More than 450 years ago the Spanish came to Virginia and named the beautiful Bay of Chesapeake “Saint Mary’s Bay.” Spain gave the 13 American colonies enormous economic, logistical, and political support during the Revolutionary War, and as soon as peace consecrated the fruits of an allied victory, on October 27, 1795, the United States and Spain signed a treaty. The first article read: “There shall be solid and unbreakable peace and sincere friendship among his Catholic Majesty, his successors and subjects, and the U.S. and its citizens without exceptions as to persons or places.” Notwithstanding the peaceful relations and the contribution of Spanish culture to the formation of the great American nation, something happened years later that led the two nations into an unwanted war. Why did these two former allies go to war? How did the Spanish Navy face this war?


Territorial Expansion Home Rule Peaceful Relation Naval Force Monroe Doctrine 
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© Edward J. Marolda 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel A. Fernandez

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