History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedThe Anglo-Spanish War

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 6>
Author
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2007 at 18:25
Hey, drgonzaga, no Islas Malvinas....that is some other forum.  Wink
 
There is still argument and discussion here.
 
Pinguin mentions Cervantes's observations of poverty around 1600, but that existed everywhere.  England was hardly a land of milk and honey for the yeoman or the tradesman.  The exertions of the state (Crown) retarded growth and improvement in some areas, and enhanced them in others.
 
Expectations that Spain could have forstalled or escaped decline if there had been industrialization are off the mark, I think.  In the 16th and 17th centuries, the nature of what was understood at the time as economy was restricted for any number of reasons:
 
1)  Nearly all activity was concentrated on meeting immediate needs.  Ruling princes scrambled to cover their expenses from year to year; sometimes from month to month.  The agricultural interest, by far the most numerous, hoped for a reasonable harvest, or prices for his wool.  If there were a couple of bad harvests, major problems of famine, and disease ensued.  Results:  no long term planning was really possible.  People could muse about it, but nothing was done.
 
2)  The concentration of capital was never available to be directed toward such complex ambitions of development.  What capital there was was either concentrated in the hands of elites, who had other priorities, or was in the hands of a few banking houses who needed more immediate returns.   
 
Hard as it is for us to believe now, Spain's wars were a less speculative investment in 1600 than were a lot of other economic enterprises like manufacture or agriculture, at least in western Europe.  (In the Baltic, grain and timber and naval stores might be exceptions.)
 
Someone who lends money, whether government debt or bank loans, wants a more immediate return than some grand 20 year industrial plan.
 
So now we get to something I don't think anyone has mentioned.
 
3)  Spain was getting tired long before the collapse of the 1640s, and the lingering death of the war with France, 1635-1659.  In many respects, it was those elites who had benefitted from Spain's wars through participation and advancement who were weary of it all.  From the first decree of bankruptcy of Phillip II (1575?) the stage was being set for the martial decline of Spain.  After numerous events like that, a lot of the debt the Crown owed was not just to Portuguese Jews and Genoese bankers, but to their own elites, pressured for years for "contributions" to the Crown for God's work, etc.
 
As debt was converted to government bonds, many (not all) of the hidalgos who had formed the martial cadre of the 16th century saw that staying on one's hard-earned estate was better than risking life and limb and one's own wealth for the king.  Getting payed 8 or 10% on his government bonds was a pretty good return while it lasted.  Why risk more of his estate's resources on a possible bad agricultural result? Why put wealth into a furnace or manufactory? 
 
Fewer of these people, and the Grandee families themselves, sought commands or government positions.  This was magnified by the fact that Castile had been the origin of so many in these military elites.  The peculiar "constitutional" nature of the Iberian monarchies restricted the available pool of military elites, even though Spanish responsibilities and obligations remained or increased.
 
There are also other issues, like the very large number of better educated people who took holy orders during the Counter Reformation, and so were not involved much in economy.  Also, though there were some real military reasons for it, still it is revealing that the Army of Flanders soon became composed overwhelmingly of non-Spaniard subjects of the three Phillips, as well as mercenary English, Irish and Germans.
 
So, Spaniards were retreating from public life and increasingly less involved in productive economy.
 
We could argue this forever, but it still happened, and Spain was not defeated by England or the Dutch.  In her increasing malaise, Spain was eventually defeated by France.
 
  


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 30-Dec-2007 at 22:18
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 15-May-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 609
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2007 at 19:28
Another example of pettiness?--
"It never has been so used. It is certainly evidence of English (not 'British' at this period incidentally - or is that another piece of black American slang?) domination of the Channel and the narrow seas, which anyhow has only ever been threatened by the Dutch."
 
If you want to get "technical" then your use of Spain is even more ridiculous! There was no "Spanish" kingdom in 1588 so under your speciousness then the "Spanish" Armada is a misnomer. We use "Spain" as a convenience nothing more, and "British" is much the same or are we forgetting a little corner known as Wales and the pretensions in Ireland not to mention the succession in 1603! As for your history of the Channel (perhaps we should use La Manche), give it a break since you seem to forget actual naval history and the activity of the French ports for a good chunk of that time. Need I mention Saint Malo's long history? Sorry but you have this penchant for glittering generalizations that are entirely untenable and then respond with such pettiness as to really not be worth further time or consideration.
 
 
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 15-May-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 609
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2007 at 20:15
OK Pike, of course it was humour--yet the present furor of Las Malvinas/Falklands does carry an implication with regard to the persistence of mythic grandeur as to the virtues of Britannia, which has affected this thread.
 
However, you have put forth several valid and highly pertinent points of analysis not only in terms of the limits of government in the years 1500-1700 [the issue of what is commonly known by its French appellation, rentiers, is a highly pertinent one], but also with regard to the directions taken by elements in society as response to perceived crisis. Even in the 17th century a Spanish playwright could title a work, El sol se ha puesto en Flandres (The Sun Has Set in Flanders and an eery echo of In Flanders Field as the twilight of Europe itself) and Quevedo could write the biting Poderoso Caballero es Don Dinero (Sir Money is a Powerful Knight). One can not make any sense of history in Spain during the 18th century without grasping the problems generated in the years 1640-1700, otherwise why "the Bourbon Reforms"? None has yet ventured to speculate on Louis XIV and his perception of kingship and the state, but without muddling matters and venturing into psycho-history one can wonder whether the ghost of Felipe II through Anna de Austria did not have a role.
 
Regardless of desire, one can not push 19th century Britain back into the 17th and an understanding of the particular exigencies and expedients of that period must be addressed internally and all instances.  
 
PS: You mentioned the better educated taking Holy Orders, but you fail to consider another phenomenon, the Letrado, the trained bureaucrat who found administrative service a profitable career--as well as an avenue toward social advancement. Could we have a hint here as to the eventual fate of "service" economies?
 
I am always amused by recalling the old traditional analyses of Spanish decline, the ones that emphasized that Spain collapsed because of its
burdensome taxation such as the alcabala (sales tax) as a hindrance to commerce...now in the context of the US we have people proposing a national sales tax as the principal means through which to finance government! Again I am reminded of the biting comment from Truman and there is nothing new in history you just haven't read about it yet.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2007 at 21:31
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Another example of pettiness?--
"It never has been so used. It is certainly evidence of English (not 'British' at this period incidentally - or is that another piece of black American slang?) domination of the Channel and the narrow seas, which anyhow has only ever been threatened by the Dutch."
 
If you want to get "technical" then your use of Spain is even more ridiculous! There was no "Spanish" kingdom in 1588 so under your speciousness then the "Spanish" Armada is a misnomer.
But a common one. since all the countries involved were possessions of the 'Spanish' crown. I used it because everybody uses it. On the other hand the distinction between England and Britain is a critical one, especially in the 16th century, rather as the distinction between Aragon, Castile etc on the one hand and Spain on the other was in the 15th and earlier. Once the crowns became united it didn't make much difference.
 
But yes, technically the Armada was composed of Castilian, Biscayan, Catalonian, Levantine[1] and Guipúzcoan vessels. What would you suggest the correct designation should be?
 
Incidentally I note I meant to say 'has only been threatened by the Dutch since the time we're talking about.'
 
[1] As I suppose you know, i.e. the area around Benidorm, not the eastern Mediterranean.
Quote
 
We use "Spain" as a convenience nothing more, and "British" is much the same
Up to 1603 (arguably 1707) it most definitely isn't. Any more than 'Spain' was the same before the merger of the crowns.
Quote
or are we forgetting a little corner known as Wales and the pretensions in Ireland not to mention the succession in 1603!
1603 is after 1588, you may recall.
There weren't any Irish ships involved, not do I think there were any Welsh. In any case Wales has been part of the Kingdom (a principality) not a separate country, since 1301.
Quote
As for your history of the Channel (perhaps we should use La Manche), give it a break since you seem to forget actual naval history and the activity of the French ports for a good chunk of that time. Need I mention Saint Malo's long history?
You could mention why you're mentioning it. I know St Malo very well. The Earl of Salisbury burnt it in 1374. But like I noted above, I did mean since the time of the armada, not throughout all history. Obviously the English did not dominate the channel in 1066 for instance.
 
In the period covered by this forum, there were undoubtedly privateers coming out of St Malo who hassled English/British shipping and were a considerable pain as Drake and co had been to the Spanish. But they never seriously threatened overall control of the channel (in fact they were more of a pain in the Atlantic and elsewhere).
Quote
Sorry but you have this penchant for glittering generalizations that are entirely untenable and then respond with such pettiness as to really not be worth further time or consideration.
And I note you are exercising your well-known penchant for ignoring the points you have been called on, in favour of introducing new ones.
 
Like the use of the double quotes around "defeat" when you had tried to deny saying that the English had not defeated the 1588 Armada.
 
Like quoting a website in your favour that actually disagreed with you if anyone actually read it.
 
Like bringing the accusation " the brouhaha made by the English on the 1588 Armada is incorrect in terms of 16th century realities and can hardly be used as evidence of British sea power and control in the Atlantic" when nobody as far as I know has ever made any such claim.
 
I admit referring to the Iberian peninsula as Spain in the 16th century was an anachronism and a mistake. I admit I should have put 'since that time' or something into my reference to control of the Channel.
 
You seem to be unable to admit ever making any mistake.
 
And why bring in the fact that the French call the Channel 'la Manche'? You think people don't know that?
 
And what's a more glittering generalisation than "The defense of empire bankrupted Britain no less than Spain and a hell of a lot quicker! In fact, first the French and then the Brits embarked on much the same venture, with the latter even borrowing a motto: "The sun never sets..."
 
How in fact is it even relevant to the thread since neither the French nor the English/British had an empire to defend during the Anglo-Spanish war?
 
And where's the evidence that either France or England or Britain went bankrupt at this time? A king - even a government - running out of cash is not the same as a country going bankrupt. In particular the English and Scots had no trouble finding money to pay the king when they felt they were getting something for it, by, for isntance, buying baronetcies.
 
 
 
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Dec-2007 at 21:00
Hi guys,
 
I am not a mod anymore, but let's tone this down and discuss the war, OK?
 
 
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 473
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 14:07
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
In fact, the great fortifications that stand throughout the circum-Caribbean all date from the 1580-1600 period.

By the way, Essex did not "sink" the 1596 treasure fleet at Cadiz either, the Spanish did so as to prevent the contents of the vessels from falling into English hands. Spanish salvage technology was so advanced that cargo could be easily retrieved.



Just thought I'd chime in with a few points here.

1. The fortifications were built as a result of depredations by English and Dutch pirates, and were a massive drain on Spanish resources to limited usefulness. the pirates just went after easier pickings. Most of the Caribbean was successfully plundered time and again.

2. All the accounts I've read state the Spanish burned the merchant fleet to stop it falling into English hands.  Although I'm dubious about "advanced Spanish salvage technology" I doubt they could salvage ash into anything useful.Smile






Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 473
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 14:13
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by Challenger2 Challenger2 wrote:

Originally posted by HaloChanter HaloChanter wrote:

This is a thread for drgonzaga and challenger2, both of whom express an interest in the Anglo-Spanish War (so as not to hijack the Franco-American thread).


Good grief!  You create a thread for me then, you GCLE and PikeShot make all my arguments  for me!  I'll just get the pop corn...LOL
 
Oh, c'mon.  You have to disagree with something!  Smile
 
 


Oh yes, probably, but I just have to read through huge posts by everyone else to find the bits I disagree with. I've made a start.  Big%20smile
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 14:46
As an interesting way of keeping score, who stole more money from whom? The English from the Spanish or the Spanish from the English?
 
The Scots did pretty well too (they started earlier than the English) and so did the French, but the title here is the Anglo-Spanish war.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 15-May-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 609
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 16:47
Originally posted by Challenger2 Challenger2 wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
In fact, the great fortifications that stand throughout the circum-Caribbean all date from the 1580-1600 period.

By the way, Essex did not "sink" the 1596 treasure fleet at Cadiz either, the Spanish did so as to prevent the contents of the vessels from falling into English hands. Spanish salvage technology was so advanced that cargo could be easily retrieved.


Just thought I'd chime in with a few points here.

1. The fortifications were built as a result of depredations by English and Dutch pirates, and were a massive drain on Spanish resources to limited usefulness. the pirates just went after easier pickings. Most of the Caribbean was successfully plundered time and again.

2. All the accounts I've read state the Spanish burned the merchant fleet to stop it falling into English hands.  Although I'm dubious about "advanced Spanish salvage technology" I doubt they could salvage ash into anything useful.Smile
 

 
Some points must be brought forth here so as to emphasize how ridiculous claims can become and even invade the Internet. Here is how an enterprising Anglo, writing in Spanish for Wiki, presents events of 1596 while writing on the 1588 Armada:
Los ingleses tomaron inmediatamente la ofensiva. Desembarcaron en las costas de España (1592), y en 1596 se apoderaron de Cádiz y de Sevilla.
 
Notice, the English are even capturing Sevilla, a city of some 60,000 in 1596! Likewise, even in discussing the 1588 Armada, little mention is made that the vast majority of lost vessels were merchantmen refitted and armed for troop duty, while the actual naval galleons of the Spanish fleet survived the lengthy voyage and returned to Spanish ports. We read where one spoke of Drake's capture of Corunna, which is incorrect since not only did the Spanish control the upper town and its fortress but actually forced the Anglo-Dutch to abandon the enterprise. Then there is the supposed havoc raised at Lisbon and the seizure of Spanish treasure there by Drake and Norris. What was this "Spanish treasure", why some 80 French and Hanseatic League merchant vessels engaged in trade! The problem here is really discerning between the actual historical documents and the blaze of propaganda generated by English factions explaining even the most ignominious events in terms of "victory". Which brings me to Halo's skepticism over Spanish salvage technology in the 16th century. The Plate Fleet was burned, Halo, but the bullion it carried was recovered, besides one can not narrate events without appreciating Spanish documents on the same event:
 
Further, while Essex was engaged in Cadiz, we have to consider the other battle that took place in 1596. In fact, it is of major relevance since on 1 March 1596 there took place the only naval engagement between Spanish and English fleets: the remaining ships of the Drake-Hawkins expedition (now under Thomas Baskerville) encounter the Spanish American fleet off the coast of Cuba at the Isle of Pines. Regardless of a wind advantage, the English had to skeddadle! I suppose you would call their "escape" a naval defeat?Approve They fought and then fled...here you will not have problems with the Spanish documents since they've been translated for the Library of Congress--
 

As for Spanish salvage technology, the Spanish in both Spain and the Americans were employing the salvage bell and other techniques. The 1626 galleon Santa Margarita was partially salvaged in 1626 before a storm interrupted operations, and it was the salvage of a Manila Galleon in the the 1590s that brought to the crown's attention the discrepancy between cargo and declared manifest! The technology was already in book form in terms of both mathematics and equipment--
 
Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia  Regola generale di soleuare ogni fondata naue & nauilii con ragione
 
and the diving bell refined by Guglielmo di Lorena by 1535.
 
Which brings us down to the bottom line: Inclusion and not exclusion of sources should serve as the basis for synthesis. Describing events of the 16th century only in terms of what the English claimed is fine for nationalist mytholigies but it just is not an accurate historical portrayal.
PS: How about Spanish "pirates"--granted you do not hear abouth them but...


Edited by drgonzaga - 01-Jan-2008 at 16:50
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 17:11
Challenger,
 
The Caribbean fortifications were in fact very effective.  Before Drake's exploits in the 1570s, there were few important fortifications, and most were not modern in the style of bastioned traces, etc.  As a consequence of the Drake voyage, the Spanish built quite formidable modern fortifications at Cartagena, Havana, Puerto Rico and other places.  The effectiveness of these new fortififications were shown in the later INeffectiveness of English privateers of the 1590s in the Caribbean.
 
There were a few privateering expeditions in the 1580s, before these new fortifications were ready, but by the time of the Armada (actually Cadiz, 1587), most English resources were being expended in the Low Countries and closer to home - France; Ireland.  This continued during the earlier 1590s.  Hawkins and Drake were not sent to the Caribbean again until 1595, and their attacks on Puerto Rico, Panama and Santa Marta were absolute failures. 
 
It is true that Cartagena was sacked by the English in 1601 (not sure who the commander was), but these attacks achieved no strategic results.  They were plundering expeditions, and England never had the resources to stay in the Caribbean, to disrupt the silver fleets or to take and hold any important positions.
 
As far as Cadiz, 1596, that turned into a plundering expedition as well.  Much of the loot that was taken disappeared into private coffers, Essex's grand plan to seize Cadiz and force Spain to concentrate her forces there fell apart when all the looters decided they wanted to "take the money and run."  So much for grand strategy, and for command structure. 
 
(Actually, Essex was a good military mind, but his strategic visions were incompatible with English resources, and he was the usual Elizabethan slave to court intrigue and martial honor.)
 
The Queen was pissed off that the merchant fleet had burned, depriving England of much wealth, but I wonder how the expedition was expected to get that back to England.  They didn't have spare crews to sail the ships AFAIK, but maybe that really was the plan.
 
Essex's second expedition in 1597 was an absolute failure, and left England open to another attempt at a Spanish armada.  The weather saved the day again.
 
EDIT:  The Dutch didn't get in gear in the west Indies until the early 17th century.....the West India Company, et al.  And the Dutch at that time were no more than the same as the English in terms of successes.  The decade of the Truce in the 1610s changed much of that.
 
 
 
    


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 01-Jan-2008 at 17:22
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 17:25
As far as drgonzaga's comments on Spanish pirates...see Robert Stradling, 
The Armada of Flanders, Cambridge (1992).
 
They engaged in the same strategies as the other maritime powers....private resources - public policy.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 01-Jan-2008 at 17:28
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 473
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 18:04
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Challenger,
The Caribbean fortifications were in fact very effective. 
   


True, but only in those areas they protected. Try to forget about Drake, there are 150 surviving records of successful privateering voyages into the Spanish Main, throughout the period 1589-1603.

 An example of one such expedition by captain Christopher Newport in 1591 is recorded to have sacked four towns and took nineteen prizes and made a profit of £32,000. This was not considered in any way isolated or anomalous, more the norm to be expected of such an expedition, there were many, many more similarly successful voyages.

In 1595 Sir Anthony Shirley described Puerto de Caballos on the Honduras coast as “the most poor and miserable place of all India”; not really surprising as he was the sixth English pirate to have sacked the place in the previous five years. He wasn’t the last.

Large scale “headline grabbing” expeditions failed in their objectives, that‘s true. However the small scale ventures were far more successful. In themselves they had little immediate dramatic impact. Cumulatively, their attrition on Spain’s colonies and merchant ships was a significant factor which finally encouraged the Spanish to open peace negotiations.
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 19:17
Challenger,
 
In terms of overall Spanish policy, the strategy of adequately fortifying the "headline grabbing" locations was the correct one.  The poor and miserable place in Honduras likely wasn't worth defending strongly because of its location.  The English hit smaller, less strategically important places, and were less able to affect key locations where components of the silver fleet put in and concentrated for the return to Spain.
 
No doubt the residents of these less significant places suffered, but in war, when resources tend to get stretched, those resources go to the more important locations.  In the Medterranean, Barbary piracy was a problem for centuries, but it was more an annoyance than a major problem.  Spain could play down the Barbary corsairs because they were never strong enough to be a major threat to Spain's position.  In the Caribbean, English privateers caused difficulties, and those probably seemed greater at the time than they were.  More painful in the parlance of the era, was the damage perceived to the Spanish king's REPUTACION.
 
The most cherished English goals were to seize Panama to disrupt the flow of silver from Peru, and/or to intercept the flota to Spain.  Neither ever occurred, because England's resources were not sufficient to do either.
 
    


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 01-Jan-2008 at 19:49
Back to Top
pikeshot1600 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 22-Jan-2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4232
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 19:48
Challenger,
 
Do you have a source(s) for the privateering expeditions you mentioned?  that would be interesting.
 
Thanks.
 
 
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2008 at 20:31
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Likewise, even in discussing the 1588 Armada, little mention is made that the vast majority of lost vessels were merchantmen refitted and armed for troop duty,
True.
Quote
while the actual naval galleons of the Spanish fleet survived the lengthy voyage and returned to Spanish ports.
Not true. For instance, La Trinidad Valencera, having been holed after running aground after Gravelines, was lost in Glenagivney Bay and at 42 guns she was the fourth most powerful galleon in the Spanish fleet, behind São João, 50, São Martinho, 48 ( Medina Sidonia's flagship), Santa Ana, 47.
 
San Juan de Sicilia and two other galleons broke up in Tobermory Bay: the journal of Francisco de Cuellar, a member of the crew is on record.  In fact it turns out it's available on line at  http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T108200/index.html
 
De Cuellar wrote, inter alia: "As I have not had an opportunity to write to you for more than a year, I have not done so until now that God has brought me to these States of Flanders, where I arrived twelve days ago with the Spaniards who escaped from the ships that were lost in Ireland, Scotland, and Shetland, which were more than twenty of the largest in the Armada."
 
Why would de Cuellar lie? And, incidentally, de Cuellar obviously had no qualms about calling himself and his fellows 'Spaniards', whether there was one Spain or not.
 
Of Sidonia de Cuellar at one point wrote: "the Duke was then in retirement, and very morose, and unwilling that any one should speak with him; because, in addition to the miserable success which he always had with the enemy, on the day of my trouble he was informed that the two galleons—San Mateo and San Felipe—of those from Portugal, in which were the two commanders, Don Francisco de Toledo, brother of the Count of Orgaz, and Don Diego Pimentel, brother of the Marquis de Tavara, were lost in the sea, and most of those they carried were cut to pieces and dead."
 
"Miserable success" in case it needs pointing out, is ironic. "Miserable success" is failure.
 
The words of eyewitnesses, Spanish or otherwise, carry more weight than revisionist theories dreamt up by seekers after notoriety. 


Edited by gcle2003 - 01-Jan-2008 at 20:32
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 473
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2008 at 00:14
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Challenger,
 
Do you have a source(s) for the privateering expeditions you mentioned?  that would be interesting.
 
Thanks.
 
 


Off the top of my head, the information came from one of K. R. Andrews' books, either "Elizabethan Privateering", "English Privateering Voyages  to the West Indies 1588-1595" or the "Spanish Caribbean: Trade and Plunder 1530-1630" [Those are the ones I have read].  I can't remember which one without looking it up.  Embarrassed
(I've used these examples in another forum).  Andrews is a well respected authority on this subject and well worth a read.


Edited by Challenger2 - 02-Jan-2008 at 10:04
Back to Top
Challenger2 View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 28-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 473
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Challenger2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2008 at 00:20
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Likewise, even in discussing the 1588 Armada, little mention is made that the vast majority of lost vessels were merchantmen refitted and armed for troop duty, while the actual naval galleons of the Spanish fleet survived the lengthy voyage and returned to Spanish ports.


True, but they were far from seaworthy and their crews were decimated. hardly a threat.
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


As for Spanish salvage technology, the Spanish in both Spain and the Americans were employing the salvage bell and other techniques. The 1626 galleon Santa Margarita was partially salvaged in 1626 before a storm interrupted operations, and it was the salvage of a Manila Galleon in the the 1590s that brought to the crown's attention the discrepancy between cargo and declared manifest! The technology was already in book form in terms of both mathematics and equipment--
Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia  Regola generale di soleuare ogni fondata naue & nauilii con ragioneand the diving bell refined by Guglielmo di Lorena by 1535.


Really? I'm impressed. I learn something new every day! Smile


Edited by Challenger2 - 02-Jan-2008 at 00:21
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 15-May-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 609
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2008 at 10:49
It is really getting tiresome when certain people take themselves as proclaimed experts and write nonsense just to show how erudite they are in contrast to others.
 
La Trinidad Valencera was not a naval galleon but a converted Venetian merchantman. Had anyone simply done an Internet search future embarrassment would have been avoided: http://www.derrycity.gov.uk/museums/armada/files/who.htm
 
Neither was the San Juan de Sicilia that shipwrecked off the Irish coast. She was a merchantman, the Brod Martolosi, another rapidly ascertainable fact.
 
Apparently, it is more important to contradict from ignorance than to exercise a little care.
 
As for the Cuellar narrative as edited into English, one should be very careful with the text. Our "expert" has decided miserable success is in the original text; instead, the narrative reads sucesos miserables and that means miserable events (or happenings) and with reference to the Duke's career. We'll not comment on how similar sounding words do not mean the same thing from one language to another. The Spanish word for success is éxito. The perpetuation of bad research is par for the course when it comes to this topic.
 
Back to Top
drgonzaga View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel


Joined: 15-May-2005
Status: Offline
Points: 609
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2008 at 11:31
Now with regard to the places on the coast that were repeatedly "raided", there are little known facts about many a port upon the shore: they had large resident populatins solely within sailing cycles. For example, both Veracruz and Acapulco had vast population shifts seasonally, and the Central American coastline was rarely occupied since settlement moved into the highlands and healthy valleys.
 
There is confusion between Puerto de Caballos and San Pedro de Puerto Caballos since the harbor, where modern Puerto Cortés is sited is distinct from the town lying inland. It's actual moment of glory dates from 1536-1555, when it served as the collection/minting and tithing town for gold retrieved in the interior subsequent to the Alvarado expedition. That activity ended by the 1550s as the mint was relocated first to Gracias a Dios then to Comayagua. Why anyone would raid the place after the 1550s except at the exact times set for commercial transport is more than questionable. San Pedro only had some 800 residents in the 1590s. Now Comayagua is a different story, it is a fascinating place with wonderful colonial buildings and was already the capital and principal settlement of Honduras by the 1560s.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2008 at 11:58
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

It is really getting tiresome when certain people take themselves as proclaimed experts
When did I do that? I just quoted expert views and sources. Your 'certain people' presumably includes every single naval historian of note?
 
I do obviously know more about it than you do, but that doesn't make me an 'expert', proclaimed or otherwise.
Quote
and write nonsense just to show how erudite they are in contrast to others.
 
La Trinidad Valencera was not a naval galleon but a converted Venetian merchantman. Had anyone simply done an Internet search future embarrassment would have been avoided: http://www.derrycity.gov.uk/museums/armada/files/who.htm
 
Neither was the San Juan de Sicilia that shipwrecked off the Irish coast. She was a merchantman, the Brod Martolosi, another rapidly ascertainable fact.
There were three Spanish galleons wrecked that day in Tobermory Bay. You wouldn't know it from this source.
 
So you have a museum trying to sell tickets and a modelmaker trying to sell models. And, incidentally, the Irish site also says "La Trinidad Valencera was fitted out as a warship with a total of 32 cannons". So however she started out, at the time she was a warship. Life can get confusing with ships being re-equipped for this and that, so maybe you can tell me exactly what ships you consider to have been part of the 22 (by generally accepted count) 'fighting ships', all of which are supposed to have returned to Spain?
 
Quote
Apparently, it is more important to contradict from ignorance than to exercise a little care.
 
As for the Cuellar narrative as edited into English, one should be very careful with the text. Our "expert" has decided miserable success is in the original text; instead, the narrative reads sucesos miserables and that means miserable events (or happenings) and with reference to the Duke's career. We'll not comment on how similar sounding words do not mean the same thing from one language to another. The Spanish word for success is éxito. The perpetuation of bad research is par for the course when it comes to this topic.
 
 
The important word there is 'miserables'. Miserable events or miserable success still means failure. And of course from Sidonia's point of view he was chewing over what his defeat had done to his career (and for that matter probably what it would do to his lasting reputation).
 
For more contemporary documents that leave no doubt as to whether the Armada expedition ended in an English victory, take the Fugger newsletters with regard to it at http://www.boisestate.edu/courses/reformation/sources/fz/fzarmada.shtml
 
They do show the 'fog of war' in operation, and they even include a message or two that the Spaniards had defeated the English and Elizabeth been overthrown, but if you watch the dates on the letters it isn't long before the fog blows away, and the reality shows through.
 
On the subject of contemporary views, this senior Spanish officer (possibly Bertendona apparently) wrote
Quote
It is well known that we fight in God's cause. So when we meet the English, God will surely arrange matters so that we can grapple and board them, either by sending some strange freak of weather, or more likely, just by depriving the English of their wits.
 
If we can come to close quarters, Spanish valour and Spanish steel (and the great masses of soldiers we shall have on board) will make our victory certain. But unless God helps us by making a miracle, the English, who have faster guns and handier ships than ours, and many more long-range guns, and who know their advantage as well as we do, will never close with us at all, but stand aloof and knock us to pieces with culverins, without our being able to do them any serious hurt.
 
So, we are sailing against England in the confident hope of a miracle.
Very prescient of him, if over-trusting. So much for faith-based foreign policies.
 
The whole text is in Rodger Safeguard of the Sea, Mattingley Spanish Armada, and Martin & Parker Spanish Armada but I couldn't find all of it on the web, though it's often quoted in partial form.
 
It is of course translated into English, as are the Fugger letters, but <sigh> this is an English language forum.


Edited by gcle2003 - 02-Jan-2008 at 11:59
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 6>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.