The Great American War - April 1652 to Late 1654
Ever since the Commonwealth began to support New Netherland, tensions were rising. Feuds along the border towns of New Sweden caused frequent squabbles, ever since Carolina became a strong ally to Sweden. Ever since the 1640’s, when Charles I agreed to help Christiana I in times of war over colonial disputes, war was seemingly on the horizon. New Netherland expanded rapidly, while New Sweden did the same to counter it. Meanwhile, tensions between Carolina and the Commonwealth were rising just as quickly. The somewhat recent letter from Oliver Cromwell to Charles II about the death of his father destroyed any good relations that they could have had, and even the election of a new Lord Protector didn’t help much. However, all the events going on in North America had a huge affect on European politics. Ever since the Thirty Years’ War ended, the relationship between the Dutch and Sweden had been ducking rapidly. Fights over custody of land in the New World shouldn’t have mattered much, but the way the Dutch leaders handled it plunged relations down the toilet.
On April 14th, 1652, Johan Björnsson Printz, governor of New Sweden, officially declared war on the colony of New Netherland. Peter Stuyvesant called for support from the Dutch Republic, and gained it within weeks. Sweden did the same with New Sweden soon afterwards, which forced Carolina to join immediately after. Battles went on by sea and over rivers, but it was slow until the summer came. The Commonwealth, then known as the Protectorate, decided to send in a few of their ships to aid New Netherland against the Carolinian threat. However, Carolina began to plan their militaries poorly, which lead to England and the Netherlands winning close to every battle. That was until a shady ally emerged. Spain, a long time skeptic of Carolinian help, decided to aid them against the Protectorate. From 1553 to 1554, they sent in ships from their Florida colony, in exchange for help if it ever tried to rebel from Spain in the near future. Soon afterwards, the tide of the war changed. While it would later move into Europe from North America, it officially ended in the region on August 16th, 1654.
The terms of the Treaty of Jamestown were good for Sweden and Carolina, and were arguably not terrible for the Dutch. While the Dutch got to keep New Amsterdam, they were forced to give their territory in OTL Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Long Island to the Swedish. While Long Island was given back to the Dutch soon afterwards (due to a different culture and nationality), Pennsylvania was kept in strictly Swedish hands. This wasn’t terribly bad for the Dutch, as they got to keep their two largest cities, New Amsterdam and Fort Orange. Spain also fared pretty well. At the price of a few good ships, they managed to gain the allyship of the only independent state in the Americas (at the time). While they would stay cynical of Carolina for years afterwards, it would depend on its help in later wars with the Protectorate in the Caribbean. Carolina gained an influx of Spanish and Dutch settlers, and began to mark out the southern borders of its nation with Florida. The Protectorate, however, failed the worst. They spent a small but valuable portion of their military on the war, and losing it all was a huge blow to their honor and relationships with other nations. They were also forced to give a large amount of ships to Carolina, as well as promising to never invade them again. While Sir Thomas Fairfax didn’t particularly want to do this, he knew it would surely lead to war with both Sweden and Spain if he didn’t.
New English ships preparing to fight in the Battle of New Amsterdam.
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