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The United States of New Netherland, colloquially known as New Netherland, is a sovereign state which comprises of territory along the Atlantic coast of North America and several islands located in the Caribbean. New Netherland is the most densely populated and one of the most diverse nations located in the Western Hemisphere. New York City is the most populous city of New Netherland and a noted global city.
This region of North America has been dominated by the native Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples for centuries. The British, Dutch, and French would make first contact with the region around the 17th century. The Dutch would establish a trading post on Manhattan Island (known as New Amsterdam) and would dominate what became New Netherland until the 1670s when the British took control.
The British divided the Dutch colony into two provinces: New Jersey and New York. Both provinces declared independence by 1776 and would play key roles during the American Revolution. New York would become a major opponent to the newly formed United States of America and would become the first state to secede from the confederation in 1787. Following their failure to secure control over Vermont, New York persuades New Jersey (which has been culturally divided between New York and Pennsylvania) to establish a union with them. On June 26, 1792, the United States of New Netherland is established.
New Netherland's economy and global power would greatly expand during the 19th century as the nation developed into a successful mercantile nation. This came about following the completion of the Erie Canal which became an easier way to transport goods from the Great Lakes (turning New York City into a major port). The latter half of the century would see the colonial expansion of New Netherland into Africa, Antarctica, the Caribbean (which have become states), the Pacific, and South America. It was also during this time that the Armed Forces (more specifically the Navy) would establish a global presence and would further propel New Netherland to become a Great Power.
Throughout the 17th century, the Dutch colony controlled a portion of North America which was known as Nieuw-Nederland. This was commonly translated into English as "New Netherland," with early maps using the Latin names of Nova Belgica, Novum Belgium, or Novi Belgii. All of these names are in reference to the European region of the Netherlands, which in Dutch translates as the "low countries" or the "lowlands."
Following the British conquest of New Netherland in the 1660s, the colony mostly was partitioned into two new colonies. The southernmost portions came under the control of two men from the island of Jersey in the English Channel — who in turn named their colony New Jersey. The rest of the colony was granted to Prince James, the Duke of York — who would name the colony New York.
Following the independence of New Jersey and New York from both Great Britain and the United States of America, both states began to reunite. A commonly used name for the united region at the time was the "United States of New York and New Jersey," which was commonly used during the Vermont War. The name "United States of New Netherland" was officially adopted in 1792, with the name adoption being favored due to its historic connection to the region and also in gratitude for Dutch support during the American Revolution.
It's believed that it was around 10,000 BCE that the first peoples began to inhabit the area of modern day New Netherland. The cultural traditions of the Point Peninsula Complex would dominate the northwestern regions up until 700 CE. The Point Peninsula peoples would gradually evolve into the Algonquian peoples of the east and the Iroquoian peoples of the west.
The Lenape people (also known as the Delaware) controlled much of the area around the Delaware River and as far east as central Long Island. Around the year 1450, five Iroquois tribes (the Cayuga, the Mohawk, the Onondaga, the Oneida, and the Seneca) would come together as a confederation of tribes. The ultimate goals of the Iroquois Confederation was to promote peaceful relations by means of inter-tribal co-operation. It is generally believed that the ideals of the Iroquois Confederation became inspirations for the Articles of Confederation. Outside of the North American continent, the Arawak peoples dominated much of the Caribbean and are believed to have migrated from South America.
Exploration and Colonization
The French would become the first Europeans to explore the region during the early 1500s. The 1524 voyage of Giovanni da Verrazano would explore the coast of North America between modern day Carolina and Newfoundland. Verrazano's crew became the first to sail into New York Bay, describing it as "a vast coastline with a deep delta in which every kind of ship could pass." In 1535, Jacques Cartier would become to travel down the Saint Lawrence River as far south as contemporary Montreal.
In September 1609, Henry Hudson of the Dutch East India Company would become the first to sail up the river which bears his name today, traveling as far north as modern day Albany. Hudson's voyage would be used by the Netherlands to claim the territory and establish the colony of New Netherland. The first Dutch settlement in the colony was Fort Nassau near contemporary Albany, but it would be the later settlement of New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island that would become the most influential port of North America. The newly established Dutch West India Company orchestrated a feudal-like system of patroons in order to accelerate the development of the region and to keep law and order within the colony.
Throughout the 17th century, the Dutch colony would become a highly successful colony within the New World. But by the latter half of the century, the global dominance of the Dutch was beginning to wane. This would become more so in 1664 when a modest fleet of English warships arrived at New Amsterdam and demanded the surrender of the colony, beginning a century of English (and later British) rule. The core of the former Dutch colony was partitioned into two new colonies — New Jersey and New York — with the port city of New Amsterdam also being renamed New York. Under British rule, the region would continue to be a vital colony within the Americas. Agriculture would expand during this time, effectively turning the colony into a breadbasket for the other British colonies in the region (especially within the Caribbean).
Between 1674 until 1702, the Province of New Jersey was partitioned between east and west, with the new western colony coming under the control of the Quakers from Pennsylvania. Decades later, the British would establish peaceful relations with the Iroquois Confederation as a bargaining tool to dominate the fur trade around the Great Lakes. This alliance would continue during the French and Indian War which ended in a British victory.
Revolution and Independence
Both the provinces of New Jersey and New York would play a pivotal role during the American Revolution and the subsequent Revolutionary War. An organization known as the Sons of Liberty was established in New York City and orchestrated raids against anything British (most notably the Boston Tea Party). As the Revolutionary War began to heat up, New York's location within the middle of the Thirteen Colonies made it a key battleground for the Americans and the British, and would divide the Iroquois Confederation to the point of civil war. The southernmost portions of the province would remain occupied by British troops following their victory at the Battle of Long Island in 1776. The morale of the Americans was revived months later following the surprise attack on Trenton by General George Washington. The turning point of the war took place following the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, which reopened a corridor between the New England and Southern states, as well as convincing the French to formally side with the Americans.
New York City became the official capital of the United States of America following the end of the American Revolution. Both New Jersey and New York became early adopters of the Articles of Confederation, which acted as the federal constitution for the states. But as the Revolutionary War came to an end, the Articles proved to be ineffective as a national constitution. A constitutional convention took place throughout 1787, but would fail to fix the problems with the Articles. With the future of the Confederation being questioned, New York declares its secession from the United States of America (supported by Governor George Clinton). Other states would soon follow, with the last three (which included New Jersey) agreeing to dissolve the Confederation on March 24, 1788.
Following the establishment of the United States of New England in 1789, New York troops are sent into the breakaway region of Vermont, resulting in a war between New England-backed Vermont and New York. Despite not formally getting involved in the conflict, the Vermont War would divide New Jersey between the pro-New York east and the neutral west. The war would further divide the virtually dissolved Iroquois Confederation, with more tribes now siding with New York. Mohawk Chief Joseph Louis Cook would lead the successful campaign to push Vermont troops out of the Upper Hudson. The war concludes with a Vermont victory, resulting in New York losing both Vermont and its claims to the disputed Northwest Territory in contemporary Canada. Despite their losses, New York would secure its claims to the territories east of the Great Lakes.
Within a year following the conclusion of the Vermont War, talks would resume between New Jersey and New York on reunification. These talks concluded with the adopting of a new constitution on June 26, 1792, formally establishing the United States of New Netherland. The new nation would partition its territory into four new sates (East Jersey, Long Island, a rump New York, and West Jersey) and a federally controlled territory in the north comprising over half of the nation's area (with the city of Albany designated as the national capital). The constitution would also incorporate much of William Paterson's proposals during the failed constitutional convention in 1787 (known at the time as the New Jersey Plan). The national legislature (Congress) would consist of a single chamber with each state having equal representation and headed by a prime minister (to be known as the president of the government), with George Clinton being appointed as the first President. The executive branch would consist of a collegial body comprised of five men (the Supreme Executive Council) who collectively would act as the head of state. Joseph Bloomfield, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, William Paterson, and Stephen Van Rensselaer would be appointed as the first Councillors of the Supreme Executive Council.
Throughout the first decades of the nation's existence, New Netherland's politics would be dominated by the Clintonians (in reference to President George Clinton) and the Hamiltonians (after Councillor Alexander Hamilton). Clinton's administration comprised mostly of Anti-Federalists, Anti-British, and Anti-New England members of Congress; while Hamilton became a noted opposition figure comprised of Federalists, Pro-British, and Modernization members. Aaron Burr would be elected president in 1801 and would establish a moderate "National Unity" government with support among both political factions. Burr and Hamilton become bitter rivals to the point Hamilton convinced many to vote-out Burr after only serving a single term. Continued bitterness would result in an infamous duel between the two, in which Burr shoots Hamilton (who dies the following day).
Relations between New Netherland and the United Kingdom began to improve during the 1820s under the administration of DeWitt Clinton (who was the nephew of George Clinton). DeWitt's administration oversaw the modernization of New Netherland and would be instrumental in the construction of the Erie Canal, which opened in 1825. The canal would secure New Netherland's economic dominance in North America (as well as turning New York City into a global port), as it was now easier and faster to ship goods from the Great Lakes, through the canal, and into the Atlantic via the Hudson River. The canal would also accelerate the growth of northwestern New Netherland as industrial cities emerged along the canal and resulting in a population boom. Among the early settlers to the region came from New England and the German-speaking regions of Central Europe. Many of these early settlers would take part in the religious revivalism known as the Second Great Awakening. Western New Netherland was colloquially known as the Burned Over-District, which was in reference to the fact that the region became so heavily evangelized as to have no "fuel" (unconverted population) left over to "burn" (convert). The largest group to emerge in the region was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons).
Democracy would see a revival during the 1830s as political parties began to emerge. Much of this is credited to the presidency of Martin Van Buren (the first president of Dutch descent). Nicknamed the "Little Magician," Van Buren would lead the newly established Liberty Party and would help to establish much of the political atmosphere which remains in New Netherland. The Liberty Party promoted greater involvement of the common man in national politics by expanding suffrage to all white men (which before had only been allowed to landowners). The Unity Party initially emerged as an opposition to Van Buren, but would evolve into an equally successful political party.
Throughout the latter 1800s, New Netherland would emerge as a great power in the Western Hemisphere. The financial industry would be strengthened during this to become one of the wealthiest in the world. manufacturing industry would continue to rise within the nation; with noted companies like General Electric, Kodak, and Standard Oil emerging during this time. One of the founders of Standard Oil, John Rockefeller, would become the wealthiest man in human history. This economic and industrial growth would see a population boom in the nation, with New Netherland's population surpassing its neighbors during this time. Much of this population boom was due to the large number of immigrants moving to New Netherland (mostly through New York City).
The international influence of New Netherland would be expanded during the presidency of William H. Seward. Seward's administration would authorize the backing of the Virginian government during its civil war and expanding in the nation's co-operation with Canada, New England, and Pennsylvania. Through the Seward administration is most noted for expanding the nation's territory by purchasing the Danish West Indies, beginning New Netherland's own colonial expansion. Seward would mostly focus on the Caribbean, leading to the purchases of the Dutch West Indies and St. Barts from Sweden. The largest territorial expansion would take place under the administration of Hamilton Fish with the purchase of Spanish colonies in Africa and Oceania.
The end of the 19th century and the early 20th century would be dominated by new technological advances. Skyscrapers would begin to emerge during this time as they became more practical in use (due in great part to elevators). The Woolworth Building became the tallest building in the world in 1913. It would eventually be surpassed by 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building in 1930, the Empire State Building in 1931, and the World Trade Center in 1974. New Netherlander Thomas Edison would emerge as one of the most successful inventors in history. Many of his works include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the more infamous light bulb. Industrialist George Westinghouse and Croatian-born Nikola Tesla would become the founding fathers for the electrification of New Netherland by means of alternating current (AC), to the dismay of Edison who favored direct current (DC). The first power plant to open in New Netherland was near Buffalo.
The period between the 1890s up until the 1950s is commonly referred to as the Progressive Era, which was a period of social activism, political reform, and further democratization of New Netherland. The outspoken leader of the Progressive Movement was President Theodore Roosevelt, whose in many ways helped to define New Netherland's place in the 20th century. Roosevelt's domestic policies focused on trust busting and increasing regulations on businesses, which was focused mostly on the railroads and other infrastructure-related companies. Internationally, Roosevelt greatly expanded New Netherland's global power under the motto "speak softly and carry a big stick." This policy was most noted for expanding upon the armed forces (especially the nation's navy) and using this to gain regional superiority in the Americas. The construction of the Nicaragua Canal would become a symbol of this regional expansion.
Following his retirement from the presidency in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt soon grew dissatisfied with his successors and would attempt to regain power. After being snubbed by his colleagues from becoming a councilor on the Supreme Executive Council and then being ostracized by the Unity Party, Roosevelt and fellow progressives would split off to form the Progressive Party in 1912. Despite coming in second in the national elections, the Progressive Party was able split the Unity Party and forever ended the two-party domination between the Liberty Party and the Unity Party. It wouldn't be until 1915 that the Progressives win the majority in Congress, with Roosevelt regaining the presidency until his death in January 1919.
Following the short presidency of Charles Evans Hughes after Roosevelt's death, Hiram Johnson would become the Progressive leader throughout the 1920s. Unlike his predecessors, Johnson would focus more on domestic politics and would help usher in a new period of democratization. Among the constitutional and legislative changes done included the primary election of the President, making Councilors to the Supreme Executive Council be democratically elected, securing more public participation in national issues by allowing referendums, and granting women the right to vote. However, it would be the national prohibition of alcohol that would characterize the decade. Initially hoped to decrease crime and to increase morality, prohibition did exactly the opposite and would single-handedly propel expand organized crime across the nation. The most noted gangster at the time was Al Capone, who would lead an a business which supplied alcohol and that killed whoever stood in the way of this. Despite Capone's reign lasting until 1933, the Mafia would continue to be engraved in internal affairs even after prohibition ends.
Government and Politics
The executive branch of New Netherland consists of the Supreme Executive Council (SECONN). The SECONN is a collegial body comprised of five councilors who collectively act as the head of state. A directorial system of government was favored as a means to prevent a dictatorship or a monarchy forming based on a singular person. This system of government is also adopted in Switzerland and Pennsylvania.
The five councilors are democratically elected for a term of six-years and is constitutionally barred from ever serving on the SECONN again. The constitution does not bar councilors from being affiliated with any political party, meaning the SECONN may consist of members from multiple parties. The five councilors are also act as the head of one of the five executive departments: Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Internal Affairs.
The current five councilors of the SECONN are Michael Chertoff (L-Interior Affairs), Timothy Geithner (P-Finance), Rudy Giuliani (L-Justice), Peter King (U-Defense), and Colin Powell (L-Foreign Affairs).
The supreme legislative body of New Netherland is the Congress. Consisting of a single chamber, New Netherland's Congress is unique in that the seats are proportioned equally among the states (regardless of population or taxation). This unique proportion system was first proposed by William Paterson in 1787 as a potential legislative makeup for the United States of America to solve the varying populations across its member states. This proposal was favored by the delegates from New Jersey (which was also the home state of Paterson) and New York. Because of its regional support, this system of equality was favored during the formation of New Netherland in 1792.
Each member of congress (commonly known as congressmen or MCs) are democratically elected by the citizens of a constituency (congressional districts) every three-years. Since each state is allotted equal representation, congressmen from the more populous states represent more constituents than his/her colleagues from the least populous states. The current makeup of Congress is 145 members; with the states receiving 11 members each, the territories (including the Capital District) receiving three each, and the remaining six seats being reserved for expatriates.
Congress is headed by a president and a speaker (both of which are usually leaders of the majority political party). The president is the head of government (the equivalent to a prime minister) and is democratically elected by a one member, one vote system by party members and confirmed by the Supreme Executive Council. The speaker is the presiding officer of Congress and usually introduces bills up for a vote. Unlike the president, the speaker is elected among the members of congress. The president may appoint a ministry (a cabinet) to assist them within the government.
- Main article: Political Parties in New Netherland
New Netherland constitutionally allows for a multi-party democracy, but in practice tends to be a dominant three-party state. The three main parties are the Liberty Party (liberalism), the Progressive Party (socialism), and the Unity Party (conservatism).
There are currently nine political parties being represented in Congress. Excluding the three dominant parties: the Farmers' Party (agrarianism), the Green Party (green politics), the Longhouse Party (indigenous rights), the National Party (nativism), the People's Party (African nationalism), and the Reform Party.
The United States of New Netherland is a federation comprised of 11 sovereign states and a federally-controlled capital territory (the Capital District). Nine of these states (including CD) are located on the North American continent, while two are insular states located in the Caribbean. New Netherland also includes five unincorporated, overseas territories located in Africa, Antarctica, Oceania, and South America.
- Adirondack (Lake Placid)
- Chemung (Cayuta)
- Curazao (Willemstad)
- East Jersey (Perth Amboy)
- Genesee (Batavia)
- Iroquoia (Palmyra)
- Long Island (Hempstead)
- New York (Poughkeepsie)
- Saratoga (Amsterdam)
- Statia (Christiansted)
- West Jersey (Burlington)
- Capital Territories
- Overseas Territories
The United States of New Netherland has an area of around 166,500 km2. The contiguous portions of New Netherland are dominated by the Appalachian Mountains which bisects the nation between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. Regional mountain ranges include Adirondacks and the Catskills. Mount Marcy is marks the highest point at about 1,630 m. The nation is hydrographically dominated by the Hudson River in the east and the Great Lakes in the west. New Netherland generally has a humid continental climate and is noteworthy for having a varying climate due to colder air coming from the interior and warming are from the Atlantic. The Caribbean states have more of a tropical climate by comparison.
Lake Champlain, the Delaware River, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and the the Saint Lawrence River form the natural boundaries of New Netherland. The contiguous portions of New Netherland are bordered by Canada to the northwest, New England to the east, and Pennsylvania to the southwest. In the Caribbean, New Netherland shares a physical border with France on the island of Saint Martin and shares maritime borders with Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the West Indies.
New Netherland has developed a melting pot population since its formation and has become one of the most diverse nations in the Western Hemisphere. The majority of New Netherlanders can trace their ancestry to Europe; with those of Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Polish, and Russian ancestry forming the largest groups. Most of those of Dutch, English, and French descent can trace their ancestry to the early settlers of the Americas. By the early 1900s, those of German, Irish, and Italian descent would make up the largest groups of New Netherlanders.
New Netherland is constitutionally a secular state which institutes a separation of church and state while protecting and securing the freedom for all religious beliefs to practice across the nation. From a demographic prospective, New Netherland is a Christian-majority nation, with both Catholicism and Protestantism being the most practiced Christian denominations within the nation. Protestants have dominated the region since the 1600s as the British, Dutch, and French Huguenots settled in the region. Most Protestants in New Netherland adhere to Methodism; with Baptism, Episcopalianism, Lutheranism, and Presbyterianism also having large followings.
Unlike the Protestants, the vast majority of Catholics within New Netherland can trace their roots to Catholic immigrants during the latter half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century as peoples from Southern Europe began to settle in the nation. Catholic New Netherlanders currently make up the largest Christian group in the nation. The largest non-Christian religion of New Netherland is Judaism, with the nation having the largest Jewish population outside Eurasia. Other religious groups within New Netherland include Buddhists and Muslims.
During the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s, western New Netherland emerged as a religious center within the nation and was colloquially known as the Burned-Over District due to this fervor. It was during this time than several homegrown religions were established and played a major role in the region's development. Among these groups included the Fox Sisters, Millerites, the Oneida Community, and Shakers to name a few. Though it would be the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormons) which today has become a major group both within New Netherland and the world, with the western states continuing to have a large Mormon following.
In recent decades, New Netherlanders who state they adhere to no religious belief has been on the rise. Currently those who declare themselves Agnostic and Atheist currently make up about a quarter of the nation's total population.