The Statue of Liberty and the skyline of New York city.Getty Images
New Netherland is Woodard’s name for the greater New York City area — encompassing the city itself as well as northern New Jersey and part of Connecticut.
The area was settled by the Dutch and retained many of the values that made the Netherlands a paragon of Western civilization. Today, the region is a hub for global commerce and, as Woodard put it, has “a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience.”
The region is “a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional cultures,” he said.