An Issue of Borders - 1656 to 1657
Carolina and Spain’s alliance had increased over the past few years. King Charles II and King Philip IV had a few meetings with each other over the course of their lifetime. However, the thing that separated Spain from Carolina the most was the belief that they would capture and seize Florida. While they weren’t very powerful at the time, they could take over and secure the colony before mainland Spain could even respond. While England and the Netherlands might offer help to them, if only to help stop the Carolinian menace, it would surely be short-lived. So, Diego de Rebolledo, the somewhat corrupt governor of Florida at the time, decided to meet with Jacob Smith, a diplomat of Carolina. They planned to set an official southern border, even though they both knew they couldn’t really defend it. It would basically be for show, and doing it would demonstrate the loyalty Carolina had to their Spanish friends. Charles II didn’t want to sacrifice this, and decided to go ahead with the meeting.
The meeting was scheduled for July 15th, 1656, and the initial confrontation went quite well. Both sides were well versed in trickery, so the process of outlining a latitude involved much negotiation. Rebolledo suggested the border be set at the 34th parallel. He claimed that everything north of the original land set for the Virginia colony should belong to Carolina, while everything south should belong to Florida. Smith rescinded this, saying that Carolinian settlements were already below the proposed threshold. He then proposed the 31st parallel, claiming that it was the farthest north the Spanish would settle for many years. Rebolledo was easily convinced, but still saw opportunity for more land. They settled on a border at the 32nd parallel north. King Philip IV of Spain was satisfied with the outcome of this, while Charles was quite delighted. While most of the land was swampland, Smith had convinced Rebolledo that there were Carolinian settlements as far south as OTL northern Georgia. In reality, they had barely expanded past the original borders set for the Virginia colony by England in 1606.
England and the Dutch
The colony of New England had been overlooked by England for years, ever since Carolina declared independence. They had barely taken any action to expand it, although it did grow on its own at this point. They had used a good portion of their civilian ships as military ones in the past, and many were sacrificed in the Great American War. The population of the colony was around 23,000, while Carolina’s was over twice that. Meanwhile, the governments of the colonies within New England frequently squabbled with each other. Saybrook and New Haven were both quickly absorbed into Connecticut, while Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay frequently fought over the state of their governments. Plymouth became more and more conservative, while Massachusetts Bay became slightly more liberal. This would eventually highlight the differences between the two, and would result in the regions being separated for a very long time. New Hampshire formally received a charter from Thomas Fairfax in 1654, which separated the few settlements in the region from Massachusetts. The people living north of the newly chartered region were annoyed they were skimped out, and they wanted their own colony. Nonetheless, they wouldn’t get it for a long while. Meanwhile, the border between New England and New Netherland was poorly drawn, and even more poorly defended. The settlements made by the Dutch were scattered, but most were centered on the Hudson river. While there was never an official straight border set between the two colonies, it would eventually just morph into a shaky, poorly-walled border.
The colonies of New England as of 1657.
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