Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Bernardo de Galvez, Key to US Independence
Created by John Eipper on 07/31/22 3:54 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

Bernardo de Galvez, Key to US Independence (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary, 07/31/22 3:54 am)

A few weeks ago the US president arrived in Madrid to attend the NATO summit. In his appearance before the mass media at the Royal Palace in Madrid, President Biden commented in a relaxed tone to King Felipe VI: "Some say that we would not have been an independent country without you."

Naturally, the independence of the United States of America would have been impossible without Spanish aid to the Thirteen Colonies.

Not only did Spain provide arms, ammunition, clothing, tents, medicine and money to the rebels against British rule from the beginning of the war, but Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of the province of Louisiana, launched a series of daring campaigns against British possessions along the lower reaches of the Mississippi and West Florida.

In this environment of "bayous," populated by alligators, proud French Creoles, brave Indians and black slaves anxious to win their freedom, Gálvez, who had been trained in the war against the Apaches, as well as in the most exquisite enlightened military tradition, deployed all his ingenuity in order to reconcile very different talents with a double purpose: to secure Louisiana, a vast and inhospitable colony ceded by France to the Spanish Crown in 1763, and, after 1779, to recover the territories lost to Great Britain in North America during the Seven Years' War.

This was no easy task. In May 1779, the Louisiana Fixed Regiment, the only Army unit deployed in the province, had only one battalion of 14 officers and 439 non-commissioned officers and soldiers. Gálvez began a recruitment campaign among the Canary Islander immigrants arriving in the region, as well as in New Spain (Mexico), in order to form a second battalion.

The provincial capital of New Orleans and its surroundings were shaken by a strong hurricane that summer. Despite this, upon receiving news of Spain's declaration of war against Great Britain, Gálvez made the bold decision to immediately go on campaign against the British settlements on the right bank of the Mississippi.

At the head of a group of men of all races, nations and colors, the Málaga native conquered Fort Manchac, Baton Rouge and Natchez.

Gálvez's gifts were not only for his soldiers and the Creole militia. "The company of free blacks and mulattoes who were always employed in the advances, false attacks and discoveries, and always shot at the enemy, behaving with as much courage, humanity and disinterestedness as the whites themselves, deserve no less praise," he wrote.

Regarding the 170 Indians who were added to his ranks, he pointed out that "they have given for the first time the beautiful example of a humanity superior to that exercised many times by some of the civilized nations of Europe."

In the following two years, reinforced with troops from Cuba and the Peninsula, Gálvez undertook the conquests of Mobile and Pensacola, on the coast of West Florida.

These were arduous campaigns in which the Spaniards had to face the English redcoats, German mercenaries and the fearsome Choctaws, Seminoles, Creeks and Chickasaws, allies of the British, "sure of their aim, agile as deer to attack and flee, cruel with prisoners, and the best in the world to wage an advantageous war in the impenetrable forests surrounding Pensacola," in the words of Francisco de Saavedra, royal commissioner in the Caribbean and good friend of Gálvez.

Ultimately, the Spanish forces managed to overcome the difficulties and forced the capitulation of Mobile and Pensacola, which contributed decisively to the failure of the British war effort in the southern Thirteen Colonies and, therefore, to the independence of the United States.

Despite the success of his enterprises, Gálvez fell into oblivion in North America at the beginning of the 19th century. This had much to do with the unfavorable opinion of the American elites towards Spain and the Spanish Americans, as well as the policy of the Manifest Destiny, which advocated the expansion of the United States towards the Pacific Ocean, and brought the nation into a confrontation with Mexico.

It was not until the beginning of the 20th century when, thanks to the action of entities such as the Hispanic Society of America, founded in 1904 by the philanthropist Archer Milton Huntington, the memory of Gálvez and the Spanish contribution to its independence began to be rescued in the country.

Thanks to academic, museum and diplomatic initiatives, today, in spite of the long silence of more than a century on his figure, Gálvez is widely known in the United States, a nation that in 2014 granted him honorary citizenship in recognition of his contribution to the country's independence.

JE comments:  Gálvez is best remembered in the US for the port city that bears his name:  Galveston, Texas.  When it comes to international heroes of US independence, Lafayette is the first to come to mind, but we also need to remember others.  Allow me to put in a mention as well for the Poles Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko.


SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (1)
100%
Informational value100%
Insight100%
Fairness100%

Visits: 157

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (45694 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who