The first explorers to the area were Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524 and Estevan Gomez a year later. Adrien Block erected four trading houses in 1613, prompting settlement by the Dutch.
Originally named New Amsterdam, the settlement was renamed New York when it came under British control with the Treaty of Breda in 1667. George Washington was inaugurated as America's first President here in 1789. The development of the Erie Canal joined the city with the Midwest by water and contributed to the growth of the city.
New York is composed of five boroughs; The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Richmond (Staten Island).