What was the American Revolutionary War?

A revolt by the Thirteen British Colonies in North America against British rule.

It was part of a larger-scale conflict between Britain and five nations – France, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Mysore (southern India) – that took place mostly at sea and in a bid to ensure control of the sea.

Why was the role of Spain and Spanish America important for the American Revolutionary War?  

The Thirteen Colonies had no weapons, no gunpowder, and no money to wage war on Great Britain, at the time the world's greatest military power. The help of Spain and France was crucial to the triumph of the Revolution. 

Had Spain not entered the war alongside France, the British would have been able to reinforce their troops in America, enabling them to control the coasts and oceans in order to defeat the American rebels. 

Spanish victories in Louisiana and Florida drove the English out of the South, thus contributing to Washington's final victory and the subsequent expansion of the United States. 

The importance of this foreign intervention against a common enemy was recognized by the Founding Fathers themselves.

How did Spain react to the American Revolutionary War? 

Spain at first refused to recognize the United States as a nation, fearing that the revolution might spread to its own colonies; it was also unwilling to grant the free navigation of the Mississippi River demanded by the Americans. 

However, in the alliance established with France, Spain agreed that “no peace would be signed separately with Great Britain without the recognition of the independence of the United States”. 

What were the key points of Spain's support for independence?

Between 1775 and 1781, Spain sent thousands of weapons, blankets, uniforms and cash loans for Washington's army. According to the most recent estimates, this aid amounted to over 3 million pesos (more than USD 3 trillion at today's exchange rate). In addition, the French fleet received a sizeable loan in Cuba to pay French and American soldiers and sailors, thus helping to achieve the decisive victory at Yorktown in 1781.

The presence of Hispanic ships and troops in the Gulf of Mexico and Central America posed a constant threat to the British, who were unable to deploy more forces in the south and were forced to rethink their whole strategy in the Caribbean. 

Thousands of Hispanic soldiers and sailors, born in both Europe and America, contributed with their lives to the birth of the new nation.

José Manuel Guerrero Acosta
La Habana George Washington Arthur Lee Fernando de Leyba Marblehead John Jay Bilbao Oliver Pollock El Conde de Aranda José Solano y Bote El Conde de Floridablanca México Francisco de Miranda Nueva Orleans José Antonio George Farragut Pensacola Bernardo de Gálvez Mobile Juan Miralles San Luis Bárbara de Arias Macharaviaya Diego Gardoqui Nueva York