The Spanish-Portuguese War 1801

also referred to as the War of the Oranges

A.) The Pre-History of the War

Since 1661, Portugal had been a British ally; in effect, Portugal was incapable to defend her vast colonial empire by herself; the British alliance permitted her to hold on to it. Since the Treaty of San Ildefonso, 1796, Spain and France were allies. In 1800, Napoleon ultimatively demanded Portugal to enter into an alliance with France - which would have been directed against England and would have resulted in Portugal being disconnected from her colonies. Portugal refused.

B.) The War

A Franco-Spanish force invaded Portugal in May 1801; after inflicting a defeat on the Portuguese, the city of Olivenza was taken. Spanish minister Godoy reported to Madrid that he had picked Oranges near Olivenza; thus the expression "War of the Oranges"; his announcement that he would march on Lisbon next, was not executed. In June, the Treaty of Badajoz was signed, according to which Portugal entered into an alliance with France, ceded Olivenza to Spain and Brazilian territory bordering on French Guyana to France.

B.) The Legacy

On September 29th Portugal signed a commercial treaty with France.
The Treaty of Badajoz did not provide a lasting solution. Portugal was not sincere in implementing her obligation to close her borders to British imports. In 1807, Spain and France, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, agreed to invade and partition Portugal.

War of the Oranges 1801, from ACED
War of the Oranges, from Olivenza International Dispute
O Exercito Portugues em finais do Antigo Regime (On the Portuguese Army at the End of the Ancien Regime), by Manuel Amaral, in Portuguese
DOCUMENTS Treaties concerning Olivenza, from Olivenza International Dispute, has treaty excerpts in English translation
Tratado de Badajoz 1801, from Fronteras e Limites do Brasil, in Portuguese
Correspondencia de Napoleao Bonaparte, enquanto Primeiro Consul, referente a Portugal, de 1799 a 1804, from O Exercito Portugues em finais do Antigo Regime
Documentos, from O Exercito Portugues em finais do Antigo Regime
Portugal, from Annuaire 1789-1815, in French

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 17th 2003, last revised on November 19th 2004

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