Spain Joins America

Why did Spain join America?

During the Seven Years’ War which took place from 1756 to 1763, Britain defeated both France and Spain in the American colonies. This made Britain the most powerful colonial power in North America.

Spain didn’t forget that, so when Americans started a war against Britain in 1775, Spain secretly supported America. In 1779, Spain saw that the American Continental armies were given the British armies a tough time, so Spain thought this to be a great opportunity to avenge their previous defeat, and openly declared support for American colonies.

How did Spain secretly help America?

At first, Spain decided to help America secretly without announcing its support. That’s because Spain didn’t want to directly fight the Britain at this point. This remained the case from 1776 to 1778. During this time, the American war of independence was going on and Spain helped the Americans by providing them gunpowder and other supplies.

Spain also allowed American colonies to access the port of Havana which was an important trading center and helped America economically. During this time, Spain was also preparing for war. When it was ready, it openly declared war against Britain.

Spain Openly Declares War against Britain

In 1779, Spain openly declared war against Britain and announced that it was siding with the Americans. At this point, a large number of Spanish soldiers were already present in Louisiana since the state was then under Spanish control. As soon as Spain declared, The Spanish army in Louisiana starting launching attacks against the British army in the Mississippi Valley. The Spanish army was well-equipped and very well-trained, and was able to defeat the British in a number of confrontations. In 1780, Britain launched counter-attacks against Spain in Louisiana but Spain successfully fought off these attacks.

Spanish role in helping America win

The American war of independence ended in 1783. Britain was forced to sue for peace with the American colonies and the American colonies effectively gained their formal independence. Spain played an important role in bringing this about. Spain was the second most powerful colonial power in the Americas, having a strong presence in Cuba, Mexico and Louisiana.

Using these as bases, Spain launched successful attacks against the British armies in the neighboring states and defeated these armies in most of the battles. Spain also helped American colonies economically by providing aid, supplies for war and other needed materials. As a result, Americans were able to continue the war against Britain until Britain was exhausted and had to sue for peace.

What did Spain gain from the war?

Spain had been defeated by Britain in the Seven Years’ War and it was thought that Spain was no longer strong. Spain proved this wrong by being on the winning side in the American revolutionary war. During the war, Spain was able to take back a significant part of land which Britain had previously taken from Spain.

Britain had taken Florida from Spain in 1763. In 1781, Spain was able to get back West Florida and when the war ended, Spain was also given East Florida in 1783. Spain was also able to damage British control and influence in the Caribbean, bringing the region firmly under its own control. This was important to Spain because central and Latin America was mostly under Spanish control at that time.

SPAIN: The Forgotten Alliance: Independence of the United States Paperback – August 9, 2013

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