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The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October 1765, as the Sons of Liberty, sorted out in the city, skirmished throughout the following ten years with British troops positioned there. The Battle of Long Island, the biggest clash of the American Revolutionary War, was battled in August 1776 inside the cutting edge precinct of Brooklyn. After the fight, in which the Americans were vanquished, the British made the city their military and political base of activities in North America. The city was a shelter for Loyalist outcasts and got away slaves who joined the British lines for opportunity recently guaranteed by the Crown for all contenders. Upwards of 10,000 got away slaves jammed into the city amid the British occupation. At the point when the British powers cleared at the end of the war in 1783, they transported 3,000 freedmen for resettlement in Nova Scotia. They resettled other freedmen in England and the Caribbean.

The main endeavor at a quiet answer for the war occurred at the Conference House on Staten Island between American agents, including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Not long after the British occupation started, the Great Fire of New York happened, an extensive blaze on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, which crushed about a fourth of the structures in the city, including Trinity Church.[121]

In 1785, the get together of the Congress of the Confederation made New York City the national capital not long after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the main capital under the Constitution of the United States. In 1789, the main President of the United States, George Washington, was initiated; the primary United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each gathered out of the blue, and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street.[122] By 1790, New York had outperformed Philadelphia as the biggest city in the United States

Under New York State's progressive annulment demonstration of 1799, offspring of slave moms were to be in the long run freed yet to be held in obligated subjugation until their mid-to-late twenties.[124][125] Together with slaves liberated by their lords after the Revolutionary War and got away slaves, a noteworthy free-dark populace continuously created in Manhattan. Under such compelling United States originators as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the New York Manumission Society worked for abrogation and built up the African Free School to instruct dark children.[126] It was not until the point when 1827 that bondage was totally canceled in the state, and free blacks battled a short time later with separation. New York interracial abolitionist activism proceeded; among its pioneers were alumni of the African Free School. The city's dark populace achieved more than 16,000 out of 1840.[127]

In the nineteenth century, the city was changed by advancement identifying with its status as an exchanging focus, and also by European immigration.[128] The city embraced the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which extended the city road matrix to envelop all of Manhattan. The 1825 consummation of the Erie Canal through focal New York associated the Atlantic port to the rural markets and products of the North American inside by means of the Hudson River and the Great Lakes.[129] Local governmental issues ended up commanded by Tammany Hall, a political machine bolstered by Irish and German workers.