Meanwhile, in Europe

Late 1740 was about the point the rest of the world began to rudely encroach on the War of Jenkins’ Ear. In October, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI was out hunting on one of his many properties when he fell sick. He quickly died, and immediately plunged the country into yet another European succession crisis. […]

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Florida Bound Blues

These forces arrived in time to deal with the only serious invasion of Spanish Florida. James Oglethorpe fancied himself a general in addition to colonial master, and when it was clear the war was imminent he began to muster his forces. In theory the Cherokee, Uchee, Creek, Georgia, and South Carolina were supposed to be […]

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The Earresponsible War Begins

A tidal wave of popular opinion had swept Britain to war in October 1739. An editorial from the Craftsman the previous year states that: “The general cry is War, Revenge on the SPANIARDS, Restitution for our PAST LOSSES, satisfaction to our NATIONAL HONOUR, and above all, ample Security to our FUTURE TRADE AND NAVIGATION”.[1] And […]

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The Matearial of Naval Warfare

While the War of Jenkins’ Ear earns its place as a tiny footnote even in the history of the 18th Century, it marks the first notable war between two powers fought almost entirely in the American colonies. That was something of a first, though powers had been attacking colonial weak points for well over a […]

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Ringing Bells, Wringing Hands

Slowly, maddeningly, Spain and Britain seemed to be lurching towards a war neither government actually wanted. The sore point in tensions was, once again, the South Sea Trading Company. With no resolution forthcoming from Madrid, the colonial governors had begun to step up their own crackdown on illegal smuggling by 1736 and Company ships were […]

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Georgia on my Mind

Georgia may be the only prison colony born from compassion. 18th Century Britain was not in the habit of treating the poor with much sympathy, and to the surprise of James Ogelthorpe that same callous attitude applied to those wealthy who had temporarily misplaced their fortunes. Ogelthorpe’s friend Robert Castell had been a successful architect […]

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The Eary case of Robert Jenkins

By 1728 Spain’s colonial governors were fed up with the South Sea Company. More importantly thanks to two defectors they finally had proof that the Company was directly involved in smuggling goods into the New World. Unsurprisingly, it relied heavily on cash bribes. Middlemen and brokers operating in Jamaica would make contact with traders in […]

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