Issue #26 in 2020 year, 31-59

Great Britain and the War of Independence in the Rio-de-la-Plata

V. Kazakov

The article analyses the British policy towards the War of Independence in the River Plate: its premises and consequences. The failure of the English invasion to the River Plate forced the British government to change its policy towards Spanish America. London began to consider South America as a sphere of primary economic rather than political interests. Оn the whole, British policy from the first outbreak of colonial insubordination until the final recognition of the independence of Rio-de-la-Plata was designed to achieve the two objectives Castlereagh had defined in 1807: the development за the British commercial connections and the diminution of the British politics commitment in Latin America. In the first stage of the war Britain strove to mediate between Spanish authorities and her colonies on the basis of admitting the colonies to a share in the government of their respective provinces and in their trade. The Spanish Crown was unwilling to accept such mediation. Once Ferdinand VII was restores he began to suppress a revolution by force of arms during the years 1814–1820. Ferdinand VII might have reasserted his authority everywhere in Spanish America had he been able to obtain the material assertions which he required from European Great Powers. But British refused to give him such assistance and refused to let other powers to do so. For a variety of internal and external reasons, the British government remained committed to mediation policy. This policy, initially an obstacle to Spain's counter-revolutionary policy, has increasingly turned into its support. After the Spanish Revolution of 1810, the policy of mediation was clearly outdated. The new situation created by the decline of the Spanish monarchy forced the British government to abandon it and seek a new one. This was not difficult to do, since its main provisions were expressed by Castlereagh back in 1807: Britain is not going to achieve political domination in South America, but will not allow other states to do so. Canning shared Castlereagh's view that British interests in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, as elsewhere in Latin America, were primarily economic and that political relations would follow economic. This prompted the British government to sign in 1825 the Anglo-Argentine Treaty and recognize the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata.

Keywords:
War of Independence in the Rio de la Plata, British Policy towards war, policy of mediation, policy of recognition of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, Anglo-Argentina Treaty, Castlereagh, Canning, Parish, Rivadavia
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