States that start with new are titled after lands that existed somewhere else, and were named by the people that overtook the land. New Hampshire is one of the states that start with “new” as it is the “new” version of a British county called Hampshire. New Hampshire has been settled territory since the early seventeenth century when it was being colonized by a British man named John Mason. He had just settled the now Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, which were named after New Scotland and New Land.
In 1622, John Mason was given authority to declare lands in the region known as New England, and he dubbed New Hampshire after a county in southern England where he had grown up. Even so, legend has it that John Mason had never even set foot in the land he named after his childhood homeland. By 1788, New Hampshire had become an official state in the United States of America.
New York is one of the first states that start with “new” as it is often the first people think of. The state and the city New York are both named after a man named James Stuart who was the brother of King Charles II and had been appointed to settle this region of North America. Then, James Stuart held the honorific of Duke of York.
It was not the British that first discovered this land however, it was the Dutch. When they first arrived in what is now the state of New York, they called it New Netherland. At the time, that region also included regions now known as Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
For trade and economic purposes, the Dutch settled the New York region into a land called New Amsterdam. In 1664, the waters now known as New York Harbor were taken over by Richard Nicolls and New Amsterdam was taken from the Dutch to the British. James Stuart, formerly known as the Duke of York changed both the city and the region to the names of New York. New York became a state in the United States in 1776.
Having been a part of the New Netherland originally conquered by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century, the history of New Jersey is very similar to that of New York. New Jersey is like the other states that start with “new” in that it is a “new” region, named after a region beloved by the legend that overtook this land when it was being settled.
For New Jersey, the new land is named after the old land which is the birthplace of Sir George Carteret, who was born in the British Channel Island of Jersey. He would also become the Lieutenant Governor of the island of Jersey.
New Jersey was an original part of the first Dutch colony known as New Netherland until it was conquered by the English nine years later in 1664. When that happened, King Charles II divided the land granting Sir George Carteret and Sir John Berkeley the space between the Hudson River and the Delaware River.
The state of New Mexico is one of the states that start with new because of the Mexicans, and not as a result of the Dutch and British colonization of America. It is the "new" Mexico after it was passed between several hands, including Spanish, Texans, and Mexicans. Of the states that start with new, not many people realize that New Mexico did not even become an official state in the United States until 1912.
Prior to that, there was a lot of fighting over this land, that started with a group of empire builders called the Mexicas. They were Spanish, and moved north hoping that they would find prosperity in 1563. A man named Francisco de Ibarra was the first to name this region Nuevo Mexico after acquainting himself with tribes members that honored this land. It was held by the Spanish of New Spain in 1598 and when translated into English was called New Mexico two centuries before Mexico even declared independence from Spain. Of the state that start with new, this state gets its name from the Mexicas, and not the country Mexico.