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Old August 20th, 2015, 10:02 AM   #1

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Spain tries to keep colonies


Okay under what circumstances could Spain keep her colonies in the Americas and Philippines? I was thinking that the Napoleonic invasion might have weakened the influence of Spain in its colonies but it was only the killing blow. Spain had been mismanaging its colonies for a long time. Would they be able to hold their colonies for a longer time and eventually create some sort of Spanish Commonwealth like the British did? What would it take for this to happen?
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Old August 21st, 2015, 09:51 AM   #2

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It was inevitable for some time. Once the Dutch, English and French became more prominent colonialists, Spain had imported much gold/silver, and had severe economic problems. Also, the VOC, john company and the Royal African Company saw a new mode of colonialism that enabled them to capture and outcompete Spanish colonies. Spain gave persons licences to capture and conquer (like Pizarro), whilst the VOC and John Company were actual organisations with quasi-nation state powers. Google, Nissan, HSBC or BNP Paribas cannot own sovereign land, or declare war, or raise/maintain armies.

Once the Spanish economy tanked, and concurrent emergence of the Netherlands and England as the dominant European powers in the 17th century (impressive for England given its constitutional upheavals then), Spain never could have caught up. I think during the 18th to the 20th centuries, it was more a case of national prestige, it couldn't harness its colonies to the extent the UK did, or France or Germany did.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 11:26 AM   #3

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Not only that, but the Monroe Doctrine would eventually caught up with the Spanish colonies.

The US would still have craved Texas, California, and the other territories, whether they belonged to Mexico or Spain.

In any case the Spanish-American war would have been fought 50 years earlier.
Or perhaps I should call it the First Spanish-American war.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 12:06 PM   #4
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Without the Bourbon Reforms, the American colonies would probably have been content to remain Spanish. Most of the Criollos didn't want independence, they just wanted to be left alone. Benign indifference from Spain would have suited them perfectly.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 01:29 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by delta1 View Post
Without the Bourbon Reforms, the American colonies would probably have been content to remain Spanish. Most of the Criollos didn't want independence, they just wanted to be left alone. Benign indifference from Spain would have suited them perfectly.
Exactly which Bourbon reforms are you talking about here, though?
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Old August 24th, 2015, 05:09 PM   #6
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Exactly which Bourbon reforms are you talking about here, though?
These ones - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_Reforms
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Old August 28th, 2015, 04:37 AM   #7

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As far as I know Spain DID try and keep all her colonies. Unsuccessfully in the most part. Except for Equatorial Guinea and, having read about that quite a bit, no one else would want it.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 12:51 PM   #8

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Thanks.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 10:39 PM   #9
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Spain failed to keep it's colonies because it's troops mutinied against being sent to the New World to retake them. And the British helped out via Admiral Cochrane transporting Gen. Jose de San Martin's troops from Chile to Peru.
Spain might have been able to hang onto part of it's colonies by cutting deals with other countries selling territories already in rebel hands so that the nation getting them would stop the rebels from going further. The US in this case might well have been coopted by selling Mexico up to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in return for restraining Iturbite and allowing Spain to retain Chiapas, Yucatan and Central America. And possibly also selling the US Venezuela after Bolivar took it before he got to Colombia. While trading La Plata to Portugal (Brazil did not become independent until 1823) in return for the Amazon and Belem, which would give Spain a direct route to the back side of Peru and Ecuador by steamboat. Perhaps getting Mozambique and Portuguese Timor (added to Phillipines) as part of the deal. While maybe the UK gets Chile and Patagonia as colonies. Thus retaining Peru, which was not revolting on it's own as well. Or maybe trade Venezuela to the Netherlands in return for Makassar and Kupang and Ambon for a greatly expanded Philippines. Spanish troops might not mutiny if they were going places that WEREN"T rebelling.
The British would have had a much harder time insisting on Latin American independence and a free hand for Bolivar and San Martin if they were alone and allies like Portugal (which would get Buenos Aires and Paraguay and be able to open up the Mato Grosso to settlement and cotton growing) and Netherlands and the United States. Monroe Doctrine would be traded for more land to settle--all the way to the Pacific and Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Spain could have done quite a bit with those colonies in terms of growing sugar cane and cotton, judging by the way it developed Cuba and Philippines in the 19th Century
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Old August 30th, 2015, 06:49 AM   #10

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While trading La Plata to Portugal (Brazil did not become independent until 1823) in return for the Amazon and Belem, which would give Spain a direct route to the back side of Peru and Ecuador by steamboat. Perhaps getting Mozambique and Portuguese Timor (added to Phillipines) as part of the deal.
Brasil became independent in 1822, Portugual invaded and conquered Uruguay in 1817 when they heard that Spain would try to regain their colonies by these times Spain dont controlled plata, Portugual had more control on this region than Spain, now on the amazon this region was considered strategic area and Portugual had almost total monopoly in this woods, sugar spice, and that was the most loyal region to portugual they would not trade it to Spain and if they did the Brazil would become independent faster spaniards were hated here, and the Portuguese colonial army was 90% composed of Brazilians.

Last edited by Tairusiano; August 30th, 2015 at 06:54 AM.
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