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During the period from 1808 to 1826, the Spanish empire was convulsed by wars throughout its dominions in Iberia and the Americas. The conflicts began in Spain, where Napoleon's invasion triggered a war of national resistance. The collapse of the Spanish monarchy provoked challenges to the colonial regime in virtually all of Spain's American provinces, and colonial demands for autonomy and independence led to political turbulence and violent confrontation on a transcontinental scale. During the two decades after 1808, Spanish America witnessed warfare on a scale not seen since the conquests three centuries earlier. War and Independence in Spanish America provides a unified account of war in Spanish America during the period after the collapse of the Spanish government in 1808. McFarlane traces the courses and consequences of war, combining a broad narrative of the development and distribution of armed conflict with analysis of its characteristics and patterns. He maps the main arenas of war, traces the major campaigns by and crucial battles between rebels and royalists, and places the military conflicts in the context of international political change. Readers will come away with a fully realized understanding of how war and military mobilization affected Spanish American societies and shaped the emerging independent states.