In 1664, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch Province of New Netherland was awarded by Charles II of England to his brother James, Duke of York. James raised a fleet to take it from the Dutch and the Governor surrendered to the English fleet without recognition from the Dutch West Indies Company. The province was renamed for the Duke of York, as its proprietor. England seized de facto control of the colony from the Dutch in 1664, and was given de jure sovereign control in 1667 in the Treaty of Breda and again in the Treaty of Westminster (1674). It wasn't until 1674 that English Common law was applied. The colony was one of the Middle Colonies, and ruled at first directly from England. When James ascended to the throne of England as James II, the colony became a royal colony.
When the English arrived, the colony somewhat vaguely included claims to all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine in addition to eastern Pennsylvania. The majority of this land was soon reassigned by the crown, leaving the territory of the modern State of New York, including the valleys of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, and future Vermont. The territory of western New York was disputed with the Iroquois Indian nation, and also disputed between the English and the French from their northern colonial province of New France (modern eastern Canada). Vermont was disputed with the Province of New Hampshire to the east.
The revolutionary New York Provincial Congress of local representatives assumed the government on May 22, 1775, declared the province the "State of New York" in 1776, and ratified the first New York Constitution in 1777. During the ensuing American Revolutionary War the British regained and occupied New York Town in September 1776, using it as its military and political base of operations in British North America, Though a British governor was technically in office, much of the remainder of the upper part of the colony was held by the rebel Patriots. British claims in New York were ended by the Treaty of Paris of 1783, with New York establishing its independence from the crown. The final evacuation of all of New York by the British Army was followed by the return of General George Washington's Continental Army on November 25, 1783 in a grand parade and celebration.