- About the Exhibit
- Empires and Revolutions: 1613–1825
- Trade with Spanish America: 1825-1900
- Cultural Encounters: 1825-1900
- Political Encounters: 1850-1930
- An Hispano Landscape: 1900–45
Spanish American Patriots in New York
In 1784, at the very moment that Spain was establishing a New York presence, Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda arrived in town to seek backing from prominent citizens “for the liberty and independence of the entire Spanish-American Continent." He returned in 1806 to raise a military expedition to Venezuela. The mission failed but dampened neither Miranda’s commitment nor New Yorkers’ enthusiasm for the cause of independence to the south. Miranda died in a Spanish jail, but his determination inspired independence leaders such as the Argentinean José de San Martín and the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar.
The Spanish American wars for independence lasted fifteen terrible years, from 1810 to 1825. Unlike their northern neighbors, the rebels fought to win an entire continent. In the end, Spain lost all of its colonies except Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines. The year 2010 marks the bicentennial commemoration of Spanish American independence.