5. ENGLISH RULE
1664, England had conquered Dutch New Netherland, a troublesome foreign
competitor in the midst of England's American colonies. The English quickly
realized that the unique Dutch imprint was not easily erased. Conversely,
the Dutch, as well as French and Jewish merchants, understood the value
of learning the English language and legal modes in order to promote their
own businesses. As the controlling minority, the English found themselves
in a curious situation of integrating their former commercial foes into
the English trading network.
adoption of English as the official language proved culturally wrenching.
Since all news and commercial notices were printed in English, fluency
became a prerequisite for success. Although the abandonment of Dutch was
bemoaned, by the 1740s the young in Manhattan were speaking English as
their primary language. As Dutch people in an English-dominated world,
the Philipses realized that it would be prudent to cultivate the support
of the crown in order to further their business ventures, although they
certainly did not refrain from circumventing English law. Political allegiance
may have become more palatable when the Netherlandish Stadtholder William
and his wife Mary ascended the British throne in 1689.
Prosperity resulting from the mercantile success of Frederick and Adolph Philipse allowed subsequent generations of the family to pursue a gentry lifestyle. The Philipses were now more English than Dutch in orientation; this shift would lead them to remain loyal to the crown during the American Revolution. At the war's conclusion, they were among those attainted of treason by the New York State Legislature. Their personal possessions and real estate were seized and sold. The Philipses' empire, and the Manor of Philipsburg as an official entity, was destroyed.