Alternate History

New Netherland (Cromwell the Great)

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New Netherland

Uudet-Alankomaat (Finnish)
Nouvelle-Néerlande (French)

— Colony of the Dutch Republic
Timeline: Cromwell the Great

OTL equivalent: New Netherland (1614–1667)

Flag of the Dutch West India Company New Netherlands Seal Vector
Flag of the Dutch West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie, WIC)
New Netherland (CtG)
Map of New Netherland
(and largest city)
New Amsterdam
Other cities New Amstel, Fort Cassimir, Fort Altena and Fort Orange-Beverwijck
Dutch and Dutch Low Saxon
  others French, English, German dialects, Swedish, Finnish, Northern Iroquoian languages, Algonquian languages, Dutch based pidgins (Jersey Dutch and Pidgin Delaware), and Dutch based creole (Mohawk Dutch and Negerhollands)
Netherlands Reformed Church
  others Other Protestant denominations, Catholicism and Judaism
Ethnic groups
European (Dutch, English, German, Finnish, Swedish, French)
  others Native Americans
Government Colony of the Dutch Republic administered by the Dutch West India Company
  legislature Council of New Netherland (Raad van Nieuw-Nederland, 1675-...)
States General of the Dutch Republic
Director General
Established 1614
Currency Wampum beads, Dutch rijksdaalder and leeuwendaalder

Tot handel, en tot scheepvaart,uitgezocht,
met havens, die den aard zelf heeft gewrocht
tot heul, van wie in ’t lijden wordt gebrocht
en raakt verlegen.
(Jacob Steendam, Lof op Nuw-Nederland, 1661)
The New Netherland (Dutch: Nieuw-Nederland, Latin: Nova Hollandica or Novum Hollandium) is colonial province of the Dutch Republic located on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories extended from the Chesapeake Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod. The principal settlements are on the islands of Manhattan and Long Iceland and along the rivers Hudson, Delaware and Connecticut.

To the Northwest it the lands of Iroquois Confederacy, Northeast with the New England Confederation and Southeast with Maryland.


The colony was conceived as a private business venture of the Dutch West India Company (WIC) to exploit the North American fur trade. During its first decades, New Netherland was settled rather slowly, partially as a result of policy mismanagement by the WIC and partially as a result of conflicts with Native Americans. The settlement of New Sweden, captured in 1655, encroached on its southern flank, while its northern border was redrawn to accommodate an expanding New England.

During the 1650s, the colony experienced dramatic growth and became a major port for trade in the North Atlantic and the Commonwealth colonies despite the restrictions of the Navigation Acts.

The Flushing Remonstrance of 1657 brought religious freedom against Stuyvesant and the will of English settlers of New Netherland. The directors of the WIC advised to end all acts of religious persecution and harassment were to be not officially sanctioned. All ordinances against it were repelled. Quakers, Baptists and others dissidents were allowed to preach and meet.

Although New Amsterdam gained full city rights in 1653, it did not stop the complains on the lack of same liberties as in the metropolis for the colony, economic freedom and the removal of the colony from the control of the WIC. Politics in New Netherland had three main factions: Governor's party, Localists party and the English party.

The first elections to the Council of New Netherland in 1675 gave a majority of its seats to the Localists, followed by the English party and the Governor's partisans. The Council voted a series of grievances that affected the colony and had not being adressed by the authorities. The chief one was free trade, followed a by a more open policy of migration and colonization, lack of freedoms and abuses of the authorities.


Img p4 ship

Ship arriving to New Amsterdam

The Patroonship plan of 1628 granted large tracts of land and gave the rights to the land as well as legal rights to settle all non-capital cases, quite similar to a manorial lord. In return the Patroon would agree to bring over settlers and colonize the land at his own expense. Additionally Patroons were allowed to trade with New England and Virginia and,allowed to engage in both the fur trade, subject to a company tax and could participate in the fish trade.

Under the Patroonship plan New Netherland expand with more colonists and settlements taking hold. The nerve center of New Netherland was along the Hudson River from New Amsterdam north-west to Fort Orange.

The North River Treaty

In March 1663 the Iroquois and Dutch West India Company (WIC) envoys meet at Fort Orange to sign the North River Treaty. This was the result of proposal by the WIC. After several month of negotiations both delegations meet to sign the Treaty and exchange gifts. The Treaty defined the relationship between both parties. The Dutch were giving open access to Iroquois and establish factorijs (trade posts), forts and schools, and the Iroquois given freedom of movement and commerce in New Netherlands and New Amsterdam. Exchange of food in case of scarcity and free trade between the two parties. The WIC guaranteed the supply of guns and munitions. Mutual recognition of the titles of the Iroquois plantoonships and Dutch purchases in Iroquois lands. both parties could buy and sell land in their territories. Finally each year at the same date the envoys would meet to exchange gifts, complains and suggestions. Legal issues would also be addressed in these meetings.


The Director General, named by the Dutch West India Company, is in charge of the colony.
Director Generals

  • ...
  • Peter Stuyvesant (1647-1672, died in office)
  • Wilhelmus Beekman (interim 1672-1673, 1673-...)

Until 1652 the Council of Nine Men, an elected citizens board in 1647, 1649, 1650 and 1652, advised the Director General. It became the basis for the municipal government when the city of New Amsterdam received its municipal charter in 1653. Beverwyck received its city rights in 1652. Nieuw Haarlem was formally recognized in 1658.

Under pressure from the Dutch and English residents that demanded representation Beekman installed in 1675 the Council of New Netherland (Raad van Nieuw-Nederland), after consultation with the Heeren XIX who granted its permission. The Council would advice the Director General and approve in some cases matters or regulations brought to its consultation or by its own initiative. Its members would be elected from the cities and villages of New Amsterdam, Beverwyck, Nieuw-Amstel, Nieuw Haarlem and other important settlements.

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