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church that developed from the Dutch settlements in New Netherlands (New York) in the 17th century. The Dutch Reformed Church was the first Reformed church of continental European background in North America. During the period of Dutch sovereignty over New Netherlands, it was the established church of the colony. When the English seized the colony in 1664, they gave assurances that the Dutch Reformed Church would be allowed freedom from English control and that it would be permitted to continue under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the classis (church governing body) of Amsterdam. Under this control the church grew slowly. In 1679 the classis of Amsterdam allowed a colonial classis to form, but with restricted powers