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date: 15 November 2018

Spanish Diplomacy in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions

Summary and Keywords

Spain entered the Age of Atlantic Revolutions (1775–1825) motivated by a desire to re-establish its traditional status as a major European power, a position that its Habsburg monarchs gradually had relinquished over the course of the 17th century and that was lost in dramatic fashion during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1713). Over the first six decades of the 18th century, the newly installed Bourbon dynasty launched a series of administrative, military, clerical, and economic reforms designed to spark and then protect an imperial revival. As a regular participant in the colonial wars of the period, the Spanish crown relied heavily on military strength to signify its renewed standing vis-à-vis its international adversaries. Any gains won by force of arms also needed to be confirmed by treaty and reinforced by positive peacetime relationships with these same rivals. As a result, an assertive diplomacy played an important role in promoting Spanish interests during a tumultuous era that began with great hopes for the restoration of Spain’s historic preeminence in the Atlantic World but ended with the collapse of its American empire.

Keywords: Spain, diplomacy, Bourbon reforms, Atlantic revolutions, Napoleon Bonaparte, France, family compact, Manuel Godoy

The Spanish Practice of Diplomacy

By the 1700s, the fundamental components of modern diplomacy, including a resident ambassador and permanent missions in foreign capitals, had become tried and trusted instruments utilized by the Great Powers of Europe in their ongoing battles for geopolitical dominance. Although these practices evolved as a means to resolve the multiple political, commercial, and military conflicts among Italian city-states during the Renaissance, the first European nation-state to standardize the logic and institutions of diplomacy as a means of projecting international power was, arguably, Spain. Although King Ferdinand II (1479–1516) proved adept in the use of military force as an instrument of foreign policy, the network of resident ambassadors that he cultivated and then bequeathed to his grandson, Charles V (1516–1556), was also critical to the rise of Spain to the front ranks of European powers in the early 1500s.1

If, as the Prussian officer and military strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously declared in 1832, war “is the continuation of politics by other means,” imperial Spain appeared to anticipate this dictum by engaging in politics through warfare for much of the early modern period. Yet, its rulers could not always depend on the feared tercios to protect and promote Spanish interests on the international stage. Instead, the crown constructed both a durable institutional foundation and a flexible private system for the management of diplomacy. The preeminent authority within the model of government-by-committee favored by the Habsburgs was the Council of State, which comprised senior noblemen, including high-ranking military officers and church officials, who claimed responsibility over imperial policy. In practice, both Charles V and Philip II (1556–1598) relied heavily on personal advisers to make strategic decisions concerning foreign affairs. By the 17th century, the last Habsburg kings placed wide-ranging power in the hands of a series of favorites (validos or privados), most notably, the Count-Duke of Olivares, who served Philip IV (1621–1665) for the first two decades of his reign. As the term “favorite” implies, these statesmen depended on their personal relationships with the monarch for their authority and were under no obligation to follow the advice of the conciliar bureaucracy.2

In this context, one of the most important consequences of the arrival in Spain of the Bourbon dynasty was the concomitant shift toward ministerial government and by extension the gradual professionalization of the diplomatic service. The bureaucratic reforms that began under Philip V (1700–1746) transformed and revitalized all the old Habsburg councils, none more so than the heretofore underutilized Council of State. By 1721, the Bourbons had confirmed and consolidated five secretarías: State, War, Grace and Justice, Finance, and Navy and the Indies. A minister headed each of these separate branches of government, though one person could (and often did) hold multiple portfolios. As before, State claimed responsibility over the direction of imperial affairs and the implementation of foreign policy. Now the secretary of state wielded effective power and had emerged as the preeminent minister of the crown by the second half of the century. This ministerial model of governance remained in place through the 1700s.3

By the late 1700s, to facilitate its foreign policy, Spain utilized the three categories of diplomatic representation that were widely recognized by the international community. An embassy headed by an accredited ambassador or an ambassador extraordinary held the highest status. Paris, London, and Vienna were the most coveted postings at this level, closely followed by Lisbon, Turin, and Venice. The second-ranking mission was the legation with an accredited minister, a minister plenipotentiary, or a minister extraordinary. In this category were included such major and minor capitals as St. Petersburg, Naples, Florence, Parma, Rome, and Istanbul. Finally, there was the residence. This lesser post, usually entrusted to a resident or a chargé d’affaires en titre, was commonly found, for example, among the smaller German states. Absent a formally accredited diplomat of higher status, a temporary head-of-mission, known as a chargé d’affaires ad interim, might serve. Regardless of rank, all Spanish diplomats were expected to enable direct government-to-government communication, preserve good relations with the host country, and represent the crown well among other members of the diplomatic community. Of course, rank did matter. Only accredited ambassadors or ministers had the authority to sign treaties or even negotiate directly with a foreign head of state on behalf of the king of Spain.4

By the reign of Charles III (1759–1788), these instruments of Spanish diplomacy were firmly in the hands of the secretaría de estado. Although progress was haphazard at best, this institution began to reflect the characteristics of a modern bureaucracy as it increasingly prioritized merit-based appointments alongside its long-standing affinity for diplomats of high social status. The first major blow against the courtesans, soldiers, and clerics who traditionally monopolized both formal and informal diplomatic assignments occurred in 1754, when Ferdinand VI (1746–1759) instituted a new policy that incorporated embassy secretaries into the civil service. In practice, these low-ranking functionaries actually held significant administrative responsibilities within their assigned legations, handling all official correspondence and managing a small staff (usually between two and four employees) of scribes and translators on behalf of the mission head. This reform now created a viable path for promotion for these bureaucrats through the ranks of the secretaría itself. Although hidalguía and family connections remained important, if not essential, prerequisites, well-educated young men from diverse backgrounds increasingly launched successful diplomatic careers at the secretary level, confident that advancement through the Ministry was both possible and desirable.5

With his first posting, the apprentice would learn the local culture and language and acquire other valuable skills necessary to advance in his chosen profession. Following an extended term away from Spain, the aspiring diplomat would often return to Madrid to staff one of the subdivisions in the secretaría that was organized geographically around Spain’s many regional and international rivals. With due consideration to both merit and personal connections, the most eligible mid-level officials would then be available for reappointment to foreign diplomatic posts. Notably, by the end of the century some of Spain’s most talented public servants had risen through the diplomatic ranks to claim coveted and theretofore highly restricted ambassadorships, not to mention powerful positions at the most senior levels of the secretaría de estado. A brief biography of one such figure, Luís de Onís, provides an illustration of this increasingly common career path. In 1780, this recent graduate of the University of Salamanca apprenticed as the legation secretary for his uncle, the minister plenipotentiary to the Saxon court. Within four years, Onís had become the interim chargé d’affaires in Dresden, where he remained for more than a decade. In 1798, the now well-trained diplomat returned to Madrid and took a senior position at the secretaría as an expert on France. Over the next decade, Onís served the crown in various positions, including as a delegate during the treaty negotiations that produced the Peace of Amiens. Sent to the United States as Spain’s representative in 1809, Onís crowned his illustrious diplomatic career with his 1821 appointment as the ambassador of Ferdinand VII (1808–1833) to the Court of St. James.6

Above all, the foreign diplomatic service served the Spanish crown by providing it with the information necessary for the development of effective foreign policy. Thus, the secretaría de estado expected its diplomats to produce regular reports about their assigned posts by collecting and analyzing information drawn from official interactions, private contacts, the press, and any other source of public or private sentiment. The quality of this material varied greatly and usually reflected the personal abilities and interests of each envoy. Although court gossip was a common subject of diplomatic correspondence, matters of national and international security took precedence. In the 1760s, for example, it was the Spanish mission in St. Petersburg that sensitized the crown to the threat of Russian expansion into Alaska. The discovery then prompted Mexican authorities to launch three separate expeditions during the subsequent decade to reassert Spanish sovereignty in that remote part of North America. At the same time, when they were not concerned with matters of geopolitical strategy, the crown’s diplomatic representatives were also expected to protect Spanish citizens abroad and promote Spanish commercial interests. To facilitate these duties, a vast network of consulates staffed by appointed consular officers provided support for the main mission in some of the larger European countries and the Americas.7

Although the Bourbon crown made notable progress toward more institutionalized diplomacy and professional diplomats in the 18th century, the fact remains that Spanish foreign policy reflected above all else the interests, priorities, and concerns of the secretario de estado. Although Bourbon-era statesmen operated largely within the parameters of their office, a limitation that Habsburg-era favorites such as Olivares avoided altogether, ministers like the Marquis of Ensenada, the Count of Floridablanca, and the Count of Aranda easily imposed their strategic vision on a bureaucracy that struggled to provide the crown with both actionable intelligence and meaningful analyses of foreign threats. As a result, Spain proved especially dependent on the experience and skill (or lack thereof) of the men who assumed control over the secretaría de estado as the 18th century unfolded. Once the Age of Atlantic Revolutions dawned and events began to overwhelm even the most competent of these statesmen, the institutions of Spanish diplomacy proved no more capable than the rest of the regime to prevent the collapse of the empire and the erosion of Spain’s position in the international community.8

Imperial Restoration: Foreign Policy under the Bourbons

Spanish Diplomacy and the Family Compact, 1733–1775

If the Bourbons prioritized the restoration of Spanish status as a Great Power, in practice this meant undoing the damage caused by the War of the Spanish Succession and the territorial losses imposed by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Thus, during the reign of Philip V, Spain embarked on a military and diplomatic campaign intended to recover its influence in the Mediterranean. This strategy focused on the Italian peninsula, where Spain had long dominated under the Habsburgs. Philip’s Italian-born Queen, Elizabeth Farnese, sought the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies for their younger son, Charles, a move that helped consummate the First Family Compact (1733) with France. For the first time in that century, Spain formally allied itself with the then dominant European power in an effort to further its international goals. This new geopolitical strategy met with immediate success when Spain entered the War of the Polish Succession (1733–1735) as a French ally and sent forces into Italy. Following a rapid and effective campaign, Charles was proclaimed king in Naples in 1734.9

By mid-century, the Spanish crown began to shift its attention to Atlantic defense. A military defeat at the hands of Great Britain in the Wars of Jenkins’ Ear and the Austrian Succession (1739–1748) was a painful setback. It also suggested that Spain could not compete with its imperial rivals without strategic alliances. Thus, the Family Compact remained critical to Spanish foreign policy during the reigns of Ferdinand VI and his brother Charles III. A second formal treaty, providing for both offensive and defensive cooperation, was signed with France in 1761. Unfortunately, the French alliance proved to be problematic. Spain remained the junior partner in the relationship. This forced the crown to become a belligerent in international conflicts that proved costly to sustain and that distracted from internal reforms. As a belligerent in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), Spain was forced to surrender Havana to invading British forces. The crown managed to recover Cuba in the Treaty of Paris (1763) that ended the war by trading Florida for the colony. France, which found itself driven out of Canada, then transferred its Louisiana territories to its ally as recompense. This outcome provided some relief, but the Seven Years’ War increasingly concentrated Madrid’s attention on North America as it sought a strategy that would enable it to recover Florida in the next colonial conflict. This event, the War of the American Revolution, launched the Age of Atlantic Revolutions.10

Spanish Diplomacy and the American Revolution, 1775–1789

An assertive foreign policy supported by aggressive military action backed by a close alliance with France was on full display with the signing of the Treaty of Aranjuez (1779), which made Spain a belligerent in the latest colonial war in North America. By this time, foreign policy was in the hands of José Moñino y Redondo. Moñino, better known as the Count of Floridablanca, took over the secretaría de estado in 1776 and with it the position of chief minister in the government of Charles III. His first major foreign policy success came early in his tenure with the Treaty of San Ildefonso (1777), which resolved ongoing border disputes over Spanish and Portuguese territories in the Rio de la Plata. In return for some borderland concessions, Floridablanca managed to block Portuguese expansion from Brazil into the Banda Oriental, now modern Uruguay.11

By 1779, developments in North America had assumed priority for Madrid. With the revolt of the English colonies now entering its fourth year, Floridablanca recognized both the potential advantages that entry into the war might provide Spain and the challenges that an imperial power would face while fighting in what had originated as an anticolonial war. Although Floridablanca refused to recognize the independence of the United States, a step that France had taken the previous year, and withheld direct support for the American revolutionaries, he nevertheless committed Spain to the larger anti-British cause by renewing its alliance with France at Aranjuez. As a small but notable gesture, the minister did approve a modest loan to the US government. He also permitted officials in Spanish Louisiana to provide material assistance to American rebels along the common border.12

Ultimately, the opportunity to recover Florida while England was distracted proved too great to ignore. Spanish troops under the command of Bernardo de Gálvez, the governor of Louisiana, seized West Florida in a decisive two-year campaign that culminated in the capture of Pensacola in 1781. Led by the Count of Aranda, Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Spanish negotiators then compelled Britain to cede East Florida to Spain as part of the Peace of Paris (1783) that ended the war. A resounding diplomatic success for Charles III, the treaty consolidated the Spanish position in the Gulf of Mexico. Spain had recovered Florida, secured its Louisiana possessions, and solidified its control over the mouth of the Mississippi. With British influence reduced to Canada and an unstable new nation, the United States, perched precariously along the Atlantic seaboard, Spain was now arguably the dominant power in North America once again.13

As part of the peace negotiations at Versailles, Floridablanca finally agreed to recognize the United States. Despite this formal acknowledgment of the political reality, Spain felt no responsibility to see the American experiment succeed. As an imperial power with extensive colonial possessions in the region, Spain took a hard line as its relationship with the United States began to evolve. Sending a clear signal of strength to its new neighbor, it closed New Orleans to American commerce in 1784. Although the negotiations that produced the Jay-Gardoquí Treaty (1786) loosened these restrictions and allowed Americans access to other parts of the empire, Spain demanded and in principle received exclusive rights to the Mississippi River for twenty-five years. (In the end, the United States refused to ratify the agreement.) The crown also sought to bind the region’s native tribes to Madrid and even encouraged trans-Appalachian immigrants to accept Spanish suzerainty. In many ways, these machinations marked the pinnacle of Spanish foreign policy ambitions during the 18th century. Over the next thirty years, as additional revolutions reverberated around the Atlantic World, Spain found that it lacked both the military and the diplomatic power to impose its interests on its international rivals.14

The French Revolution and the Spanish Imperial Crisis, 1789–1799

The Fall of Floridablanca, 1789–1792

If Spain had managed to navigate the turmoil of the first major uprising of the Age of Revolutions with some success, its experience with the second was nothing less than tragic. With the fall of the Bastille in July 1789, France and the rest of Europe descended into two decades of chaos. From a foreign policy perspective, Floridablanca viewed the developments in Paris with horror and sought to seal off Spain from the revolutionary sentiment that had taken possession of the neighboring state. But by the beginning of 1792, this hard-line attitude had failed to stem the sense of existential crisis that had settled across Europe’s monarchies. As a consequence, after fifteen years in power, Floridablanca found himself replaced by Aranda. The former ambassador to France promised that a more moderate approach toward France’s revolution would better serve Spain’s interests. Instead, Aranda watched helplessly as radical revolutionaries proclaimed the French Republic in September. With King Louis XVI on trial for treason and the fate of the rest of the French Bourbons in doubt, Aranda fell from power in November.15

Manuel Godoy and the War of the Pyrenees, 1793–1795

The new chief minister and secretary of state, Manuel Godoy, was a former palace guard who assumed power because of his personal relationship with Charles IV (1788–1808) and Queen María Luisa. As a young courtesan with no previous diplomatic or government experience, Godoy at least had no connection to the policies of his predecessors. This gave him some flexibility once France declared war on Spain in February 1793. Within the month, Godoy upended a half-century of foreign policy tradition by securing a military alliance with Great Britain, a move that brought Spain into the coalition of European powers that had begun to organize against the French Republic. This new relationship between the historic adversaries had immediate implications in North America. Only three years earlier, competing Spanish and British claims to the Nootka Sound region around modern-day Vancouver had threatened to spark yet another war. After two tentative attempts to resolve the disputes, the new allies agreed, in a 1794 convention, to preserve the neutrality of the settlements. In a foreshadowing of future misfortune, Spain now formally acknowledged its inability to back up long-standing claims to exclusive territorial and commercial rights in the Pacific Northwest.16

In Europe, the diplomatic shift toward Britain did not produce the positive military outcome that Godoy expected. The War of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, which was one part of the larger War of the First Coalition, lasted for two years and resulted in a decisive victory for the French Republic. Spanish weakness was reflected in the Peace of Basel (1795) that ended the war. Negotiated by Godoy, who feared that the French would demand territorial concessions along their common border, the treaty preserved the status quo ante bellum in the Pyrenees. However, in return, France received from Spain its colony of Santo Domingo, which was the eastern half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western half, known as Saint-Domingue, had been a French possession since 1697, and in the interim, it had developed into its richest overseas colony. In 1791, it became the scene of a massive slave revolt, which quickly evolved into the Haitian Revolution. Early in its war with France, Spain sent an army into Saint-Domingue, seeking to take advantage of the unrest there and recover its former territory. Unable to achieve this goal by 1795, Godoy was willing to accept a complete Spanish withdrawal from the island.17

Despite the loss of his oldest American colony, Charles IV rewarded his chief minister with the title Prince of the Peace for the diplomatic outcome at Basel. Liberated from the ongoing European hostilities, which continued until 1797, the new prince then jumped straight into another round of negotiations with the United States. The resulting Treaty of San Lorenzo (also known as Pinckney’s Treaty), which was signed in October 1795 and ratified the following year, set the border between the United States and Spanish Florida. In a departure from earlier agreements, the United States also received from Spain rights of navigation on the Mississippi. Beginning in 1795, Spain began to give ground in the Americas in small but notable ways, a hint at the major erosion yet to come.

The French Alliance, 1796–1801

Spanish diplomacy underwent another seismic shift in August 1796, when Godoy agreed in the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso to join the French Republic in a new alliance against Great Britain. From a certain perspective, this was a natural move, for it restored the close relationship that had existed between the two neighboring powers during most of the 1700s. However, it also required Spain to subordinate itself to French interests. At the time, this meant that Madrid had to provide Paris with substantial military reinforcements, including some twenty thousand soldiers and more than twenty warships. With no time to recover from its defeat in the War of the Pyrenees, Spain found itself back in arms by the end of the year. If Godoy expected a repeat of Spanish victories in the War of the American Revolution, he was quickly disabused. In 1797 the British Royal Navy descended on the Andalusian port of Cádiz and commenced a blockade of this economic bastion that lasted five years, strangling imperial commerce in the process and cutting off the metropolis from its American colonies. At the same time, Britain followed up this campaign with an invasion of Trinidad. Spanish defenses in the Caribbean proved unable to mount any serious challenge to the subsequent occupation of the island. Thus, the century ended with the loss of yet another piece of the empire, a symbolic end to the Bourbon aspirations for Great Power status.18

These military and diplomatic reverses provide context for Charles IV’s decision in March 1798 to replace Godoy as secretary of state with Francisco Saavedra, who came to office following a distinguished career as an imperial official. In less than a year, Saavedra made way for Mariano Luís de Urquijo, an experienced diplomat and protégé of Aranda and a notorious Francophile. With little inclination to undermine the French alliance, Urquijo negotiated the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, in October 1800. Now that Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France, the new regime in Paris conceived the agreement as a way to revive French influence in the Americas by laying claim to a large part of the Spanish empire. Thus, among the treaty’s secret provisions was one that compelled Charles IV to return Louisiana to the French Republic. Restored to power, Godoy signed the Treaty of Aranjuez (1801), which was the public version of the San Ildefonso treaty, under the assumption that the territory would remain in the control of Spain’s ally. Louisiana officially changed hands eighteen months later. In a move that dismayed the Spanish crown and undermined its interests in North America, Napoleon decided to sell Louisiana to the United States in 1803.19

The French Puppet, 1801–1808

By this time, Spain had a new secretary of state, Pedro Cevallos. Although he served until 1808, the career diplomat did not control foreign policy, as his predecessor Floridablanca had. Instead, Godoy remained in place as chief minister and used his intimacy with the king to direct Madrid’s international relations. In a sign that the crown had begun to sour on the French alliance, Spanish diplomatic efforts in 1802 focused on the possibility of negotiating a separate peace with Great Britain at a time when the possibility of a general European peace had already inspired preliminary French and British discussions. In March, European negotiators signed the Treaty of Amiens (1802), which ended the War of the Second Coalition. José Nicolas de Azara, a former ambassador to Rome and Paris, represented Spain at these talks. Not only did he fail to bring Britain to the table, he also agreed to waive any lingering claims to Trinidad in return for the restoration of Minorca, which the British had captured in 1798. Once again, the final details of this international agreement demonstrated that France had no inclination to support its ally. Amiens did bring fourteen months of peace to Europe, and Spain spent the period in much-needed recovery. When the war resumed in May 1803, Godoy managed to preserve Spanish neutrality for an additional year and even entertained the possibility of an English alliance. But any serious consideration of a break with France ended in the fall of 1804, when a British naval squadron attacked four Spanish treasure ships returning home from Uruguay. In January 1805, Spain once again joined France as a belligerent in the War of the Third Coalition.20

Over the next three years, Spain became little more than a puppet state of the Emperor Napoleon, a status reflected by the increasingly chaotic state of Spanish politics. During this period, Godoy struggled to assert Spanish autonomy within the alliance, though there was little to distinguish his priorities from those of the French. This melding of interests was reflected in the Treaty of Fontainbleau, a secret agreement signed between Spain and France in October 1807. By this time, Napoleon had consolidated his control over Europe, leaving Britain isolated as the only major belligerent left in the war. Hoping to starve the British into surrender through an economic blockade, Napoleon resolved to occupy Portugal, the one state on the continent that had refused to comply with the expectations of his Continental System. Plans for an invasion required some degree of Spanish support. Enticed by Napoleon’s promise that the emperor would respect Spanish territorial integrity and grant him sovereignty over a newly created principality of the Algarve, Godoy agreed to the proposal for a joint Franco-Spanish campaign against Portugal. By December, the conquest was over. In the process, 25,000 French troops entered the Iberian Peninsula, and many of them seized control of strategic military positions inside Spain itself. Their presence set the stage for Napoleon’s decision to overthrow the Spanish monarchy in 1808.21

Spanish Diplomacy during the Imperial Crisis, 1808–1825

The Peninsular War, 1808–1813

Dissention over the French alliance was a primary factor in the series of events that split the Spanish crown into warring factions by the end of 1807. In October, supporters of the heir to the throne, Ferdinand, the prince of Asturias, attempted to oust Godoy, whom they despised as a French puppet. Although this so-called conspiracy of El Escorial collapsed, it reflected widespread discontent with Charles IV and his favorite. Five months later, on March 18, 1808, a second uprising at Aranjuez compelled the king to abdicate. Although the newly proclaimed Ferdinand VII (1808–1833) assumed the throne to wide popular enthusiasm, he did not have the support of the French occupiers. After Marshal Joachim Murat, who commanded French forces in Spain, informed Napoleon of the political unrest, the emperor decided to meet with the Spanish royal family.22

By this time, rumors were running rampant that Napoleon had decided to replace the Bourbons with a Bonapartist dynasty. Nevertheless, the new king found it impossible to ignore a summons from someone who was both an ally in name, if not in fact, and, more importantly, the most powerful ruler in Europe. On April 10, Ferdinand left Madrid for Bayonne, France, followed in short order by his parents and other members of the royal family, senior aristocrats, and leading government officials. Following a perfunctory meeting with the emperor, the Spanish entourage learned that the Bourbons would be asked to sign away their rights to the throne. Although some advisers counseled resistance, both Ferdinand and Charles submitted to Napoleon’s wishes during the first week of May. The emperor then transferred the Spanish crown to his brother Joseph Bonaparte and invited the resident Spanish statesmen and aristocrats to approve the abdications, formalize the Bonapartist succession, and construct a constitutional framework for the new regime. King Joseph I assumed the throne in Madrid on July 25. Among the notable appointments to his government were the diplomats Urquijo and Miguel-José Azanza Alegría, the Duke of Santa Fe, both of whom would serve the rey intruso in important foreign policy posts.23

The imposition of a new Napoleonic dynasty did not bring peace and order to Spain. On May 2, following the arrival of the latest reports from Bayonne, Madrid erupted in revolt against the French. By the summer, Ferdinand’s supporters across the kingdom embarked on what quickly became a national war for liberation. The early, somewhat fragmented opposition soon consolidated into eighteen separate provincial governing juntas, each with enough momentum to sustain the loyalist cause against often overwhelming French forces until September. Although these regional governments all claimed to represent the Bourbon crown at the imperial and international levels and even dispatched representatives to the American colonies and foreign capitals seeking recognition, the Junta of Seville came to dominate the resistance movement after these first chaotic months. By September, the regional juntas agreed to form a common Junta Suprema Central y Gubernativa del Reino. Proclaiming itself the repository of the sovereignty of Ferdinand VII during his exile, this new government proceeded to consolidate power and construct a foreign policy that would enable loyalist Spain to win enough international support to continue the war against the French.24

In the short term, because of the absence of many senior aristocrats and Bourbon officials, as well as the defection of other leading statesmen to Joseph’s court, the loyalists rallied around the octogenarian Floridablanca. The former chief minister to the crown, who had joined the resistance movement in his native Murcia following the Bayonne coup, assumed the duties of president of the Junta Central when it opened on September 25 and served until his death at the end of the year. Of immediate concern for the new government was the staffing of the loyalist secretaría de estado. Secretary of state Cevallos had traveled with Ferdinand to Bayonne in the company of other ministry officials. Following the abdications, he briefly accepted the position of minister of foreign affairs under Joseph before defecting to the loyalist cause upon his return to Spain. Yet despite his availability, the Junta appointed Martín de Garay as secretary of state and sent Cevallos to London to promote a reconciliation with Great Britain.25

By the end of 1808, securing international recognition for the Junta Central had become an existential matter for the resistance. After proclaiming themselves the legitimate rulers of Spain, both the Junta and Joseph launched diplomatic offensives in the hopes of securing recognition from the Spanish American colonies and any remaining neutral governments. King Joseph, of course, could count on immediate recognition from Napoleon’s European allies. He also relied heavily on the French diplomatic service to advance his cause. Meanwhile, it soon became clear that the loyalist government could claim the support of Spain’s overseas possessions. Neutral powers, such as the United States, preferred to defer recognition of either claimant to the throne until events clarified the situation on the Iberian Peninsula. Although the Junta sent one of Spain’s most experienced diplomats, Luís de Onís, to Washington, DC, in 1809, the Madison administration did not restore relations with Spain until December 1815.26

A more critical diplomatic achievement for the loyalist cause came with the new British alliance, which followed the signing of the Treaty of London on January 14, 1809. The agreement sustained the Junta and its successor governments through the darkest years of the Peninsula War. In the meantime, the loyalist regimes based in Cádiz confronted French efforts to subvert colonial authorities and the rise of revolutionary movements across Spanish America by 1810. Because of the war with France, these governments were unable to muster sufficient force to defend Spanish sovereignty over the empire, and had to rely instead on three centuries of allegiance to the crown and the resourcefulness of colonial officials to preserve the established order as much as possible.27

Restoration Diplomacy, 1814–1825

After five years of bitter fighting, Spanish and British forces managed to drive the French out of the Iberian Peninsula by the end of 1813. The collapse of the Bonapartist regime led Napoleon to seek a separate peace with Spain that would entail the restoration of the Spanish Bourbons. Although the Treaty of Valençay (1813) allowed Ferdinand VII to leave his French exile and return to Madrid in triumph, the loyalist government refused to recognize the agreement. As a result, Spain remained a belligerent in the war against France. After the abdication of Napoleon, in April 1814, Spanish negotiators led by Pedro Gómez, the Marquis of Labrador, joined the talks that led to the First Treaty of Paris (1814), which ended the War of the Sixth Coalition and restored the Bourbons to power in France. Although Spanish diplomats participated in the subsequent Congress of Vienna, Spain was not a signatory to its Final Act until 1817. Notably, it promised Great Britain to avoid another Family Compact with Bourbon France. As another acknowledgment of the realities of the post-Napoleonic Atlantic World, in 1817 Ferdinand VII also agreed in principle to conform within three years to the terms of the British-led abolition of the slave trade.28

With Europe at peace again, the Great Powers began to turn their attention to the independence wars still raging in the Spanish colonies. In September 1814, the government of Ferdinand VII, hoping that a strong show of force would convince Spain’s Atlantic rivals that the country had the capacity to retain its overseas possessions, sent a massive military force, under the command of General Pablo Morillo, to reconquer northern South America. In the meantime, Spanish diplomats implored foreign governments not to recognize the rebel governments. Although the expedition proved a short-term success, the larger Spanish position in the Americas gradually but inexorably declined as the decade ended. In an explicit recognition of its weakness, the crown agreed to cede Florida to the United States in the Adams-Onís Treaty (1819). In 1820, a second military expedition destined for the Americas failed to leave Spain when its soldiers refused to serve. This embarrassing outcome confirmed in a more profound way the crown’s inability to challenge the emerging reality in Spanish America. In 1821, following the effective independence of most of South America, the royalist commander in New Spain, Juan O’Donojú, agreed to open negotiations with Mexican insurgent leaders. The subsequent Treaty of Córdoba ended Spanish rule in North America. By 1826, the remaining royalist resistance in Peru collapsed, leaving Spain with only Puerto Rico and Cuba as reminders of what had recently been a vast empire in the Americas. Stubborn to the end, Ferdinand VII refused to consider formal recognition of the independence of any of his former colonies before his death in 1833.29

In many ways, two treaties, each involving Florida, encapsulated the devolution of Spanish fortunes during the Age of Atlantic Revolutions. Driven to reassert itself as a Great Power during the colonial wars of the 1700s, Spain entered the War of the American Revolution to regain the Florida territory it had lost to Great Britain fewer than two decades earlier. The Treaty of Versailles (1783) confirmed Spain’s victory over its traditional rival and proclaimed that the balance of power in North America had tilted in Madrid’s favor for the first time in more than a century. However, only thirty-six years later, the Adams-Onís Treaty eliminated any lingering optimism about Spain’s status as an international force. Signed in the wake of the devastating Napoleonic invasion of Iberia and amid the ongoing independence movements in Spanish America, the Spanish crown sacrificed its remaining possessions in East Florida to an emerging power, the United States. Debilitated by the upheavals of the Age of Revolutions, Madrid’s decision to abandon its North American outposts underscored the ultimate failure of a foreign policy that remained locked into traditional expectations. Bereft of its overseas empire, Spain descended permanently into geopolitical irrelevance.

Discussion of the Literature

Students of “Spanish Diplomacy during the Age of Atlantic Revolutions” will be challenged to find a single monograph on this particular topic. Volume 9 of Miguel Angel Ochoa Brun’s Historia de la diplomacia Española (2012), which covers the 18th century, provides a broad overview. Didier Ozanam’s Les diplomates espagnols du XVIII siècle: Introduction et répertoire bibliographique (1700–1808) (1998) is particularly helpful, as is Jesús Pradells Nadal’s Diplomacia y comercio: La expansión consular española en el siglo XVIII (1992). Otherwise, a meaningful history of the period from 1775–1825 must be pieced together with relevant threads from a wide variety of scholarly works, many lacking an obvious connection with each other. Part of the complication results from the multiple intersecting themes associated with this particular subject. During this period, “Spain” can represent both a global empire and a more insular kingdom at the edge of Europe. “Diplomacy” can refer both to the grand construction of foreign policy and the institutions and individuals charged with practicing it. In addition, diplomacy always requires at least one partner. Franco-Spanish relations will follow a unique path, while Anglo-Spanish relations has its own idiosyncratic dynamic. Then there are the twists and turns of the comprehensive term “Atlantic Revolutions.” Bourbon Spain reacted to the American Revolution with a deliberate foreign policy. After 1789, the political disruptions that resulted from the French Revolution worked against cohesive or consistent diplomacy. Instead, Spain took direction from France for more than a decade, and a succession of different ministers were forced to react to events they could not control. Then, for the six years following Bayonne, there were competing “Spains,” the Bonapartist and the loyalist, each with a separate foreign policy. Only the Restoration brought some stability back to Spanish diplomatic strategy. However, with the impending collapse of the empire by far the most pressing concern for Madrid, the assertive, confident diplomacy of Floridablanca was long forgotten.30

All explorations of 18th-century Spain should begin with John Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 1700–1808 (1989). This is a meticulous account of both the structure and the philosophy of the Bourbon state, as well as a compelling narrative of the dramatic reversal of fortune precipitated by the French Revolution. Biographies of the Bourbon monarchs also provide a valuable, though indirect look at the evolving diplomatic interests of Spain during this period. A notable work in this category is Henry Kamen, Philip V of Spain: The King who Reigned Twice (2001). Unfortunately, there are few options for English-language biographies of the later rulers: Charles III, Charles IV, and Ferdinand VII. In Spanish, Carlos Rojas, Carlos IV (1999) and Miguel Artola, La España de Fernando VII (2008) fill some gaps. Otherwise, John D. Bergamini, The Spanish Bourbons: The History of a Tenacious Dynasty (1974) provides a basic outline of these reigns.31

Equally problematic is the scarcity of scholarship on such Bourbon-era statesmen as the Count of Floridablanca and the Count of Aranda, the men who were the architects of Spanish foreign policy at this time. A good place to start would be the work of Juan Hernández Franco, notably his Gestión política y reformismo del Conde de Floridablanca (1983). Both ministers dominate Richard Herr’s The Eighteenth Century Revolution in Spain (1958), which has long been a seminal work on the Spanish Enlightenment. Manuel Godoy receives rather more attention than his predecessors; Douglas Hilt’s The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs (1987) provides effective treatment. Meanwhile, studies of the Bourbon Reforms are plentiful, though most contemporary works tend to explore their impact on colonial Spanish America. Studies such as Koldo Sebastián García’s “La evolución del servicio diplomático español en el siglo XVIII a través de la embajada de Viena” (2013) suggest that Spanish scholars are beginning to shift their attention to the history of institutional diplomacy. As that field continues to develop, those interested in Bourbon foreign policy should focus on the burgeoning scholarship on the Age of Revolutions.32

US historians, in particular, have recently taken an interest in the role played by Spain during the American Revolution and the Early Republic. Since the 1990s, a number of valuable works have been published. Among these are Eric Beerman’s España y la independencia de los Estados Unidos (1992), Thomas E. Chavez’s Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift (2004), James E. Lewis’s The American Union and the Problem of Neighborhood: The United States and the Collapse of the Spanish Empire, 1783–1829 (1998), and Gordon S. Brown’s Latin American Rebels and the United States, 1806–1822 (2015). Notably, though these monographs do not focus exclusively on diplomacy, they do address the geopolitical challenges resulting from the entry of the United States into the traditional Spanish sphere of influence in North America. Those seeking a narrower focus should explore the articles and essays of Sean T. Perrone on the Spanish consular network in the United States, including “The Role of Spanish Consuls in the United States, 1795–1898” (2008).33

Anglo-Spanish relations have also received detailed attention from British scholars. Jean Olivia McLachlan, Trade and Peace with Old Spain, 1667–1750: A Study of the Influence of Commerce on Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century (2016) provides important background. John K. Severn, A Wellesley Affair: Richard Marquess Wellesley and the Conduct of Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy, 1809–1812 (1981) explores the shift in Spanish foreign policy during the years after the Bayonne coup from the perspective of London. Finally, William W. Kaufmann’s British Policy and the Independence of Latin America, 1804–1828 (1951) and John Lowe’s Britain and Foreign Affairs, 1815–1885: Europe and Overseas (1998) address the strains placed on that new relationship by the emergence of the nations of Latin America.34

The history of Spain’s imperial crisis, including the Spanish American wars for independence, has produced a vast library of scholarly works over the past century. As elsewhere, it is a challenge to find studies that prioritize international diplomatic relations over social, political, and military developments. One might begin with Jeronimo Becker’s Accion de la diplomacia Española durante la Guerra de la Independencia, 1808–1814 (1909), J. Fred Rippy’s The Rivalry of the United States and Great Britain over Latin America (1808–1830) (1929), John Rydjord’s Foreign Interest in the Independence of New Spain (1935), Philip C. Brooks’ Diplomacy and the Borderlands: The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 (1939), or William Spence Robertson’s France and Latin-American Independence (1939) as background. More recently, James W. Cortada has edited a collection of essays, Spain in the Nineteenth-Century World: Essays on Spanish Diplomacy, 1789–1898 (1994) that explores this period in some detail. Those with special interest in Luso-British relations should see Martin Robson’s Britain, Portugal and South America in the Napoleonic Wars: Alliances and Diplomacy in Economic Maritime Conflict (2011). Any study of the emerging Spanish loyalist regime should begin with Barbara H. Stein and Stanley J. Stein’s Crisis in an Atlantic Empire: Spain and New Spain, 1808–1810 (2014). Finally, one might wish to bring the curtain down on this topic (and the empire, itself) with J. M. Miquel I Vergés’s La Diplomacia Española en Mexico, 1822–1823 (1956).35

Primary Sources

Students of Spanish diplomacy will find published collections of primary sources to be a more direct pathway into the nuances of this topic than the secondary literature. See, in particular, Luís Palacios Bañuelos et al., Estudio y documentos para la historia de la diplomacia Española en el siglo XVIII (2011). Important examples from national repositories include William R. Manning, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States concerning Independence of the Latin-American Nations (1925–1926) and C. K. Webster, ed., Britain and the Independence of Latin America, 1812–1830: Select Documents from the Foreign Office Archives (1938). Major statesmen and diplomats from the period also published works that are widely available. For insight into the mind of the Count of Floridablanca, there is Obras originales del conde de Floridablanca, y escritos referentes a su persona (1952). See Pedro Cevallos, Exposicion de los hechos y maquinaciones que han preparado la usurpación de la corona de España, y los medios que el emperador de los franceses ha puesto en obra para realizarla (1808) for an excoriation of the French policies that led to Bayonne. In his Memoria sobre las Negociaciones entre España y los Estados Unidos de América (1969), Luís de Onís provided a justification for the Spanish decision to surrender Florida to the United States. Finally, Geoffroy de Grandmaison’s Correspondance du Comte de la Forest, Ambassadeur de France en Espagne, (1808–1813) (1905–1913) introduces a French perspective on the turmoil that followed the abdications of the Spanish Bourbons.36

Spanish diplomatic records from the revolutionary period are primarily located in three different archives. The Archivo General de Simancas (AGS) near Valladolid houses documents from the 18th-century Secretaría de Estado.37 The Archivo Histórico Nacional (AHN) in Madrid also maintains important records from Estado.38 Particularly noteworthy is the correspondence between Spanish ambassadors and the loyalist governments between 1808 and 1814. Finally, a secondary repository of imperial material is the Archivo General de Indias (AGI) in Seville.39 National repositories in England, France, and the United States among other international archives, will also include diplomatic records relating to Spain. For example, the National Archives in Washington, DC, retain the important collection of documents entitled “Notes from the Spanish Legation” that covers the time period in question.40

Further Reading

Armitage, David, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, eds. The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760–1840. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.Find this resource:

Beerman, Eric. “Spanish Envoy to the United States (1796–1809): Marques de Casa Irujo and His Philadelphia Wife Sally McKean.” Americas 37.4 (1981): 445–456.Find this resource:

Blaufarb, Rafe. “The Western Question: The Geopolitics of Latin American Independence.” American Historical Review 112.3 (2007): 742–763.Find this resource:

Brooks, Philip C. Diplomacy and the Borderlands: The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1939.Find this resource:

Brown, Gordon S. Latin American Rebels and the United States, 1806–1822. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015.Find this resource:

Cortada, James W., ed. Spain in the Nineteenth-Century World: Essays on Spanish Diplomacy, 1789–1898. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994.Find this resource:

García, Koldo Sebastián. “La evolución del servicio diplomático español en el siglo XVIII a través de la embajada de Viena.” In De la tierra al cielo: Líneas recientes de investigación en Historia Moderna. Edited by Eliseo Serrano (pp. 329–342). Zaragoza, Spain: Institución “Fernando El Católico” (C.S.I.C.), 2013.Find this resource:

Hawkins, Timothy. A Great Fear: Luís de Onís and the Shadow War against Napoleon in Spanish America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2019.Find this resource:

Hilt, Douglas. The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Kaufmann, William W. British Policy and the Independence of Latin America, 1804–1828. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1951.Find this resource:

Lewis, James E. The American Union and the Problem of Neighborhood: The United States and the Collapse of the Spanish Empire, 1783–1829. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Lynch, John. Bourbon Spain, 1700–1808. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.Find this resource:

Ozanam, Didier. Les diplomates espagnols du XVIII siècle: Introduction et répertoire bibliographique (1700–1808). Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 1998.Find this resource:

Pagden, Anthony. Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c. 1500–1800. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.Find this resource:

Perrone, Sean T. “The Role of Spanish Consuls in the United States, 1795–1898.” In Nation and Conflict in Modern Spain: Essays in Honor of Stanley G. Payne. Edited by Brian D. Bunk, Sasha D. Pack, and Carl-Gustaf Scott (pp. 81–102). Madison, WI: Parallel Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Perrone, Sean T. “Spanish Consuls and Trade Networks between Spain and the United States, 1795–1820.” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies 38.1 (2013): 75–94.Find this resource:

Rydjord, John. Foreign Interest in the Independence of New Spain. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1935.Find this resource:

Stein, Barbara H., and Stanley J. Stein. Crisis in an Atlantic Empire: Spain and New Spain, 1808–1810. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.Find this resource:


(1.) Garrett Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (Baltimore: Penguin, 1964), 125–131.

(2.) John Lynch, Spain 1516–1598: From Nation State to World Empire (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 267–270; Geoffrey Parker, The Grand Strategy of Philip II (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998); and J. H. Elliott, The Count-Duke of Olivares: The Statesman in an Age of Decline (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986).

(3.) John Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 1700–1808 (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 99. The next significant change did not occur until 1833, with the creation of the first minister of state. This official assumed exclusive control over Spain’s consular posts and diplomatic responsibilities. A minister of foreign affairs did not appear until after the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

(4.) Edward A. Whitcomb, Napoleon’s Diplomatic Service (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1979), 4; and Koldo Sebastián García, “La evolución del servicio diplomático español en el siglo XVIII a través de la embajada de Viena,” in De la tierra al cielo: Líneas recientes de investigación en Historia Moderna, ed. Eliseo Serrano (Zaragoza, Spain: Institución “Fernando El Católico” [C.S.I.C.], 2013), 336.

(5.) García, “La evolución,” 333–335.

(6.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 302–303; García, “La evolución,” 335–337; and Timothy Hawkins, A Great Fear: Luís de Onís and the Shadow War against Napoleon in Spanish America (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2019).

(7.) See Sean T. Perrone, “The Role of Spanish Consuls in the United States, 1795–1898,” in Nation and Conflict in Modern Spain: Essays in Honor of Stanley G. Payne, ed. Brian D. Bunk, Sasha D. Pack, and Carl-Gustaf Scott (Madison, WI: Parallel Press, 2008), 81–102; and Whitcomb, Napoleon’s Diplomatic Service, 94–108. For the Alaska controversy, see, Lydia T. Black, Russians in Alaska, 1732–1867 (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2004), 91.

(8.) For a case study of what is described as the marginalization of the Bourbon embassies, see the discussion of the Vienna legation in García, “La evolución,” 337–341.

(9.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 131.

(10.) Lynch, 141, 318, 327.

(11.) Lynch, 296, 319.

(12.) Thomas E. Chavez, Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002), 126–136; and Eric Beerman, España y la independencia de los Estados Unidos (Madrid: Editorial MAPFRE, 1992).

(13.) Chavez, Spain, 137–149; and Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (New York: Random House, 2015), 229–238

(14.) DuVal, Independence Lost, 316–324.

(15.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 381.

(16.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 390. For more on Nootka Sound, see Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543–1819 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1973).

(17.) Douglas Hilt, The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987), 44–45. See Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); and David P. Geggus, The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001).

(18.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 394; and Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 49–50.

(19.) Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 142. See James E. Lewis, The American Union and the Problem of Neighborhood: The United States and the Collapse of the Spanish Empire, 1783–1829 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998).

(20.) Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 145; and Timothy Hawkins, José de Bustamante and Central American Independence: Colonial Administration in an Age of Imperial Crisis (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2004), 18.

(21.) Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 177–178; and David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon: The Mind and Method of History’s Greatest Soldier (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 596–599.

(22.) Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 178–196, 211–226.

(23.) Hilt, Troubled Trinity, 227–242; and Barbara H. Stein and Stanley J. Stein, Crisis in an Atlantic Empire: Spain and New Spain, 1808–1810 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), 45–74.

(24.) Stein and Stein, Crisis in an Atlantic Empire, 75–130.

(25.) Stein and Stein, Crisis in an Atlantic Empire, 361–378.

(26.) Hawkins, Great Fear, 66–74.

(27.) See Michael Costeloe, Response to Revolution: Imperial Spain and the Spanish American Revolutions, 1810–1840 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

(28.) Harold Nicolson, The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity, 1812–1822 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974), 208–209. For Spain and the slave trade, see Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, “Anti-slavery in Spain and Its Colonies, 1808–86,” in A Global History of Anti-slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century, ed. William Mulligan and Maurice Bric (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 137–148.

(29.) Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), 259–307; and Timothy E. Anna, The Fall of the Royal Government in Mexico City (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978), 210–226.

(30.) See Manuel Ochoa Brun, Historia de la diplomacia Española (Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, 2012); Didier Ozanam, Les diplomates espagnols du XVIII siècle: Introduction et répertoire bibliographique (1700–1808) (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 1998); and Jesus Pradells Nadal, Diplomacia y comercio: La expansión consular española en el siglo XVIII (Alicante: Universidad de Alicante, Instituto de Cultura “Juan Gil-Albert”, 1992).

(31.) Lynch, Bourbon Spain; Henry Kamen, Philip V of Spain: The King who Reigned Twice (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001); Carlos Rojas, Carlos IV (Barcelona: Planeta, 1997); Miguel Artola, La España de Fernando VII (Madrid: Espasa, 2008); and John D. Bergamini, The Spanish Bourbons: The History of a Tenacious Dynasty (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1974).

(32.) Juan Hernández Franco, Gestión política y reformismo del Conde de Floridablanca (Murcia: Universidad de Murcia, 1983); Richard Herr, The Eighteenth Century Revolution in Spain (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1958); and Hilt, Troubled Trinity; and García, “La evolución.”

(33.) Beerman, España; Chavez, Spain; Lewis, American Union; Gordon S. Brown, Latin American Rebels and the United States, 1806–1822 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015); and Perrone, “Role of Spanish Consuls.”

(34.) Jean Olivia McLachlan, Trade and Peace with Old Spain, 1667–1750: A Study of the Influence of Commerce on Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016); John K. Severn, A Wellesley Affair: Richard Marquess Wellesley and the Conduct of Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy, 1809–1812 (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, for Florida State University, 1981); William W. Kaufmann, British Policy and the Independence of Latin America, 1804–1828 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1951); and John Lowe, Britain and Foreign Affairs, 1815–1885: Europe and Overseas (Hoboken, NJ: Routledge, 1998).

(35.) Jeronimo Becker, Accion de la diplomacia Española durante la Guerra de la Independencia, 1808–1814 (Zaragoza: E. Casañal, 1909); J. Fred Rippy, The Rivalry of the United States and Great Britain over Latin America (1808–1830) (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1929); John Rydjord, Foreign Interest in the Independence of New Spain (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1935); Philip C. Brooks, Diplomacy and the Borderlands: The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1939); William Spence Robertson, France and Latin-American Independence (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1939); James W. Cortada, Spain in the Nineteenth-Century World: Essays on Spanish Diplomacy, 1789–1898 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994); Martin Robson, Britain, Portugal and South America in the Napoleonic Wars: Alliances and Diplomacy in Economic Maritime Conflict (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011); Stein and Stein Crisis in an Atlantic Empire; and J. M. Miquel I Vergés, La Diplomacia Española en Mexico, 1822–1823 (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1956).

(36.) Luís Palacios Bañuelos, et al., Estudio y documentos para la historia de la diplomacia Española en el siglo XVIII (Córdoba: Universidad de Córdoba, 2011); William R. Manning, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States concerning Independence of the Latin-American Nations (New York: Oxford University Press, 1925–1926); C. K. Webster, ed., Britain and the Independence of Latin America, 1812–1830: Select Documents from the Foreign Office Archives (London: Oxford University Press, 1938); José Moñino, Obras originales del conde de Floridablanca, y escritos referentes a su persona (Madrid: Ed. Atlas, 1952); Pedro Cevallos, Exposicion de los hechos y maquinaciones que han preparado la usurpación de la corona de España, y los medios que el emperador de los franceses ha puesto en obra para realizarla (Cádiz, 1808); Luís de Onís, Memoria sobre las Negociaciones entre España y los Estados Unidos de América (Madrid: Ediciones José Porrua Turanzas, 1969); and Geoffroy de Grandmaison, Correspondance du Comte de la Forest, Ambassadeur de France en Espagne (1808–1813) (Paris : La société d’histoire contemporaine, Alphonse Picarde et fils, 1905–1913).

(38.) Archivo Histórico Nacional. Madrid, Spain.

(39.) Archivo General de Indias. Seville, Spain.

(40.) National Archives. Washington, DC, United States.