New Netherland, officially the Union of New Netherland (U.N.N.), is a North American nation which governs land in the northeastern part of the continent, as well as several islands in the Caribbean. The Union was established in 1792 with the unification of New Jersey and New York, and was the last unification to take place after the dissolution of the United States of America in 1788.
New Netherland is ranked as Great Power, and a main player in American politics (along with the United Commonwealth). New Netherland has one of the largest economies of the world, with New York (the largest and most populous city) being a center of global economics. New Netherland is the only non-European power to be a colonial power, having claims in Africa, Antarctica, and the Pacific.
When the states of New Jersey and New York agreed to form a union, the initially used name was the Union of New York and New Jersey. New Jersey was named after the Island of Jersey, while New York (despite the misconception it is named after York/Yorkshire) was named after Prince James (the Duke of York at the time).
When the constitution was ratified, the name was changed to the Union of New Netherland. The name was in honor of the former Dutch colony which included the two states. As the name would suggest, it was named after the Netherlands. The word "Netherlands" literally translates as "low countries" or "lowlands" in Dutch. Unlike the European nation from which it is named from, New Netherland is always written in the singular form (as opposed to the plural Netherlands in Europe).
Independence and Vermont War Edit
- Main article: Vermont War
With the failure of the constitutional convention to form a stabilized union between the colonies, New York become one of the first states to declare independence from the United States of America on November 9, 1787. New Jersey continued to participate in the confederation until its dissolution on March 24, 1788. During this time, talks were made on a potential union between the Middle Colonies. The union was intended to compete between the establishment of New England in the northeast, and the military might of Virginia to the south.
This proposed union ultimately failed by November 1789, when New England and New York went to war over the Vermont Republic. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania remained neutral during the war, despite many Jerseyites supporting New York. The war would soon turn sour in Vermont, as the pro-New England region was able to push New York's control out of the region. Despite the losses, New York was able to keep Vermont control out of the Hudson River region. In the Battle of the Hudson River, Mohawk leader Joseph Louis Cook and his men would successfully push Vermonters from gaining grown on the river.
The war officially ended on August 1, 1791, with the Treaty of Providence. New York would loose its control of Vermont (as well as claims to the Northwest Territory of modern day Canada).
Shortly after the conflict, talks on a union resumes. Despite Pennsylvania abandoning any union attempts, New Jersey continued in talks. But by this time, New Jersey was being divided between historical lines, with the northeast supporting New York, and the southwest showing more support for Pennsylvania. At the same time, people in rural Long Island were growing separate from New York. In the later-half of the war, a pro-New England group (called the "Long Island Boys") attempted to separate the island from New York (inspired by Vermont). Unlike Vermont, the separatist movement gained little support (especially in the western parts), allowing the movement to be crushed out. Despite this, the region began to support separation from New York in a potential federation.
Beginning in April 1792, New Jersey and New York began greater discussions on union, eventually leading to the creation of the "Union of New York and New Jersey" on June 26, 1792. During the constitutional convention, the name was officially changed to New Netherland, which was chosen as a unified name for the new nation. The convention agreed to divide the two nations into four states and one district. New Jersey was divided into two states (East Jersey and West Jersey), Long Island becomes a separate state, the County of Richmond (Staten Island) would be soled to East Jersey, and the upstate region of New York became directly controlled by the new federal government (which will eventually be sold to settlers and divided into new states). The remainder of New York became the State of Hudson. The city of Albany was chosen as the capital, which was chosen to encourage inward population growth. New Netherland became the third and final union to be established from the former colonies (New England and Carolina were the first two). In the following presidential elections, former New York Governor and outspoken anti-federalist George Clinton would be elected as the nations first president.
Post-Unification growth Edit
During the post-unification period, the new government of New Netherland began to encourage northern growth as a means to protect their rights to the Hudson River and discourage neighboring Great Britain and New England from moving in — an initial fear to Britain's occupation of the New York throughout the American Revolution, and New England's push towards gaining a footing on the River during the Vermont War. Among the maneuvers to encourage northern growth was making the northern city of Albany the permanent seat of government for New Netherland (which had previously been held in New York). The city's location on the Hudson River and proximity to the border with New England showed New Netherland's ambitions towards its territory.
New Netherland took an early role among the American Republics, becoming a mediator during the Treaty of New York (which ended the Northwest War). New Netherland's population boomed during the early 19th Century, going from about half a million people at unification, to over three million by 1850. By the 1820s, New Netherland ranked 2nd in population of the former United States of America (second only to Carolina). New Netherland's position as a continental power became apparent by the 1820s after the completion of the Erie Canal — which allowed ships from Lake Erie to travel along the canal, down the Hudson River, and into New York Harbor. The canal opened up the Great Lakes and the inland of North America to global markets, increasing the economy and population of New Netherland in the process.
Despite the benefits of the canal, the debate over its construction lead to growing political spits among those who supported it (lead by President DeWitt Clinton) and those who opposed it. It was around the late 1820s that the political split lead to a two-party system within New Netherland. The Liberty Party (founded by President Martin Van Buren) formed from the anti-canal factions, while the Union Party formed from the pro-canal factions. Despite the evolution of party platforms over the decades, the division between these two parties would dominate Federal Assembly throughout the 19th Century.
New Imperialism Edit
By the 1850s, New Netherland's economy and influence in the Western Hemisphere were gradually growing. By the same time, the rebirth of imperial expansion by the European powers lead many in New Netherland to consider similar moves towards global expansion. Despite growing support within the nation, New Netherland lacked the military capabilities of Europe to secure a colony on their claims on their own power. During his administration, President William H. Seward advocated the expansion of New Netherland by peaceful means. His work was achieved in 1863 with the purchase of Danish West Indies, opening New Netherland to Caribbean trade and legitimizing colonial expansion through peaceful means.
New Netherland would expand its claims in the Caribbean during the 1870s. First with the purchase of the Dutch West Indies in 1876, and Saint Barthélemy from Sweden in 1878. By the 1880s, political turmoil within the Spanish Empire lead to the largest land purchase by New Netherland to date. In 1883, negotiations by President Hamilton Fish lead to the purchase of Spanish Guinea and Spanish Micronesia; opening up New Netherland to Africa and the Pacific. This move transformed New Netherland from an American power into a global player.
In the waning years of the 19th Century, New Netherland's military power was growing due to its new claims. Expansion continued with the annexation of Fiji, the Ellice Islands, and Tonga in 1886 — with the later becoming a protectorate 1900. Tensions in the late 1890s with Venezuela lead to war between the two, ending with the occupation of the disputed coastal islands by New Netherland; a move which further placed New Netherland's efforts towards being a continental power (especially in the newly independent republics in Central and South America).
The most recent territorial claims of New Netherland took place in the early 20th Century. The first was the designation of the Nicaragua Canal Zone, which (while under limited New Netherlander sovereignty) holds troops to protect trading interests. The second was the establishment of the New Netherlander Antarctic Territory, which is currently the largest territory of New Netherland.
Government and politics Edit
The President of New Netherland is elected for a single six-year term. Prior to the 1950s, the President was elected for a three-year term, which had no constitutional limits. The current President of New Netherland is former Brooklyn Mayor and Long Island Governor Rudy Giuliani.
The legislative branch of New Netherland is the Federal Assembly. The Federal Assembly was structured under the notion that all states were equal, which was initially proposed during the Constitutional Convention in 1787 by William Paterson. According to the Paterson Plan, the legislature would only contain one chamber, with each state having the same say as every other state. Prior to the 1970s, the residents of the Capital District had no representation, but have been given equal rights to that of a state (without being one). Today, the Federal Assembly has 300 seats, with 25 assemblymen for each state and the Capital District.
Political parties Edit
New Netherland is a de facto two-party state, with the Liberty Party and the Progressive Party being the two dominant political parties.
The Liberty Party was established in the 1830s, with President Martin Van Buren being influential in the party's founding. Today, the Liberty Party is a conservative-based party, supporting limited government control and fiscal conservatism. The Progressive Party was established in the 1912, with President Theodore Roosevelt founding the party during his campaign to gain a third-term in office. Today, the Progressive Party is a liberal-based party; supporting progressivism, populism, government support, and socialism.
Other noted political parties of New Netherland include the Communist Party, the Green Party, and the Rent Is Too Damn High Party.
Political subdivisions Edit
New Netherland is a federation made up of 11 states and one federal district (the Capital District). The majority of these states are located on the North American continent, while two states (Curazao and Statia) comprise of islands in the Caribbean.
- Adirondack (Lake Placid)
- Capital District (Albany)
- Curazao (Willemstad)
- East Jersey (Perth Amboy)
- Genesee (Ithaca)
- Hudson (Kingston)
- Iroquois (Syracuse)
- Long Island (Hempstead)
- Niagara (Batavia)
- Schenectady (Saratoga)
- Statia (Christiansted)
- West Jersey (Northampton)
The Union of New Netherland has an area of about 166,514 square kilometers, and includes parts of North America and the Caribbean.
New Netherland borders New England to the east, Pennsylvania to the southwest, and the United Commonwealth (via Canada) to the northwest. Via the Caribbean, New Netherland also maritime borders with Venezuela, Spain (via Puerto Rico), and the United Commonwealth (via the Leewards). On the island of Saint Martin, New Netherland shares a land border with France (via the French West Indies).
New Netherland is a secular state which promotes the separation of church and state and secures the rights and securities of all religious practices within the nation. Demographically, New Netherland is a Christian nation, with the majority of New Netherland's population being part of several denominations of Christianity. Catholicism is currently the largest denomination, followed by Protestantism (with Methodism being the largest Protestant group). Following Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism mark the largest groups.