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In 1614, Hendrick Christiaensen built Fort Nassau, a fur-trading post and the first documented European structure in present-day Albany.

Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada and among the natives, all of whom vied to control the trade.

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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.

At that time the county included all of present New York State north of Dutchess and Ulster Counties in addition to present-day Bennington County, Vermont, theoretically stretching west to the Pacific Ocean; Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by provincial Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686.

The Dongan Charter was virtually identical in content to the charter awarded to the city of New York three months earlier.

Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services.

The city has rebounded from the urban decline of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development taking place in the city's downtown and midtown neighborhoods.

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.

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.

In 1754, representatives of seven British North American colonies met in the Stadt Huys, Albany's city hall, for the Albany Congress; Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania presented the Albany Plan of Union there, which was the first formal proposal to unite the colonies.

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