Brooklyn (named after the Dutch town Breukelen) is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located southwest of Queens on the western tip of Long Island. An independent city until its consolidation with New York in 1898, Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough, with 2.5 million residents,and second largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as KingsCounty, which is now the most populous county in New YorkState and the second most densely populated county in the United States, after New YorkCounty (Manhattan).
Though a part of New York City, Brooklyn maintains a distinct culture, independent art scene, and unique architectural heritage. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area on the western end of Long Island, then largely inhabited by the Native American people, called the Lenape (often erroneously referred to by the Lenape place-name, "Canarsee", in contemporary colonial documents.) The first Dutch settlement, established in 1634, was called Midwout (Midwood).The Dutch also purchased land during the 1630s from the Mohawks in present- day Gowanus, Red Hook, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Bushwick. The Village of Breuckelen, named for Breukelen in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was authorized by the Dutch West India Company in 1646; it became the first true municipality in what is now New YorkState. At the time, Breuckelen was part of New Netherland. Other villages which were later incorporated into Brooklyn were Boswijk (Bushwick), Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht), and Nieuw Amersfoort (Flatlands). A few houses and cemeteries still bear witness to the Dutch origins of the borough of Brooklyn.