Commonwealth of New England
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages
• 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's national political structure reflects a balance between a ceremonial head of state and a head of government who holds executive authority.
- President: The President holds a ceremonial role, symbolizing the nation's unity and representing New England internationally. This position replaces the historical role of the British monarch, and is appointed by the Prime Minister, with the approval of the House of Representatives.
- Prime Minister: The Prime Minister is the head of the government and holds executive powers.
Great and General Court
The Great and General Court is the bicameral legislature of New England, and is composed of the Senate (upper house) and the House of Representatives (lower house).
- Senate: Comprising 20 members directly elected by the populace, the Senate focuses on overall national affairs and policy direction.
- House of Representatives: Composed of "Community Representatives," this body represents both counties and cities. Each county and city gets one representative, elected by the respective local council. The House reviews and approves bills/laws proposed by the Senate, ensuring a balance between national interests and community concerns. The House of Representatives has the power to:
- Form legislative advisor committees
- Veto with a simple majority
- Force an exploratory committee to investigate local effects of a proposed piece of legislation
- Approve presidential appointments and possibly high courts
New England has three chief administrative divisions, namely:
- Provinces: Provinces are the first-level administrative divisions of New England. Each province has a Provincial Council, a representative body composed of members from town and city councils. This council acts as a larger deliberative body responsible for addressing provincial needs such as resource allocation and other regional concerns.
- Counties: Counties are the second-level administrative divisions, and are further subdivided into either towns or cities.
- Towns or cities: Towns and cities are the third-level administrative divisions, and serve as the foundational units of governance, possessing a high degree of local autonomy. Cities differ from towns in that they maintain administrative independence despite being geographically located within counties. A town becomes eligible for incorporation as a city once it meets specific criteria related to Gross General Product and population.
Community Associations and Town Meetings
Blocs of community members with shared interests can form and register as Community Associations. These associations may provide input in Town Meetings, regular quarterly open forums for cities and towns where associations members and/or individuals can voice concerns, fostering direct participation in local governance.