Sign in. There were challenges to the family ex. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Article activity alert. Beware the Evil Eye Volume 2. Would England have come to depend on massive quantities of American silver and poured more attention and control into the Americas with creation of an imperial bureaucracy to govern them via an absolutist monarchy? Jan 02, Colin rated it it was amazing Shelves: general-history , world-history.
This was something to which Protestant England could never hope to lay claim although before the separation from Rome Henry VIII had made a somewhat forlorn bid to have himself elected Holy Roman Emperor. But if the British Empire could not hope to rival the prestige of Spain, it could compete on an equal footing in the Americas. In many respects these were very different kinds of venture, with very different outcomes. The differences between the indigenous populations made it inevitable that very different kinds of colonial society would soon emerge.
In the north, the settlements remained, culturally and politically, very close to Britain until the end.
In Spanish America, however, within less than a century, new societies and new cultures had come into being. The Spanish creoles, while insisting always on their loyalty to the Crown, had by the midth century evolved ways of life, forms of art and architecture, and a literature in both Spanish and Latin which, while evidently European in inspiration, were quite distinct from those found in Spain.
They also developed a powerful language of patriotism, which drew heavily on a somewhat fictionalised indigenous past, and would serve them well in the subsequent struggle for self-determination. The cultural life of the 13 colonies, by contrast, remained an essentially simplified, impoverished version of what was to be found in England, and the only patriotism the English creoles knew before the midth century was an attachment to all things English. The mimetic relationship between the two Americas went through a curious evolutionary cycle.
By the end of the Spanish War of Succession in , the balance of power in Europe had shifted inexorably from the south to the north.
It was Spain that now began to look towards Britain for a possible solution to its imperial malaise. The administrative machinery intended to bring this about, and the political language now being used to describe the new enlightened Spanish monarchy, both at home and overseas, was overwhelmingly French; but the model was British. Beginning with the notorious Stamp Act of , the British initiated a series of policies intended to bring the increasingly assertive American colonies to heel and to compel them to shoulder a greater portion of the burden of imperial defence.
The response of the settler population of both north and south to what they interpreted as unwarranted assaults on time-honoured rights and privileges was outrage that the mother country could betray the trust that had for so long existed between it and its subjects, followed by protest, insurgency and finally independence.
When, in , the Spanish Americans, from Rio de la Plata to Mexico, took their first step towards independence, they were rebelling against a state which was still largely controlled by the armies of Napoleon and whose only legitimate sovereign was living in exile. The crisis of legitimacy created by the Napoleonic invasion of Spain broke the long habit of loyalty to the Crown. The courses of the two American revolutions were also dissimilar. The North Americans fought a brief, intense campaign; the South Americans endured more than two decades of bloody warfare.
Whereas Washington managed successfully to disband the Continental Army once its job was done — one of the greatest if least noticed of his many achievements — the armies which had fought the Spanish fell into the hands of individual warlords.
The outcome, as we know all too well, has been a divided, impoverished and generally backward south and a fitfully united, powerful and prosperous north. At the very end of his book Elliott allows himself a rare moment of counterfactual reflection.
Would the flow of American silver, and the need to create the kind of bureaucracy Davenant so admired, have led in the end to the creation of the kind of absolutist monarchy which Spain, in fact, became? Elliott prefers not to answer. He is a historian, not a prophet. But what if the much vaunted rights and liberties which flowed from Magna Carta, through the Commonwealth and the Glorious Revolution of into the America of , had indeed been snuffed out in the midth century by a hugely enriched Tudor monarchy?
What if this monarchy had then occupied the north, which it certainly would have done?
Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America [John H. Elliott] on ykoketomel.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An enthralling. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America ¹ The Spanish official who crossed the Atlantic in can hardly have been alone in.
Would Britain, unable to understand or control the economic consequences of massive imports of bullion, have gone the way of Spain? Or would the kind of universal monarchy David Hume came to dread have become a reality, spreading over all of America and much of Asia? And what would the consequences of this have been for the modern world? The questions are worth asking not so much because we can ever have a sensible answer, nor because they can tell us very much about what actually did happen, but because they demonstrate, once again, how intertwined are the histories of the modern European empires and how inseparable from the history, not only of the indigenous peoples who fell under their rule, but of Europe itself.
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Spain had prime access to lands with mineral wealth and cheap labor, but it had to expend a massive amount of effort to consolidate its power over vast reaches of territory, with no useful models of empire to follow. Britain, meanwhile, had to settle for a relatively tiny chunk of land by the time it joined the imperial game nearly a century later, yet had the advantage of the lessons of the Spanish experience.
Elliot also emphasizes the importance of timing in the two independence movements. The outbreak of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars helped the new United States expand its trade and solidify its political autonomy, while the Spanish American republics found themselves with few export options to rebuild their war-ravaged economies, thanks to the concurrent peace in Europe. Another theme that Elliot frequently examines is that of race and its relationship to empire, characterizing the Spanish empire as racially inclusive and the British one as exclusive.
The indigenous peoples of Spanish America composed a central part of society, initially as a justification for colonization, then as a source of labor, and finally as an impediment to independence. Elliot claims that the independence process was later, more prolonged, and more violent in Spanish America in part because the creoles there had more to fear and more to lose from upsetting the status quo with the indigenous population.