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13

Nial Ferguson in the Ascent of Money cites Spain as the canonical case of a state that just doesn't get economics. Philip II of Spain defaulted on debt four times - in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596 - becoming the first nation in history to declare sovereign default due to rising military costs and the declining value of gold, as it had become increasingly ...


11

One reason is because of the poor topography, and the lack of good transportation. Take the southern cone, for instance. The Andes Mountains divide Argentina and Chile. They also divide Colombia and Venezuela further north. One kind of wonders why Uruguay and Paraguay are separate entities from Argentina, until one realizes that they formed around ...


10

It is commonly accepted that the Spanish Empire, which rose to the pinnacle of its strength under Charles V/I and Philip II was in decline by early seventeenth century and, in spite (or perhaps because?) of strenuous efforts to arrest and reverse that decline during the early 17th century, it declined and by 1643 or 1659 (not random dates..) it was a shadow ...


9

Summary Strong perpetual rulers after independence from Spain led to the eventual breakup of early alliances. Explanation First we must consider the political subdivisions of the Spanish Empire in the Americas when Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808 (Peninsular War): Viceroyalties: governed by viceroys (representatives of the monarch) New Spain: roughly ...


9

Aztec weaponry comprised wooden clubs and spears tipped with flint, obsidian and occasionally copper. These weapons could inflict blunt trauma damage to Cortez's troops, and could penetrate the gaps in the Spanish armour with a lucky blow, but had little chance of actually inflicting significant damage to the armour itself. Combined with the natural ...


6

How would it matter if people support war when Spain was not the aggressor? They supported it as it was a defensive war. In these times it was obvious to fight. I read a Polish book, some years ago, later on the evening (I live in CET zone) I will provide this as a source if someone is interested, but the main idea was that Spanish knew they were about to ...


5

John Maynard Keynes indirectly answered this question in his 1930 essay "Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren," http://www.econ.yale.edu/smith/econ116a/keynes1.pdf, in which he traced the development of Britain's capital account directly to the capture of Spanish Treasure by Sir Francis Drake. Essentially Queen Elizabeth I was able to pay off the ...


4

A proximate cause of the Spanish empire was the Netherlands War of Independence (which lasted 80 years), and other revolts against Spain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighty_Years%27_War The Spanish Empire had been "cobbled" together in the late 15th and early 16th centuries by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, whose daughter ...


3

It could well be that Annobon, being farther out from the two Bights, has better sailing conditions - more access to trade winds, less likely for fleets to be caught by a contrary wind against the two shores. Thus it is more convenient as a base for ships travelling on to the far east via Africa.


3

One of the main reasons was that Spanish empire was too large to control. After Napoleonic wars (and earlier against England) the Spain had lots of interior problems and this was more important than colonies. That's why most of them gained independence. I totally disagree that "nobody liked Spanish". It might have been in 16th or 17th century, but not in ...


3

If you study Brazilian History as well (I am Brazilian and I have read some very good Brazilian history books), you see that in Brazil many of the provinces had separatists feelings, in several occasions along the time. I will not mention examples, but there are dozens of rebellions that happened along the XIX century. And even in 1930 we had an armed ...


3

The huge debt inherited from his father, Charles V (Charles I of Spain), had to be renegotiated with bankers several times. Thus, a system of bonds was created in which bankers accepted to receive the interests only. The principal, however, was never returned and the interests kept on growing. This system of bonds was the first in history, by the way. The ...


3

Here's an interesting article on the topic, from the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper. It's titled, "What Did the Early Spanish Settlers Eat?" and should answer your questions: The primary crop was wheat, in addition to significant amounts of corn, beans, barley, and peas. As the mission’s water system developed, more sophisticated irrigation ...


2

Father-President is a fairly common title in Catholic institutions where the chief executive is a priest. The Spanish missions in North America were a "co-venture," with the Catholic Church seeking converts and the Spanish Crown seeking to "Hispanize" the native population. The former supplied the manpower for converting and educating the Indians, the ...


2

I am not really an expert on history but I can give you a insider view (I am Spanish) from what we study at school and from what my grandfather told me. Spanish-American war is known informally as "The Cuban War". It mainly represents the end of the Spanish Empire as we lose the last colonies. We still had at that time some colonies in Africa (Morocco, ...


1

Perhaps this is facile to think an originally English, Protestant movement would have any relation to or impact on the Spanish Catholic Christians, but I wonder why not? The colonies of North and South America were still relatively young and only loosely united amongst themselves, and both were havens for religious communities and peoples seeking a new ...


1

I think this says it all: It even led to Annobon being in a state of virtual anarchy for some time (due to rejecting the Spanish colonization and being hard to manage from such a large distance from the Rio Muni and Fernando Po colonies). Ceding any other island to the Spanish would have simply disrupted the management of the Portuguese colony, when ...


1

One important consequence of repeated Spanish bankruptcies was that the modern Netherlands won its war of independence from Spain. It may have (years later), led to the successful secession of Portugal in 1640 as well. In any event, they marked the decline of the Spanish empire, and its eventual withdrawal (in the 19th century) from the affairs of (central) ...


1

Since I was just looking up information in David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years in the context of another question, I can contribute a quote from that source that confirms part of what @fledermaus has already indicated: Charles V was continuously in debt, and when his son Philip II – his armies fighting on three different fronts – ...



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