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Anglo-Spanish War (1727)

Anglo-Spanish War (1727)

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The Anglo-Spanish War of 1727–1729 was a limited war
Limited war
A limited war is a conflict in which the belligerents participating in the war do not expend all of each of the participants available resources at their disposal, whether human, industrial, agricultural, military, natural, technological, or otherwise in a specific conflict...

 that took place between Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 during the Eighteenth Century, and consisted of a failed British attempt to blockade Porto Bello
Blockade of Porto Bello
The Blockade of Porto Bello was a failed British naval action against the Spanish port of Porto Bello in present day Panama between 1726 and 1727 as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. The British were attempting to blockade the port to stop valuable treasure convoys leaving for Spain...

 and a failed Spanish attempt to capture Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

. It eventually ended with a return to the previous status quo ante bellum
Status quo ante bellum
The term status quo ante bellum is Latin, meaning literally "the state in which things were before the war".The term was originally used in treaties to refer to the withdrawal of enemy troops and the restoration of prewar leadership. When used as such, it means that no side gains or loses...

 following the Treaty of Seville.

Background


During the War of Spanish Succession, Spain lost Gibraltar to an Anglo-Dutch fleet and when the war finished in 1714, Spain was forced to accept the loss of Gibraltar in Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

. Despite this it was a long term goal of Spain to recover both Gibraltar and the island of Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

 from the British.

After the Treaty of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1725)
The Treaty of Vienna was signed on April 30, 1725 between Emperor Charles VI of Austria and King Philip V of Spain.The treaty guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction of the Habsburgs, which was first declared in 1713. Based on the terms of the treaty, the Austrian Empire relinquished all claims to the...

 in 1725, Spain had the support of Austria, and thought the time was right to try to recapture Gibraltar. As a reaction Britain signed the Treaty of Hanover
Treaty of Hanover
The Treaty of Hanover was developed in response to the Treaty of Vienna in which King Philip V of Spain allied himself with Habsburg Austria after his daughter's engagement to Louis XV of France was broken off. This accord was concluded by Great Britain, France and Prussia on September 3, 1725...

 with France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

.

Porto Bello


Britain had tried to use its naval power early in the dispute, by blockading Porto Bello
Blockade of Porto Bello
The Blockade of Porto Bello was a failed British naval action against the Spanish port of Porto Bello in present day Panama between 1726 and 1727 as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. The British were attempting to blockade the port to stop valuable treasure convoys leaving for Spain...

 in Panama but the attempt proved a disaster, in which 4,000 men were lost to disease. The main objective of the blockade had been to prevent Spanish galleons leaving and sailing for Spain, but the blockaders failed to do this - and eventually withdrew.

Siege of Gibraltar



On 11 February 1727 Spain, under command of the Marquis de las Torres and supervision of Chief Engineer of the Spanish Royal Engineer Corps Marquis of Verboom, lay siege to the city (Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar). Depending on the sources, Spanish troops were between 12,000 and 25,000. British defenders were 1,500 at the beginning of the siege, increasing up to about 5,000 by troops brought in over sea by a fleet commanded by Charles Wager
Charles Wager
Sir Charles Wager was a British Admiral and First Lord of the Admiralty between 1733 and 1742.Despite heroic active service and steadfast administration and diplomatic service, Wager's reputation has suffered from a profoundly mistaken idea that the navy was then at a low ebb...

.

After a four-month siege with several unsuccessful and costly attempts, Spanish troops gave up and retired on 12 June. Spain had lost over 1,400 men while the British had suffered around 300 casualties.

The Spanish had expected material help from the Austrians promised under the Treaty of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1725)
The Treaty of Vienna was signed on April 30, 1725 between Emperor Charles VI of Austria and King Philip V of Spain.The treaty guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction of the Habsburgs, which was first declared in 1713. Based on the terms of the treaty, the Austrian Empire relinquished all claims to the...

, but they received little. They had been outmanoeuvred by British diplomats, who had concluded a secret deal with the Austrians to prevent them intervening.

Peace


No more hostilities took place and a truce was declared in February 1728, with a preliminary agreement of issues at the March Convention of El Pardo and the Congress of Soissons
Congress of Soissons
The Congress of Soissons was a diplomatic conference held between a number of European powers, but principally Great Britain and Spain between June 1728 and July 1729 in the French town of Soissons....

. The final peace, that confirmed the status-quo, was concluded in the 1729 Treaty of Seville
Treaty of Seville (1729)
The Treaty of Seville was signed on 9 November 1729 between Great Britain, France, and Spain, concluding the Anglo-Spanish War .Preliminary discussions had already taken place between Britain and Spain at the Convention of Pardo and the Congress of Soissons...

. Many of the outstanding issues between the two states had not been resolved, and a decade later the War of Jenkins' Ear
War of Jenkins' Ear
The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great 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, relates to Robert Jenkins, captain of a British merchant ship, who exhibited his severed ear in...

 broke out between them. Britain emerged from the conflict by forming a very strong alliance with Austria
Anglo-Austrian Alliance
The Anglo-Austrian Alliance connected the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Habsburg monarchy during the first half of the 18th century. It was largely the work of the British statesman Duke of Newcastle, who considered an alliance with Austria crucial to prevent the further expansion of French...

, that lasted until 1756.

Note


Some historians put the beginning of the war in 1726, because in that year the Anglo-Spanish relation was already very tense. A British fleet was sent to the Spanish West Indies
Spanish West Indies
The Spanish West Indies was the contemporary name for the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean...

 to disturb Spanish shipping, without actually starting a war. The Blockade of Porto Bello
Blockade of Porto Bello
The Blockade of Porto Bello was a failed British naval action against the Spanish port of Porto Bello in present day Panama between 1726 and 1727 as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. The British were attempting to blockade the port to stop valuable treasure convoys leaving for Spain...

(1726-1727) was a complete failure.

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