Commonwealth of New England
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Natick |
|Minority languages||Amerikaens |
• Royal Charter
• Battle of Connecticut
• Home Rule Act
New England, officially the Commonwealth or Republic of New England, is a country in northeastern America. It borders New France to the north and New Netherland to the west. A British colony for over three centuries, the New England gained independence in 1937. The nation is a founding member of the Association of North American Nations. Today, it is considered one of the most educated and wealthiest countries in the world.
Prior to European settlement, several indigenous confederacies existed in the area, most notably the Penobscot, Narragansetts, Pocumtucks, Abnakis, and Wampanoags. In the 16th century, various Europeans such as the Portuguese, the French, and the Basque visited the coast. In 1606, King James I issued a charter to colonize the area, eventually leading to the Plymouth Colony being established by Puritan refugees in 1620. Soon after, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Connecticut were formed.
The Second Anglo-Dutch War saw the colonies defeated by New Netherland. The resulting Treaty of Breda in 1667 ceded lands west of the Connecticut (Versche) River to the Dutch and annexed land from New France (which would become the directly ruled territory of Masonia). In 1670, a Royal Charter issued by Queen Henrietta consolidated the English colonies into a centralized Dominion.
Prince Maurice's War pitted New England against New France, eventually resulting in the former's military victory in 1755 with no permanent territorial gains. In the 19th century, new tensions arose with New Netherland. During the Canton War, Dutch forces violated New England's sovereignty by marching from Goede Hoop to Hartford. The army of Connecticut fought back, besieging the city of Goede Hoop, leading to a stalemate status quo ante bellum. This became known as the 1853 Battle of Connecticut.
During the 1850s, Crown loyalists from newly sovereign Virginia fled to New England, tipping national politics in favor of continued subservience to Britain. Irishmen fleeing the Famine settled in Boston and Cape Cod as well. In the 1880s, the New England Liberty Party gained prominence among the working classes. The American Spring of Nations in the early 20th century saw the Auburn Insurrection (when republicans briefly occupied Boston's city hall) and the Paddy raids, a series of attacks committed by Irish immigrants. Unitarianism and transcendentalism developed in the same time period, creating a new philosophical movement.
In 1914, New England (along with Carolina and others) obtained self-governance with the Home Rule Act. The same year, the country's first prime minister Maximilian G. Baxter took office. During the Great War, New England refused to send troops to Europe. This triggered Prime Minister Edward Montgomery to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1937 with the support of New Netherland and Mexico. After threatening invasion, Britain finally recognized New England's sovereign status in 1941. In 1944, the Cavendish Affair implicated in the Bank of Providence in an international scandal.
Government and Politics
New England is a parliamentary republic with elements of both direct and representative democracy, the former originating with Congregationalist assemblies. The President is the country's head of state (having replaced Queen Elizabeth III in 1937), with the Prime Minister being the head of government. In 1937, the Constitution of the Commonwealth was put into effect as the nation's supreme law.
New England has three chief administrative divisions, namely;
- Towns or cities
Counties are of minimal importance in the provinces of New England, being used mainly by civil services, with Rhode Island having abolished its county system entirely in 1958. Towns, conversely, act as municipal corporations and are direct democracies. Only highly urbanized areas in New England possess city government, including Boston, Hartford, and Providence.