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Pressure Cooker - June 1651 to January 1652
Many of the members who made up the government of the English Commonwealth were shocked at the news of the late Charles’ death. After the Commonwealth learned of his death, they shortly celebrated it. However, many had gotten over the lust for wanting to put the man on the chopping block when they discovered his escape to the New World and the announcement of his new kingdom. This mellowing led to very mixed feelings when the letter was finally officially read. In the letter Charles II apologized for his father’s actions and promised to the Commonwealth he would be a better king than his father. Many wanted to at least send a respectful letter to Charles II, but Cromwell insisted that Parliament send a letter back, insulting his father and reminding him of how much of a terrible ruler and tyrant he was. When the Commonwealth had learned of Carolina’s increasing relations with Sweden and the reignited relations with Portugal, they began to fear that New England would come under threat from Sweden and Carolina. They searched for an ally which could support them in the Americas, and they found one in the first nation who recognized them; The Dutch Republic.
In October of 1651, the Commonwealth sent a diplomatic team led by Oliver St. John to The Hague to begin delegations with Dutch diplomats to negotiate the terms of the alliance. While the alliance was being signed in The Hague, all was not well with the Dutch Royal Family. Many noted that William II and his wife Mary would argue endlessly over the coming alliance with the Commonwealth. William believed it was merely to secure his colonies in the Americas, and to not slight Mary’s younger brother, Charles II, who had only been king for a mere five months. When Charles II learned of this news, he quickly sent a letter to the Dutch Republic, wanting to know why his brother-in-law would sign an alliance treaty with the English Commonwealth. William simply said it was to protect his colonies in the Americas, due to growing Swedish power. This was a complete lie, as William only said this to protect Charles’ trust and to not strain his relationship with Mary. Over time, this alliance would grow. Later on, it would be this alliance that started one of the bloodiest wars of the 17th century.
William II, diplomat of the Dutch.
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