Friday, 20 March 2015

Why Did the British Invade the Falkland Islands?

Falkland Islands

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Answer by Stephen Tempest, qualified amateur historian:

An English ship under Capt. John Strong in 1690 was the first to explore the Falkland Islands in detail, map them, and give them a name. However, that can't be called an invasion, since nobody lived there at the time except for penguins.

In 1765, a naval expedition commanded by Commodore John Byron (grandfather of the famous poet) surveyed a landing site and established a settlement, called Port Egmont. The first British colonists arrived the following year. The primary purpose was to establish a naval base where ships could be repaired and take on supplies in the region. This might possibly count as an invasion, since a group of about 75 French colonists were living on the islands; they'd arrived the previous year. However, the British hadn't known the French were there. The two settlements were 85 miles apart and didn't even find out about each other's existence for several months. There was no fighting between them.

A few years later, Spain pressured France to hand over its settlement on the Falklands to them. France agreed in return for gold as compensation. Spain demanded that Britain also hand over its settlement on the basis that the entire South Atlantic was a Spanish sphere of influence and nobody else was allowed to colonize it. Britain did not accept this.Read More  HERE 

(RG) Not quite the answer our Argentine readers might like.