IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > H. Latin America, 1500–1800 > 7. Foreign Encroachments and Territorial Changes, 1580–1800
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
7. Foreign Encroachments and Territorial Changes, 1580–1800
England, France, and the Netherlands engaged in war against Spain and sought to dispute Spain's preeminence in the New World by attacking shipping and setting up colonies in territories controlled by Spain and Portugal (See Portuguese America, 1500–1815).  1
16th Century
French corsairs early on attacked the Spanish fleet off the coast of Europe and at the Azores and Canaries and soon extended their activities into the Caribbean, attacking towns and trade. Portuguese repelled French attempts to establish themselves in Brazil. English privateers, with tacit approval of the British crown, became active in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific. Francis Drake raided the Pacific coast during his voyage around the world (1577–80). After the outbreak of war between Spain and England, the English made privateering an official activity. Many towns were held for ransom or sacked, among them Nombre de Dios, Cartagena, Santo Domingo, and Valparaíso. Coincident with the struggle for independence in the Netherlands, Dutch freebooters became active.  2
17th Century
England, France, and the Netherlands started settlements in the Guianas. England colonized Bermuda and the Bahamas. A Dutch armada captured a treasure convoy from New Spain (1628). An English expedition captured Jamaica and established a colony (1655). Slaves and their Spanish masters fled to the bush. Slaves formed runaway (Maroon) communities and attacked English settlements. In the 18th century, the British and Maroons engaged in wars. English, French, and Dutch buccaneering in the Caribbean played an important role in disrupting Spanish-American commerce.  3
18th Century
Constant wars in Europe and control of the sea by Great Britain made it difficult for the Spanish crown to maintain a trade monopoly. British, French, and Dutch merchants developed extensive illicit commerce. Wars against Spain had as one objective the obtaining of trade concessions, in which the slave trade was a very important element.  4
After the War of the Spanish Succession (See 1701–14), Great Britain obtained the asiento, or monopoly of slave trade with the Spanish possessions, by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) (See 1713, April 11).  5
Montevideo was founded to counter Portuguese Colonia (founded in 1680), where British and Portuguese carried on illicit trade with the province of the Río de la Plata.  6
A British expedition failed to capture Cartagena, which had been heavily fortified as a bulwark of colonial defense.  7
The Treaty of Madrid stipulated that Portugal give Colonia to Spain in return for seven Jesuit reductions (settlements for Christianized Indians) on the east bank of the Uruguay. The Guaraní of the reductions rebelled against the transfer, unleashing the War of the Seven Reductions (1752–56), which ended with Portuguese repression. Portuguese retained Colonia and the treaty was void.  8
When Spain entered the Seven Years' War (See 1756–63) as an ally of France, British expeditions captured Havana and Manila (1762). Spanish forces captured Colonia and occupied Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. By the Treaty of Paris (1763) (See 1763, Feb. 10), Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for Havana and Manila, and returned Colonia and Rio Grande do Sul to Portugal. France ceded Louisiana to Spain, although French colonists opposed establishment of Spanish authority.  9
Dispute between Spain and Great Britain over possession of the Falkland-Malvinas Islands.  10
Spain established a garrison in the Falklands to defend the Strait of Magellan.  11
Spain invaded Colonia and other Portuguese territories. Creation of the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata helped to solidify Spanish control in that area.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.