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"A Great Fear" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2018 9:51 p.m. PST

Luís de Onís and the Shadow War against Napoleon in Spanish America, 1808–1812

"A Great Fear: Luís de Onís and the Shadow War against Napoleon in Spanish America, 1808–1812 explores why Spanish Americans did not take the opportunity to seize independence in this critical period when Spain was overrun by French armies and, arguably, in its weakest state. In the first years after his appointment as Spanish ambassador to the United States, Luís de Onís claimed the heavy responsibility of defending Spanish America from the wave of French spies, subversives, and soldiers whom he believed Napoleon was sending across the Atlantic to undermine the empire.

As a leading representative of Spain's loyalist government in the Americas, Onís played a central role in identifying, framing, and developing what soon became a coordinated response from the colonial bureaucracy to this perceived threat. This crusade had important short-term consequences for the empire. Since it paralleled the emergence of embryonic independence movements against Spanish rule, colonial officials immediately conflated these dangers and attributed anti-Spanish sentiment to foreign conspiracies….."


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