India agency began to insurance claim land top top the joined States" East shore in bespeak to make use of the hair trade. They started the colony of new Netherland, which included areas of present-day brand-new York, brand-new Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and also Pennsylvania. To regulate their trade, the Dutch established a settlement called brand-new Amsterdam at the southern allude of Manhattan Island.

The Dutch continued to regulate the an ar until 1664, once Richard Nicolls cruised into new York Harbor, besieged fort Amsterdam, and took manage of brand-new Amsterdam. Subsequently, the regions of new Netherland dropped into the hand of the English crown, and King Charles II appointed his brother James Stuart together proprietor the the territory. James hosted the noble title of duke of York and also thus changed new Netherlands come the district of brand-new York and the city of new Amsterdam to new York. In spite of the netherlands briefly retaking the district in 1673, it served as among the Thirteen nests from 1664 to 1776. That was declared the state of brand-new York in an elevation United states in 1776.

New Jersey

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The development of new Jersey is carefully tied to the colonial background of the neighbor new York; it was initially also part of the Dutch swarm of brand-new Netherland. A sweden colony, aptly named brand-new Sweden, likewise established negotiations in the region, yet these to be seized by the netherlands in 1655. Ripe years later, the English conquered new York Harbor.

When native of the linking reached the crown in England, King Charles II separated the newly claimed North American lands; the area in between the Delaware and Hudson rivers to be granted to teacher George Carteret and Sir john Berkeley. They called it the province of brand-new Jersey in storage of Carteret’s birthplace, the brothers Channel Island the Jersey. The factor for Carteret and also Berkeley receiving the land? Both had been faithful supporters the the English Crown. Carteret, that was the lieutenant governor of the island of Jersey, in details aided Charles II’s exile there throughout the English polite War.

New Mexico

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This southwestern state’s surname is one Anglicized variation of Nuevo México. Words Mexico derives native Nahuatl, the language the the ancient Aztec Empire and also inhabitants of the city-state Mexico-Tenochtitlan. The co-founder of the empire were likewise known together Mexicas. Fascinated by the wealth and culture of the Mexicas, Spanish explorers traveled phibìc in the expect of discovering similarly prosperous civilizations. Francisco de Ibarra arrived there in 1563 and first documented Nuevo México after meeting tribespeople that reminded him of the Aztecs. It became an official name in 1598 through the development of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, a kingdom of new Spain. The area passed in between the hand of the Spanish, Mexicans, and also Texans before being claimed an official U.S. State in 1912.

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Contrary to popular belief, the state didn’t acquire its surname from America’s southerly neighbor. In fact, every one of this occurred over 250 year prior to modern Mexico’s self-reliance from Spain in 1821. The Spanish-ruled territories that make up today’s Mexico were known as Nuevo España (New Spain). Consequently, and unlike the various other “New” states, a location named brand-new Mexico has existed for longer than one named merely Mexico.