Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile in 1469. Their alliance united Aragon and Castile, starting the formation of Spain.
Battle of Trafalgar occurred in 1805. The British navy defeated a combined French and Spanish navy off the coast of Spain. France’s naval strength diminished, and Britain’s navy became the strongest in the world.
War of Jenkins’ Ear began in 1739. The war began when a Spanish soldier cut off the ear of English officer Robert Jenkins. American colonial officers and soldiers fought for the British. The war somewhat ended in 1742, but politics swept up further events.
Panama celebrates Independence Day. Originally settled by the Spanish, Panama in 1821 was part of the Republic of Gran Colombia. Today’s Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador were also included in the Republic. In 1831 the Republic of Gran Colombia disintegrated, and Panama remained part of Colombia. In 1903 Panama broke away from Colombia and formed its own government. Slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina, Panama has a tropical climate. Its population exceeds three million, and the country depends on revenue from the Panama Canal. Panama City is the capital. Farmers in Panama grow a number of crops, including bananas, cocoa, and coffee.
Florida became a part of the United States in 1819. The Adams-Onis Treaty, also called the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Treaty, and the Florida Purchase Treaty, defined the border between New Spain and the United States. The treaty took effect July 17, 1821. Spain gave the land to the United States if the United States assumed five million dollars of claims of American citizens against Spain.
Aruba celebrates Flag Day, a national holiday. Claimed by Spain in 1499, Aruba became a Dutch colony in 1636. Still a Dutch possession, Aruba is a bit larger than Washington, DC. Oranjestad is the capital. Because it is located in the Caribbean Sea, the island has a tropical climate. However, it lies outside the hurricane belt and is seldom threatened. Slightly over 100,000 people live on the island, and many of them depend on the 1.5 million tourists who visit the vacation destination.
Puerto Rico celebrates Emancipation Day. Slavery was ended on this date in 1873. Puerto Rico at that time belonged to Spain, and the Spanish National Assembly voted to abolish slavery.
North American Treaty was signed in 1949. Twelve nations formed the original North American Treaty Organization: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Greece and Turkey became members in 1951, and West Germany joined in 1954. Spain became the last member in 1982. The main purpose of NATO is protection; an attack against one member is an attack against all members. Idea: Children could locate these countries on a world map and decide whether all countries benefit equally from this treaty.
Spanish-American War began in 1898. At that time Spain ruled Cuba, and many Americans had heard that the conditions on the island were intolerable. The United States sent the battleship Maine to protect Americans living there. In February the ship exploded, and 260 people on board died. “Remember the Maine” became a popular expression. War was declared, and battles occurred not only in and around Cuba but around the Philippines as well. Teddy Roosevelt became famous as one of the leaders of the Rough Riders. The war ended on August 12, 1898. Children could learn more at: Spanish-American War.
Argentina celebrates Revolution Day. It became free of Spanish rule in 1810. Spaniards explored the area around 1515. Argentina is about 30 percent the size of the United States. Known for its vast Pampas, the country is famous for its large cattle herds. About 42.6 million people live in Argentina, and Buenos Aires is the capital.