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The Spanish Foremost: Tales Of stone island insert jacket The Union Jack, The Fleur-de-Lis And The Jolly Roger

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

Small Logo Patch T-Shirt in WhiteYou will spot forts just about all over the place on the old “Spanish Most important” – that means all the Caribbean islands and the international locations rimming them alongside the coasts of Central and South America. Some are jumbo-measurement, 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 these perched on some of the hilltops in the Grenadines, boast just a cannon or two.

Spanish stone island insert jacket super-fort guarded treasure fleets at Cartagena, Colombia.
A lot of the forts have been constructed throughout the seventeenth and 18th centuries when Spain, France, England and The Netherlands had been slugging it out to grab islands to grow sugarcane, tobacco, cotton and the like. Not only did all these countries have to keep a watch out for each other’s ships, but additionally for guys with eye patches sailing around underneath the flag of the Jolly Roger.

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

Historic cannons stand silent vigil on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Generally the colors of various nations flew over the identical forts at completely different times. As an illustration, during 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 occasions earlier than France finally threw within the towel in 1814.

Photograph from Jade Mountain exhibits volcanic peaks soaring over St. Lucia.
“The War of Jenkins Ear” was one other Stone Island huge flag-changer. This one started off the coast of Florida in 1731 when a Spanish ship captured a British merchant vessel commanded by Robert Jenkins. For some purpose, the Spanish commander cut off one of Jenkins’ ears.

Now, the Brits could hardly take that insult lying down, so – after one factor led to another (together with bickering over the rights to sell slaves in the Caribbean) – they ended up declaring struggle on Spain. In one battle, an English fleet led by Admiral Edward “Outdated Grog” Vernon captured and sacked the wealthy Spanish port at Portobello, Panama. Flushed with success, Vernon went on to attack another big 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 pressure of 23,000 men and 186 ships bristling with 2,000 cannons, but the fort, defended by just 3,000 Spanish troops and 6 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, till 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-fingers 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 big players in return for everybody’s promise to behave.

And as Europe went, so did the Caribbean, with certain islands 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 father or mother international locations.