At one time or another more than one-half the present territory of the United States
has been subject to the sovereign of Spain
, the Spaniards claimed the country northward indefinitely.
, and Spanish missionaries planted the cross far up the Pacific coast
In the interior, the Spanish
adventurers west of the Rocky Mountains
penetrated far to the northward—almost to the present southern boundary of the British
possessions—in search of the precious metals, and everywhere they planted the Spanish
tokens of sovereignty.
They held possession of the country along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico
) until a comparatively recent period.
Everywhere that Spanish missionaries and traders gained a foothold the cross and the royal arms were set up. In 1507 King Ferdinand established a court which he called Casa de Contratacion
, or Board of Trade, to which he committed the administration of American affairs.
under the lead of La Salle
made the first European
settlement in Texas
In 1714 the Viceroy of Mexico
proceeded to colonize the country with Spaniards by planting missions in that territory.
One was established at Natchitoches
, within the present limits of Louisiana
, another west of the Sabine
, and others at different points.
The establishment of these missions was under the direction of Capt. Don
Domingo Ramo, and they were first in the hands of the Franciscans.
The mission stations were really Spanish military posts.
When war between France
broke out in 1718, the French
broke up these posts, but they were soon re-established.
Down to 1720, the only Spanish inhabitants of Texas
were in the missions, but in that year the Spanish
government ordered the transportation of 400 families from the Canaries to Texas
, but only thirteen families arrived that year and settled at San Antonio
This new population stimulated the missions to greater efforts.
A Spanish governor of Texas
The population of Texas
increased but slowly.
As late as 1744 it did not exceed 1,500 souls.
That province remained in the possession of Spain
until the independence of Mexico
was achieved, and it was part of that republic until it won its own independence in 1836.
War was begun by Great Britain
in 1739, and Admiral Vernon
was sent with a squadron to act against the Spanish
dominions in the West Indies
He sailed from Jamaica
with six ships, attacked Porto Bello (Nov. 21), and captured it. He blew up the castle and fortifications there and returned to Jamaica
The next year a great fleet was despatched to reinforce Vernon
, who held possession of Porto Bello and Chagres, on the Atlantic
side of the Isthmus of Panama
, depots for all merchandise destined for the Pacific coast
The fleet conveyed an army of 12,000 men, led by General Cathcart
, and the number of seamen amounted to 15,000.
The army was composed of British regulars, battalions from the American
colonies, and negroes from Jamaica
—the greatest armament ever seen in the West Indies
The second in command of the troops was Sir Alexander Spottswood
(q. v.), formerly governor of Virginia
The expedition met with disaster.
While the fleet, with the soldiers yet on hoard the transports, was blockading Carthagena
, the yellow fever broke out among them with great fury.
perished by the disease, and the command devolved on General Wentworth
, who could not agree with Vernon
After several unsuccessful attacks upon
the city, the enterprise was abandoned, with immense loss, chiefly through sickness.
Additional troops were sent from Massachusetts
, and, with them, Vernon
sailed for Cuba
, but was unsuccessful.
A fleet under Anson, which had been sent to the Pacific
to repeat the exploits of Drake
on the American
coast, was equally unsuccessful.
then found herself (1742) threatened with a war with France
The war, really begun through the resolution of British merchants to force a trade with Spanish America
, after spreading first to Europe
and then to India
, and adding nearly $150,000,000 to the British
national debt, was brought to a close by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in the autumn of 1748.
“The position and strength of the countries occupied by the Americans
,” said Grimaldi
, the Spanish
minister, in 1769, “excites a just alarm for the rich Spanish possessions on their borders.
They have already introduced their grain and rice into our colonies by a commerce of interlopers.
If this introduction should be legalized and extended to other objects of commerce, it would effectually increase the power and prosperity of a neighbor already too formidable.
Moreover, should this neighbor separate from its metropolis, it would assume the republican form of government—and a republic is a government dangerous, from the wisdom, the consistency, and the solidity of the measures which it would adopt for executing such projects of conquest as it would naturally form.”
This was the reply of the Spanish
minister to a suggestion of establishing free-trade in America
's fears were prophetic.
During the Revolutionary War
the Spanish Court was more hostile to the American
cause than any other in Europe
, for it was seen that encouragement to the revolt might hasten the independence of the Spanish-American
was not only hostile in principle, but was willing to be actively meddlesome in checking the good offices of France
towards the United States
Soon after the arrival in Philadelphia
, in 1778, of the first French minister, a Spanish emissary (Juan de Miralles
) appeared there, without any authority, but was received as a friend and diplomatic agent of Spain
by the unsuspecting Congress.
He was only a spy. France
had pressed Spain
to join her in helping the Americans
, but the latter had steadily refused, and when a despatch announcing the treaty reached Madrid
the government was amazed, and saw spectres of colonial losses in the near future.
Blanca, the Spanish
minister, suspected the good faith of the French
; and when in April (1778) the French
ambassador at Madrid
asked him at what time Spain
would take part in the war against Great Britain
, he burst out into a tirade against the French
“The American deputies,” he said, “are treated like the Roman
consuls, to whom the kings of the East
came to ask support.”
Blanca soon began the meditation of intrigues with Great Britain
to crush or reduce the growing power of the United States
Early in 1779 the Spanish Court offered to be a mediator between France
and Great Britain
Pending this affair the French
) had urged the Continental Congress to fix what terms of peace they would accept and to appoint ministers authorized to negotiate.
The Spanish offer was at first evaded and then rejected by Great Britain
, when the Spanish Court published a manifesto, which was equivalent to a declaration of war against England
, and so, indirectly, gave aid to the United States
, financially weak, now wished for peace, and therefore the minister suggested to Congress measures for securing it.
In 1795 Thomas Pinckney
was sent on a special mission to Spain
, where he negotiated a treaty which settled a longpending dispute concerning the Spanish
boundary and the navigation of the Mississippi River
This treaty was signed at Madrid
by Thomas Pinckney
and El Principe de la Paz
on Oct. 20, 1795.
It fixed the Florida
boundary at lat. 31° N., between the Mississippi
and the Apalachicola
, and east of the Apalachicola
a line from the junction of the Flint
to the head of the St. Mary
, and thence by that river to the sea. The navigation of the Mississippi
was to be free to both parties throughout its entire extent.
were to enjoy a right of deposit at New Orleans for three years, at the end of which period either this
privilege was to be continued, or an equivalent establishment was to be assigned them at some other convenient point on the lower Mississippi
Neither party was to make alliances with the Indian
tribes living within the territories of the other, nor was either party to allow its Indians to carry hostilities into the territories of the other.
It made stipulations concerning commerce and neutral rights, and a board of commissioners was provided for to liquidate losses on the part of the Americans
in consequence of illegal captures by Spanish cruisers, such losses to be paid by the Spanish
The rising of the people of the Spanish-American
provinces to secure their political independence of Spain
began soon after the royal family of Portugal
and took refuge in Brazil
The rising began in Buenos Ayres
, and Chile
In 1810 Mexico
revolted, but did not secure its independence until 1821.
The other states followed at various intervals, Bolivia
, in 1824, being the last.
The people of the United States
naturally sympathized with these movements.
When the diplomatic appropriation bill came up in Congress, March 24, 1818, Henry Clay
moved to insert an appropriation for a minister to the new South American republic of La Plata
Early in the session of 1819 he proposed the acknowledgment of the South American republics, but it was considered premature.
He brought the question before Congress again early in 1821, when the House of Representatives adopted resolutions to that effect.
In his annual message (Dec. 3, 1821), President Monroe
called the attention of Congress to these republics, suggesting that they were really independent of Spain
and deserved acknowledgment.
In accordance with these suggestions, a resolution was offered in the House of Representatives in January, 1822, for recognizing the independence of Mexico
and five provinces of South America
formerly under the dominion of Spain
The vote in the House
in favor was nearly unanimous, and $100,000 were appropriated to defray the expenses of envoys to those republics, who were soon afterwards appointed by the President
Before these States had assumed a permanent shape, their independence was formally acknowledged by the United States
, openly and boldly, in the face of the world.
This measure was proposed by President Monroe
in a special message, March 8, 1822.
See Monroe, James
On March 8, 1895, the United States mail-ship Allianca
, on her homeward voyage from Colon
to New York, when 6 miles from the coast of Cuba
, was repeatedly fired upon by a Spanish gunboat with solid shot.
The Windward Passage, where this took place, is the usual highway for vessels plying between ports of the United States
and the Caribbean Sea
. Captain Crossman
, of the Allianca
, paid no attention to the gunboat and escaped the Spanish vessel.
Secretary of State Gresham
at once cabled Minister Taylor
that this government must demand a prompt apology from Spain
The general position taken by the United States
was in accordance with the following resolution passed by the Senate in June, 1858: “Any molestation by force or show of force on the part of a foreign power of an American vessel on the high seas in time of peace is in derogation of the sovereignty of the United States
The Spanish minister at Washington
complicated the matter somewhat by his intemperate utterances to newspaper men, declaring that Captain Crossman
must have dreamed that he saw a gunboat.
For a time the affair promised serious complications, but on proofs of the occurrences being furnished, Spain