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Russo-Spanish War
Russian battle
A painting of the Second Battle of Fort Ross.





The Pacific Northwest and Alta California.


Russian victory

Major battles:

Flag of Russia Russia
Flag of the Mexican Insurgents (naval variant) Mexican volunteers

Flag of Spain Spain


Flag of Russia Alexander Baranov
Flag of Russia Ivan Kuskov

Flag of Spain Juan Ruiz de Apodaca

Casualties and Losses

The Russo-Spanish War, also known as the War of California (Russian: Калифорнийская война, Kaliforniyskaya voyna; Spanish: Guerra de California), was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Spain over the control of the Pacific Northwest. Tensions between the two regional powers have grown after the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, during which Russia established a fort on the California coast during the Peninsula War (in which Spain was occupied by France).

The conflict between the two empires began after the failed attempt by Spain to push the Russians out of Fort Ross, which ended with the Russian colonists destroying a Spanish ship and forcing the rest to flee south. The conflict remained centered along the Alta California coast, with some battles taking place in the Gulf of Alaska. The war would take a drastic turn when the Russian Empire aligned themselves with Vicente Guerrero and the independence movement in Mexico (then New Spain), which weakened the Spanish forces in the war with the Russians.

The war ended in 1825 with the signing of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg, which resulted in the Russian Empire taking control of Spain's claims to the Pacific Northwest. The Russian victory (combined with Russia's recent victories against Sweden and France) helped strengthen Russia's global power among the other European powers, as well as the beginning of a permanent Russian presence in North America. The war weakened an already weakened Spain, further leading to the deterioration of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. The Russian presence also affected Great Britain and the United States, leading to a territorial conflict that would last until the late-1800s.