Our Fair Country: A History of New England



In the pursuit of Knowledge, Historians have long debated among themselves over the correct interpretations of events. This knowledge thus finds itself muddled between the various and competing views of the significance of the facts, or the interpretation of their effects. North American History, chosen for its vivid and numerous clashes of opinions over its short span of existence, compared to the extensive histories of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. No work can claim to be the definitive collection of facts and the complete history of any specific nation or people. What this work shall attempt to handle is the telling of the story of one of North America's most fascinating caveats, the Commonwealth of New England.

The public debate over this nation, and the undue influence it holds among its peers, is the remnants of the strange circumstances and unlikely events that History itself is defined by. This work will not seek to place itself among the pantheon of Histories of New England, rather it will offer as succinct, yet complete, fusion of political, diplomatic, and economic history of this nation.

The scope of this book shall encompass the first European settlement of North America through to where the Commonwealth currently finds itself. I must first take this opportunity to acknowledge those who have assisted me in the formation of this book, first and foremost the Rt. Hon. Distinguished Professor of History Arthur Trucks of Yale University, who has offered me a venerable treasure trove of information regarding the southern New England region, with which this book would not be a possibility. Second, I must thank Johnathan Dempsey, the Chief Executive of the New England Library, who has offered untold access to myself and my staff to their catalog. I must also thank the Rt. Hon. Prof. Alistair Alexander Smith of the University of Cambridge, a colleague of mine whose insight into southern North American history has made possible the pursuant of several research leads. Finally, I must thank my dedicated staff of over twenty researchers and students who have compiled this work over the years with me. Without them, this would be a stillborn idea languishing on its own.

With the highest of regards,

Sir Harold William Harvey Clarke-Harper, KG


Table of Contents

i. 17th Century European Settlement
ii. Growth and Expansion
iii. The American Revolution
iv. Post-Revolution Era
v. Period of Discontent
vii. Federation

* H.W.H. Clarke-Harper is a fictional character. Some Institution(s) & Person(s) referenced are done for purposes of fictional authenticity only.
* As a reminder, this Alternate History Timeline is written as a book, which, as always, is susceptible to biases, intentional or otherwise on the (fictional) Author's part. These areas are intentionally crafted in.
* This work will contain both real and fictional citations. Real citations will be in bold.
Image Attributes: Thomas Cole [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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I've been doing a fair amount of research into New England's history the last few months, so this is super exciting! :)

I'm glad you're along for the journey then. As an astute colleague of mine in this research, you'll be able to pinpoint the subtleties that are being pursued. I apologise in advance for any inconsistencies you might find. I've not had the best amount of time I wished to seek out enough source material on the early period of New England History (17th Century), mostly caused by my now lack of access to a University Library.

Good start.

Hope you don't abandon this...

Thanks. Unfortunately, my previous timelines all appeared at the junction of having great ambition and little time. Currently, I am fortunate to have both great ambition and a good amount of time. (Along with a steady job and structured time schedule - which really helps in planning for writing!

Abandonment of this timeline seems unlikely, I've spent a good three months in planning stages of this Timeline (Which, any astute observer will find it draws its initial inspiration from the Confederate Timeline, however this universe is geared towards a different perspective -- and one I have more knowledge with, both having lived in Connecticut and owning land their still.)

@ADS94 has a new TL?

Good to have you back, I'm always happy when people find enjoyment in my work. If you have fond memories of The Confederacy then I can assure you that this new work shall seek to surpass it in quality and quantity. I will also readily admit I have desires to bring plausibility to a higher notch that was prevalent in that timeline.
I. 17th Century European Settlement

As one travels around the Commonwealth of New England, they are most often reminded of England itself. Small villages dot the countryside, as rolling hills dominate the topography. Rivers meander their way through these hills, forming deeply important and rich valleys. The names of the towns and cities sound as if they come from Great Britain. Boston, Cambridge, New London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Halifax. But all of this betrays the long history and heritage that rests behind the Commonwealth. While it is now primarily known through its British ancestry, the deepest roots of New England rest with the French, not the English.

The first European settlement on contemporary New English soil was undertaken by Pierre Du Gua de Monts, a French nobleman. His efforts came after a brief, yet failed, attempt to settle on Île Sainte-Croix. All of the settlers from that encampment instead made their way into the Bay of Funday and established the Habitation at Port-Royal. Among the colonists were Samuel de Champlain, Louis Hébert, and Sieur de Poutrincourt. With the establishment officially having taken place in 1603, it is recognised as the oldest continuous settlement in New England.

New England's story of English settlement begins from the Chambers of James the First. His granting of two charters in 1606, one each for the two Virginia Companies, was the first official act towards establishing settlement in what would one day become New England. The Virginia Company of London was to lay claim to the land between 34 Degrees and 41 Degrees, while the Virginia Company of Plymouth was to lay claim to the land between 38 Degrees and 45 Degrees. The Plymouth Company was a venture funded by private capital, and its existence was solely to bring the land under the English crown, trade, and then return profits back to its shareholders.

In August of 1606, the first ship of the Plymouth Company, the Richard established itself at the mouth of the Kennebunk River, near present-day Kennebunkport. This venture was short lived, as alleged native attacks saw the colony disappear with little trace, the actual site of the landing only discovered in 1889. A second attempt by the Plymouth Company was launched in the Spring of 1607, this time with three ships total, the Gift of God, Mary and John, and James. The leader of this venture, George Popham, traveled aboard the Gift of God. The James was the first to reach the landing site, the mouth of the Sagadahoc (Kennebec) River, near the present-day town of Bath, Maine. Shortly after the construction of a fort, named St. George, after the patron saint of England, a colonist by the name of John Hunt sketched a map of the nascent colony.


Despite given the name of Fort Saint George, the settlement was known as the Popham Colony, after its leader. There was discontent within the colony and outside of the colony. Relations with the natives of the area were contentious, and colonist loyalties were divided between George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert. A series of fires devastated the colony during the winter months, and George Popham died. Gilbert became the leader of the colony, and efforts were directed into the construction of a ship, named Virginia. It was loaded with supplies and sent back to England. Upon its return, it notified that Gilbert had a claim to an estate in England, and he promptly left the colony. The remainder of the colonists followed suit, ending the first attempt at colonisation of New England's territory.

What little is known of this adventure comes from log books of several of the colonists, and little time is devoted to the analysis of this small colony due to its lack of sustained settlement. With its abrupt end in 1608, New England would remain unsettled by the English for several years. Exploration of the area, however, would continue.

In 1609, a man by the name of Henry Hudson was chartered by the Dutch East India Company to attempt to find the Northwest Passage, believed to exist at the time. Foiled by ice flows, Hudson sailed south, landing once in Cape Cod, and then sailing up what is now today the River Hudson. His belief that he found the passage was halted when he encountered shallow water up the river near the present-day City of Troy. What he did report back was the fertile grounds and favourable conditions that presented themselves in the region.

With the English attempts at settling the region with a solid colony dampered by the Popham Colony’s failure, the English colonies to the south in Jamestown send a military expedition north to assault the Habitation at Port-Royal, now simply called Port-Royal, in May 1613. The settlers, ready to defend their post, fought off the English. This is believed to be the first recorded clash of Europeans in the region, with all of the English either killed or captured. The French then invested more into the colony, upgrading its defences and seeking more furs from its trader inhabitants.

The next settlement of the region took place in 1620. Those who undertook this adventure are collectively known as the Pilgrims, who were a group of religious dissidents who disagreed with the current religious doctrine, and were persecuted while they had been in England. After departing for the Netherlands, this group was still not freed from the grasp of the English crown, and ended up with a land patent from the London Virginia Company. Departing from Europe, the Pilgrims first took land in the area which would be known as Provincetown, where after confusion of governance, drafted the Mayflower Compact, an outline for the future of the colony.

These settlers then uprooted from what would become Provincetown towards Plymouth Bay, where, after rejecting several sites, established themselves at the present-day Plymouth. The symbolic Plymouth Rock marks where they first landed on the shore, although there is little evidence to suggest that this was actually the case. The settlers made good use of a small river and a pond that was able to supply them with fresh water. A village was soon erected in the area, which would be the first permanent settlement in New England by English colonists.

Further north, in the area of Acadia, claimed by the French, James I granted Sir William Alexander vast portions of land, ranging from the present-day Province of Maine through the Province of Nova Scotia. All of this land was claimed as "Nova Scotia," Latin for New Scotland. The French paid little attention to these claims, and Alexander's attempt to capture the settlement at Port Royal was rebuffed by the French, who further invested into the colony. A second colony was established in present-day New Brunswick by Alexander, but that one quickly collapsed for lack of supplies and support.

The Plymouth colony on the other hand, saw itself a solid and steady stream of growth as the years progressed. Ships arrived from England bringing more and more colonists each time, to the point that the Plymouth Colony boasted near 400 souls in March of 1623. Relations with the natives of New England, hereafter referred to as First Nations, were positive in the early years. The First Nations helped the colonists with survival in the harsh New England climate, as well as provided them with a valuable source of income, trading furs with them that would then be sent back to England.

With tales of French riches from the fur trade, and the good quality of furs produced by First Nations trade with the Plymouth Colony, entrepreneurs made their way to the Plymouth Colony, only to be spurned by the religious focus of the Pilgrims. They moved northwards to form the Weymouth Colony, named after their European port of departure, Weymouth, Dorset. Their goal was the establishment of a trading colony that would engage in the fur trade. Immigration to this colony was steady, although those with a more religious bent continued to go towards the more southern Plymouth Colony.

With an eye towards attempting to extract even more wealth from the Plymouth colony, a group of noblemen sought, and received, a Royal Charter for Plymouth from James I on 11 August 1624. The intentions for this charter seemed to be focused both in the extraction of wealth, and perhaps the pursuit of a more rigorous religious doctrine across the Atlantic, something James I was well aware was not being followed in this colony. His death came just a short time later, and the Board of Governors were far more interested in wealth extraction than religious conformity, even encouraging them to travel to Plymouth, in search of establishing an even larger colony.

Charles I, not eager to grant a Royal Charter to uninhabited areas, instead issued several royal patents to more land in New England. Ferdinando Gorges was given the coastline between the River Piscataqua and River Kennebec, while John Mason was given the coastline between the River Merrimack and River Piscataqua. Both parcels of land contained specific instruction on how they were allotted. Mason was allowed from the southernmost portion of the River Merrimack, “inland of 40 miles, cutting directly northeast to the River Piscataqua.” While Gorges was given “inland of 40 miles from the easternmost point of the River Kennebec, cutting directly southwest to the River Piscataqua.” The intent of this division was to try and create a single line running from each claim, but modern interpretations of the line show that it would not have met at the same location. These claims were never enforced, although Mason's claim became the basis for the border of the New Hampshire colony years later.

With the Plymouth Colony operating under its own charter, the Weymouth Colony sought a similar recognition. In England, Puritan Minister John White saw an opportunity to establish an area of religious freedoms for his followers. After aggressive lobbying and funding, a Royal Charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, for the purposes of business endeavours. It is known that Charles I did not view this as the formation of a religious safe haven for Puritans. The boundaries of the new colony were to run from three miles north of the bank of the River Merrimack south to the colony of Weymouth.

The new Massachusetts Bay Colony became a magnet of immigration. Puritans made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in droves during the period known as the Great Migration. Thousands of settlers poured into the colony, founding settlement after settlement. Religious disagreements and discontent among various leaders lead to the expulsion and establishment of several new colonies. Roger Williams was forced south and established Providence Plantations in 1636. Likewise to the west, John Haynes and Thomas Hooker founded a settlement in modern-day Hartford during the same year. It was in 1639 that the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were drafted, splitting the colony legally from Massachusetts Bay. Further disagreements with the Massachusetts General Court saw the establishment of the New Haven Colony in 1638.

In 1636, Charles I granted the entirety of Long Island to Sir William Alexander. Alexander promptly sold much of the eastern portion of the island to both Connecticut and New Haven. One of the agents of Alexander, James Farret, was sent to New Amsterdam to present the claim the English held to the Island, to the Dutch known as Lange Eylandt. He was promptly arrested and brought to the Netherlands. English settlers from Connecticut and New Haven quickly began to establish towns and villages along the eastern portion of the Island, although the ones settled by Connecticut instead opted for governance under the Colony of New Haven.

By 1640, settlements across New England were flourishing. Only after Parliament was reconvened in this year did the migration of Puritans to the colonies dramatically drop. It is estimated that the migration to Arcadia was higher than that of the migration to the English colonies in New England between the period of 1640 and 1650. The English Civil War left the New England colonies to develop alone, with some men making the journey back to England to fight.

It is important to remember that despite English settlements being abundant during this period, only two, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, had Royal Charters. Coincidentally, they were also the largest of the English colonies. Connecticut (whose records include population for the New Haven Colony as well) was estimated to be around 1,200 people, with 400 living in New Haven, and the third largest, tied with New Somersetshire (New Hampshire). Providence Plantations remained the smallest of the colonies. Overall, the population of Anglo New England in 1640 was estimated to be near 15,000 people, over half of which lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When including Acadia in the tally, the number edges upwards towards 18,000.

Steady growth marked the years in which the English Civil War raged across the Atlantic. Major changes that did take place mostly took place on Long Island. The Dutch, understanding the English claims to the island, as well as New Haven's expanding presence on the eastern shores, began to grant a series of towns on the western portion of the Island. New England's exploding population put New Amsterdam at a great risk. Peter Stuyvesant, the Director-General of New Amsterdam, forged a treaty with the Connecticut colony over its borders. The 1650 Treaty of Hartford was thus conducted between Connecticut, New Haven, and New Netherlands, clearly defining the borders between the three entities. The Dutch ceded the western areas of the Connecticut River, drawing the border between them at "20 Miles east of the River Hudson." New Haven, which by now had more inhabitants on Long Island than mainland New England, was formerly divided into two counties, one on the mainland, New Haven, and one on Long Island, Suffolk. The present-day boundaries of the Province of Connecticut with New York are similar to this treaty's provisions. Suffolk County, with only a few minor border changes, remains unchanged in the present-day Province of Long Island.

The English Restoration in 1660 brought new attention towards New England. Charles II was far more interested in colonial administration than previous governments over the island, and now England had the ability to take a more close watch at the colonies with the domestic problems sorted. On 18 October 1661, two more Royal Charters were granted by Charles II. The first was to the Connecticut Colony, which merged the New Haven Colony into its borders, with a capitol in Hartford. The second one was a Charter for the Long Island Colony, which had grown exponentially stronger than New Haven, and was New England's third largest colony, only dwarfed by Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut. The charter established the Colony's capitol of Southampton, the largest settlement on the English side of the island.

Charles II continued to grant Royal Charters to the now large English colonies. The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations became the next to gain its status, obtaining its charter in 1662. Two years later in 1664, at the urging of the heirs of John Mason, Charles II granted a Royal Charter to the Province of New Hampshire, establishing the border directly north of the one previously granted to Massachusetts Bay, meaning the cession of three miles North from the River Merrimack from Mason's old claim. The Province of New Hampshire's border remained unchanged at the Piscataqua River.

Massachusetts Bay authorities were resistant to the new pressures that Charles II was starting to put on the colonies, demanding tighter governance. Charles II, for his part, viewed the leaders of Massachusetts Bay with suspicion. As the years and settlement of the colonies progressed, Plymouth became much more moderate and maritime trade focused than religiously motivated. New Hampshire was home to many who uprooted from Plymouth for religious reasons, and they had helped to defend, what was then New Somersetshire from falling under Massachusetts control.

The two parties continued to view each other with mutual distrust, although it did not stop the mutual benefits both sides enjoyed from their cooperation. Immigrants continued to arrive in New England, and money and goods continued to flow back across the Atlantic to England.

In March 1664, Charles II began to follow through with the original idea set forth by James I, the imposition of a more rigid religious doctrine across the English colonies in North America. His plan included the capture of New Netherlands, which would remove the last major block between English settlement between New England and Virginia. Four warships sailed into the harbour of New Netherlands, and demanded the colony's surrender. They acquiesced, but only after certain liberties were granted to the Dutch inhabitants, and the previous treaty with Connecticut and New Haven were recognised.

The English accepted these terms, but immediately made some modifications. The Province of Long Island was given complete control over the island, with the previously Dutch occupied towns being organised as Yorkshire County. Charles II then gave the remaining portions of New Netherlands to his brother, the Duke of York. The Duke of York then gave away the land between the River Hudson and the River Delaware to pay off debts, which would one day become the Colony of New Jersey. The Province of New York, as New Netherlands was renamed, followed the River Hudson upstream, and held competing claims with Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut.

This meant little for New Englanders, who continued to watch their numbers expand, but this did mean more of an interest from English government. This interest did not extend to matters of warfare, as the first war in New England broke out in the 1670s. Called King Philip's War or Metacom's War, First Nations began to attack English settlers over perceived injustices done against them. The attacks began in southern New England, with First Nations warriors assaulting a few Plymouth towns, burning them to the ground. Alarmed by this threat, several representatives of the colonial government met in Providence, Rhode Island to discuss a foundation of a defensive alliance. Connecticut, Long Island, Rhode Island, and Plymouth entered into the New England Confederation, and began to try and coordinate military actions between them all. The Confederation also included the Mohegan and Pequot tribes, who were friendly towards the settlers.

Action by King Philip against the English settlers was fierce. Massachusetts Bay, which held the majority of New England's population, was devastated by attacks, with the entire Connecticut Valley in its jurisdiction being abandoned due to the hostility. This included the largest settlement on the River Connecticut besides Hartford, that of Springfield. The First Nations burned the entire town down, and only yielded when they could not dislodge the colonists from the blockhouse that had recently been built. The remainder of 1675 meant loss after loss for the New Englanders. Massachusetts Bay, after not wishing to join the New England Confederation, agreed to join only after the last few towns west of Worcester had to be abandoned. Their reservations for joining were that the non-Puritan colonies of Rhode Island and Long Island had been included in the alliance, but that meant little if they would lose all of their town and settlements.

With coordination now happening between the colonies, they fought back in the spring of 1676. The turning point of the war took place at the Massacre at Skenungonuck (Chicopee) Falls. The Massachusetts Bay Militia (working with Connecticut Militia units), moved to try and reclaim Springfield, where they encountered around three hundred First Nations fishermen mixed with warriors near the fall along the River Chicopee shortly before it empties into the River Connecticut. The colonists, having the element of surprise, assaulted the First Nations, killing all of them, even the ones that surrendered. Further brutal attacks took place across the region, with colonial revenge being taken to the extreme in many cases.

King Philip saw his allies abandon him in droves. In the summer of 1676, while hiding from Plymouth and Rhode Island militia in the Miery Swamp, King Philip was shot dead by a First Nations soldier allied to the New England Confederation. His death effectively ended the war in southern New England. Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire still had to deal with fighting in the northern reaches of New England. Here, French merchants from Acadia gave supplies and safe harbour to the First Nations, which meant the destruction of many towns and settlements from northern Massachusetts Bay to the nominal Acadian border. Fighting would end in the Autumn of 1678 officially, but sporadic fighting would continue for decades.

What King Philip's War did mean for New England settlers was a new fear of the Connecticut Valley and the interior. A group of seven families, who previously lived in Springfield, instead went further west, settling in the Hudson Valley, calling their colony New Hope. It was ransacked and destroyed only a few months later, but it was the first instance of a group of settlers leaving New England for New York. What was left of the New Hope families instead turned south and settled in Connecticut.

New England's demographics were seriously harmed by the war, with an estimated loss of one sixth of all military aged men. The New England Confederation did not go unnoticed in England. James II liked the idea of a unified colony, with a single colonial administration. Thus in 1686, the Dominion of New England was formed, a total union of the colonies of New Jersey up to Massachusetts Bay. The move was deeply resented across the region, with only lukewarm disapproval coming from New Jersey and New York. Connecticut refused to surrender its charter, hiding it famously in an oak tree (the "Charter Oak"). Plymouth and Massachusetts resisted it on technical grounds, while Rhode Island and New Hampshire were forced to hand theirs over. James II simply revoked all of the charters and began to more heavily administer the Dominion from Boston.

The colony was very short lived. The Glorious Revolution occurred in England, with William and Mary taking the throne from James II. Colonists in Massachusetts Bay arrested Edmund Andros, the Governor of New England, and they quickly reestablished their local forms of government. All adopted resolutions saying they did not wish to operate as one unit, and maintained their fiercely independent spirit. The only legal charter still in operation was that of Connecticut's, who did not surrender theirs, and James II was more focused on the subjugation of Massachusetts Bay than Connecticut.

New York's Albany County, which had previously been established in the early 1680s, had defined southern borders, but no other ones, just a vague idea towards the north and east, and the "Pacific Ocean" as the west. This complicated management of the county, as settlers from New England began to make their way into the upper Hudson valley and along the River Mohawk. They found the land there much more agreeable than the upper Connecticut Valley, which was nominally administered by New Hampshire. Settlers in the region wished for more control over their government, and disagreed with how the Province of New York was being administered, and became one of the first instances of there being a difference of identity in the Province of New York as opposed to New England.

William and Mary, eager to better establish governance in the colonies, released a slew of royal charters, to replace those revoked previously. Out of these early 1690 charters, all the older colonies were replaced by provinces, and borders began to be more clearly defined. The Province of Maine was the newest addition to the New England colonies, taken away from Massachusetts Bay and placed under its own control, with the English eye towards Acadia, it would be better served as its own separate entity, allowing for militia and fortifications to be coordinated closer to the enemy.

The Province of Long Island had its boundaries reaffirmed as being the entirety of Long Island, but several islands between it and Manhattan were transferred to the Province of New York. The Province of Plymouth was given the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, which had previously been the Province of Long Island's. The Province of New York had outstanding claims to areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Maine. It wouldn't be for another half century that they would be resolved.


Approximation of Anglo New England Colonial borders, 1700.
Fighting between Acadia and New England broke out in 1688 under what would become to be known as King William's War. This was the war that truly began to bring together a sense of identity for New Englanders. Men from as far away as Southhampton, Long Island were engaged in combat in Montreal, New France. The festering anti-English sentiment between First Nations and their French backers along the Acadia/Maine frontier was the primary driver of initial combat. Heavily armed raiders from Acadia burned several Maine settlements, causing retaliation by the New England Confederation's militia to raid Acadian towns.

The Province of Maine suffered greatly from King William's War, as town after town was assaulted and destroyed. The provincial capital, Falmouth, protected by Fort Loyal, was burned to the ground by the French and their First Nations allies. Hundreds of settlers abandoned Maine in response, turning south to New Hampshire, finding shelter in the Merrimack Valley. The French then turned New Hampshire into the new frontier, attacking and burning the town of Dover.

The New England Confederation outfitted a seaborne retaliation group from New London, Connecticut, which sailed to Port-Royal, Acadia and attempted capture it. The Long Island Militia had the honour of burning down the grain storehouse of Port-Royal, which the English were able to capture. They burned the churches and forced all citizens to swear loyalty to the King of England. The New England expedition left, and the French recaptured the town.

The Province of New York, embroiled in internal political strife, refused to release militia for the defense of Albany County, then the northern reaches of British America. New York Militiamen from Albany County deserted en masse and formed the Albany County Militia, and petitioned for representation in the New England Confederation. This was not granted, but the New England Confederation did send soldiers north to try and assault Montreal, New France, using Albany as a staging area. Several villages and hamlets on the outskirts of Montreal were razed, but the colonists were forced to withdraw from the region in failure.

The Province of New York took note of the Albany County "mutiny" and send their own Militia north to reimpose order. Clashes between the two militias were stopped only when the New England Confederation stepped in to defend the Albany militia. New York Governor Francis Nicholson was deposed of shortly after news of the fighting spread to England. William revoked portion of New York's charter, making Albany County a de facto separate colony, now with even less defined borders and no government. The colonists, most of them hailing from Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, petitioned for governance by the Province of New Hampshire, which wasn't granted until well into the 18th Century.

New Englanders remained on the defensive for the remainder of King William's War, with peace only being ratified in 1697. The result was a status quo ante bellum in terms of territorial borders, but the Province of Maine was nearly abandoned. Colonists still moved into the Province, but not at as fast of a pace as before, settlement patterns being much more favourable along the coastlines of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island as well as in the interior river valleys.

The New England Confederation peacefully dissolved after King William's War, but cooperation between the Provinces had not ended. There was a new dynamic forming among these colonies that set them apart from the other English colonies, which were thriving on their own. While the Provinces of New York and New Jersey were being settled by colonists from England, the area from Albany County to Maine was being settled primarily by New Englanders, almost setting the two apart. Long Island resembled southern Connecticut far more than New York, owing to its New Haven roots. While none could see it in those days by 1700 a proto-New England identity had been formed, separate and distinct from the other English colonies. The 18th Century, as it were, would be a time of rapid change and consolidation for these Yankees.

Image Attributes: i. John Hunt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
ii. Table, Own Work
iii. Map, Content Own Work, Base Map via Alternate History Wiki
Background Information: Wikipedia
I am most intersted in seeing where this TL goes. Most of my father's ancestors were in New England by 1650 with the rest coming over before 1700 iOTL. They fought in OTL versions of the wars you mention.

Last year I received a copy of my son-in-law's genealogy. His family is of French extraction and were in Quebec and Acadia. After some research, I found that one of his ancestors and one of mine fought against each other in a battle in Acadia/Northern Maine during one of the wars. If either of them had been killed, either he or I would not be here and so would my three grandchildren from my daughter and him.


I am most intersted in seeing where this TL goes. Most of my father's ancestors were in New England by 1650 with the rest coming over before 1700 iOTL. They fought in OTL versions of the wars you mention.

Last year I received a copy of my son-in-law's genealogy. His family is of French extraction and were in Quebec and Acadia. After some research, I found that one of his ancestors and one of mine fought against each other in a battle in Acadia/Northern Maine during one of the wars. If either of them had been killed, either he or I would not be here and so would my three grandchildren from my daughter and him.



That is quite lengthy roots in New England. It's a wonderful quirk of history to find information like that. I deeply enjoyed that about New England, meeting the people who are connected so closely to the origins of the English colonies in the region. A friend of mine from Connecticut, for example, could trace his lineage directly back to the Mayflower, which I found to be amazing. My own history in the United States, alas, starts in the 1750s in Virginia. My connection to New England is only very slim. My heritage rests in Virginia and Illinois.

Just curious, what's the PoD for this?

Good start...

Thanks. There are multiple PoDs, all of which are currently above. The major takeaways:

* Plymouth remains a separate entity from Massachusetts.
* Long Island is settled primarily by Dutch and Yankees, and is its own separate entity from New York.
* The New England Confederation was stronger, more widely participated in, and lasted longer.
* OTL Northern New York/Vermont is being settled primarily by Yankees. English immigrants are either settling in the Southern/Middle Colonies or to the New England coastal cities.

Huh, a NE Alt?

I'm interested.

Glad to have your interest. Now I'll do my best to keep it.
I have 11 ancestors from the Mayflower, one on my grandfather's side and 10 on my grandmothers side. Stephen Hopkins, the one from my grandfather's side, had an interesting life, he was shipwrecked in the Bermuda about in the 1609, he was arrested, charged with Mutiny and found guilty with a death sentence, he was pardoned, they built a boat, got to Jamestown in 1610. A few years later he went back to England and returned on the Mayflower. Some claim that Shakespeare based the "Tempest" on the voyage of the "Sea Venture" to Jamestown.


An America with an even stronger New England influence is, by my viewpoint, utopic. A New England Republic suggests there's not much beyond it...

I believe then, you will find fleeting elements of utopia with an overwhelming heap of dystopia unfortunately.
II. Growth and Expansion

At the turn of the century, modern estimates show that the population of the Anglo colonies in New England reached over 100,000 souls, accounting for around forty per cent of England's colonies in North America. The Francophone portions of New England were likewise estimated to be around five thousand, smaller than every Anglo colony in New England. Boston claimed the mantel as the largest city in North America during this time, hosting a whopping ten thousand people, ten per cent of all of New England's population. Despite the claims of several English historians and other historians since, New York City was the third largest city of the era, having a population of around three thousand, with Montréal having around five thousand.

While peace meant prosperity for the region economically and demographically, the new century quickly erupted into turmoil. Events in Europe caused England and France to be engulfed in warfare, which then translated across the Atlantic to hostilities between New England and New France. To inhabitants of Maine and New Hampshire, it was as if nothing had changed at all. First Nations attacks still occurred regularly at settlements around the ill-defined Acadia-Maine border, and it was widely accepted that the French were helping the First Nations during their assaults.

The introduction of New England's militia forces and New French soldiers just meant an escalation of violence for the region, although it was a comforting sight to the beleaguered settlers who had to endure withering attacks from the First Nations. Fighting over the region was spread out between Acadia and Massachusetts Bay, with the New England militia most often on the defensive, unable to mount effective assaults into Acadia.

French forces were so ambitious to come within a few miles of Boston, before deciding to burn down an outlying settlement instead of mounting an assault on North America's largest city. Governor Joseph Dudley, enraged by such an attack, convened a meeting of colonial leaders to fund an expedition into Acadia. It took almost one and a half years to organise, and it was led by the famous Benjamin Church. Militiamen from Plymouth, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts Bay all banded together and departed from Boston in early June of 1707, destined for Port Royal. The men laid siege to, and captured the fort after two months of fighting. Church declared all of Acadia to be English territory, and announced the intentions for his militia to remain as an occupying force before another could come in to replace him.

Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil, the Governor of New France, sent his own expedition from Montréal down into Massachusetts Bay to raid and pillage what they could, destroying farms and fields with the aid of their First Nations allies. This strategy was ineffective, many of the New England colonists simply hid in their forts and did not emerge. The expedition's sole success was burning the settlements around Chicopee Falls and Springfield again. An assault on Hartford, Connecticut was warded off by New England's militia forces, and the expedition returned to Montréal in failure in the autumn of 1709.

What the French were successful in was angering the Iroquois First Nation, which quickly began to muster men to fight against the French in New France's heartland, easing up the need for the English to heavily invest in maintaining their own frontier. Francis Nicholson had been able to secure the approval of London for a full-scale invasion of New France, the ultimate goal being the capture of Montréal. An agreement was quickly made with the Iroquois to assist the British in exchange for some small concessions, setting the stage for a three-leveled invasion of New France.

The summer of 1710 brought seven thousand British soldiers and twenty Ships of the Line to Boston, bringing with them a massive influx of capital, but straining the colony's resources. Trade with the other New England colonies further increased Boston's economic clout, and allowed it to enter into a period of nearly a century and a half of explosive growth. Connecticut was the main beneficiary of this trade, as their farms are what supplied the Queen's soldiers in Boston, and it was Connecticut food which would be sent on the ships during their invasion.

It was in the spring of the next year that the invasion force departed Boston, bound for Montréal. The Iroquois had already been fighting against New France since the agreement was signed, and the overland invasion departed from New York City around the same time the ships departed Boston. Both prongs converged on the city within a week of each other, but were facing fierce opposition from the French, who had likewise shipped their regulars to defend their territory. With the advantage of having a better lay of the land and being on the defensive, the British were forced to withdraw in failure, but not after the French were able to capture almost half of their ships when they became stuck during fog conditions, their captains not used to navigating the River St. Lawrence.

The two warring parties came to the negotiating table in 1712, and the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was the result of their negotiations. Britain would gain control over all of Acadia, which they promptly renamed to Nova Scotia. France was left with the present-day Cape Breton island, which the French named Île-Royale, and were allowed to resettle their colonists from Newfoundland on that land instead.

The First Nations who terrorised Maine and New Hampshire now saw their main benefactor as having vanished, and they too made peace with the British colonists, agreeing to establish trading posts and leave the frontier beyond the River Kennebec outside the scope of their war aims, but still claimed the land east of the river as their own.

With a period of peace ahead of New England, the stage for nearly three decades of economic and demographic growth was set. Farmers from Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut, eager to muscle their way into the new lands of Nova Scotia, headed north to settle new towns, as merchants from Boston and New Haven also made their way to Annapolis Royal (the previous Port Royal). Immigration from Great Britain brought even more people to New England, although they more often opted to settle in Long Island, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire due to their lack of a provincial religion.

New Hampshire and Maine settled a border dispute, which in turn reduced Maine's claimed area by almost half, with the new border now cutting north "to the River St. Lawrence." Maine was generously compensated with portions of Acadia, its border extended to the River St. Croix. New Hampshire also benefited greatly by George II's granting a modification to New Hampshire's charter, including Albany County within its borders, making New Hampshire the largest New England colony by landmass almost overnight.

What was remarkable about this time was how secluded New England was from the other colonies, and Great Britain. The most outwardly looking colonies were the Atlantic colonies, while Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were more focused on agricultural endeavours, but they still maintained a close relationship with the home country. It was only in the 1740s that New England began to seriously interact with her sister colonies. Migration between New England and the other colonies rarely occurred, and trade was limited, with Boston only logging three ships from the southern Colonies in for the entire year of 1723[1].

As one could expect between Britain and France, they were soon again at war by 1744. This drew British America into conflict with New France once again, with the theatre of war being confined mostly to New England. The French were the first to receive word of the hostilities in America, and soldiers from the fortress at Louisbourg moved to assault Annapolis Royal in July. Aided by their First Nations allies, Fort Anne was unprepared for any siege, and was forced to surrender. Annapolis Royal fell shortly after, the French burning down the homes of English-speakers.

The first response from the British side was a sea-based assault on Quebec City from Rhode Island and Plymouth militiamen, supported by a few hundred British regulars. Little happened other than outlying towns being occupied and raided, the milita having to withdraw due to a lack of heavy siege equipment, and strong resistance from First Nations loyal to the French.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay came to an agreement with the defense of both colonies, with Massachusetts Bay militia near the border of the two provinces ready to support New Hampshire militia against raiding parties and general incursions. New Hampshire's large size and small demographic made defending it difficult. First Nations fighters assaulted the town of Saratoga, New Hampshire, which caused a panic for settlements north of Albany all the way east to Concord. The Iroquois, now solid allies of the British and the New England colonies, joined with an intercolonial force and attacked into Canada, burning villages and pillaging in retaliation.

1746 saw a force of mostly Connecticut, Plymouth, and Long Island men assault Fort Anne, recapturing it from the French, and then mounting an assault on the fortress at Louisbourg. After taking heavily casualties, the British were able to capture the stronghold. This coincided with even more raids deeper and deeper into New French territories north of New Hampshire, to the point where the St. Lawrence was as far south as the French control reached.

With back and forth exchanges of territory and a few massacres, the war finally came to a close in 1748. The British ceded the land they gained in Canada in exchange for France fully accepting their acquisition of Acadia and Île-Royale, which was won with the blood of many New England men. The island, renamed to Cape Breton Island, was added to Nova Scotia, despite protests from Massachusetts Bay that it should receive it for compensation. The war would mark the last time that Massachusetts was seriously threatened by the French and their First Nations allies.

New Hampshire's inability to protect large swaths of the upper Hudson Valley caused residents closer to New York City to petition for re-integration into the Province of New York. The two provinces were able to work out their respective differences and drew the official boundaries between themselves. Albany would remain with New Hampshire, but the border would then jut north to meet the River Mohawk, and follow it to its source. To the east, the River Oswego would form the border, with the remainder to be surveyed by 1750. The Mohawk and Hudson Valleys were kept with Albany County, while the rest of the county was split off to the Iroquois First Nation, but still under the jurisdiction of New Hampshire.


Counties of the New England Provinces, 1755

While the inserted map above might seem to show well-defined northern borders, the reality was far more fluid. The French still claimed, and held effective control, over much of Champlain County, New Hampshire. The introduction of First Nations territory as a legal entity sparked vicious debate among New Englanders, some who agreed such an inclusion was proper, others who believed it limited settlement. The debate in New England was a foreshadow of the debate which would unfold in the rest of the colonies in future decades, but there was a strong, but small, minority that believed more First Nations territory should be carved out of other places in Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nova Scotia. This was a sentiment unique to New England, which would help ground it moving forward.

The 1750s brought hostilities between France and England once again, dragging New England into war. The Seven Years' War came to the shores of North America with a failed British assault on Fort Duquesne. The British also attempted to move from Albany into Canada, but the French sent soldiers down the Hudson valley to meet them, fighting to a draw at the Battle of Lake George. The French were forced to retreat, but were able to maintain control of northern New Hampshire, constructing Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) to ward off future attacks against Canada.

The next two years brought minor French victories, but no real key strategic goals achieved. The French attempted to recapture Acadia, but the "New England Regiment" was defending Annapolis Royal, and dispatched soldiers upon hearing of the French incursion. With war management shifting in London to new powers, the British were soon to be on the offensive.

1758 brought the Forbes Expedition, in which New England soldiers mixed with other colonials and British regulars set out under General John Forbes to conquer the Ohio Valley from the French. A skirmish ensured, and not wanting to participate in a massacre, Forbes offered surrender to the French, who shockingly accepted, evacuating the fort and becoming prisoners of the British, ceding the the entire valley to the British.

This feat was followed by a three-pronged invasion into New France between 1759 and 1760. New Englanders captured Fort Ticonderoga, and James Wolfe took control of Québec at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Although it took his life, it was a defining moment for British control in North America. Montréal was now unable to be supplied, and it was surrendered to the British under a specific set of conditions, that the British followed, in 1760. Peace was not signed until 1763, but for all intents and purposes, the war was over in North America.

In London, King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763, delineating a line where anything west was not open to settlement of British colonists. The Proclamation also formed the new Province of Quebec, and settled the porous borders between New Hampshire and Quebec. It was determined that the confluence of Halls Stream and the River Connecticut in northern New Hampshire was the starting point of a line, drawn straight east, to the River St. Lawrence would be the border between the two Provinces. By now, New England's future national boundaries were almost fully in place, with the notable exception of Maine and Nova Scotia.

The Proclamation line was unpopular in the rest of British America. In New England, it was met with indifference or mild support. No territory not already reserved for the First Nations was in this new region, despite some people who called for Champlain county to be disestablished and put into the First Nations territory.

The Proclamation of 1763 would not just be another minor boundary adjustment within British America, it would be the start of a long and tumultuous period for New England and British America. The remainder of the century would determine the future for all of British America. The seeds of the American Revolution had been planted, and like all wars in North America, it would be New England that would be on the front lines of the clash between rebellion and royalism.

Image Attributes: i. Own Work, Data from mapofus.org
Background Information: Wikipedia
1. Record of Shipments & Goods, 1700-1739, Port Authority City of Boston


Looking forward to more.

I wonder if they'll be part of the future United States down the line?