A timeline of four centuries of colonial struggle.

Portugal Imperial Rivalry SpainFranceBritainNetherlands

1500, 1522, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

"demographic disaster," Keene and Haynes, p. 79.

Dates Wars events described

1495- French invasion of Italy,
wars with Spain for control of the Italian city-states and Papal states.
1505 Treaties of Blois,
divides Italy between France and Spain.


Europe in 1500

1509-11 the occupation of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, and Puerto Rico) by Spain
1510 Dominican friars arrive on Española
1512 the Laws of Burgos established encomienda & the Requiremento for colonies
1516 Charles V become King of Spain
1517 Hernadez de Cordoba landed in Yucatan and was defeated by the Mayans
1518 an epidemic of smallpox swept the Indies / Antilles, Balboa confirms the existence of the Pacific Ocean.
1519 there were 25 million native peoples in Mexico.
Magellan and three ships depart from Seville to circumnavigate the globe
1520 Cortes and reinforcements again march on Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan.
1522 Fleet of Magellan completes Euro- circumnavigation of the seas.

Magellen's route

The route of Magellan's three ships 1520-22

1523 the Spanish Court forbids the encomienda system, initially, in Mexico, based on the Antilles disaster
--however-- refused to enforce the order of the crown
1542 Proclamation of the Spain's new "Laws of the Indies" prohibited the enslavement of native peoples
Spanish "Criollos", or "Creoles" lost their right to enslave native peoples in the Americas
1542 the Great Mayan revolt, brutally suppressed by the Spanish
1547 Cortes' plantations produce 300,000 pounds of sugar in Mexico
1550 Peak of Spanish power (until 1600) Charles V & Phillip II.
The amount of tribute from the Americas to Spain is 100,000 pesos. The repartimiento system replaces the Encomienda system in Mexico (Viceroyalty of New Spain) and Central Peru (Viceroyalty of Peru) as a "disguised slavery" system (K& H, p. 80)
1556 Phillip II becomes the King of Spain
1564 Peace of Troyes ends the Anglo French War.
1566 William of Orange declares Holland free from Spain.
1569 The Holy Inquisition was introduced to Spanish Colonies.
1579 Union of Utrecht, 7 Dutch provinces declare Netherlands free of Spain.
1580 Spain annexed Portugal.
1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada by England.
1599 approximately 75,000 African slaves had been brought to the Spanish Colonies (Assiento)

1500, 1522, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

1605 the native population of Mexico had dropped to under 1,000,000 people (twenty four in 25 died)
1608 German Protestant Union (GPU) founded.
1609 Catholic League formed by Duke of Bavaria, in opposition to GPU.
Governor's Palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico built.


1618 Prague Revolt against Hapsburg starts the Thirty Years War.
1621 Resumption of the Spanish-Dutch War.
1624 Bread riots occur in Mexico City
1629 Charles I, Stuart, dissolves English Parliament.

1630 The crown replaces the agricultural repartimiento system in Mexico a form of wage labor associated with debt servitude (peonage), while the hacienda system expanded at the expense of the indigenes' pueblos creating a dual system in Mexico of the republica de indios & the republica de españoles .
1636 Manchu's (Manchuria) invade China and declare Ch'ing Dynasty.

1642 English Civil War begins between Crown (Charles I) & Puritans.
1648 2d English Civil War between the Cavaliers (loyalist nobility) and the Roundheads (Puritan Army).
1648 Treaty of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years War: Dutch & Swiss free.


1649 Charles I tried for treason and beheaded by Parliament.
1651 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz born in Mexico (poet and Nun)

1652- Anglo-Dutch War over colonial trade (Dutch found Capetown, South Africa).
1654 Peace between Britain and the Netherlands.
1655 English capture Jamaica from Spain.

Jamaica originally Spanish, was seized by Great Britain.

1500, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

1657- Anglo French War against Spain.
1659 Peace of the Pyrenees.
1660 Restoration of the Stuart (Catholic) Monarchy in Britain.
1663 Charles II of England charters the Royal Africa Company, slave trade.

1666- French, Danes support Dutch in Anglo -Dutch War (West Indies).
1667 Treaty of Breda (Dutch retain Surinam relinquish New York).
1667- War of Devolution: France seizes the Spanish Netherlands (Flanders).
1668 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
1672 - Anglo-French War against the Dutch.
1674 Treaty of Westminster, England signed with Netherlands.

1674- Holy Roman - Franco-Swedish war.
1679 Treaty of Nijmegan France with Holy Roman Empire & Sweden.
1681 the Laws of the Indies promulgated and codified by Spain, allowed slaves baptism.


1688 War of the League of Augsburg England, Netherlands & Spain vs. France.
1693 French fleet defeats the English off of Portugal.
1697 Treaty of Ryswick ends the 1688-97 war.

1692 bread riots in Mexico City
1699 Mexico City had approximately 200,000 inhabitants.

1500, 1522, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

1701 War of Spanish Succession Anglo-French War.
1702 Queen Anne's War in the colonies & West Indies.
1713 Peace of Utrecht end the War of Spanish Succession.


1713 Assiento: sole right of Britain to trade African slaves in the Americas.

1719 Franco-Spanish War {Quadruple Alliance (1718)}.
1720 Treaty of the Hague end the Franco-Spanish War.

1727 Anglo-Spanish War begins.
1729 Treaty of Seville,

status quo ante-bellum.


1740 War of Austrian Succession (Austria, Britain vs. France, Spain, Saxony).
British siege of Cartagena, & seize West Indian ports.
1741 Russians find Alaska (Vitus Bering).
British attack Santiago Cuba -- (King George's War).
1745 New Englander's seize French fort of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
1746 French seize Madras in India from Britain.
1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of Austrian Succession.


1756 Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) in Europe, America, India
Spain, France, Austria, Russia & Sweden vs. Britain, Prussia, Hanover.
1762 British seize Cuba from Spain (later returned).
1763 Treaty of Paris resolves the first worldwide war, Florida is British,
French lose Canada, India and St. Domingo, retain Haiti, Guadeloupe.


1765 British East India Company gains control of NE. India, Bengal.

1776 Britain's North American Colonies secede from the Empire
1777 British seize and hold Philadelphia

1778 Franco-British War begins (Dutch join 1779 & Spain in 1780)
1779 French seize St. Vincent & the Grenadines from Britain.
1780 British seize Charleston, S. C.
1781 French fleet defeats British at Hampton Roads, Va. Yorktown.
1782 Dutch recognize US independence.
1783 Treaty of Paris resolves North American independence from England.
Britain returns Florida to Spain, including New Orleans.


1789 Calling of the Estates General in Versailles by Louis 16th (1614).
Beginning of the French Revolution.
1790 French National Assembly
declares a democracy under limited king.
1791 Slave revolt in Haiti, brutally suppressed, Haiti in rebellion.
1792- Wars of the French Revolution against Prussia and Austria.
1793 Spain, Britain and Netherlands join against France.
1794 Britain suspends the Habeas Corpus Act.
1795 Napoleon Bonaparte commands the French Army in Italy.
1796 Spain sides with France and changes allegiances.
1798 Napoleon invades Egypt.
1799 French invasion of Syria rebuffed by the Ottoman Turks. By 1799 approximately 9.5 million African slaves had been brought to the Americas (Assiento)

1799 Alexander Von Humboldt begins a 5-year tour of Latin America.

1500, 1522, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

1800 The amount of tribute from the America's to Spain annually is one million pesos.
1800 Spain secretly ceded Louisiana back to France.
1801 France and Austria Treaty of Lunéville ends the Holy Roman Empire.
1802 Treaty of Amiens among France, Spain and Britain cease hostilities.
Egypt returned to the Ottoman Turks.
French send troops to suppress Haitian Independence under Toussaint. L'Ouvature on the island of Española (St. Domingue).


1803 Anglo-Franco War resumes over Malta -- Louisiana Purchase.
1804 Napoleon declared Emperor of France (after assassination plot fails).
Spain joins France to war with Britain.
Large force of Mulattoes and freed slaves defeat French in Haiti.
Haiti declares its independence.

1807 Treaties of Tilsit between France and Russia & Prussia.
Portuguese Monarch flees French to refuge in Brasil.
1808 Spanish revolt against the French.
Mexico, upon Spanish uprisings begins to agitate for independence.

1810 Mexico (New Spain) and South America (New Grenada) in revolt.
1812 French Army (largest ever assembled 500K) invades Russia.
1814 European allied states capture Paris, Napoleon abdicates, exiled.
1815 Congress of Vienna settles European, American, Asian boundaries.

1816 Spanish authority reestablished in Mexico.
1816-17 Chile & Argentina in revolt from Spain under Jose Martin.
1818 Jean Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti.
1819 Simon Bolivar, defeats Spanish royal forces in Venezuela & Colombia.
1820 Jose Martin moves against Spanish forces in Peru.

1821 Bolivar defeats Spain in Venezuela and Colombia.
Mexico, Peru, & Guatemala Independent
of Spanish rule

1822 Augustin de Itrubide, declared 1st Emperor of Mexico.
Haitians take control of all Española, to free colony from Spain.

1823 Emperor Itrubide forced to abdicate.
5 smaller nations of Central America form free confederation.
1824 Mexico is declared a Republic. Native peoples given citizenship and slaves are freed.
1825 Bolivia declares independence from Spain.
Portugal recognizes Brazilian Independence.
1827 Argentinean-Brazilian war over Uruguay.
1830 Venezuela and Ecuador separate from Colombia (New Granada).

1833 Britain abolishes slavery in the Empire and an end to the slave trade.
Antonio López de Santa Ana elected Mexico's president.
1835 centralization of the Mexican government.
1836 Andres Santa Cruz of Bolivia successfully invades Peru.
1839 Civil War in central America ends federation.
Chile invades Peru and defeats the Bolivians.
China forbids the importation of opium.
Opium Wars begin between Britain and China.
1842 Treaty of Nanking cedes Hong Kong to Britain & reopens Canton.

1844 Dominican Republic established against Haitian rule.
1846 California declares itself a Republic, Bear Flag Revolt from Mexico.
1846 US declares war on Mexico.
1847 British and French naval blockade of Argentina for five years.
1848 Revolutions and uprisings throughout urban Europe (Paris, Vienna).
Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo cedes 1/3 of Alta Mexico to USA and grants Mexican citizens US rights.

1850 US Compromise of 1850 un restricting slavery in the territories, newly acquired from Mexico.

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, Anglo-US accord, on neutrality of Panama.
1851 Expedition of filibusterers from New Orleans seeks to free Cuba from Spain.
1854 Ostend Manifesto, USA Congress declares right to seize Cuba if Spain refuses to sell the islands.
1855 William Walker (California) invades Nicaragua and seizes control 1856.
1857 Mexican adoption of a civilian and liberal constitution causes civil war.
1857 Benito Juarez, President of Mexico.
1860 disputed election drives the US to civil war after states secede from the federal Union in 1861
1861 Britain, France and Spain invade Mexico to force Juarez to pay debts.
1862 Napoleon III hopes to establish a French Empire in Mexico.
1863 French troops invade and capture Mexico City, Austrian archduke, Maximilian declared Mexican Emperor.
1863 Civil War in Mexico.
1865 US abolished slavery with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.
1867 Maximilian is defeated by Benito Juarez, who reestablishes order.
1870-71 Franco-Prussian War (over disposition of Spanish Monarchy & heir to the throne).

1872, Panic in US banks over a Railroad (swindle) speculation "Credit Moblier" leads to a national railway strike and violence in the Eastern and Mid-western US
1877 Porfirio Diaz elected President of Mexico (remains until 1911).
1879 Chile declares war on Bolivia & Peru over Atacama nitrate mine rights.
1883 Treaty of Ancón between Chile & Peru.
1884 Truce of Valparaiso between Chile & Bolivia.
1889 Brazil declared a Republic.
First Pan American conference meeting in Washington, D. C.

1890 creation of the Pan-American Union, for intercontinental assistance among nations.
1892 global depression, bank failures in US leads to Populist Party.
sugar prices plummet, farm foreclosures and popular unrest spreads in the US.
1895 War breaks out in Cuba to fight for independence from Spain.
US interferes in the British - Venezuelan boundary dispute (Guyana).
1896 Congress grants "belligerent" status to Cubans over Spain's objections.

1898 Battleship Maine explodes in Havana, US declares war on Spain.
1898 Treaty of Paris, ends the Spanish War in US favor: Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam ceded to US and Cuba a protectorate.

1500, 1522, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

1899 1st World Peace Conference in the Hague: the International Court of Justice created.
Secretary of State John Hay, announces the Open Door Policy. (China)
1900 Hawaii
a US territory.
1901 Hay-Pauncefote Treaty with Britain to build a Canal in Panama.
Platt Amendment passed by Congress forced on Cuba before US left.
1902 US offer to buy the Virgin Islands from Denmark, rejected.
1903 US treaty with Colombia for Panama Canal rejected by their Senate.
Panama declares its independence from Colombia.
1904 Supreme Court rules that Puerto Ricans are not aliens, nor citizens.
1905 Roosevelt Corollary of the Monroe Doctrine extends US hegemony.
1906 Roosevelt sends troops to Cuba to maintain order.
1907 Honduras defeated by Nicaragua.
1910 Mexican Revolution.
1911 Chinese Republic est.
By Sun Yat Sen in South China.
1912 US Marines dispatched to Nicaragua during revolt & to China.
1914 The Great War (World War One): Anglo-French vs. Germany & Austria.
US dispute with Mexico heightens as US fires on Vera cruz, Mexico.
1915 US Marines sent to Haiti.
1916 US Troops in Santo Domingo until 1921, & Troops in Northern Mexico.
1917 US declares war on the Central Powers (Germany, Austria, Turkey).
Russian Revolution, abdication of the Czar.
1918 Armistice, influenza, Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, US troops sent.
1919 Treaty of Versailles.
1920 Creation of the League of Nations.

1500, 1657, 1688, 1701, 1740, 1789, 1803, 1833, 1846, 1860, 1896, 1910.

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