Guns, Ships, and Cows: Spain in the American Revolution with Dr. Richard Bell
University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell explores the hidden history of Spain’s participation in the American Revolution. Bell argues that King Carlos III and his ministers in Madrid saw the conflict as an unprecedented opportunity to regain territory Spain had ceded to the British during the French and Indian War. For that reason, Spanish merchants in Bilbao and the Caribbean had been secretly supplying the patriots with hundreds of thousands of flints, shot, and blankets since 1774.
Their government’s declaration of war five years later turned that trickle of support into a flood. It marked the starting pistol for a fifty-month campaign to recapture Minorca in the Mediterranean, and to lay siege to Gibraltar, the rocky promontory on Spain’s southern tip that the British had held since the start of the century. The Spanish Navy would also partner with France to harass British merchant shipping and would send an enormous armada to invade Britain itself. Spanish soldiers would also dominate much of the fighting in the Southern colonies, launching campaigns to dislodge the redcoats from strategic forts at Pensacola and Mobile.
Led by Dr. Richard Bell, an expert on American Revolutionary history, this seminar will explore the often overlooked, but undeniably significant role that Spain played in America's revolution. Participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the ways in which the Spanish aided America in its fight for freedom.
Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home," which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.