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Second American Revolt
In 1806, following the beginning of rebellion in New England, many New Yorkers in the countryside took to arms and fought off the British. The militias were organized and led by William Hull, a former soldier of the First American Revolt. He successfully defeated the British army at Saratoga and Ticonderoga, and used the cannons, artillery, weapons, and supplies taken from there to launch an attack of New York City. Francis Pickmore defeated the Royal Navy in the Long Island Sound, and Hull attempted to trap the British soldiers and their leader, Gordon Drummond, in Manhattan. After several flanking maneuvers and skirmishes, Drummond was forced to retreat into New Jersey and later by ship to Canada. After taking New York City, Hull declared the Republic of New York was independent from Great Britain.
Disputes with New England over Vermont led to war in 1807. An army was sent under Peter Buell Porter and conquered the region unopposed, but he was defeated in battles at Bennington and Burlington, forcing the New Yorkers to retreat. A counterattack could not be launched because of a British offensive in upstate New York. Hull was killed in the Battle of Plattsburgh, sending the army into disarray. New York signed a peace treaty with New England, handing Vermont over to them.
Porter became the Commander of the New York Army, and hoped to prevent the British army under the command of Drummond from reached Central New York. Porter learned that the British were attempting to moving through the St. Lawrence River Valley to take Ticonderoga, giving them a desirable location to commit raids of New York City. Porter rushed his army there, and on July 21, 1808, the Battle of Ticonderoga began. Drummond, overconfident in his abilities, led an attack of 3000 men on the fort without waiting for his artillery to arrive. Porter defended the fort for 3 days, causing over 1000 casualties and forcing the British to call off the attack. The British would not launch another attack, and in 1809 the Treaty of Halifax was signed, granting New York independence.
Strife and the Era of Good FeelingsFollowing the birth of the new nation, political strife threatened to tear it apart. The constitution was ratified on May 1, 1808, created a strong executive and strict separation of powers. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr competed for the spot of the first presidency. Hamilton had the support of "downstaters" (those who lived in or near New York City). Known as Federalists, they supported a strong national government. Burr had the support of "upstaters" (those who live to the north and west of the City). Eventually organizing into Democrat-Republicans, who opposed large national institutions. As the election got closer, it also got uglier. On November 11, it was announced that Hamilton had won the election. Burr, upset with this along with a few other comments Hamilton had made, challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton accepted, and the next week Hamilton had lost and died. Burr, realizing the great mistake he had made, fled to Europe. Vice president John Jay became president during a period of mourning.
Jay hoped to establish New York as a dominant nation in the New World. He got New York recognition from powerful European nations. A stable currency and credit was established supported at first by loans from European banks, and paid back most of the young nation's debt to its creditors. A standing army was established, and was used to secure the borders with New England and Canada. Trade was flourishing with other nations and new economic partners. Jay also sought good relations with Great Britain. This new prosperity allowed Jay to win a second term, and later his vice president, DeWitt Clinton, would win the presidency in 1819.