July 13, 2007

Britain's invasion of Argentina

Britain's invasion of Argentina 200 years ago became one of his least remembered and most ignomious failures. The thing that got does not spell out is why the British attacked. He implies, but not state explicitly, that it was an act of Imperialist aggression. No doubt that is true, but why 1806-7? Why not 1804 or 1808?

The reason is simple. Spain had become Napoleon's ally in 1805 and had declared war on Britain. It was normal British practice to conquer the colonies of the powers they fought rather than fighting them in Europe. So this was part of the attempt to weaken and conquer the Spanish empire when it was allied with napoleon. By 1808 Spain was Britain’s ally and the idea of conquering the Spanish empire vanished.

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