History Hub


Connecting past and present

Aaron Alejandro OlivasAaron Alejandro Olivas is assistant professor of History at Texas A&M International University (Laredo, TX).

He received his PhD in History from UCLA in 2013. He was a recipient of a Mellon grant at the Huntington Library, an Ahmanson-Getty postdoctoral fellowship at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and a Fulbright IIE grant in Spain.

His research focuses on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Iberian Atlantic World, specifically trans-imperial relations between elites of Spanish America, France, and the French Antilles. He has published a number of articles and essays on the topic. His current book project examines colonial responses to the transition from Habsburg to Bourbon rule in the Spanish Empire.

In episode 13 of History Hub’s podcast series – ‘Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra: conversations on the history of Portugal and Spain, 1415-1898‘ – Professor Olivas is in conversation with series host Dr Edward Collins. In the episode, which is available to podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud, they discuss the Iberian Atlantic and the War of the Spanish Succession.

War of the Spanish Succession

The Habsburg dynasty in Spain, which oversaw an unprecedented rise of Spanish power and hegemony in Europe and overseas in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, reached a dramatic end in 1700. The last Habsburg ruler, Charles II, died on November 1st, All Saints’ Day, of that year, without a direct descendant. This precipitated a political crisis, which led to a war of succession involving virtually every major western European power. The conflict, which we know as the War of the Spanish Succession, ended with the accession of a French Bourbon prince, Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France. Philip of Anjou, who became known as Philip V of Spain, was the first of the Spanish Bourbon monarchs. This dynastic shift had profound implications in Spain, Europe and the Americas.

While the War of the Spanish Succession has generally been analysed from a European perspective, there were in fact other elements, which allude to several crucial points regarding the War outside of Europe. In the podcast Dr Collins and Professor Olivas discuss the importance of the Iberian Atlantic in understanding the War of the Spanish Succession.

‘The Iberian Atlantic and the War of the Spanish Succession, 1700-1715’ with Professor Aaron Alejandro Olivas (Texas A&M).


Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra

This History Hub podcast series features interviews with experts in the areas of Portuguese and Spanish history, from the beginning of the Portuguese discoveries in 1415 to the end of Spanish dominion in America in 1898. The interviews, conducted by historian Dr. Edward Collins, cover a range of topics on the domestic and overseas histories of both nations, which include, among others: the Portuguese explorations of Africa and Asia, Spanish navigation and settlement in America, the church in Portugal and Spain, monarchy and intermarriage in the Iberian kingdoms, natural science and mapping in America, the role of nautical science, Irish historical relations with Portugal and Spain, and imperial competition in Europe and overseas. The interviewees comprise a number of established and renowned academics, as well as up-and-coming researchers from universities and institutions worldwide.

This History Hub series is funded by UCD Seed Funding and supported by UCD School of History. Series editor is Mike Liffey (Real Smart Media).

Download series episodes on iTunes or listen via Soundcloud.


Image: detail from Philip V defeating the Heresy, National Heritage, Monastery of El Escorial by Felipe de Silva, 1712. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top