St Helena Online

Three-way tango that led to Falklands tensions – 200 years later

Spain had a chance to settle the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands more than 200 years ago – and fluffed it. The diplomatic dithering laid the foundations for the present-day tensions between Britain and Argentina. In a reprint of an article from 1982, Peter Burley tells the story of the 1770 dispute between Britain, France and Spain, which began when France and Britain both set up bases on different parts of the islands – and for three years, failed to discover each other’s presence. The story’s in the February 2012 issue of History Today magazine – and on the web, here.

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