Thursday, May 12, 2022

New Spain's span

TL;DR -- Our early focus was on New England and its northern neighbor, New France, as we got acquainted with the history of the northeastern part of the U.S. Post the Louisiana deal, the western expansion came to attention which brought New Spain into the focus. What was the situation in that huge western part in the time of the Revolution? Did New Spain get involved? SAR reports on their research into the matter.  


New Spain came into the discussion last year, as we looked at the movement to the west which started in earnest after the Revolutionary War. A search in this post on New Spain brings in some of the articles on the subject. 

As well, the Wikipedia article on New Spain provides information including a 1561 map of the extent of New Spain which ran across the whole of the country from CA to FL, through AZ, NM and TX. But, by the late 17th century, much of "North America had been claimed by European countries." Texas is interesting due to its access from New England through the interior or by water. The French had been there about the same time as the Massachusetts start having gone down through the Great Lakes to portages on two rivers to the Mississippi and then down. New France was the first colonizer of Texas which was at the southern end of its extent along the waterways from the north. Later, we saw explorers covering the same area by foot and horseback from the north and east. 

Spanish Texas

Coming from the south, New Spain had displaced New France by the time of the U.S. Revolution. This map of the Spanish Missions (1659-1795) shows the extent of its coverage. 

By 1819, the map on the left  (below) shows the lay of the land. This was after the addition of the land of Louisiana. 

Today, we see huge splits in views between regions of the country, such as those between some in the east and those of the southwest. Our review of history with a different perspective based upon changes over time and through technology will become more regular in looking how 'views' emerged and evolved. 

When we get to the time of the Revolution, there had been decades of maneuvering between the colonials of New England, New France and New Spain (and others). The advent of the newer party, America, provided means for old conflicts to work themselves out. Fortunately, we have descendants of the people involved to study (context of D.A.R. and S.A.R. and those of the loyalists' leaning).  

In 2010, a group from SAR went to Spain to celebrate New Spain's help in the efforts at attaining independence. In their report which gives us some details of the history of the interaction between the new start and the old country, we get another map showing a comparison of the extent of the areas related to each of the parties involved. 

Spain in the American Revolution
By Stephen Renouf, Trustee,
SAR Spain Society

Remarks: Modified: 05/24/2022

05/24/2022 -- Added look at Oldest universities, New Spain

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