Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 6

This week´s research will make you discover some curiosities related to the War of Spanish Succession(1700-1714)  and its consequences:

There is a Catalan proverb related to the consequences of the Battle of Almansa in 1707. What is this proverb and what´s its meaning?

Since 1943 the Almodí Museum of Fine Arts of the city of Xàtiva includes a portrait of Philip V hanging upside down. Why?

One of the decisions of the Utrecht Treaty was that Spain had to cede Gibraltar and Minorca to Great Britain. When did Minorca come back to the Spanish sovereignty?

Other decisions of the Utrecht Treaty were the two rights Great Britain got in the Spanish Indies: the assiento and the ship of permission. The violation of the limits to these rights by Great Britain led to a war between Spain and Great Britain in 1739. This war had a very curious name: War of Jenkins´Ear. What was the reason for this name?


Paqui Pérez Fons said...


There are two Catalan proverbs that refer to the Battle of Almansa:

- Quan el mal ve d´Almansa, a tots alcança (When evil comes from Almansa, everybody is caught)

- De ponent, ni vent ni gent (From the west, neither wind nor people"

The Battle of Almansa meant the invasion of the Kingdom of Valencia by Philip V´s troops. The Bourbons came from Castile and their victory meant the loss of the furs(fueros, the particular laws of the kingdom). This is why the defeat of Almansa is remembered as a very bad moment for the history of the old kingdom of Valencia in particular and the crown of Aragon in general.

After the Battle of Almansa Philip V´s troops occupied the city of Xàtiva on the 6th JUly 1707. But Philip V ordered to set fire to the city. The city burned for 8 days (this is why its inhabitants are called the socarrats (burned).The name of the city was changed to Colonia Nueva de San Felipe or simply San Felipe and the city was repopulated with people loyal to Philip V. In 1943 someone decided to hung Philip V´s portrait upside down to remember the punishment the city suffered and as a punishment to Philip V.


Minorca was British during most of the 18th century. This is why this period is called the "British century" in the island. Spain regained the island in 1756, during the Seven Years´War, but the British recovered it in the Treaty of Paris (1763). During the American War of Independence, Spain defeated the British again and Minorca became Spanish in the TReaty of VErsailles (1783). In 1798 Minorca was invaded once again by the British during the French Revolutionary Wars, but it was finally recovered by Spain in the Teeaty of Amiens (1802)


One of the Spanish concessions To Great Britain in the Utrecht TReaty was the ship of permission (a 500 ton ship once a year with British products to the Spanish Indies). But the British sent more ships, there was an intense contraband and the Spanish tried to control it with coast guard ships. In 1731 the British ship Rebecca was boarded by the Spanish coast guard La Isabela, commanded by Julio León Fandiño. After boarding, Fandiño cut off the left ear of the Rebecca's captain, Robert Jenkins, who had been accused of piracy. Fandiño told Jenkins, "Go, and tell your King that I will do the same, if he dares to do the same." In March 1738, Jenkins was ordered to go to the Parliament, presumably to repeat his story before a committee of the House of Commons. He took his severed ear with him and showed it to the deputies. The Parliament used this case to the declare war on Spain.

Laura Meco said...

Paqui! I wanted to do it today but as I can see you have already written the answers. It's really interesting the story about Philip V's painting. It's a good idea and I agree with it because it wasn't fair what he did to the people of San Felipe.
About Minorca, it's also very interesting because it belonged to the British many times and, although they tried to keep it, now, we own it.
It's incredible that Fandiño cut off Jenkins' ear! He was very very brave, but I think he could have solved that problem in another way!
Sorry for not doing this challenge, but I thought I could do it today. Thanks for the information!!

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Laura,

History in general is really interesting and there are lots of small stories we can´t study during the lessons and could have a place in every week´s challenges.

I don´t agree with you about Fandiño´s reaction. Violence is not the answer and severing Jenkins´ ear when this one was disarmed is not a brave action for me. If you´ve noticed, this episode happened in 1731, but the war didn´t start until 1739. It was a political question. This incident wasn´t taken into account until the moment in which the British Parliament needed an excuse to declare war on Spain.

Try to do the next challenge. It will be as interesting as this one, I promise. As I´m going on strike tomorrow, I´m going to wrtite the questions tonight.


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