Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?
It was King Charles III of Spain's idea, actually. In the year 1768, the
monarch* of Spain found himself in a difficult
position. Spain had claimed a vast area of land along the western side of
North America more than 200 years before. The land was rich,
fertile* and near the sea; it was the perfect
place to start cities and safe harbours for Spanish ships. So far,
however, there had been no Spanish settlements started there. The king
had heard that the Russians were interested in settling the land. If
Spaniards didn't move in soon, the land would quickly fall to the Russians
and be lost to Spain forever. At this time, land was money, and the
Spanish monarch could not afford to lose this rich land...