We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Navigating the Spanish Lake

The Pacific in the Iberian World, 1521-1898

Rainer F. Buschmann, Edward R. Slack, Jr., and James B. Tueller

Publication Year: 2014

Navigating the Spanish Lake examines Spain’s long presence in the Pacific Ocean (1521–1898) in the context of its global empire. Building on a growing body of literature on the Atlantic world and indigenous peoples in the Pacific, this pioneering book investigates the historiographical “Spanish Lake” as an artifact that unites the Pacific Rim (the Americas and Asia) and Basin (Oceania) with the Iberian Atlantic. Incorporating an impressive array of unpublished archival materials on Spain’s two most important island possessions (Guam and the Philippines) and foreign policy in the South Sea, the book brings the Pacific into the prevailing Atlanticentric scholarship, challenging many standard interpretations. By examining Castile’s cultural heritage in the Pacific through the lens of archipelagic Hispanization, the authors bring a new comparative methodology to an important field of research.

The book opens with a macrohistorical perspective of the conceptual and literal Spanish Lake. The chapters that follow explore both the Iberian vision of the Pacific and indigenous counternarratives; chart the history of a Chinese mestizo regiment that emerged after Britain’s occupation of Manila in 1762-1764; and examine how Chamorros responded to waves of newcomers making their way to Guam from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. An epilogue analyzes the decline of Spanish influence against a backdrop of European and American imperial ambitions and reflects on the legacies of archipelagic Hispanization into the twenty-first century.

Specialists and students of Pacific studies, world history, the Spanish colonial era, maritime history, early modern Europe, and Asian studies will welcome Navigating the Spanish Lake as a persuasive reorientation of the Pacific in both Iberian and world history.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (457.3 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (298.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (319.6 KB)
pp. ix-x

Although maritime metaphors are not lacking in our book, this scholarly endeavor was truly a voyage of discovery—on so many levels—for its authors over the three years it took to reach this island “port of completion” at the University of Hawai‘i Press. Our coauthored manuscript developed out o...

read more


John R. Gillis

pdf iconDownload PDF (341.4 KB)
pp. xi-xiv

“Strictly speaking, oceans do not really exist: they are constructs of the mind, figments of the cartographer’s imagination, landlubbers’ ways of dividing up maritime space according to the lay of the land,” writes Felipe Fernández-Armesto.1 As this pathbreaking book shows, the so-called Spanish Lake...

read more

Introduction: Iberian Pacific Navigations

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.0 MB)
pp. 1-16

In 1761, an army captain in Manila who was also a Jesuit theology student drew a symbolic map of the Spanish empire.1 While defending his thesis that unified the Americas, the Philippines, and the Iberian kingdoms, Vicente de Memije arranged the Hispanic world of Charles III into a sketch of...

read more

Chapter 1. The Lake before the Nineteenth Century

pdf iconDownload PDF (559.2 KB)
pp. 17-36

The degree of Spanish control along the Pacific Rim varied from Asia to the Americas. Whereas the Habsburg rulers managed to build a vast empire in the New World following Columbus’ voyage, their influence in China, Japan, and even island Southeast Asia was a great deal...

read more

Chapter 2. Defending the Lake

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.6 MB)
pp. 37-62

In the fall of the year 1766, the Prince of Masserano painfully inched himself through the Court of St. James to voice his grave concern with the British government. Bothered by one of his frequent bouts of gout, the Spanish ambassador was in a foul mood. From his perspective it had not been...

read more

Chapter 3. Arming Chinese Mestizos in Manila

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.4 MB)
pp. 63-96

When the Spaniards conquered Manila in 1571, they established an outpost of their global empire in Asia that would be linked to the Americas through the port of Acapulco in the Viceroyalty of New Spain until 1815. Las Islas Filipinas, as they were officially designated...

read more

Chapter 4. Colonizing the Marianas

pdf iconDownload PDF (675.6 KB)
pp. 97-118

Spaniards in the early modern period who sailed the Pacific had to become excellent mapmakers. They had to be able to estimate distance and to plot, use, and incorporate their new geographic knowledge. A map’s scale, be it a road map, a physical map, or a political map, helps the viewer...

read more

Epilogue: The Lingering Lake and Archipelagic Hispanization

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.3 MB)
pp. 119-132

In the late 1940s enterprising researcher Emilio Pastor y Santos uncovered a loophole in the diplomatic treaties signed between Spain and the United States in 1898 and between Spain and Germany in 1899. Although these settlements effectively ended Spanish colonialism in the Pacific, Pastor discovered...


pdf iconDownload PDF (636.6 KB)
pp. 133-162


pdf iconDownload PDF (526.4 KB)
pp. 163-176


pdf iconDownload PDF (449.6 KB)
pp. 177-182

About the Authors, Production Notes, Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (453.5 KB)

E-ISBN-13: 9780824838256
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824838249

Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Pacific Area -- Discovery and exploration -- Spanish.
  • Philippines -- History -- 1521-1812.
  • Guam -- History.
  • Spain -- Colonies -- Asia.
  • Spain -- Colonies -- Oceania.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access