Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Spain in America: Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

Your Tuesday Briefing
By ADEEL HASSAN, New York Times (via email)

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain visit President Obama today in a meeting that the White House says reinforces “the strong and enduring ties between the American and Spanish people.”
Spain, not Britain, was the first European country to establish its rule in what later became the U.S., founding St. Augustine, Fla., 450 years ago this month. (The king and queen visit there on Thursday and Friday.)
Spain’s imperialist drive led to settlements in what is now Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Spain also controlled Puerto Rico.
Spain and the English colonies skirmished along the Florida border in the century before the American Revolution, when Spain helped the 13 colonies gain independence and defeat their rivals, the British.
When the war was over, Spain had claim to territory comprising about half of today’s lower 48 states.
That didn’t last. By 1850, the U.S. and its army had taken much of that land from Spain and Mexico.
Hispanics became the first U.S. citizens in these new Southwest lands. And National Hispanic Heritage Month begins today.

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