CHRONICLE OF THE REVOLUTION
Bernardo de Galvez and Spain
The American Revolution was a transatlantic event that involved virtually every court in Europe. France's role in the conflict is well-known, but Spain, too, played a vital part in helping to create the United States.

Spain was an ally of France and long an enemy of Great Britain. It was more due to these relationships, than a great affinity for the struggling new republic, that prompted Spain to officially enter the war against Great Britain in 1779.

At the time of the American Revolution, almost all of the modern-day United States west of the Mississippi, was a part of Spain, as was Mexico. Louisiana was in Spanish territory and its governor was a young nobleman named, Bernardo de Galvez.

In the early years of the Revolution, Galvez provided aid to the American cause by allowing tons of supplies to be shipped up the Mississippi to patriot forces in the north. With Spain's official entry into the war in 1779, Galvez raised a patchwork army of Creoles, Indians, free African Americans and his own Spanish regulars and marched on British-held forts at Baton Rouge and Natchez. A year later, he engaged the British at Mobile, and a year after that at Pensacola, in western Florida. In each case, Galvez was able to force the British from their entrenchments.

These victories diluted British strength in the south when Great Britain needed it most—just as it was bringing the campaign into the southern colonies.

For his heroics, Galvez was memorialized in Texas, where the city of Galveston honors him with its name.

close