Portuguese Restoration War
The revolution of 1640 ended the 60-year rule of Portugal by the Spanish Habsburgs. Spain was involved in the Thirty Years War until 1648 and the Franco–Spanish War until 1659, in the seventeenth century and afterwards, this period of sporadic conflict was simply known, in Portugal and elsewhere, as the Acclamation War. The war established the House of Braganza as Portugals new ruling dynasty and this ended the so-called Iberian Union. When Philip II of Portugal died, he was succeeded by Philip III, taxes on the Portuguese merchants were raised, the Portuguese nobility began to lose its influence at the Spanish Cortes, and government posts in Portugal were increasingly occupied by Spaniards. Ultimately, Philip III tried to make Portugal a Spanish province and this situation culminated in a revolution organized by the nobility and bourgeoisie, executed on 1 December 1640, sixty years after the crowning of Philip I, the first dual monarch. The plot was planned by Antão Vaz de Almada, Miguel de Almeida, the moment was well chosen, Philips troops were, at the time, fighting the Thirty Years War and facing a revolution in Catalonia which became known as the Reapers War.
By 2 December 1640, the day following the coup, John IV, the ensuing conflict with Spain brought Portugal into the Thirty Years War as, at least, a peripheral player. Immediately after assuming the Portuguese throne, João IV took several steps to strengthen his position, on 11 December 1640, a Council of War was created to organize all of the operations. Next, the created the Junta of the Frontiers to take care of the fortresses near the border, the hypothetical defense of Lisbon. A year later, in December 1641, he created a tenancy to assure that all of the fortresses would be upgraded. João IV organized the army, re-established the Military Laws of King Sebastian, after gaining several small victories, João tried to make peace quickly. In 1640, Cardinal Richelieu, the adviser to Louis XIII of France, was fully aware of the fact that France was operating under strained circumstances. In addition, Philip IV controlled large territories in Italy, where he could, at will, Spain had enjoyed a reputation as having the most formidable military force in Europe, a reputation they had gained with the introduction of the arquebus and the so-called Spanish School.
This reputation and tactic had however diminished with the Thirty Years War, the consummate statesman, decided to force Philip IV to look to his own internal problems. In order to divert the Spanish troops besieging France, Louis XIII, on the advice of Richelieu and this was done on the reasoning that a Portuguese war would drain Spanish resources and manpower. To fulfill the common interests of Portugal and France, a treaty of alliance between the two countries was concluded at Paris on 1 June 1641. The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed in 1659, under the terms of which France received the portion of Catalonia north of the Pyrenees, known as the Roussillon, most important to the Portuguese, the French recognised Philip IV of Spain as the legitimate king of Portugal. At the time of the revolution in Lisbon, the Portuguese had been at war with the Dutch for nearly forty years, Portugal was in a defensive posture throughout, and it received very little military help from Spain
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
Third Treaty of San Ildefonso
The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was a treaty between France and Spain in which Spain returned the colonial territory of Louisiana to France. The treaty was concluded on 1 October 1800 between Louis Alexandre Berthier representing France and Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo for Spain, the treaty was negotiated under some duress, as Spain was under pressure from Napoleon, although Spain did gain the Tuscany area. This treaty affirmed the earlier Treaty of Alliance signed at San Ildefonso on 19 August 1796. The French Revolution ended in Napoleons taking of executive and legislative power in his coup of 18 Brumaire on 9 November 1799, whilst France was immersed in the War of the Second Coalition. It was this alliance led to Spains entry into the war against Great Britain, leading to the loss of Trinidad and Menorca in 1798. Spains financial system was facing serious trouble, from 1780, banknotes were circulating as legal currency, Charles IV and Maria Luisa of Parma ruled Spain, with Manuel Godoy as prime minister.
One month after the takeover, Spain would hand over six 74-gun ships-of-the-line to France. Six months after, Spain would retrocede the colony of Louisiana to France—under Spanish possession since the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years War. The agreement would be kept under top secrecy—even Manuel Godoy, Charles IVs favourite and this agreement was known as Third Treaty of San Ildefonso to be distinguished from those signed in 1777 and 1796. Minister Urquijo was removed from office by the end of 1800 because of his disagreements with the Catholic clergy. On 9 February 1801, France and the Holy Roman Empire signed the Treaty of Lunéville which empowered Napoleon to force Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany to resign and leave the duchy. The duke was rewarded with the Archbishopric of Salzburg that had been secularised and transformed into the Electorate of Salzburg—of which he was appointed Prince Elector, with Tuscany dominated by Napoleonic France the way to implement territorial exchanges became open.
The final treaty was signed on 21 March 1801, by Manuel Godoy, the conditions of this new treaty renewed those of the former one, expanding them, Resignation of Ferdinand I to the Duchy of Parma, for himself and his heirs. Cession by France of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to Louis-Francis of Bourbon-Parma, recognition of Louis as King of Tuscany with French support. If there were not successors in Louiss family the rights to Tuscanys throne would go to the Spanish Royal House, cession of the vast territories of Louisiana to France. Joint Franco-Spanish indemnization to Ferdinand in exchange for his resignation to the Duchy of Parma and this new agreement was signed by Charles IV on 11 April, that same year. Even though not written in the treaty, the French delegation pledged that in case France wished to leave Louisiana, it only would be back to Spain. The new kingdom was named Etruria, after the name in ancient Roman times
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is considered to have lasted longer than an actual century. Politically, it no than 1659, with the Treaty of the Pyrenees. The last great writer of the period, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, died in 1681, the Habsburgs, both in Spain and Austria, were great patrons of art in their countries. El Escorial, the royal monastery built by King Philip II, invited the attention of some of Europes greatest architects. El Greco, another respected artist from the period, infused Spanish art with the styles of the Italian renaissance, some of Spains greatest music is regarded as having been written in the period. Spanish literature blossomed as well, most famously demonstrated in the work of Miguel de Cervantes, Spains most prolific playwright, Lope de Vega, wrote possibly as many as one thousand plays during his lifetime, of which over four hundred survive to the present day.
Spain, in the time of the Italian Renaissance, had seen few great artists come to its shores, Luis de Morales, one of the leading exponents of Spanish mannerist painting, retained a distinctly Spanish style in his work, reminiscent of medieval art. Spanish rule of Naples was important for making connections between Italian and Spanish art, with many Spanish administrators bringing Italian works back to Spain. Known for his impact in bringing the Italian Renaissance to Spain, El Greco was not Spanish. He studied the great Italian masters of his time - Titian, according to legend, he asserted that he would paint a mural that would be as good as one of Michelangelos, if one of the Italian artists murals was demolished first. El Greco quickly fell out of favor in Italy, but soon found a new home in the city of Toledo and he was influential in creating a style based on impressions and emotion, featuring elongated fingers and vibrant color and brushwork. Uniquely, his works featured faces that captured expressions of sombre attitudes and his paintings of the city of Toledo became models for a new European tradition in landscapes, and influenced the work of Dutch masters.
Spain at this time was an environment for the Venetian-trained painter. Art was flourishing in the empire and Toledo was a place to get commissions. He was born on June 6,1599, in Seville, both parents were from the minor nobility. He was the oldest of six children, diego Velázquez is widely regarded as one of Spains most important and influential artists. He was a painter for King Philip IV and found increasingly high demand for his portraits from statesmen, aristocrats
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, the infirm and childless Charles II. Charles II had ruled over a vast global empire, and the question of who would succeed him had long troubled the governments of Europe, the English, the Dutch and the Austrians formally declared war in May 1702. By 1708, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy had secured victory in the Spanish Netherlands and in Italy, France faced invasion and ruin, but Allied unity broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain and with its casualties mounting and aims diverging and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference, and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, the Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Rastatt partitioned the Spanish empire between the major and minor powers. The European balance of power was assured, in the late 1690s the declining health of King Charles II of Spain brought to a head the problem of his succession, a problem which had underlain much of European diplomacy for several decades.
The empire was in decline, but remained the largest of the European overseas empires, unlike the French crown, the Spanish crowns could all be inherited by, or through, a female in default of a male line. The next in line after Charles II, were his two sisters, Maria Theresa, the elder, and Margaret Theresa, the younger, Maria Theresa had married Louis XIV in 1660 and by him she had a son, Dauphin of France. The testament of her father, Philip IV, reiterated this waiver and bequeathed the reversion of the whole of the Spanish dominions to his younger daughter, Margaret Theresa. However the French, using in part the excuse that the dowry promised Maria Theresa was never paid, nor was it clear whether a princess could waive the rights of her unborn children. Leopold I married Margaret Theresa in 1666, at her death in 1673 she left one living heir, Maria Antonia, who in 1685 married Max Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Shortly before her death in 1692, she gave birth to a son, if he chose, Louis XIV could attempt to assert his will on Spain by force of arms, but the Nine Years War had been an immense drain on Frances resources.
To seek a solution and gain support, Louis XIV turned to his long-standing rival William of Orange. England and the Dutch Republic had their own commercial and political interests within the Spanish empire, the Maritime Powers were in a weakened state and both had reduced their forces at the conclusion of the Nine Years War. Louis XIV and William III, sought to solve the problem of the Spanish inheritance through negotiation, based on the principle of partition, to take effect after the death of Charles II. However, the bulk of the empire – most of peninsular Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish Empire was now divided between the three surviving candidates. By this new treaty Archduke Charles would receive most of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the overseas empire. For Leopold I, control of Spain and its empire was less important than Italy
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years War was a war fought between 1754 and 1763, the main conflict occurring in the seven-year period from 1756 to 1763. It involved every European great power of the time except the Ottoman Empire and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France on the other. Meanwhile, in India, the Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned herself with Prussia, in a series of political manoeuvres known as the Diplomatic Revolution. Conflict between Great Britain and France broke out in 1754–1756 when the British attacked disputed French positions in North America, rising power Prussia was struggling with Austria for dominance within and outside the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe. In 1756, the major powers switched partners, realizing that war was imminent, Prussia preemptively struck Saxony and quickly overran it.
The result caused uproar across Europe, because of Austrias alliance with France to recapture Silesia, which had been lost in a previous war, Prussia formed an alliance with Britain. Reluctantly, by following the diet, most of the states of the empire joined Austrias cause. The Anglo-Prussian alliance was joined by smaller German states, seeking to re-gain Pomerania joined the coalition, seeing its chance when virtually all of Europe opposed Prussia. Spain, bound by the Pacte de Famille, intervened on behalf of France, the Russian Empire was originally aligned with Austria, fearing Prussias ambition on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but switched sides upon the succession of Tsar Peter III in 1762. Naples and Savoy, although sided with the Franco-Spanish alliance, like Sweden, Russia concluded a separate peace with Prussia. The war ended with the Treaty of Paris between France and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Saxony and Prussia, in 1763. The Native American tribes were excluded from the settlement, a subsequent conflict, Prussia emerged as a new European great power.
Although Austria failed to retrieve the territory of Silesia from Prussia its military prowess was noted by the other powers. The involvement of Portugal and Sweden did not return them to their status as great powers. France was deprived of many of its colonies and had saddled itself with heavy war debts that its inefficient financial system could barely handle. Spain lost Florida but gained French Louisiana and regained control of its colonies, e. g. Cuba and the Philippines and Spain avenged their defeat in 1778 when the American Revolutionary War broke out, with hopes of destroying Britains dominance once and for all. The Seven Years War was perhaps the first true world war, having taken place almost 160 years before World War I and it was characterized in Europe by sieges and the arson of towns as well as open battles with heavy losses
Spanish American wars of independence
These conflicts started in 1809 with short-lived governing juntas established in Chuquisaca and Quito opposing the composition of the Supreme Central Junta of Seville. When the Central Junta fell to the French invasion, in 1810, Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War in 1898. The new republics from the abolished the formal system of racial classification and hierarchy, casta system, the Inquisition. Slavery was not abolished immediately, but ended in all of the new nations within a quarter century and mestizos replaced Spanish-born appointees in most political offices. Criollos remained at the top of a structure which retained some of its traditional features culturally. For almost a century thereafter and liberals fought to reverse or to deepen the social and political changes unleashed by those rebellions, both armies originated from Spanish colonial troops of Americas. The events in Spanish America were related to the wars of independence in former French colony of St-Domingue, Haiti, a more direct cause of the Spanish American wars of independence were the unique developments occurring within the Kingdom of Spain and its monarchy during this period.
Political independence was not necessarily the outcome of the political turmoil in Spanish America. There was little interest in outright independence and John Lynch note, it is all too easy to equate the forces of discontent or even the forces of change with the forces of revolution. Since by definition, there was no history of independence until it happened, because Spanish American independence did occur, there are a number of factors that have been identified. First, increasing control by the Crown of its overseas empire via the Bourbon Reforms of the mid-eighteenth century introduced changes to the relationship of Spanish Americans to the Crown. The language used to describe the overseas empire shifted from kingdoms with independent standing with the crown to colonies and this meant that Spanish American elites were thwarted in their expectations and ambitions by the crowns upending long-standing practices of creole access to office holding. The regalist and secularizing policies of the Bourbon monarchy were aimed at decreasing the power of the Roman Catholic Church, the crown had already expelled the Jesuits in 1767, which saw many creole members of the Society of Jesus go into permanent exile.
In the economic sphere, the sought to gain control over church revenues. In a financial crisis of 1804, the crown attempted to call in debts owed the church, shortening the repayment period meant many elites were faced with bankruptcy. Prominently in Mexico, lower clergy participated in the insurgency for independence with priests Miguel Hidalgo, in some areas—such as Cuba, Río de la Plata and New Spain—the reforms had positive effects, improving the local economy and the efficiency of the government. Other factors may include Enlightenment thinking and the examples of the Atlantic Revolutions, the Enlightenment spurred the desire for social and economic reform to spread throughout Spanish America and the Iberian Peninsula. Ideas about free trade and physiocratic economics were raised by the Enlightenment in Spain and spread to the overseas empire, the political reforms implemented and the many constitutions written both in Spain and throughout the Spanish world during the wars of independence were influenced by these factors
Spanish Constitution of 1812
The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was established on 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, Spains first national sovereign assembly, the Cortes Generales, in refuge in Cádiz during the Peninsular War. It established the principles of universal suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy and freedom of the press. This constitution, one of the most liberal of its time, was effectively Spains first, on 24 March 1814, six weeks after returning to Spain, Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and had all monuments to it torn down. The Constitution Obelisk in Saint Augustine, Florida survived, the constitution was reinstated during the Trienio Liberal, and again briefly 1836—1837 while the Progressives prepared the Constitution of 1837. The Spaniards nicknamed the Constitution La Pepa, possibly because it was adopted on Saint Josephs Day, from a Spanish point of view, the Peninsular War was a war of independence against the French Empire and the king installed by Napoleon, his brother Joseph Bonaparte.
While many in elite circles in Madrid were willing to accept Josephs rule, the war began on the night of 2 May 1808, and was immortalized by Francisco Goyas painting The Second of May 1808, known as The Charge of the Mamelukes. The Junta first met on 25 September 1808 in Aranjuez and in Seville, in any event, Floridablancas strength failed him and he died on 30 December 1808. When the Cortes convened in Cádiz in 1810, there appeared to be two possibilities for Spains political future if the French could be driven out. The first, represented especially by Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, was the restoration of the absolutist Antiguo Régimen, the origins of the Cortes did not harbor any revolutionary intentions, since the Junta saw itself simply as a continuation of the legitimate government of Spain. The opening session of the new Cortes was held on 24 September 1810 in the now known as the Real Teatro de las Cortes. Few of the most conservative voices were at Cádiz, and there was no communication with King Ferdinand.
Three basic principles were soon ratified by the Cortes, that sovereignty resides in the nation, the legitimacy of Ferdinand VII as king of Spain, and the inviolability of the deputies. Although the Cortes was not unanimous in its liberalism, the new Constitution reduced the power of the crown, the Catholic Church, the Cortes of Cádiz worked feverishly and the first written Spanish constitution was promulgated in Cádiz on 19 March 1812. The Constitution of 1812 is regarded as the document of liberalism in Spain. Suffrage, which was not determined by property qualifications, favored the position of the class in the new parliament. Repeal of traditional property restrictions gave liberals the freer economy they wanted, the first provincial government created under the Constitution was in the province of Guadalajara con Molina. Its deputation first met in the village of Anguita in April 1813, among the most debated questions during the drafting of the constitution was the status of the native and mixed-race populations in Spains possessions around the world.
Most of the provinces were represented, especially the most populous regions
A gold coin is a coin that is made mostly or entirely of gold. Traditionally, gold coins have been circulation coins, including coin-like bracteates, since recent decades, gold coins are mainly produced as bullion coins to investors and as commemorative coins to collectors. While modern gold coins are legal tender, they are not observed in financial transactions. For example, the American Gold Eagle, given a denomination of 50 USD, has a value of more than 1,000 USD. The gold reserves of banks are dominated by gold bars. Gold has been used as money for many reasons and it is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to buy and sell. Gold is easily transportable, as it has a value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities. Gold can be re-coined, divided into units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars. The density of gold is higher than most other metals, making it difficult to pass counterfeits, gold is extremely unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time.
Gold was used in commerce in the Ancient Near East since the Bronze Age, the name of king Croesus of Lydia remains associated with the invention. In 546 BC, Croesus was captured by the Persians, who adopted gold as the metal for their coins. Ancient Greek coinage contained a number of coins issued by the various city states. The Ying yuan is a gold coin minted in ancient China. Larger units such as the various talent measures were used for high value exchanges, the German gold mark was introduced in 1873 in the German Empire, replacing the various local Gulden coins of the Holy Roman Empire. Gold coins had a long period as a primary form of money. Most of the world stopped making gold coins as currency by 1933, gold-colored coins have made a comeback in many currencies. However, gold coin always refers to a coin that is made of gold, many countries continue to make legal tender gold coins, but these are primarily meant for collectors and investment purposes and are not meant for circulation. Many factors determine the value of a coin, such as its rarity, condition
War of Jenkins' Ear
The War of Jenkins Ear was a conflict between Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkins, despite stories to that effect, there is no evidence that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament. The seeds of conflict began with the separation of an ear from Jenkins following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards in 1731, the war resulted in heavy British casualties in North America. After 1742, the war was subsumed by the wider War of the Austrian Succession, peace arrived with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. This provided British traders and smugglers potential inroads into the closed markets in Spanish America. But Britain and Spain were often at war during this period, fighting one another in the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the Blockade of Porto Bello and the Anglo-Spanish War. In the Treaty of Seville, following the Anglo-Spanish War, Britain had accorded Spanish warships the right to stop British traders, over time, the Spanish became suspicious that British traders were abusing the contract and began to board ships and confiscate their cargoes.
After very strained relations between 1727 and 1732, the situation improved between 1732 and 1737, when Sir Robert Walpole supported Spain during the War of the Polish Succession. But the causes of the problems remained and, when the opposition against Walpole grew, Walpole gave in to the pressure and approved the sending of troops to the West Indies and a squadron to Gibraltar under Admiral Nicholas Haddock, provoking an immediate Spanish reaction. In response, King Philip V of Spain annulled the right and had all British ships in Spanish harbours confiscated. The Convention of Pardo, an attempt to mediate the dispute, on 14 August, Britain recalled its ambassador to Spain and officially declared war on 23 October 1739. Despite the Pacte de Famille, France remained neutral, Walpole was deeply reluctant to declare war and reportedly remarked of the jubilation in Britain they are ringing their bells, soon they will be wringing their hands. After boarding, Fandiño cut off the ear of the Rebeccas captain, Robert Jenkins.
Fandiño told Jenkins, Go, and tell your King that I will do the same, in March 1738, Jenkins was ordered to testify before Parliament, presumably to repeat his story before a committee of the House of Commons. According to some accounts, he produced the severed ear as part of his presentation, the incident was considered alongside various other cases of Spanish Depredations upon the British Subjects, and was perceived as an insult to Britains honour and a clear casus belli. The conflict was named by essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle, in 1858, one hundred, Carlyle mentioned the ear in several passages of his History of Friedrich II, most notably in Book XI, chap VI, where he refers specifically to the War of Jenkinss Ear. More than one year later, all diplomatic means having been exhausted, on 20 July, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon and a fleet of warships departed Britain, bound for the West Indies, to attack Spanish ships and possessions. Waterhouse spotted several small vessels in the port of La Guaira and decided to attack, the governor of the Province of Venezuela, Brigadier Don Gabriel de Zuloaga had prepared the port defences, and Spanish troops were well-commanded by Captain Don Francisco Saucedo
The real was a unit of currency in Spain for several centuries after the mid-14th century, but changed in value relative to other units introduced. In 1864, the real was replaced by a new escudo, by the peseta in 1868, the first real was introduced by King Pedro I of Castile in the mid 14th century at a value of 3 maravedíes. This rate of exchange increased until 1497, when the real, the famous piece of eight, known as the Spanish dollar, was issued that same year as a trade coin. It became widespread in North America and Asia, in 1566, the gold escudo was introduced, worth 16 silver reales. The piece of eight was so-called because the denomination was divided into eight silver reales. In addition to the piece of eight, which was a silver coin, other coins based on it were issued,4 reales,2 reales,1 real. During this period, Spanish trade coinage became popular in trade and commerce. In 1642, two distinct reales were created, the real de plata and the real de vellón, the exchange rate between these two coins was set at 2 reales de vellón =1 real de plata.
The maravedí was tied to the real de vellón, causing the real de plata to be worth 68 maravedíes, the gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata. The real de vellón was issued for use in Spain. The real de plata fuerte was introduced in 1737 at a value of 2 1⁄2 reales de vellón or 85 maravedíes and this real was the standard, issued as coins until the early 19th century. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata fuerte, in 1808, coins were introduced denominated in real de vellón. These coins circulated alongside real de plata fuerte and escudo coins until decimalization, Coins denominated in reales de plata were minted until 1837, whilst maravedí coins were issued until 1850. The real de vellón, now just called the real, was adopted as the unit in Spains first decimal currency. To begin with, subsidiary pieces were issued denominated in decima de real, they were denominated in céntimo de real. The real replaced the Catalan peseta in 1850, at a rate of 1 peseta =4 reales, in 1864, the real was replaced by a new escudo worth 10 reales.
This second escudo was replaced in 1868 by the peseta at a rate of 1 peseta =0.4 escudos =4 reales. Consequently, the real lived on, meaning a quarter of a peseta