Spanish Road

The "Spanish Road" was a military supply/trade route used from 1567–1620, which stretched from Northern Italy to the Low Countries. It crossed through relatively neutral territory, and was therefore Europe's most preferred military route. In the days of its use it was known in French as "le chemin des Espagnols".[1]

Soldiers were able to march the 1,000 km (620 mi) from Milan to Flanders an average of 23 km (14 mi) a day. Sea transport was much faster, able to cover about 200 kilometres (120 mi) a day, but was highly exposed to storms and enemy attacks. For large groups, overland communication was more reliable, allowing the Spanish to send over 123,000 men compared to only 17,600 by sea, between 1567 and 1620.[2]

Spanish Road
The Spanish Road stretched from the Duchy of Milan through the Habsburg Netherlands. After the abdication of Charles V both territories were at the same time part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Crown of Spain.

Background

The conflict between Philip II of Spain and the Dutch rebels in the Spanish-ruled Habsburg Netherlands, culminating in the Eighty Years' War, symbolised the prominent European power struggle of the 16th century between Catholics and Protestants.[3] In 1550, the wars had stretched Spain's finances thin.[4] 1566 was known as the "Year of Hunger" or "Year of Wonders". When social, political and religious unrest culminated in the Compromise of Nobles and the Beeldenstorm, apparently endangering the government of Philip's Regent in Brussels, Margaret of Parma, Spanish troops under the Duke of Alba were dispatched to restore order and punish the perceived insurrectionists.[5] Those troops could at the time not be transported by sea and Philip was therefore forced to find a route to move troops from his garrisons in Spanish Italy overland to his Netherlands domains, crossing neutral territory.[6] The Spanish Road was surveyed and mapped out in 1566, and Alba used it in July 1567.[7]

Establishment

To get to the Netherlands, the armies and travellers of the 16th century had to overcome many obstacles including extremely high mountain passes, large rivers, deep forests, and roadways filled with criminals. Therefore, it was necessary to find a route that would go around these barriers, for safer and easier travel, and the Spanish Road proved to be the answer. Parts of the road were already in use but it was Philip II, who in 1565, brought it together when he decided to link his territories through a route that travelled through them and neutral territory. Merchants came regularly to use parts of the road between France and Italy to trade goods with neighbouring countries. The main territories it linked were Franche-Comté, Luxembourg, and the territories of allies, Lorraine and Savoy.[1]

The layout of the Spanish Road was a large improvement over the previous system of moving troops through neutral territory. Maps used for Spanish expeditions had only the information that pertained directly to the military, excluding any other details. However, this forced the armies to use guides and scouts when they crossed unfamiliar terrain, since their extremely generalised maps could not guide them. Travellers on the road covered an average of 19 km (12 mi) a day, although in 1577 Spanish veterans left the Netherlands and marched 24 km (15 mi) a day because of the heat and in 1578, they made the trip at the rate of 37 km (23 mi) a day during the cold month of February.[1]

Use

For military purposes, the Spanish Road was first used by the Duke of Alba in 1567, and the last army passed through it in 1620. It was not only utilised by troops, but also traders, and both were in need of food and shelter to complete their journeys. Shelter was rarely given to those who travelled on the road, especially soldiers. Officers would sometimes be able to stay in a nearby town, but their armies had to sleep under bushes or flimsy huts that they would make themselves. Residents of towns along the "road" were rightfully fearful of the armies that passed through because they would often find themselves victims of a robbery if they offered up their generosity. In 1580, the officers of the passing Spanish tercios occupied a house in Franche-Comté that had no furniture and temporary crockery that was guarded, because the providers were scared their possessions would be vandalised, burned or stolen.[1]

The Spanish Road was only used once or twice per year by the military, and the rest of the time by merchants. Because of this, military magazines were seen as unimportant by some countries.[1] The military did, however, use a system of providing staples called etapés. This system was going to be put into place after the successful proposal of Don Cristóbal de Benavente to the Council of War in Madrid. Unfortunately, the Spanish King was not impressed, so Madrid did not support them. However, some "governors" did think the etapés were a good idea, so they set them up along the Spanish Road, using commissioners sent by the governor of the Spanish Netherlands or by the governor of the Milan to work out pricing details, so that the providers were always paid for their services. The first type of etapés was permanent and found only in Savoy. It consisted of a place where soldiers and other travellers had access to food and shelter when they passed through. The second type was in Franche-Comté, Lorraine and the Low Countries, and was created only when arranged for in advance by a private contractor, who would work out the payments, shipments and quantities of food based on the type and schedule of each individual military excursion.[1] This system made the use of the Spanish Road more practical.

Effects

Along with the Spanish Road's military function it also became an important commercial route. The road also helped the Spanish establish permanent diplomatic contacts along its route, such as permanent embassies in Savoy and the Swiss Cantons that were supervised from Lombardy.[1] When the French Wars of Religion broke out, the Spanish and others used the route to provide personnel and materiel support to French Catholics in their fight against the Protestant claimant to the French throne, Henry of Navarre.[1]

One unintended effect of the route was the circulation of the plague by soldiers and commercial travellers to areas along its length.

Fall

The Treaty of Lyon (January 17, 1601) forced the Spanish Road to be reduced to a narrow valley and a bridge over the Rhône. This loss of territory made Spanish passage on the road dependent on the approval of France, which refused passage to Ambrosio Spinola (1601–1602) claiming that Spinola's troops were part of the conspiracy of Charles de Gontaut, Duc de Biron. In 1609, Savoy expelled Spanish garrisons, followed by an alliance with France against Spain in 1610 and a dynastic war over possession of Montferrat (1613–1617), settled by the Peace of Asti. Savoy allowed a Spanish-Italian army to pass through the Spanish Road in 1620 but its anti-Spanish Treaty in 1622 ended Spanish travel on the Spanish Road forever.[1]

Recorded expeditions

Recorded expeditions between 1567 & 1593
Year Chief Soldiers Start Arrival Days
1567 Alba 10,000 20/06 15/08 56
1573 Acuña 5,000 04/05 15/06 42
1578 Figueroa 5,000 22/02 27/03 32
1578 Serbelloni 3,000 02/06 22/07 50
1582 Paz 6,000 21/06 30/07 40
1582 Carduini 5,000 24/07 27/08 34
1584 Passi 5,000 26/04 18/06 54
1585 Bobadilla 2,000 18/06 29/08 42
1587 Zúñiga 3,000 13/09 01/11 49
1587 Queralt 2,000 07/10 07/12 60
1591 Toledo 3,000 01/08 26/09 57
1593 Mèxic 3,000 02/11 31/12 60

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Parker, Geoffrey (2004). The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road 1567-1659: The Logistics of Spanish Victory and Defeat in the Low Countries' Wars (Second ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ Wilson, Peter H. (2009). The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03634-5.
  3. ^ Jonathan I. Israel, The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World, 1606–1661 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 1–11.
  4. ^ Herman Van der Wee, The Low Countries in the Early Modern World, trans. Elizabeth Fackelman (Great Britain: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1993), 26.
  5. ^ Herbert H. Rowen, ed. The Low Countries in Early Modern Times (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1972), xviii.
  6. ^ Parker, pp. 48–51
  7. ^ William Gaunt, Flemish Cities: Their History and Art (Great Britain: William Gaunt and Paul Elek Productions Limited, 1969), 103; Parker, pp. 51–57.

References

  • Cecil John Cadoux, Philip of Spain and the Netherlands (United States of America: Archon Books, 1969), 64-67.
  • Ciro Paoletti, A military history of Italy, (Westport CN: Greenwood Praeger, 2007)
  • Geoffrey Parker, The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road 1567-1659: The Logistics of Spanish Victory and Defeat in the Low Countries' Wars. Second Ed.(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-521-54392-7 paperback).
  • Herbert H. Rowen, ed. The Low Countries in Early Modern Times (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1972), xviii.
  • Herman Van der Wee, The Low Countries in the Early Modern World, trans. Lizabeth Fackelman (Great Britain: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1993), 26.
  • Jonathan I. Israel, The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World, 1606-1661 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 1-11.
  • William Gaunt, Flemish Cities: Their History and Art (Great Britain: William Gaunt and Paul Elek Productions Limited, 1969), 103.

External links

1946 Volta a Catalunya

The 1946 Volta a Catalunya was the 26th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 8 September to 15 September 1946. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Julián Berrendero.

1949 Volta a Catalunya

The 1949 Volta a Catalunya was the 29th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 18 September to 25 September 1949. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Émile Rol.

1950 Volta a Catalunya

The 1950 Volta a Catalunya was the 30th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 17 September to 24 September 1950. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Antonio Gelabert.

1951 Volta a Catalunya

The 1951 Volta a Catalunya was the 31st edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 13 September to 23 September 1951. The race started in Sant Esteve Sesrovires and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Primo Volpi.

1959 Volta a Catalunya

The 1959 Volta a Catalunya was the 39th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 6 September to 13 September 1959. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Salvador Botella.

1960 Volta a Catalunya

The 1960 Volta a Catalunya was the 40th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 4 September to 11 September 1960. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Miguel Poblet.

1963 Volta a Catalunya

The 1963 Volta a Catalunya was the 43rd edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 8 September to 15 September 1963. The race started in Montjuïc and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Joseph Novales.

1965 Volta a Catalunya

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1967 Volta a Catalunya

The 1967 Volta a Catalunya was the 47th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 6 September to 13 September 1967. The race started in Terrassa and finished in Castelldefels. The race was won by Jacques Anquetil.

1992 UCI Road World Championships

The 1992 UCI Road World Championships took place in Benidorm, Spain. Because this was an Olympic year, all the Olympic events served as World Championships, which left just the Professional road race and the Women's Team Time Trial to be contested.

1992 Vuelta a España

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2004 Volta a Catalunya

The 2004 Volta a Catalunya was the 84th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycle race and was held from 14 June to 20 June 2004. The race started in Salou and finished in Barcelona. The race was won by Miguel Ángel Perdiguero of the Saunier Duval–Prodir team.

2005 UCI Road World Championships

The 2005 UCI Road World Championships took place in Madrid, Spain, between September 19 and September 25, 2005. The event consisted of a road race and a time trial for men, women and men under 23.

The Men's road race saw Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen winning.

2005 Volta a Catalunya

The 85th edition of the Volta a Catalunya cycling race took place from May 16 to May 22, 2005, in Catalonia, Spain. It began in Salou with a team time trial and ended in Barcelona. Yaroslav Popovych won the first major win of his career.

2005 Vuelta a España

These are the results for the 2005 edition of the Vuelta a España cycling race. Roberto Heras was the original champion but the win was awarded to Russian Denis Menchov after Heras tested positive in a doping test. Heras made an appeal through the Spanish courts, which ruled in his favour in June 2011 and this decision was upheld in the Spanish supreme court in December 2012; the Spanish cycling federation was not yet sure how to act, but said that the most likely result is that Heras will be reinstated.

2006 Vuelta a España

The 2006 Vuelta a España was held from 26 August to 17 September 2006, and was the 61st edition of the race. It consisted of 21 stages covering a total of 3,192 km (1,983 mi), and was won by Alexander Vinokourov of the Astana cycling team. The points classification was won by Thor Hushovd of Crédit Agricole, and the mountains classification by Egoi Martínez of Discovery Channel.

2007 Vuelta a España

The 2007 Vuelta a España, the sixty-second edition of the cycle race, took place from 1 September until 23 September 2007. For the first time in a decade, the race started in the region of Galicia, at Vigo, home to Óscar Pereiro, with a flat stage. It was also an unusual Vuelta because the first summit finish came already on the fourth day of racing, with a stage ending atop the famed Lagos de Covadonga.

The race was won by Denis Menchov, who also won the Mountains competition and the combined classification, and finished second in the points competition.

2010 Vuelta a España

The 2010 Vuelta a España was held from 28 August to 19 September and was won by Vincenzo Nibali. The race began in Seville and ended, as is tradition, in Madrid.

The race covered 3,333.8 km (2,071.5 mi). There was critical analysis that this Vuelta, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the race, was an especially difficult one and that stage 16 was the queen stage.The stage 1 team time trial was held at night.Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera and Xacobeo–Galicia teammate David García Dapena were announced on September 30 to have given positive tests for hydroxyethyl starch during the race, a substance which is known as a masking agent for erythropoietin (EPO). All results from Mosquera after 12 September (stage 15) were annulled, which caused him to lose his second place. García later was announced to have tested positive for EPO during the race as well.

Cycling at the 1992 Summer Olympics – Men's individual road race

These are the official results of the Men's Individual Road Race at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There were a total number of 154 participants, with 84 cyclists completing the race.

Part of a series on trade routes

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