Cover image for Spain and the independence of the United States : an intrinsic gift
Spain and the independence of the United States : an intrinsic gift
Chavez, Thomas E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 286 pages, 31 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
From defeat-- and victory, to 1777 -- Posturing early: the Spanish lakes and South America, from 1776 -- Independence and the common foe -- Floridablanca and the policy of patience -- Duplicity in favor of the Americans, 1777 -- Antebellum anxiety, 1777-1779 -- Illinois to Guatemala: a benevolent neutrality and preparation, 1778-1779 -- Negotiations and the Spanish declaration of war -- European allies, 1779-1783 -- Central America: an integral defense, 1779-1783 -- The Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast: casting the dice -- A costly blow to British prestige, 1780-1781 -- Yorktown, the Bahamas, and peace, 1781-1783 -- Conclusions and epilogue.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E269.S63 C47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The role of Spain in the birth of the United States is a little known and little understood aspect of US independence. Through actual fighting, provision of supplies, and money, Spain helped the young British colonies to succeed in becoming an independent nation. Soldiers were recruited from all over the Spanish empire, from Spain itself and from throughout Spanish America. Many died fighting British soldiers and their allies in Central America, the Caribbean, along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Louis and as far north as Michigan, along the Gulf Coast to Mobile and Pensacola, as well as in Europe. Based on primary research in the archives of Spain, this book is about United States history at its very inception, placing the war in its broadest international context. In short, the information in this book should provide a clearer understanding of the independence of the United States, correct a longstanding omission in its history, and enrich its patrimony. It will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the Revolutionary War and in Spain's role in the development of the Americas.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although Latin American historians know that Spain participated as an ally of France in the US War of Independence, surveys of Latin American history scarcely mention the fact, and even John Lynch's Bourbon Spain 1700-1808 (1989) devotes but two pages to Spain's involvement in both the European and American theatres of the war. Historian Chavez (National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque) fills this void with a detailed examination that focuses on Spanish diplomacy related to the war, the country's objectives in Europe and the Americas, and its military and economic contributions to the success of the American Revolution. He argues forcefully that Spanish military assistance, supplies, and money were critical, if not indispensable, to the colonists' victory. Hispanics can be justifiably proud of their contribution to this success. Based on archival materials in Spain and the US as well as printed primary and numerous secondary sources, this volume deserves reading by historians of late-18th-century Spain, Spanish America, and the American Revolution. A useful acquisition for most college and university libraries. M. A. Burkholder University of Missouri--St. Louis