Regnum Visigothorum

Some of the ATL Spanian colonies are potential settler colonies instead of resource extraction colonies. This should have an effect in Spanian colonization patterns.
 
Some of the ATL Spanian colonies are potential settler colonies instead of resource extraction colonies. This should have an effect in Spanian colonization patterns.
If I'm good enough dealing with this sitaution I've created, the new "colonial areas" of the different empires should affect the colonial strategies of all the European powers.
 
One question because I'm a little confused, how or exactly when was Portugal separated from Galicia?. Assuming that there was no muslim invasión of all Iberia, the split between Galicia and Portugal should be like Gallaecia and Lusitania...
 
One question because I'm a little confused, how or exactly when was Portugal separated from Galicia?. Assuming that there was no muslim invasión of all Iberia, the split between Galicia and Portugal should be like Gallaecia and Lusitania...
The independence of Portugal took place in chapter 27. The rebels had not too much support in Galicia, so they had no luck there. The Muslim invasion was confined to the Baetica.
 
30. The Reformation -1-

Francisco I de Encinas's translation of the Gospels.
30. The Reformation -1-

The defeat of Hungary at the Battle of Mohács in 1526 sent a wave of terror over Europe even if the Muslim advance in Central Europe was halted at the Siege of Vienna in 1529, followed by a counter-attack of Karl VI across the Danube river. However, by 1541, central and southern Hungary fell under Turkish control. In spite of the conquesto of Tunis in 1536, the Ottomans held the upper hand in the Mediterranean after the battle of Preveza in 1538. Francisco I counterattacked by taking Alger in 1541 and Tunis in 1545.

The turning point of Spanian history came in 1542. Francisco I had closely studied the Protestant Reformation since a man called Martin Luther had set the Empire aflame with his criticism of the Roman faith (1). After he was outlaw in the Diet of Worms (1521), a religious conflict started in the Empire, fuelled by the Peasant's Revolt. In 1545, the opening of the Council of Trent began the Counter-Reformation and the Roman cause was also supported by some of the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. In Spain it was an entirely different matter. Spain had abandoned its Arian faith for Christianism with Wilfred III's conversion in the late 10th century. However, ariniasm did not vanish, as the revolt of Chindasuith of the Baetica in the 1040s proves. The hard measures against arianism and judaism would end in the failed revolts of Valencia (1113) and the Baetica (from 1128 to 1131 there were several revolts and riots in the area) . Had not been for the delicate times of the "royal triumvirate" (1120-1186) and the following civil wars, it is quite probable that there would have been a forced emmigration of Arian and Jewish Spanians from the country.

In 1526 the translation of Erasmus' Enchiridion found avid readers not only among the Arianists, but also in the royal court, as in the cases of the archbishop of Toledo, Alonso de Fonseca y Ulloa, and the Great Inquisitor, Alonso Manrique. Apparently, Erasmus found such a big support in Spania for his attack against dogmatism and superstition, as well for his demand to return to the Gospels and his defense of the free will. Thus, when the traditionalist sector of the Spanian church counter-attacked and demanded to the king the arrest of Fonseca and Manrique in 1529, Fernando demurred and played with time. Finally, when things came to head in 1533, Francisco acted against the "heretics" and arrested them but, at the same time, defended them in Rome and had them pardoned by the Pope in 1535. Finally, when Francisco de Encinas published in 1541 his "Breve compendio de la religión cristiana" (Brief study of the Christian faith), which was a mixture of the writtings of Calvino and Luther, Rome had de Encinas excommunicated. Francisco I replied by formally declaring the "Evangelical" faith to be the state religion of Spania in 1542 and the religious chaos began.
 
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31. The Reformation -2-

31. The Reformation -2-

The Reformation in Spain was to spread quickly in the eastern and southern parts of the kingdom, with the exception of Asturias, in the north. The main proponent of the Reformation in Occitania and Catalonia was Gondisalvi, a painter born in Majorca who was the heart of the Reformation in the Ballearic islands and, from there, it expanded to the Peninsula, first to Barcelona and then to the north and west. This fast pace of conversion was caused by the anger and oppresion caused by the injustices and hierarchies in the Church already. Gondisalvi´s ideas were received favourably, especially by entrepreneurs, businessmen, and the guilds. The city council of Barcelona decided to implement his reformatory plans and to convert to Protestantism in 1524. In the following two years, profound changes took place in Barcelona. The Church was thoroughly secularised. Priests were relieved from celibacy and the decorations in the churches were reduced to a minimun. The state assumed the administration of Church properties, financing the social works and also paid the priests. Between then and 1528, Catalonia followed the example set by Barcelona. However, when faith did not work, conversion was decreed. In the province of Tarragona several towns decided for or against the Reformation until the city council of Tarragona settled the question. In the Northern parts, Occitan reformers had been preaching the new faith under Barcelonese protection since 1524, but only in 1526, the convertions began to take place in mass. However, the attempts to introduce Calvinism into Catalonia failed and his writtings were banned in Barcelona in 1535, and again in 1550. In Occitania, protestatism took a fast pace. It started in the 1530s in the Low Llenguadoc amb the preaching of Gerard Roussel and Lefevre d'Etaples, while Calvinism spread in the areas of Nimes-Usés-Alès, the Erau valley, Roergue and Montauban. In the early 1540s, it was found in the northern valleys of Navarre and in the city of Pamplona. The Catholic reaction, led by Blaise de Montluc and Pontevès-Flassancs, came close to cause a bloody conflict, that would return again with the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in France (1572). Thus, by 1550, while Catalonia, Occitania, the Ballearic Islands Valencia, Aragon, Navarre and Asturias had taken the Protestant faith, and Andalucia was slowly moving towards it, with the exception of the Royal Court and the cities of Toledo, Valladolid, Guadalajara, Sevilla and Salamanca, Catholicism remained strong in the rest of the country.

In March 1556, Francisco I named his elder son and heir Juan as his Lieutenant-General in Barcelona, but there he clashed with the local authorities, as it turned out that the prince was a staunch Catholic. Thus, in September that year, Juan became engaged with Giovanna, the daughter of the king of Naples, Alfonso II. However, he would die in Naples without having sired a male heir in 1558. Before that sad event, Francisco I had planned something that went against all the traditions of the kingdom, that is, to split the inheritance among its sons. Juan was to be the king of Spania (and his son king of Spania and Emperor of Sicily), but their brothers were to be kings in Aragon and in Andalucia but under the authority of his elder brother. Thankfully, the death of the heir crushed this plans. However, the king remained determined to go on and married Fadrique to Giovanna, the wife of his late brother, in 1559. Meawnhile, a fallout between Francisco and his heir, Fernando, took place around 1562. he had named him his Lieutenant-General in Castille to help with the reformation. However, Fernando took a very different approach to the one of his father. While Francisco had used the "Catalan way" and, when faith was not enough, decrees ordered the conversion to the new faith, Fernando was more diplomatic. As Catholicism had proved too firmly entrenched to enable it to be uprooted in Castille, he tolerated them while reinforcing the Protestant tides of the converted areas. However, he met with failure as only the old kingdom of Leon turned Protestant and formed the "Reformed Corridor" that went from Salamanca to Asturias. In Andalucia, the tide began to change around the late 1560s and the area remained staunchly Catholic. When the Counter-Reformation arrived in strenght to Spania in the 1560s, all the attempts of reconciliation were rejected, and although a Catholic counteroffensive existed in Aragon from the 1560s, it was based on persuasion, until Francisco I expelled the Jesuits in 1568.

Religion was to play a large part in the politics of the next decades, as even tolerance had its limits faced with the incompatible demands of both camps. Initially, with the Ottoman threat in the Mediterranean Sea casting its shadows and with the American expansion, Fernando II broke with his father's policy following its own, based on tolerance and reconciliation, granting the so-called Aseguranza de Castilla (legalisation to protect Catholicism in Castille) in 1571, and the Aseguranza of Andalucia (the Andalucian version) in 1572, while in Galicia and in the Basque Country he was more aggressive, which was vigorously answered by the local lords and populations, who expelled the Protestant preachers promoting reconvertion,
 
32. American settlements, European wars


32. American settlements, European wars

Francisco II
(1571-1593) oversaw the conversion of Spania to the Reformed Faith, which was based upon a mixture of Lutheran and Erasmusian principles plus the Spanian peculiarities. Even if its general "borders" had already been defined by the late 1570s, it would take still forty years until the failed attempts of conversion to the Reformed Faith ended and the Catholic reaction finally gave up. Thankfully, the religious question would not become a bloody affair as in the German Empire.

Nevertheless, the German Emperor supported the colonial expasion in America with gusto. In 1573 the first German explorers landed in the Kaspar Halbinsel (Gaspar Peninsula -1). Permanent settlement attempts in Neues Bayern in the area failed but for New Hamburg -2- and it was settled mostly by Catholic Bavarian Germans. It was to become a key harbour for the German fishing fleets and the base of several expeditions along the San Lorenzo River which had been barely explored and named by Spanian explorers -3-. The German settlers, however, had to cop with the first encounters with the Native First Nations, which were always peaceful. The beginning of the Religion Wars (1605-1641) in the Empire would soon provide scores of Bavarian settlers than ran away from their homeland and the vicious fight. Thus would led to the creation of two new cities, Bergfrieden -4- and, going south, Friedberg -5-.

To the south, Protestant settlers built Alt Langenburg -6- and, from there, they explored the Hudson River, creating smaller settlements upstream. To the west, the English were expanding from Philadelphia and moving south, where Spanian, English and French settlements were born along the Atlantic shores as Toledo, London and Paris claimed the area as their own. For pragmatic reasons, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, who had barely clung to the throne after the bloody Religion Wars, was happy to send the stubborn German Catholics in mass to the northern colonies of Neues Bayern and the recalcitrant Calvinists to Neues Boëhm -7-, where they soon came into conflict withthe English and Spanian colonies, who happily joined against their common enemy. The hostilities along with the hard weather and the resulting illnesses, decimated the Germans, who fled to join their Huguenot brethern in Venezuela, where they would mix with the Spanian Reformed colonizers.

In the end, the colonization of America, along with the religious settlement, would lead to the Seven Years War (1635-1642). Today, this war is blurred with the last stages of the German Religion Wars. From 1605 to 1614 the war had been a stalemate has neither side could defeat its enemies in a decesive way. However, the bloodbath suffered by Germany from 1617 to 1632 had sickened Catholics and Protestants alike, along with the madness of the Catholic Kaiser, Karl VI, who ended up killing his own followers, ledt to the assasination of the emperor and the coronation of Heinrich of Prussia as Kaiser Heinrich VII in 1632, something that was bitterly fought by Austria until 1635. The conversion of Heinrich to Catholicism put the Empire upside down and caused a Lutheran rising in 1638, which became mingled with Americas as the Lutheran settlers of Alt Lagenburg attacked his Catholic neighbours of Neues Bayern in 1635, thus starting the American war, as we shall see.


-1- Present day Gaspé Peninsula
-2- Present day Tadoussac
-3- Present day Saint Lawrence river
-4- Present day Quebec
-5- Present day Montreal
-6- Present day New York
-7- Present day Florida
 
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Interesting, the Franconian branch of the Hohenzollern returns to Catholicism.
Will we see an European and American map?
 
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33. The Seven Years' War (1635-1642): the European theatre.

33. The Seven Years' War (1635-1642): the European theatre.

Just as the Lutheran Alt Lagenburg settlement attacked his Catholic neighbours of Neues Bayern in 1635, Edward VII of England (II of Scotland) -1- allied with Francisco II of Spania and the Dutch Republic to declare war against Heinrich VII, the German "heretic" traitor, who was supported by "his brother in the faith", Henry III of France -2- and Hungary. The war began with a failed French expedition against the Ballearic islands, while in the continent Heinrich VII crushed Saxony to secure Silesia from Hungarian intervention and Britain send men and money to the Continent to protect Spania from a French invasion, that began in earnest in 1636, just as Gabriel Bethlem, the Protestant Hungarian Prince of Transylvania, invaded Silesia and crushed Heinrich at Görlitz. In spite of the allied support, by late 1637, the situation for Francisco II looked grim, as he had not only lost Occitania to the French, but also had Pamplona and Barcelona surrounded by the French armies led by the Cardinal-Dauphin of France. Then, in December 1635, the whole situation in Germany was reversed. First, Gabriel Bethlem devastated Heinrich's forces at the Battle of Rossbach, but then, when he had the German emperor at his mercy, he was routed by a vastly superior French force at the Battle of Leuthen. Bethlem's army, although depleted, escaped back into Bohemia and continued to be a threat to Heinrich.

This problem was compounded when the main Dutch-English army was defeated at the Battle of Breda. Then, Heinrich invaded the Dutch Republic. who had to surrender. Calculating that no further English army would be ready until 1638, Henry III moved the bulk of his forces to Spania. However, in short order, the Spanian army drove the French out of Catalonia and broke the siege of Pamplona. Maurice of Nassau, with fresh English money, reentered the war and launched a series of offensives that drove the French and Germans back across the River Rhine while Heinrich forced Brunswick-Lüneburg and Hesse-Kassel to surrender. In April 1638, the Anglo-Spanian army drove the French from Navarre and re-captured Toulouse in May before turning east and marching towards Avignon, which caused alarm in France. The arrival of French large reinforcements to the South forced Francisco to withdraw back to Occitania after defeating them outside Montpellier. Then, to his surrpise, Portugal attacked him when a Portuguese 35.000 strong army took Salamanca on August. Leaving the northern front to his son Fernando, Francisco II moved south with 45,000 men and fought the Portugese at Burgos. Both sides suffered heavy casualties –but the Portuguese withdrew. Francisco suffered several defeats in 1639. His invasion of Portugal was defeated at Porto and lost half of his army in the Battle of Bezièrs, that pained him so much that he considered abdicating at once. However, he was saved when logistical problems forced the French withdrawal, giving him time to send reinforcements and to re-group his shattered forces. A French fleet carrying reinforcements to Americas was destroyed by the English at La Rochelle and the French Mediterranean fleet remained blocked by the Spanians at Toulon.

In 1640 after Heirinch crushed Bethlem at Domstadtl and left him out of the war, the French invaded Occitania again, capturing Mondenard in March, even if they suffered a strong defeat in the Battle of Montpellier. In spite of this, the French under the Cardinal-Dauphin occupied Toulouse in October, but could not hold it for long after the defeat suffered at Lavaur in November 1640. With German reinforcements in one side and English in the other, war resumed the summer of 1641. The French stormed Albi and the Germans Montpellier. However, the two big invading armies kept having strong logistical troubles. However, they were ignored as the total collapse of Spania was considered inminent. Exhausted, Edward VII demanded Francisco to offer concession to secure preace and end the war. Then, on December 1641, Heinrich VII died and his son, Friederich II, offered a white peace to Francisco, as well pressing Henry III of France for doing the same. Determined to end the civil war in his Empire, the new (and Protestant!) emperor promulgated the Edict of Dresden (1641), which guaranteed religious liberties to Catholics, closing for good German Wars of Religion. This turn of events allowed Francsico to muster a large army and to concentrate it against the French, recovering Culuzac and Monestiès. With the war reduced to a stalemate in Europe by 1642 and with Spania and France nearly out of money, Francisco began to think that figthing on would only benefit England, who by then was centered in the American front, an idea that Henry III was also considering. In addition to this, with his navy blocked, the French king could not defend his American colonial Empire. To avoid this, Edward VII now prepared to send troops into Spania and launched a devastating naval attack against Cherbourg (July 1642), the first step to invade Brittany. However, it was too late. The war ended in December 1642 by the Treaty of Paris, which involved a complex series of land exchanges, as we shall see.



-1- OTL Henry, son of James VI. The change of names releases such a wild butterflies that not only save his life in 1612 but made him a deeply Protestant king.
-2- TTL Francis II (1544-1587) had two children (but not with Mary of Scotland, who messed things somewhere else)
  • Charles IX, born 19 January 1565
  • Elizabeth of France, born 2 April 1567
and TTL Charles IX (1565-1611) had three children:
  • Claude of France, born 12 November 1590
  • Louis, born 3 February 1591, died 24 October 1592
  • Henry III, born 27 June 1594
 
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34. The Seven Years' War (1635-1642): the American theatre and the peace treaty.

34. The Seven Years' War (1635-1642): the American theatre and the peace treaty.

While Europe saw a continued figthing all over the continent, the colonies in America were reduced to temporary skirmishing and naval and land raids. The war there began, as we have already seen, when the Lutheran Alt Lagenburg settlement attacked his Catholic neighbours of Neues Bayern in 1635, For most of that year, the figthing was reduced to the raids than one settlement launched against their neighbouring enemies. The arrival of small reinforcements from Europe led to a temporary supremacy of one power over its enemy, until the next troops and weapons landed in America and the tide turned. Thus was the pace of events from 1635 to 1636 as the raids took place all over the Atlantic coast. In that time, the natives refused to take sides and just watched with amazement how the events unfold by themselves.

Even with the arrival of some fresh troops, weapons and a few ships did not change too much the course of events. The Wabanaki Confederacy launched an assault against
New Hamburg, which held in spite the numerical superiority of the attackers. From then on, the Germans settlers of the area would be always on the verge of being annhilated and only their few guns and arquebuses saved the day for they. This would change, however, when scores of German Catholics arrived to Neues Bayern from 1637 to 1639. It was then when, in 1640, they created the "Free Republic of Kebek" (from the Algonquin word kébec ), breaking with the "Protestant" Empire, To the south, English and Spanians fought viciously the French, who used the geography of Florida and Louisiana in their favour. In the end, numbers prevailed and they were expelled from Florida, but they were able to held in Louisiana until the war ended.

In Central America, the war was reduced to naval raids. The exception was the French Armada that attacked the British colony of Cuba in 1639. As the attack failed in the face of the strong defences of Kingstown -1-, the French ships withdrew to Florida, but as they were sailing to their heavens there, a major hurricane hit them. Just a few ships returned safely to Florida, where they remained blocked until the colony fell in British hands in 1641.

The Treaty of Paris (1642) that ended the war also finished the colonial rivalries in America and marked its final partition among the European powers. The land over lake Michigani (from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water" -2-) was divided evenly between the German and the Spanian Empires. The former received the eastern lands and the latter the western ones. However, as the German Emperor had no interest in creating a "Catholic Empire" in North America, only a small influx of Catholic Germans would settle in the Republik Freies Kebec. Eventually Spania would sell their Northern coastal settlements to England in the late 17th century. The agreement over the remant colonies was easily settled by Toledo and London. The Treaty of Paris divided the American continent along the Parallel 36th North and the 15th Parallel South. The lands to the north of the former would belong to England and the ones to the south to Spain, but for the British Florida and the French Lousiana; the lands to the north of the latter would belong to Spain and the ones to the south to England but for the French Venezuela and a few Dutch settlements (Pará River).


-1- Present day La Habana
-2- Present day Lake Michigan.
 
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35. From the Seven Year's War (1635-1642) to the French Revolution (1699-1704) New

Charles IX of France

35. From the Seven Year's War (1635-1642) to the French Revolution (1699-1704)

Fernando VII
(1593-1639), the son of Francisco II, was the soul behind the Spanian war effort during the Seven Years' War, but his death in 1639 had not been a terrible disaster as his heir, Fernando VIII (1639-1667) was aware of his own limitations and trusted the kingdom in the hands of capable "validos" as Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 6th Duke of Alba. Aside from this and giving a heir to the Empire, Fernando VIII did little else for the good of his subjects. Thankfully for him, Spania emerged from the war as a great power whose importance could no longer be challenged. His personal reputation was enormously enhanced -even if his good fortune was his good generals and not his military skills, as well as the English support.

However, all this was forgotten and the memory of his energy and his military "genius" (he had enough brain to be able to say the last word in the right moment and in the right way) remained, so, during his time, he was considered, by friends and foe alike, as a kind of modern Alexander the Great To compensate for his lack of military skills, Fernando was lucky. Thankfully for him and for his country, his mere reputation was fearful enough to keep Spania out of most wars. In adittion to this, Spania was blessed by two facts: first, France was exhausted and broke after the war. Second, neither the French king nor his ministers saw it that way.

Thus, Spania had half a century of peace. The quiet but relentless Spanian expansion in America, the exploration of the African coast that led to the creation of small colonies along its Atlantic coast (San Luis -1- (1648), San Fernando -2- (1649)) were to fill the coffin of the Empire. However, the troubles with the Ashantis was to stop for a few years the African exploration (which led to Spain being overtaken by English, Germans, Frenchs and the Dutch), until it was resumed again, with Alfonso VI (1667-1690), who repeated his father's way and hardly bothered about ruling a country but just to reap the harvest. The African exploration was to lead to a short war with Portugal that gave two colonies to Spain, Fernando Poo and Santo Tomás. However, the American gold kept the attention of both the king and his ministers and, by the 1680s, the African adventure was abandoned.

Half a century of peace had done wonders for Spanian glory, for her treasury and for her pride, but little for her army. Thus, when France erupted in revolution in 1694, both king Alfonso VII (1690-1701), his ministers, his generals and his people felt as flabbergasted as appalled.

It all began a few years earlier, in 1683 when the General States refused to accept the new taxes proposed by the ministers of king Louis XIV, who, in rage, dissmissed the General States and ruled without even bothering to ask his ministers for advice. However, things came to a head (money, again), in 1694, but with a twist. This time, when Louis XIV dimissed the General States, they refused to obey and remained "in session" for the next thirteen months, when the king tried to arrest the main leaders of the States (January 1694). Thus, revolt explode. The people of Paris, angered at the news of the king's soldiers marching towards the Parliament, stormed the Bastille and armed themselves, ready to fight the royal army. However, the soldiers refused to shoot against the revolters and peace followed until November, when the king mustered the army again and move to crush the States, who had raised an army of their owen. War ensued.

By May 1699, Louis XIV was on the ropes. Then, Prussia joined the war on his side followed by the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Ireland on the next year. In spite of the help, Louis XIV had to surrender and the victorious General States managed to win a white peace that returned things to the status quo ante bellum... but for the role of the king. Now France was a parlamentarian monarchy, like the British one. But Louis did not like that. Not a bit. Thus the war resumed in 1701, with Austria, Prussia, the United Kingdom, Russia and Spain supporting Louis. Amazingly, the General States' forces held their ground and, by January 1702, the royal armies had been defeated and Louis XIV found himself exiled to Austria. Monarchy returned to France two years later, when Louis XIV abdicated on his son and Louis XV "The Beloved" returned to Paris in 1704.

In 1732 Louis "The Beloved" was Louis "The Traitor" and had to fled to the United Kingdom when France rose again in arms and a foreign invader army entered France, with a prince at its head, a prince that would become king of France.

He was Carlos, Infante of Spain, second son of María Teresa, heir to the throne, grandson of Francisco II (1711-1739), who was the grandson of Alfonso VII. Now France had a Spanian king, Charles IX, with a small trace of Visigothic blood in him.

-1- Present Day Dakar
-2- Present Day Conakry
 
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In case anyone wonders, no, this is not a revenge of this foolish writter of yours. I have not turned the tables and got a War of French Succession in revenge for the OTL Anjou king of Spain. I swear it. I began to write and the events just ran they course... and I suddenly found myself in need of a prince.

You know me, I couldn''t resist the temptation...
 
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36. The American Independence War (1) New

Bernardo de Gálvez at the Siege of Pensacola
by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau
36. The American Independence War (1)

Francisco II
(1711-1739) left a powerful Spain to her daughter María Teresa (1739-1755) but also with mighty enemies. Having a Spanian king in France caused great worry to the United Kingdom. María Teresa, however, was a determined and stubborn lady and was determined not to allow herself to be cajolled by any foreign power. A small show of his character is seen in her wedding to Manuel Miguel Osorio y Spínola, Duke of Sesto, from one of the oldest and more powerful families of the Spanian nobility, who, in spite of his blood, had no saying in the court. In fact, even his sons were to carry the surname of her mother first and of his father second. Her uneventful kingship featured the enrichment of the royal treasury with the American gold but, aside from that, little else. However, her lack of interest in foreign matters would cause great troubles to her son.

Fernando VIII (1755-1778) was more interested in arts than in politics, which was to be a source of considerable worries to his advisors as in 1756 the colonial division of North America led to a short war with the United Kingdom (1761-1763), that ended with the treaty of Barcelona. Cuba, that had been taken by the Spanians in 1761, was returned to the British, who gave back Manila to France. This war caused a great strain in the Anglo-Portuguese relations as Lisbon was really worried by the threat of a Spanian invasion that never came and angered by the lack of reinforcements of a pressed United Kingdom that had no troops to spare in Europe. Fernando VIII also attempted to establish diplomatic relations with Prussia and Russia, which led to an alliance with St. Petersburg in 1774 when both Empires allied against the British attempts to control of the Mediterranean Sea. Then, the American War of Independence turned the world upside down.

The British Colonies in America revolted in 1776, causing a great distress to Fernando and his ministers, who were worried that the example of the British rebels could cause troubles in the Spanian colonies, as it happened in 1779. When the British forces were crushed in Saratoga in 1777, Fernando VIII offered his help to the United Kingdom and a fleet with Spanian troops departed to America. As they were on the way, Virginia revolted in November of that year. While the northern colony was soon lost, the forces of Fernando VIII managed to cling to the Carolinas, Florida and Fernandina (1). Then, in 1778, Charles X of France, cousin of the Spanian king, considered joining the war in the Patriots's side, while at the same time trying to keep good relations with Spania and denying any support to the Southerner Patriots. In the end, after much hesitation, Charles X authorized to sell gunpowder and ammunition to the Americans under the veil of the French company Rodrigue Hortalez et Compagnie. The aid given by France, much of which passed through the neutral Dutch West Indies port of Sint Eustatius. French ports accommodated American ships, including privateers and Continental Navy warships, that acted against British merchant ships, but his caused troubles to no end when those privateers also attacked Spanian ships. France provided significant economic aid, either as donations or loans, and also offered technical assistance, granting some of its military strategists "vacations" so they could assist American troops. To make matters worse fo the French king, Austria asked for help against Prussia in the War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779), but Charles hesitated too and, in the end, declined to help Austria, causing the relationship with Austria to turn sour.


(1) Present day Georgia
 
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