Spain

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> States >> Spain

Map of Europe in 1740 showing the kingdom of Spain
Capital Madrid
Language(s) Spanish, Catalonian, Galician, Basque
Religion Catholic
Population Approximately 9,855,000 inhabitants (aside from colonies)
Government Kingdom
Dependencies
  • Several colonies in America (by 1800 these colonies would count some 12,000,000 inhabitants)
  • Philippines with Manila as capital (most of Mindanao Island was still under Muslim rule). Spanish colonization had by then barely started.
  • Oran in Algeria was a Spanish stronghold
  • in Morocco, Spain had several forts in the Riff region: Melilla, Ceuta, Alhucemas and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

N.B.: at the beginning of the war, Control of Minorca’s foreign affairs was undertaken by the United Kingdom of Britain

Rulers 1746-1759: King Ferdinand VI

1759-1788: King Charles III

Army In 1759 there were, aside from the Spanish and Walloon Guards, 27 Spanish foot regiments, 3 Irish, 2 Italian, 3 Walloon and 4 Swiss infantry regiments. For more details see the article on the Spanish Army
Navy At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), Spain had only a few warships. In 1737, thanks to Alberoni's and Piatino's efforts, the Spanish Navy had 33 ships of the line.

No vessel of the Spanish Navy were based in the Philippines. The defence of Manila was confided to land forces.

For a comprehensive list of the warships of this navy, see the article Spanish Navy

Trade Manila in the Philippines was used as a hub to trade with China. Direct trade with China was prohibited since 1593. Furthermore the value of Chinese goods transiting by Manila for Acapulco was limited to 500,000 pesos since 1734, even though the real value of the Manila galleon far exceeded this limit (3 millions pesos for the freight captured aboard the Santissima Trinidad in 1762). Indeed, Spanish merchants feared competition from Chinese silk on the Spanish America market. The Manila galleon always followed the same route: she sailed from Acapulco in March, then passed near Marshall Islands, Guam, the Mariannes; returning from Manila in July to the coasts of California then arriving in Acapulco in November or December. There was a Chinese quarter in Manila (Parian) counting a population of some 20,000 inhabitants, mostly merchants and craftsmen. Chinese merchants were selling (silk, borax, camphor, musk, tea, porcelain, fans, ivory, jade...)) much more than they were buying and the difference had to be paid to them in currency. During the Seven Years' War, there were trouble in Parian in 1755 and 1762.

References

Devèze, M., L'Europe et le monde à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Albin Michel, 1970, pp. 31, 44, 218-224, 286