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Peter Stuyvesant is a leader of New Netherlands in Civilization IV: Colonization.


Lived: c. 1602 - 1672

Peter Stuyvesant first began his career as a soldier and administrator in the Caribbean, governing the Dutch island colony of Curacao. During his time in the Caribbean, Stuyvesant lost his right leg in a raid against a Spanish outpost and had it replaced with a wooden one. Yet his raw bravado made him popular among the Dutch West India Company's administration.

Not long after the loss of his leg, Stuyvesant was selected to become governor of the Dutch West India colony of New Amsterdam on the island of Manhattan. In 1647 he began his administration amid much fanfare. He soon established a new court system for the colony, new schools and began securing the under-defended colony against attacks from the natives. Stuyvesant is responsible for the current location of two of New Amsterdam's (which later became New York City) most famous boulevards - Broadway and Wall Street (which in Stuyvesant's time was an actual wall).

The colonists soon discovered, however, that there was only one way things could be done under Stuyvesant's governorship - his way. Stuyvesant reserved the right to decide any court case he liked, overruling the judiciary as he chose. Such a case arose when two prominent members of the New Amsterdam society spoke out against the previous governor. Although at best a minor infraction, Stuyvesant had the two men severally punished and by so doing he lost much favor with the colonists. Later autocratic proclamations such as taxes on "sins" like beer and wine and the burning of homes outside of his carefully-planned defenses continued to increase the dislike of the citizens for their new governor.

Increasing his difficulties, Stuyvesant and his administration were plagued by the English colonies that surrounded New Amsterdam. Stuyvesant struck several deals with the English colonists and even took aggressive maneuvers to halt the encroaching English by capturing the colony of New Sweden, but it was not enough. In 1664, the English sailed four hundred men into the colony's harbor, demanding New Amsterdam's surrender. Stuyvesant attempted to rally his citizens to fight back, but no defense was mounted. So reasonable were the English claims - they guaranteed freedom of worship and an acceptable level of self-determination - and so great the alienation between the people and Stuyvesant that the Dutch citizens gladly welcomed English rule.