Thursday, October 17, 2019

Spanish Identity during the Peninsular War Essay

Spanish Identity during the Peninsular War - Essay Example This was due to its proximity to the different factions that later on became synonymous with its history. The Spanish Domain integrated different colonies, conglomerating these into one major kingdom, and grew to become one of the major global empires of its time1. However, the Spanish history was laden with different kinds of wars, from revolutionist wars as shown by the French revolution that involved most European nations including Spain, to religious wars that all form significant parts of the Spanish past. Spain’s involvement in these wars was partly fuelled by its generally flourishing status of the economy courtesy of the revenue and riches that it generated from its acquisition of colonies especially in Africa coupled with its massive manifestation in the Americas. During these early times, Spain established itself into the niche of being among the most powerful nations, and its conquests led it to establishing a vast empire stretching over most parts of Europe. Howeve r, despite all these subjugations, the wars drained Spanish economy, especially under the reign of the Habsburg administration that was deemed negligent and incompetent on most matters. This decline in power gradually led to tensions in the Spanish realm later on culminating to a different rule, the Bourbons, taking over the Spanish control. Despite the general conception that Spain is among the ancient European nations, its true sense of identity presented itself with the onset of the 19th century especially with the advent of the Peninsula war. This idealization is due to the inception of the peninsular war that delineated the real state of the Spanish national identity and initiated the true civilization that united Spain on a single purpose hence leading to its inherent identification and true sense of sovereignty. Prior to the 19th century, French had ridden on a number of conquests and successes that ensured it enjoyed domination over most other European empires. This was unde r Napoleon, who had a penchant for confrontations in the quest for territorial expansion. In light of this, Napoleon initiated the peninsular war through moving his troops through Spain in attack of Portugal, only to turn upon the Spanish empire thereby leading to the Spanish uprising in defense of their territorial abuse by the French. This initiated the true Spanish identity in the struggle for the Iberian Peninsula in the wake of the Napoleonic initiated wars2. Through this war, the French were able to disintegrate the Spanish administration leading to smaller factions that tried to maintain the Spanish identity through guerilla type of warfare. Due to the various enmities that Napoleon had created, British and Portuguese states combined forces with the guerilla tactics of the partly annihilated Spanish empire to prevent further conquest by Napoleon. Following the disintegration of the Spanish entity into smaller factions during the peninsular war, the Spanish nationals sensed th e threat of territorial defeat and embarked on uniting under one cause to protect their identity end ensure national prosperity3. This lead to the different factions coming under one political annex to ensure proper national unity in the quest for the independence they enjoyed prior to the war. This highly led the Spanish to view the war as an independence struggle, despite enjoying stable independence prior to the war. The social aspects of Spain during this war ensured it gained enforcement

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