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Navigating the Spanish Lake

Navigating the Spanish Lake: The Pacific in the Iberian World, 1521-1898

Rainer F. Buschmann
Edward R. Slack
James B. Tueller
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Navigating the Spanish Lake
    Book Description:

    Navigating the Spanish Lake examines Spain’s long presence in the Pacific Ocean (1521–1898) in the context of its global empire. Building on a growing body of literature on the Atlantic world and indigenous peoples in the Pacific, this pioneering book investigates the historiographical “Spanish Lake” as an artifact that unites the Pacific Rim (the Americas and Asia) and Basin (Oceania) with the Iberian Atlantic. Incorporating an impressive array of unpublished archival materials on Spain’s two most important island possessions (Guam and the Philippines) and foreign policy in the South Sea, the book brings the Pacific into the prevailing Atlanticentric scholarship, challenging many standard interpretations. By examining Castile’s cultural heritage in the Pacific through the lens of archipelagic Hispanization, the authors bring a new comparative methodology to an important field of research. The book opens with a macrohistorical perspective of the conceptual and literal Spanish Lake. The chapters that follow explore both the Iberian vision of the Pacific and indigenous counternarratives; chart the history of a Chinese mestizo regiment that emerged after Britain’s occupation of Manila in 1762-1764; and examine how Chamorros responded to waves of newcomers making their way to Guam from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. An epilogue analyzes the decline of Spanish influence against a backdrop of European and American imperial ambitions and reflects on the legacies of archipelagic Hispanization into the twenty-first century. Specialists and students of Pacific studies, world history, the Spanish colonial era, maritime history, early modern Europe, and Asian studies will welcome Navigating the Spanish Lake as a persuasive reorientation of the Pacific in both Iberian and world history.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-3825-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    John R. Gillis

    “Strictly speaking, oceans do not really exist: they are constructs of the mind, figments of the cartographer’s imagination, landlubbers’ ways of dividing up maritime space according to the lay of the land,” writes Felipe Fernández-Armesto.¹ As this pathbreaking book shows, the so-called Spanish Lake was just such a figment. The term was an invention of twentieth-century historians trying to make sense of a Castilian imperial system that existed between 1567 and 1815. The figure of a lake was wholly inappropriate, for it assumes a body of water defined by land—which the Pacific was not—and leaves a distorted impression...

  5. Introduction: Iberian Pacific Navigations
    (pp. 1-16)

    In 1761, an army captain in Manila who was also a Jesuit theology student drew a symbolic map of the Spanish empire.¹ While defending his thesis that unified the Americas, the Philippines, and the Iberian kingdoms, Vicente de Memije arranged the Hispanic world of Charles III into a sketch of a global woman (see Figure 1). Orienting the map from east to west, Memije depicted Spain as her head with a beatific face and a crown of curlicues labeled with the names of Spanish domains like Cataluña, Sevilla, Asturias, Castilla, and Toledo. A dove, representing Rome, flew above the crown...

  6. One The Lake before the Nineteenth Century A Macrohistorical Perspective
    (pp. 17-36)

    The degree of Spanish control along the Pacific Rim varied from Asia to the Americas. Whereas the Habsburg rulers managed to build a vast empire in the New World following Columbus’ voyage, their influence in China, Japan, and even island Southeast Asia was a great deal less pronounced. In the pages that follow, we depart from the traditional usage of the term “Spanish Lake” in an effort to delineate and chart the dynamic Castilian conceptualization of the Pacific Ocean between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries.

    Although Schurz suggested a more or less cohesive Iberian hegemony over the Spanish Lake,...

  7. Two Defending the Lake Eighteenth-Century Exploration
    (pp. 37-62)

    In the fall of the year 1766, the Prince of Masserano painfully inched himself through the Court of St. James to voice his grave concern with the British government. Bothered by one of his frequent bouts of gout, the Spanish ambassador was in a foul mood. From his perspective it had not been a good year: British officials still demanded ransom for their occupation of Manila four years earlier, had most likely established residence in the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, and were now officially announcing that Commodore John Byron had traversed the Pacific Ocean on his recent circumnavigation. In Masserano’s mind,...

  8. Three Arming Chinese Mestizos in Manila The Real Príncipe of Tondo
    (pp. 63-96)

    When the Spaniards conquered Manila in 1571, they established an outpost of their global empire in Asia that would be linked to the Americas through the port of Acapulco in the Viceroyalty of New Spain until 1815. Las Islas Filipinas, as they were officially designated, would remain, demographically speaking, an overwhelmingly Asian possession of the Crown. Manila was an Asian city wearing a European mask. Until the early 1800s, there were on average about a thousand Spaniards living in Manila—mostlycriollosand othercastasfrom New Spain. They ruled over the native Malay inhabitants (calledindiosornaturales) and...

  9. Four Colonizing the Marianas Spain’s Pacific Empire on Local and Global Scales
    (pp. 97-118)

    Spaniards in the early modern period who sailed the Pacific had to become excellent mapmakers. They had to be able to estimate distance and to plot, use, and incorporate their new geographic knowledge. A map’s scale, be it a road map, a physical map, or a political map, helps the viewer know that what he or she is looking at is not a perfect replica but is adjusted for a reason. The scale allows the viewer to estimate distance, to use the map meaningfully, and to contrast the information in the map with other depictions. This chapter uses many scales...

  10. Epilogue: The Lingering Lake and Archipelagic Hispanization
    (pp. 119-132)

    In the late 1940s enterprising researcher Emilio Pastor y Santos uncovered a loophole in the diplomatic treaties signed between Spain and the United States in 1898 and between Spain and Germany in 1899. Although these settlements effectively ended Spanish colonialism in the Pacific, Pastor discovered that his country had in fact retained sovereignty over four islands not formally considered in the deliberations. In order to gain a wider audience, he published his findings in a detailed monograph in which he advocated that Spain pursue its ersatz diplomatic claims through the establishment of a naval station in the region.¹ What must...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 133-162)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 163-176)
  13. Index
    (pp. 177-182)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 183-187)