Clockwise from top: Albany skyline from Rensselaer; middle-class housing in the Helderberg neighborhood; Palace Theatre; Empire State Plaza from the Cultural Education Center; North Pearl Street at Columbia Street; and the State Quad at SUNY Albany.) is the capital of the U. The population of the City of Albany was 97,856 according to the 2010 census. Roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany developed on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River.Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs.
They formed successful relations with both the Mahican and the Mohawk peoples, two major Native American nations in the region.
The fur trade attracted settlers who founded a village called Beverwijck near Fort Orange.
In 1664 the English took over the Dutch settlements, renaming the city as Albany, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland.
The city was officially chartered in 1686 under English rule.
It became the capital of New York State in 1797, following the United States gaining independence in the American Revolutionary War.
Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.
Its charter is possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.
During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of trade and transportation.
It is located on the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal connecting to the Great Lakes, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world.