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Rise of the Spanish Empire 4 | Imperio español | España
Ingres English by Finberg, A. In Homespun English by Nesbit, E. Knox's Country English by Somerville, E. In which are particularly considered population, agriculture, trade, industry, money, coin, interest, circulation, banks, exchange, public credit, and taxes English by Steuart, James, Sir The Inquisition A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church English by Conway, Bertrand L.
Erster Band. Zweiter Band. Australische Skizzen. Insidekick English by Bone, Jesse F. Michelson, B. English by Michelson, B. October, A Treatise. This naval war took on a global dimension with actions in the Caribbean and the Far East, notably around the Philippines. Spain's response to its problems included the encouragement of privateers based in the Spanish Netherlands and known from their main base as Dunkirkers , who preyed on Dutch merchant ships and fishing trawlers.
At the Battle of Lepanto , the Holy League, formed by Spain, Venice, the Papal States and other Christian allies, inflicted a great defeat on the Ottoman Navy, stopping Muslim forces from gaining uncontested control of the Mediterranean. In the s, the conflict in the Netherlands drew England into war with Spain , creating a further menace to Spanish shipping. The effort to neutralise this threat led to a disastrous attempt to invade England in This defeat led to a reform of fleet operations.
The navy at this time was not a single operation but consisted of various fleets, made up mainly of armed merchantmen with escorts of royal ships. The Armada fiasco marked a turning point in naval warfare, where gunnery was now more important than ramming and boarding and so Spanish ships were equipped with purpose built naval guns.
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During the s, the expansion of these fleets allowed a great increase in the overseas trade and massive increase in the importation of luxuries and silver. Nevertheless, inadequate port defences allowed an Anglo-Dutch force to raid Cadiz in , and though unsuccessful in its objective of capturing the silver from the just returned convoy, was able to inflict great damage upon the city.
Port defences at Cadiz were upgraded and all attempts to repeat the attack in the following centuries would fail. They were able to capture many enemy ships, merchant and military, in the early decades of the 17th century and provide military supplies to Spanish armies in France and the Low Countries and to Irish rebels in Ireland. By the middle of the 17th century, Spain had been drained by the vast strains of the Thirty Years' and related wars and began to slip into a slow decline.
During the middle to late decades of the century, the Dutch, English and French were able to take advantage of Spain's shrinking, run-down and increasingly underequipped fleets.
Military priorities in continental Europe meant that naval affairs were increasingly neglected. The Dutch took control of the smaller islands of the Caribbean , while England conquered Jamaica and France the western part of Santo Domingo. These territories became bases for raids on Spanish New World ports and shipping by pirates and privateers.
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The Spanish concentrated their efforts in keeping the most important islands, such as Cuba , Puerto Rico and the majority of Santo Domingo, while the system of treasure fleets , despite being greatly diminished, was rarely defeated in safely conveying its freight of silver and Asian luxuries across the Atlantic to Europe. Only two such convoys were ever lost to enemy action with their cargo, one to a Dutch fleet in and another to an English fleet in A third convoy was destroyed at anchor by another English attack in , but it had already unloaded its treasure.
By the time of the wars of the Grand Alliance and the Spanish Succession , the Habsburg regime had decided that it was more cost effective to rely on allied fleets, Anglo-Dutch and French respectively, than to invest in its own fleets. The War of the Spanish Succession arose after the establishment on the Spanish throne of a House of Bourbon king, following the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg line.
The internal division between supporters of a Habsburg and those of a Bourbon king led to a civil war and ultimately to the loss of Sicily, Sardinia, Menorca and Gibraltar. Menorca was ultimately surrendered to Spain years later. Attempting to reverse the losses of the previous war, in the War of the Quadruple Alliance —20 the Spanish navy successfully convoyed armies to invade Sicily and Sardinia, but the escort fleet was destroyed by the British in the Battle of Cape Passaro and the Spanish invasion army was defeated in Italy by the Austrians.
A major program to renovate and reorganise the run-down navy was begun. Following the war of Quadruple Alliance, a program of rigorous standardization was introduced in ships, operations, and administration. Given the needs of its empire, Spanish warship designs tended to be more orientated towards long-range escort and patrol duties than for battle. A major reform of the Spanish navy was initiated, updating its ships and administration, which was helped by French and Italian experts, although Spaniards, most notably Antonio Castaneta , soon rose to prominence in this work, which made Spain a leader in warship design and quality again, as was demonstrated by ships like the Princesa.
A major naval yard was established at Havana , enabling the navy to maintain a permanent force in the Americas for the defence of the colonies and the suppression of piracy and smuggling. During the War of the Polish Succession —38 , a renewed attempt to regain the lost Italian territories for the Bourbon dynasty was successful; with the French as allies and the British and Dutch neutral, Spain launched a campaign by sea and retook Sicily and southern Italy from Austria.
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In the War of Jenkins' Ear , the navy showed it was able to maintain communications with the American colonies and resupply Spanish forces in Italy in the face of British naval opposition. The navy played an important part in the decisive Battle of Cartagena de Indias in modern-day Colombia , where a massive British invasion fleet and army were defeated by a smaller Spanish force commanded by able strategist Blas de Lezo.
This Spanish victory prolonged Spain's supremacy in the Americas until the early 19th century. The program of naval renovation was continued and by the s the Spanish navy had outstripped the Dutch to become the third most powerful in the world, behind only those of Britain and France. Joining France against Britain near the end of the Seven Years' War —63 , the navy failed to prevent the British capturing Havana , during which the Spanish squadron present was also captured.
In the American War of Independence —83 , the Spanish navy was essential to the establishment, in combination with the French and Dutch navies, of a numerical advantage that stretched British naval resources. They played a vital role, along with the French and Dutch, in maintaining military supplies to the American rebels.
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The navy also played a key role in the Spanish army led operations that defeated the British in Florida. The bulk of the purely naval combat on the allied side fell to the French navy, although Spain achieved lucrative successes with the capture of two great British convoys meant for the resupply of British forces and loyalists in North America.
Joint operations with France resulted in the capture of Menorca but failed in the siege of Gibraltar. Having initially opposed France in the French Revolutionary Wars — , Spain changed sides in , but defeat by the British a few months later in the Battle of Cape St Vincent and Trinidad was followed by the blockade of the main Spanish fleet in Cadiz. The run down of naval operations had as much to do with the confused political situation in Spain as it had to do with the blockade.
The British blockade of Spain's ports was of limited success and an attempt to attack Cadiz was defeated; ships on special missions and convoys successfully evaded the Cadiz blockade and other ports continued to operate with little difficulty, but the main battle fleets were largely inactive.
The blockade was lifted with the Peace of Amiens The war recommenced in and ended in when the Spain and the United Kingdom became allied against Napoleon. As in the first part, Cadiz was blockaded and Spanish naval activity was minimal. The most notable event was Spanish involvement in the Battle of Trafalgar under French leadership.
This resulted in the Spanish navy losing eleven ships-of-the-line or over a quarter of its line-of-battle ships.
After Spain became allied with the United Kingdom in in its war of independence , the Spanish navy joined the war effort against Napoleon. The s saw the loss of most of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. With the empire greatly reduced in size and Spain divided and unstable after its own war of independence, the navy lost its importance and shrank greatly. The first new steam-driven vessels were purchased from Mexico in These included two iron-clad frigates, the Guadalupe and the Moctezuma, acquired from the UK in , and a third vessel delivered in However, in the s and s, particularly under the prime-ministership of General O'Donnell , significant investments were made in the Spanish naval squadrons of the Pacific.
A new steam-powered naval squadron sailed around the Pacific escorting a Spanish scientific expedition and unfortunately became entangled in what has been billed the First War of the Pacific from to During the conflict, the Spanish massed a fleet of 15 vessels to combat the combined navies of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador.
The s saw the Spanish Navy gain several armored cruisers —important for maintaining connection with the Spanish Empire 's remaining colonies—including the Emperador Carlos V.
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Each division was composed of ironclads, in addition to auxiliary squadrons for defense of the Spanish coastline. That year the Armada consisted of one battleship, eight cruisers of the first class, six of the second class, and nine of the third class, as well as 38 torpedo craft.
In the war between Britain and Spain seemed imminent after the Nootka Crisis.