By J. C. A. Stagg
In analyzing how the U.S. won keep an eye on over the northern borderlands of Spanish the United States, this paintings reassesses the international relations of President James Madison. Historians have assumed Madison’s purpose in sending brokers into the Spanish borderlands among 1810 and 1813 used to be to subvert Spanish rule, yet J. C. A. Stagg argues that his actual reason was once to discover peaceable and felony resolutions to long-standing disputes over the bounds of Louisiana at a time while the Spanish-American empire was once within the means of dissolution. Drawing on an array of yankee, British, French, and Spanish assets, the writer describes how a myriad solid of neighborhood leaders, officers, and different small avid gamers affected the borderlands international relations among the United States and Spain, and he casts new gentle on Madison’s contribution to early American expansionism. (20100301)
Read or Download Borderlines in Borderlands: James Madison and the Spanish-American Frontier, 1776-1821 (The Lamar Series in Western History) PDF
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Additional resources for Borderlines in Borderlands: James Madison and the Spanish-American Frontier, 1776-1821 (The Lamar Series in Western History)
As Jay arrived in Madrid, James Madison, in March 1780, took up a seat in Congress as a delegate from Virginia. 14 How much he knew about Spain and its American empire, though, is difﬁcult to tell. ”15 Later in his life Madison doubtless experienced many occasions on which he must have savored the pungency of such witticisms, but in 1780 it is unlikely he gave them very much thought. 16 More certainly, he would have been familiar with the treatment of these subjects by the celebrated Edinburgh historian William Robertson, whose approach to them, informed by a combination of providential Calvinism and the progressive social theories of the Scottish Enlightenment, Madison had absorbed at the College of New Jersey at Princeton after 1769.
He was aware Congress had its own claims in the region, but of more importance by 1780 was the view that the Spanish occupation of Pensacola and St. Augustine would do little immediately to advance the independence of the American states. “It would be much more for the credit” of Spain, Madison noted, “as well as for the common good, if instead of wasting their time & resources in these separate and unimportant enterprises, they would join heartily with the French in attacking the enemy where success could produce the desired effect,” namely by defeating the Royal Navy squadron in the Caribbean under the command of Admiral George B.
On that score, he invoked the law of nations, as Vattel had summarized it, to the effect that when two nations at peace held different portions of a river, each was entitled to a right of “innocent passage” on the whole, subject to only “a moderate toll” collected for trade regulation by the power at the river mouth. The claim to free ports in West Florida, furthermore, derived from the right and the necessity to make the navigation of the Mississippi meaningful in a commercial sense. Otherwise, he pointed out, commerce on the river, by its very nature, could only be a mere trade to New Orleans and not beyond.