Friday, April 28, 2017
French Royals and the Presidential Election
The Bonaparte family has actually embraced republicanism and the father of the current head of the family, Prince Charles Bonaparte, has even tried his hand at politics on the local level though I don't know what, if any, affiliation he had with a major party. However, the House of Bonaparte did make the news in this election cycle as FN candidate Marine Le Pen stated that, if elected (and odds are she won't be), her administration would return the former French Emperor Napoleon III from his place of burial in exile in England back to the soil of France. Unless a major upset happens, however, it looks as though the second Emperor of the French will continue to take his eternal rest in the land of 'Perfidious Albion' rather than his own homeland.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Order of Calatrava
|San Raimundo de Fitero|
This made for a magnificent fighting force indeed and in their first battles against the Arab and North African invaders, they proved themselves well worth their keep, winning decisive victories in engagement after engagement. In fact, they were so successful that the neighboring King of Aragon called on them for help in defending his own lands. Yet, this was a long and arduous war that was to know many setbacks as well as victories. The lands that were given as a reward for their many battles won soon became imperiled and divided due to a family dispute between the Castile and Leon branches of the Royal House of Ivrea. Then came the greatest disaster which was a renewed, fierce Muslim invasion by the Almohads of Morocco. The Almohad Caliphate overthrew and supplanted the previous Almoravid dynasty and by 1172 came to rule all of the Islamic areas of the Iberian Peninsula with fundamentalist zeal. At the Battle of Alarcos in 1195 the fortress of Calatrava fell to the Almohads and the order was almost wiped out completely. Those living in the Kingdom of Aragon tried to take charge and set up their own Grand Master but this was objected to by the remnant in Castile so that, while the Castilian knights of Calatrava sheltered and reformed in the Cistercian monasteries where they took refuge, the leader of the knights in Aragon, while not permitted to be Grand Master, was elevated to the status of Grand Commander for Aragon.
|Knight of the Order of Calatrava|
When other important cities, including Seville, were retaken, King Alfonso X of Castile was feeling so triumphant that he began to plan for a campaign eastward to restore the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with his Spanish knights. The Order of Calatrava was respected, militarily powerful, largely independent of the local government and quite wealthy with extensive lands of its own. However, these strengths also made them a prize to be fought over and in 1296 an internal dispute broke out with two rival Grand Masters fighting for leadership of the order. By the early years of the Fourteenth Century it became noticeable that the zeal and piety of the early knights had been dissipated by greed and ambition. Plots and intrigues started to be commonplace with rival leaders or factions allying with the secular powers in various power plays. This ultimately resulted in the Kings of Castile becoming ever more involved with the leadership of the order, ultimately forcing the election of the candidate of their choosing to be Grand Master. One was even set to marry Queen Isabella I of Castile until his death prevented it.
|Rodrigo Telles Giron|
With the expulsion of the last Islamic stronghold in Spain, King Ferdinand of Aragon took control of the Order of Calatrava himself and this was approved by Pope Innocent VIII. By 1540 Pope Paul III removed the vow of celibacy for the knights, replacing it with a vow of conjugal fidelity which greatly changed the nature of the order which began to become increasingly less military-religious and more of an honorary and secular. With the 800-year “Reconquista” having ended in triumph, the knights had lost their original reason for existing. The vow of poverty was later removed by Pope Julius III and though King Philip IV, in 1652, charged with Spanish orders with defending the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, it was clear that the military character of the order was a thing of the past. They became restricted to the aristocracy and upper class with the last thing close to military action being undertaken by them was a call for assistance in suppressing the 1640-50 Catalan rebellion during which time the Order of Calatrava did not participate directly, consisting mostly of wealthy, older men and not young warriors, the order funded the arming and outfitting of an army regiment, along with the other Spanish orders of knighthood, which thus became known as the “Regimen of the Orders”.
|King Alfonso XIII|
Sunday, April 23, 2017
The Prospects for France
We have also seen obvious efforts to tilt the scales in favor of Macron such as the last-minute closing of thousands of Le Pen supporters Facebook accounts (a "mistake" the company has claimed) and the sending of double ballots to French citizens abroad who are expected to vote for Macron rather than Le Pen. All of this along with a flood of negative media coverage that tries to portray Le Pen as little less than a Nazi and Macron as a stable, brilliant, boy-genius untainted by the political process. Neither have held elected office before but, of course, for Le Pen this is portrayed as a negative but for Macron it is a positive. Although it has faded somewhat since President Trump decided to lob a few missiles at Syria, there were also preliminary efforts to de-legitimize a potential Le Pen win by warning of Russian efforts to "interfere" in the election. Given that former U.S. President Obama voiced public support for Macron, I have no doubt the Russians would prefer a Le Pen victory but to say so would be "interference" and "undermining" the election. Obama showing support for Macron or his previous warning to Britain not to leave the EU is, of course, not seen as interfering at all.
Of course, the odds were against St Joan of Arc too but, despite some very talented artwork, Marine Le Pen is no Joan of Arc, which is part of the problem. I do not want to discourage anyone, were I a French citizen I would be voting for Le Pen without hesitation, however, the best that can be hoped for from her is buying time or, to put it another way, stop things from becoming any worse. This is because, as I have said before (The Root of the Current French Crisis -please read it if you haven't already), only a repudiation of the French Revolution and all that goes with it can truly save France. After a traditional monarchy that lasted a thousand years, France has had five republics, none of which have lasted more than a century. Legitimate authority must cease to be subject to the public whim of the mob, the faith, values and culture of France must be embraced and defended, the sacred bloodline of French kings must be restored and to be French must be defined by blood rather than mere citizenship documents. This republican nonsense has been tried. My God, it's been tried *five times* and continues to fail! It does NOT work and it doesn't work because it is an unnatural contrivance built on silly, idealistic slogans and pandering to a mob that wants the impossible. At this point, most French people don't even know who they are or what their country is.
Friday, April 21, 2017
What Britain Learned and What Britain Forgot
The American War for Independence also proved to be an educational opportunity for the British. King George III had unleashed the largest military campaign his country had ever undertaken in order to bring the colonies to heel and ultimately, due to European enemies uniting against him and a loss of public will at home, Britain was forced to admit defeat after eight long years of costly warfare. As a result, the British would not undertaken such a thing again. Rather, there was cooperation with the colonies to mature toward viable self-government, countries like Canada and Australia became independent peacefully and while maintaining close ties and friendly relations with the United Kingdom. This was best illustrated by the outbreak of the two world wars. In World War I, the British Empire went to war when Britain declared war. In World War II, the British Empire went to war when Britain declared war but the Commonwealths declared war on their own, despite being in no danger themselves, because the mother country was under threat. Likewise, on the military front, the British learned from World War I how to improve for World War II. While the French were building bigger defensive lines, the British were pioneering the coordination of tanks, artillery and aircraft as well as improving their naval forces for anti-submarine warfare. The German U-Boats would not come so close to victory in World War II as they had in World War I because they faced a much more advanced and capable enemy. Likewise, the German success with the blitzkrieg, largely came from adopting and adapting the concepts developed by British Major General J.F.C. Fuller, CB, CBE, DSO, who often ignored due to his fascist politics and view that the world would have been better off if the Axis powers had won.
Unfortunately, the past lessons learned now being forgotten are beginning to accumulate. The British sense of themselves is being forgotten. It is worth remembering that one of the reasons for the War of 1812, cited by the United States, was the conscription of U.S. citizens into the Royal Navy. In fact, most of these were men who had been British sailors who had 'jumped ship' for the peace and better wages of the American merchant marine and who had then taken U.S. citizenship. However, in those days, the British government did not recognize the right of any British subject to renounce their nationality. You were British by virtue of the blood in your veins and some piece of paper from the American republic could not change that or absolve you of your allegiance to your lawful king. Today, Britain is in the absurd position of regarding a Pashtun immigrant from Afghanistan as "British" and a Scotsman from Nova Scotia as a foreigner simply because of a collection of paperwork. Staying aloof from the continent has given way to an entangling alliance that would compel the British people to go to war on behalf of President Erdogan in Turkey (a government which is still occupying northern Cyprus).
I have often been told that, "you cannot turn back the clock" and that is certainly true. However, that reminds me of the words of David Niven in the title role of the British cinematic bomb "Bonnie Prince Charlie" when, upon being told exactly that by a highland chief, the Prince replied, "I have not come to turn back the clock, I have come to wind the clock". Exactly so, I would say. We cannot turn back the clock but we can wind the clock so that it runs properly as it did in days past. The victorious allies could not "turn back the clock" after the French Revolution, they could not make it so that it had never happened, they could not bring the butchered Bourbons back from the dead but they could, and did, see the traditional Kingdom of France restored under the rightful King Louis XVIII. Britain today needs only to learn from its mistakes as it used to do to great effect. Allow the monarch to exercise those powers which rightfully belong to the monarch, bring back the actual (hereditary) peers to the House of Lords and give that chamber its traditional powers back. Stop all this egalitarian, internationalist nonsense and get back to basic common sense of people who recognized the difference between a prince and a pauper, a peer and a peasant, a Welshman and a Kenyan. These are not difficult distinctions to make, nor is the difference between a fragmented European province and the greatest empire the world had seen since ancient Rome. The difference between success and failure.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Monarch Profile: Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey
That being said, Sultan Abdul Hamid II was willing to work with the “Young Ottomans” toward some measure of constitutional government. He could see that some sort of changes were needed as the Ottoman Empire was being left far behind by the other powers in industry and technological advancement. It was also a precarious time for the empire since the sympathy of the Christian empires that manifested itself in Britain and France aiding the Turks against Russia in the Crimean War had evaporated after the brutal suppression of a number of Christian uprisings in the Balkans. The pacification of Bulgaria had been particularly heinous with 58 villages burned, 5 monasteries destroyed and 15,000 Bulgarian civilians massacred. Imperial Russia was moving to take retribution for this and, this time around, none of the other European powers would be offering any help. The British were concerned about Russian expansion, but the actions of the Turks had made any assistance to them impossible. Constitutional talk was put on hold as the Russian Czar declared war on the Ottoman Empire on April 24, 1877.
During the settling of affairs in the Balkans, an international conference assembled in Berlin demanded that Ottoman authorities grant greater rights to minorities within the empire. Sultan Abdul Hamid II agreed to this as a matter of necessity in the crisis of the time but was reluctant to follow through with the promises made. He saw, not unrealistically, that such changes could result in the unraveling of the Ottoman Empire entirely. This first proved true with the subject population of Armenian Christians. When they demanded the rights that had been promised to them, Sultan Abdul Hamid II tried to thwart them by playing off the two minority groups against each other; the Kurds and the Armenians. The Kurdish forces unleashed havoc on the Armenians and the Armenians responded by forming revolutionary organizations but, seeing through the Kurds, aimed at the Sultan who was supporting them. In the effort to suppress these revolutionary forces, some 300,000 Armenians were massacred and the outraged west dubbed Abdul Hamid II the “Bloody Sultan”. It also resulted in an Armenian assassination attempt on the Sultan, however, a delay caused the car bomb to explode before he arrived and so he survived though 30 bystanders were killed and 54 wounded.
However, Sultan Abdul Hamid II was a more complicated figure than that. He could see as well as anyone that the Ottoman Empire had been left behind by the other major powers. They were more stable, more prosperous, more militarily powerful and more technologically advanced. He wanted to revive the fortunes of the Ottoman Empire and so he did encourage greater education and more industrialization. Yet, this also went hand in hand with strictly limiting what could be taught to Ottoman students, what they could study and what they could read. To keep the empire together, the Sultan resorted to harsh repressive measures, particularly against Christian populations such as the Bulgarians. Yet, a long period of economic mismanagement also meant that the Sultan had no choice but to basically hand control over Ottoman finances to (Christian) foreign powers. His decisions laid the foundation for the progress Turkey was to make in the years to come, particularly with the German-backed spread of the railroad network. However, his fear of dissent also caused him to stagnate the navy which would have dire consequences in the future war with Italy over the provinces now known as Libya.
It is worth noting that the Ottoman Empire, which had stood for centuries over the crossroads of three continents, swiftly collapsed under the administration of the Young Turks. However, it was largely under Abdul Hamid II that the stage was set for that downfall. The suppression of the Slavic Christians alienated the Great Powers of Europe so that, ultimately, only Germany and Austria-Hungary remained as supporters (Bulgaria was on the same side but obviously was not inclined to be helpful) and internal suppression led to the rise of the Young Turks. The loss of territory naturally prompted a desire to see the Ottoman Empire restored to its former size but this led to an overreaching in World War I that brought about the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and its final dismemberment. Having lost the European provinces, during the war the Arabs finally rose up in revolt as well and the Ottoman Empire was doomed.
Monday, April 17, 2017
The Double Standard on Deportations
The non-immigration issues have often been brought up by those on the political right to highlight the double-standard of the left and, though they do not say so, their “Eurocentric” view or one could call it a type of western supremacy that says western people are so lofty and so much better than everyone else that they must be judged by a higher standard than other people. So, it has been pointed out how western feminists are more concerned about an imaginary “pay gap” between men and women than they are about women in certain Arab countries who have virtually no rights at all (and before anyone complains, it is a *fact* that, in America at least, it is against the law to pay women less for doing the same job as a man and if this is happening to you, female, feminist reader, you can sue your employer right now and easily win). The people who are staunch defenders of freedom of religion for Muslims in traditionally Christian, western countries, have nothing to say about the total lack of religious freedom in Muslim or atheistic countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the People’s Republic of China. One could go on, and I have, so there is no need to highlight it more here.
Immigration and/or immigration-related issues have, however, not received the same push-back that has been seen on issues related to women’s rights, gay rights or religious freedom. Yet, this is just as true and generally dates to the shift away from traditional authority, old European colonialism and the Cold War. There are numerous examples, undoubtedly more than I could relate here, that illustrate the point that the exclusion, expulsion or mass deportation of a minority people from a country by the native majority only seems to attract widespread criticism and condemnation when it is contemplated by western countries but not when it is actually carried out by non-western countries. It is not considered outrageous by the majority population in non-western countries nor is it considered wrong or racist by mainstream opinion in western countries themselves. Sometimes this was done by legal means, in other cases it was simply a case of the western minority fleeing in the face of certain death if they remained.
|Expelled Dutch & mixed race people arrive in Rotterdam|
In the countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, previously united under colonial rule as French Indochina, likewise never had a large population of French people who lived there. However, there were some and in some cases French families had lived in Indochina for generations. The 1937 census of French Indochina showed that there were 42,345 French people living in Indochina. By comparison, there were over 300,000 Chinese people living in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia according to the same census in 1937. However, as Vietnam became independent, first in north and (year later) in the south, the French population was either killed or forced to flee to avoid being killed. Their presence, regardless of whether they had anything to do with the colonial government or the regime of the French-backed Vietnamese emperor, was simply not tolerated by the ruling Vietnamese Communist Party and today the French population in Vietnam is non-existent.
|Human "dust" left in Vietnam|
One area where the minority community was quite large, though still small compared to the overall population, was the Empire of India. Anglo-Indians which included both mixed race people of British and Indian parentage or simply British people who were born and raised in India, were originally marginalized by both the Indian population and the British colonial authorities. However, they made a life for themselves on their own and ultimately became a distinct and fairly important new group of people in the British Raj. They became instrumental in the functioning of the empire due to their widespread employment in handling Customs, the Post Office, the telegraph network, the teaching profession and the Indian railroad industry. However, with the coming of independence and the conversion of the Empire of India to the Republic of India, the Anglo-Indians came under increased social pressure and discrimination by the majority population which considered them both alien and, in the increased militancy of the times, as collaborators with the enemy. In 1947 this pressure drove many Anglo-Indians to leave the country and relocate to the United Kingdom or one of the Commonwealth Realms. Social pressure did not relent with time and in the ensuing decades the vast majority of Anglo-Indians ultimately left the country and the tiny minority remaining are almost unanimous in wishing to live somewhere else. With all of the international sympathy for India and hero-worship of Gandhi, the plight of the Anglo-Indians went largely unnoticed and India was not vilified for how the White and mixed-race population was treated.
Again, one could cite many examples similar to these. How many people objected to the forced removal of over a million Greeks from Turkey in 1923 (when about half as many Turks were expelled from Greece) or the dwindling of the Greek minority to statistical irrelevance today? I am sure some will say that the current situation in the western world is not equivalent to these examples of Indonesia, Indochina, India or Algeria since these were places under colonial rule and it was, frankly, justified that the people with the same blood and skin color of the former rulers be removed from the country when those rulers were overthrown. Yet, this same attitude, again, does not apply to western countries. The Spanish are still vilified for the expulsion of the Moors and Jews following their long war of liberation from Moorish rule and the subsequent establishment of the fallaciously notorious Spanish Inquisition. The fact that Islamic forces once ruled over southern Italy does not shelter Italians who want to stop the influx of Islamic immigrants from being labeled racist or Islamophobic today. The same could be said for European countries from Greece to Hungary which were under Islamic rule for centuries.
|Loyalists arrive in Canada|
Finally, this illustrates, I think, the basic point that mainstream, western, liberal thought has gone so far off the rails that they are eating their own tail. They have become so lost in civilizational self-hatred and racial guilt while at the same time being assured that their own point of view is the only right and moral way of thinking that they have become a walking, talking contradiction. Their current view regarding this mass movement of peoples is that White, western, historically Christian people are the worst people in the world, that they are cruel, oppressive and exploitative while simultaneously arguing that everyone who is not of this cursed breed should come and live in White, western, historically Christian countries! One would think they would be the first to advocate building walls and shutting off all immigration to save the non-European peoples from these terrible racists who are so genetically inferior in moral terms that they cannot help being racist and will never not be racist or exploitative. One would think they would be telling the other peoples of the world to stay as far away from White, western people as possible. Yet, they seem anxious to invite more and more people to come and be oppressed and exploited.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Monarch Profile: Queen Mavia of the Tanukh
Perhaps even more than Boudicca or Zenobia, much about Queen Mavia remains a mystery and our accounts of her come from only a couple of ancient sources. Nonetheless, though she was a strong leader who fought successfully against the dominant power of the Roman Empire, the rest of her story makes her a subject that most modern writers would not want to touch. In the first place, she was an Arab, which would not in itself be a problem but she was an Arab from the pre-Islamic era and an Arab woman ruling over Arab men is something likely to offend modern Islamic sensibilities. To make matters worse for the modern, politically correct types, she was an Arab Christian, a convert from paganism and a very staunch, Orthodox/Catholic (before those were different) Christian at that. Moreover, the military campaign she fought against the Romans was a rebellion that was not a rebellion. She did not fight to bring down Rome or usurp Roman power, but rather she was fighting a war in defense of her faith and that is something the modernists simply cannot handle. She was not anti-Roman, she was pro-Christian.
Emperor Valens, however, insisted on an Arian bishop and so Queen Mavia left Aleppo for the deep desert and began preparing for war. She showed considerable diplomatic skill as she gained the support of numerous other nomadic tribes in the area to join her coalition. However, she also sent word to the Romans that this rebellion was about having an orthodox bishop and nothing more. Mavia told them that as soon as a proper bishop was given to them, her resistance would end and the former, cordial relations could be immediately restored. This was not a struggle for power but a struggle for what Queen Mavia regarded as the true faith. By the spring of 378 AD all was prepared and the war began. Historical accounts agree that the campaign of Queen Mavia was quite successful and that she was leading it personally, ‘from the front’ and was quite a formidable military commander.
The Arab forces Mavia commanded had been used extensively by the Romans in their fight to suppress the previous uprising in Syria led by Queen Zenobia and as such the Tanukhids were very familiar with Roman tactics and were able to counter them and make use of them for their own side. The local Roman governors proved unable to mount an effective defense. Their own forces were quite limited and whereas in the past they had been able to organize the loyal elements of the local population to increase their numbers, this time it was those very tribes that they were fighting against and so the Romans were quite isolated. Queen Mavia and her armies swept south and east, driving the Romans from southern Syria, Palestine and finally all the way to the Egyptian border. Being hard pressed in other areas and with no hope of victory in sight, Emperor Valens finally had no choice but to relent before the vital province of Egypt was invaded and he agreed to appoint the orthodox, non-Arian cleric Moses as the first Bishop of the Arabs. According to Socrates of Constantinople, Bishop Moses was a “Saracen” (Arab) himself and was quite a successful and well regarded churchman.
There was another revolt by the Tanukhids against the Romans but it is unknown and perhaps unlikely that Queen Mavia was involved at all with it. This revolt was swiftly crushed and the Romans abandoned the Tanukhids as an ally and made a new alliance with the Salih, a rival Arab tribe. All that remains known of Queen Mavia after her assistance to the doomed Emperor Valens is that she died in Anasartha, east of Aleppo, sometime in 425 AD. Today, she is remembered by few due to the nature of her exploits and the fact that her story does not fit the preferred narrative of today. Nonetheless, she was a significant figure of some admirable qualities who deserves to be better known.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The Spanish War with the United States
|King Alfonso XIII, Queen Maria Christina|
The American print media, the “fake news” of the day, was constantly printing stories of simple, pitiful, virtuous Cuban peasants being raped, massacred, tortured and tormented by arrogant, vicious and cruel Spanish oppressors. The Spanish had little response other than to say it was not true, which most people in the English-speaking world did not believe anyway, having ancestral memories of the “Black Legend” and a popular perception of the Spanish as natural villains. As such, the British took the side of the United States against the Spanish, though they need not and would not become involved directly. Almost the only voice on the world stage speaking up for Spain was the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. He called for solidarity amongst the crowned heads of Europe against the upstart and meddling American republic but was ignored. He sold the latest in German weaponry to the Spanish army but was also looking to possibly scoop up the remnants of the Spanish empire for Germany if the opportunity presented itself. The Kaiser may have warned against an American victory but he was perfectly willing to profit by it if he could.
|Spanish army officers on colonial service|
|The destruction of the USS Maine|
Neither government really wanted war, Spain had everything to lose and nothing to gain while the American president, William McKinley, a totally unadventurous man if ever there was one, preferred to focus on domestic issues. Nonetheless, the media-driven war fervor resulted in a half-hearted request by the U.S. President for war authority and on April 19, 1898 the U.S. Congress passed a declaration of war against the Kingdom of Spain. The Spanish, despite having a larger standing army than the United States at that time, knew they stood no chance of winning but were prepared to at least do their best not to lose in a dishonorable fashion. Some, it is often forgotten, did not think the Spanish cause all that hopeless. The geography of the conflict meant that the naval battle would be the decisive battle and many British Royal Navy officers, while sympathizing with the United States, expected the American navy to be crushed by the professional European force of the Spanish Armada. They would be in for a surprise as the Spanish fleet had deteriorated to an alarming degree by the time that the U.S. Pacific fleet under Commodore George Dewey moved to seize control of waters around The Philippines.
|Spanish Admiral Patricio Montojo|
Meanwhile, American forces were being deployed to the primary front of the war which was the invasion of Cuba. The U.S. forces were under the command of the overweight, ailing and generally lackluster General William Shafter with one of his top subordinates being the former Confederate cavalry leader Major General “Fighting Joe” Wheeler who was old, perhaps a bit senile, but as full of zeal for battle as he had ever been. The American army landed at Daiquiri and quickly made contact with Cuban rebels who were to fight alongside them. The initial landing was uncontested as the Spanish were forced to focus on defending their vital points and had no wish to be caught on the beaches with the Americans in front of them and Cuban guerillas behind them. Any idea that this would be an easy victory for the American forces was soon dispelled. The Spanish were prepared to offer tenacious resistance and many were equipped with superior smokeless German Mausers and the latest German artillery whereas most American units were still armed with black powder rifles that quickly enveloped the shooters in a cloud of smoke upon firing.
|Spanish General Antero Rubin|
|The Spanish defense of El Caney|
|General Arsenio Linares|
|Defending San Juan Hill|
The Americans had come to realize how grossly they had been misled by the mainstream media portrayal of the Spanish and the Cuban rebels, the “fake news” of the day. Their supposed partners, the Cuban rebels, were more of a hindrance than a help. They stole anything that could be carried off and were a constant drain on American logistics. Likewise, in stark contrast to the honor and dignity of the Spanish forces, it was the Cuban rebels that the Americans witnessed behaving with vindictive cruelty and barbarity. In the aftermath of the Battle of Santiago an outraged American officer witness Cubans murdering the wounded and shell-shocked Spanish sailors who washed ashore. He put an immediate stop to that and threatened to massacre the Cubans himself if they harmed another Spanish sailor. Similarly, once the conflict was over, when the Spanish wished to return the body of their fallen hero, General Joaquin Vara del Rey, to Spain, the Cubans stole his body, to the outrage of the Americans who had gained the highest respect for their fallen foe. The American officer in charge ultimately threatened to shoot the local Cuban leader if the body was not immediately recovered. That did the trick and the body was found and returned home with all due ceremony.
|General Toral y Velazquez|
With their fleet gone and ground forces having surrendered, the Kingdom of Spain had no choice but to sue for peace. The resulting Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898 saw Guam, Puerto Rico and The Philippines become U.S. territories and the island of Cuba become a U.S. protectorate on the path to full independence as the Republic of Cuba. The U.S. government ratified the treaty the following year and while the Spanish government refused to so, the Queen-regent Maria Christina overruled them, knowing that it would be pointless and suicidal to try to carry on a war that had already been lost against an enemy they had no hope of defeating. The Spanish had lost and the last remaining crumbs of the former Spanish empire in the Americas and Asia were gone. However, Spain had nothing to be ashamed of. They had fallen before a superior foe and had fought with great skill and dedication against impossible odds. Their bravery and as much the chivalry and honorable behavior of the Spanish commanders, had won them the admiration of their adversaries.
|Surrendering Spanish army in Cuba|
|Loyalist Cuban volunteers for Spain|
------- For More Information -------
Consort Profile: Marie Christina of Austria
The Many Times the U.S. Almost Fought Spain (But Didn't)
Monarch Profile: King Alfonso XIII of Spain
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