Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spain and the American Revolution

Carlos III
From the Mad Monarchist:
At the time of the outbreak of rebellion in the British American colonies, Spain was under the rule of His Catholic Majesty King Carlos III, who came to the Spanish throne in 1759, already famous for his conquest of Sicily and Naples in southern Italy. He brought about a revival in Spanish fortunes with his, sometimes positive and sometimes negative, style of “enlightened absolutism”. So, he fostered greater freedom of speech, opinion and inquiry, private property rights, more freedom of religion and a greater emphasis on science and practical knowledge in education. He lowered taxes, promoted trade and business, furthered industrialization, which were good things, but he also banned bullfighting, considering it a brutal and barbaric sport, and expelled the Jesuits from Spain, partly due to accusations against them and probably influenced by a dispute he had with the Pope over his gaining of the crown of Naples and Sicily. Nonetheless, he was a devout Catholic which no one ever doubted. When war broke out in the British colonies, King Carlos III was, like King Louis XVI of France, reluctant to look favorably on the rebel colonists for fear that his own colonial subjects might follow their example but he was ultimately persuaded to join their cause. (Read more.)

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