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The Spanish Essential: Tales Of The Union Jack, The Fleur-de-Lis And The Jolly Roger

Have you ever ever puzzled why there are so many previous-time forts on the Caribbean islands And who constructed them And why

Garment-Dyed Membrana Hooded Jacket In RedYou will spot forts nearly in all places on the previous “Spanish Primary” – meaning all of the Caribbean islands and the countries rimming them along the coasts of Central and South America. Some are jumbo-dimension, just like the $2 trillion monster fort overlooking the Colombian harbor of Cartagena, where treasure galleons gathered to sail in convoys to Spain. Different forts, like those perched on a few of the hilltops within the Grenadines, boast just a cannon or two.

Spanish super-fort guarded treasure fleets at Cartagena, Colombia.
A lot of the forts have been constructed through the 17th and 18th centuries when Spain, France, England and The Netherlands have been slugging it out to grab islands to grow sugarcane, tobacco, cotton and the like. Not solely did all these countries have to keep an eye fixed out for one another’s ships, but also for guys with eye patches sailing round below the flag of the Jolly Roger.

At one time lots of of pirates roamed the Caribbean, hoping to bag slow-transferring cargo ships (whether or not they flew the colours of Spain, England, France or anybody else). After they couldn’t discover any merchant ships to loot, they settled for plundering flippantly defended ports.

Historical cannons stand silent vigil on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sometimes the colors of various nations flew over the identical forts at different occasions. For instance, throughout a long series of wars between France and England, France’s Fleur-de-lis went down and England’s Union Jack went up on the island of St. Lucia seven instances earlier than France finally threw within the towel in 1814.

Picture from Jade Mountain exhibits volcanic peaks soaring over St. Lucia.
“The Struggle of Jenkins Ear” was another big flag-changer. This one began off the coast of Florida in 1731 when a Spanish ship captured a British merchant vessel commanded by Robert Jenkins. For some cause, the Spanish commander cut off certainly one of Jenkins’ ears.

Now, the Brits might hardly take that insult mendacity down, so – after one factor led to another (together with bickering over the rights to sell slaves in the Caribbean) – they ended up declaring war on Spain. In one battle, an English fleet led by Admiral Edward “Previous Grog” Vernon captured and sacked the wealthy Spanish port at Portobello, Panama. Flushed with success, Vernon went on to assault one other huge Spanish port down the coast at Cartagena – and literally ran right into a stone wall at the mega-fort there. Vernon showed up with a power of 23,000 males and 186 ships bristling with 2,000 cannons, but the fort, defended by just three,000 Spanish troops and six ships, sent Old Grog packing after a month-long siege of the town.

Cannons dot the hilltops of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
And so it went through the years, until the mid-1700s when piracy fizzled out and the forts had a little less to do. However what put them out of business was an all-palms summit of the European powers in 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars. Called the Congress of Vienna, the pact divvied up Europe to the likes of the large players in return for everyone’s promise to behave.

And as Europe went, so did the Caribbean, with certain islands stone island jumpers gumtree going to the English, French, Spanish and Dutch. Most of the islands have since gained their independence, semi-independence, or fewer ties to their overseas parent countries.