In 1740, Commodore George Anson’s expedition to the Pacific once more demonstrated the chronic fragility of Spanish defenses in the entire region. The success and impunity enjoyed by the British privateer illustrated the need for the Spanish crown to consider serious defense reform. The main reforms focused on the improvement of the Armada Real and the construction of fortifications. This article seeks to determine how successful Bourbon reforms were in improving the defense system in the Pacific after Anson´s expedition. For the Spanish crown the Pacific was a peripheral region that for a long time had been dealing with threats and challenges from other colonial powers. This article will also assess the empowerment of local authorities and merchants to face the menace posed by the British and other colonial powers.