Spain’s American Empire

Alejandro O’Reilly (1722, Dublin, Ireland – March 23, 1794, Bonete, Spain (English: Alexander O’Reilly), was a military reformer and Inspector-General of Infantry for the Spanish Empire in the second half of the 18th century. O’Reilly served as the second Spanish governor of colonial Louisiana, being the first Spanish official to actually exercise power in the […]

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The End of Granada II

In the autumn of 1491 the brazen presence of Santa Fe, with its estimated army of 80,000 men, was a huge psychological blow to the Granadans, as it proclaimed the unflagging determination of the enemy to overpower them. The Nubdhat gives us the Arab perspective on what was happening at this time. The author describes […]

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The Spanish Conquest of Mexico

To the victor go not only the spoils, as the old saw would have it, but also the opportunity to tell the story of a victory without fear of contradiction. The Spaniards and generations of historians, including even the renowned William Prescott, have presented the Conquest of Mexico by a handful of brave and resourceful […]

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Miracle of Empel

Interpretation of the Battle of Empel by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. The Battle of Empel was a decisive battle. The Spanish force was decimated and backed onto a mountain without food and their fate seemed to be left to the enemy’s whims. The die appeared to be cast for the soldiers of the Spanish […]

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Miracle of Empel

Interpretation of the Battle of Empel by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. The Battle of Empel was a decisive battle. The Spanish force was decimated and backed onto a mountain without food and their fate seemed to be left to the enemy’s whims. The die appeared to be cast for the soldiers of the Spanish […]

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Spain in the Thirty Years’ War

The Surrender of Breda by Velázquez, painted by order of King Philip IV of Spain, 1635, five years after the loyal Ambrosio Spínola died as Governor of Milan. Spinola magnanimously raises the surrendering governor of Breda. Museum of Prado, Madrid, Spain. As the Twelve Years’ Truce approached its end, it became obvious that the Spanish […]

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Imperial Spain I

An elderly Karl V (also known as Don Carlos I of Spain), ruler of the Holy Roman Empire Carlos I of Spain is better known as Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Of the Habsburg dynasty, he was born in 1500 in Ghent, Flanders, of today’s Belgium. His advent to the Spanish throne was the unforeseen […]

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Imperial Spain II

Battle of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571, by Paolo Veronese In 1555 the Turks seized two of Spain’s North African strongholds, Tripoli and Bona. In 1559, Philip permitted his viceroy of Sicily and the Knights of Malta to attempt the recovery of Tripoli. They failed and suffered heavy losses in men and shipping. In 1562 […]

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Spain’s Eighteenth Century

Philip V (Spanish: Felipe; 19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746) was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to 14 January 1724, and again from 6 September 1724 to his death in 1746. Philip instigated many important reforms in Spain, most especially the centralization of power of the monarchy and the suppression of regional […]

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Africa Colonial Wars 1919–1939 Part I

Just as Africans were taking their first, tentative steps towards nationhood and independence, Spain and Italy launched what turned out to be the last large-scale wars of conquest on the continent, in Morocco and Abyssinia. Both nations were driven by greed and historic grievances which alleged that their legitimate imperial ambitions had been frustrated or […]

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