This chapter focuses on one: how the transition to a militarised social and political order on the eve of the dissolution of the Spanish and Portuguese empires turned relatively combat-free colonial societies into warzones before they broke away from Lisbon and Madrid. It argues that the Iberian Atlantic became a theatre for the circulation of revolutionary impulses and the mobilisation of societies for war on a mass scale fuelled by a wider, global, war. Warfare and revolution were central to the birth of Iberian nations and the historians who assumed the mantle of creating foundational narratives for fledgling countries. The king’s envoys could thus shroud themselves in his angel wings. It was when the king had his wings clipped that the extractive machine of the Ancien Regime lurched into a legitimacy crisis of imperial proportions. In effect, global imperial war turned inwards into a revolutionary war that took on increasingly lethal, and fratricidal, features.