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Spain and America in the early 19th Century

La familia de Carlos IV, de Francisco de Goya. Museo del Prado
Godoy presenta la Paz a Carlos IV, de José de Aparicio. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Mapa geográfico de América Meridional, de Juan de la Cruz Cano y Olmedilla (1775). Museo Cerralbo
La corbeta Descubierta. Museo de América
Fachada de la Casa de la Moneda de Potosí (1772). Archivo General de Indias
De español y mestiza, castizo de Andrés de Islas. Museo de América
Plano del nuevo método de trabajar las Minas (1790). Archivo General de Indias

In the early 19th century, Spain was embroiled in the War of the Second Coalition as an ally of France and against the European powers that were trying to curb Napoleon's expansionist policies. With the signing of the Peace of Basel in 1795 and the Treaty of San Ildefonso on 18 August 1796, the Spanish Monarchy sealed a military alliance with the Republic of France that was the prelude to the declaration of war on Great Britain on 7 October that same year, a conflict that would last until after the turn of the century.

In March 1802, the Treaty of Amiens, signed by France, Spain, the Republic of Batavia (the Netherlands) and Great Britain, temporarily ended the hostilities. However, the period of peace soon broke down and, in May 1803, the conflict between France and Great Britain flared up again.

The Spanish Crown tried to maintain a neutral position, even signing a new agreement with France in October 1803, in which it agreed to pay a monthly subsidy of six million pieces of eight in exchange for annulling the military obligations set out in the previous treaties.