Spain in the 19th century (The Spanish War of Independence (The French…
Spain in the 19th century
18th century: Carlos III
1788 → Carlos IV got the throne: actions to cut the influence of the French Revolution in Spain . Enlightenment ideas are stopped.
Napoleon's occupation of Spain
Godoy, Carlos IV's minister, supported Napoleon in the war against GB.
1805, France and Spain defeated by GB in Trafalgar
1807 → Treaty of Fontainebleau gives French troops permission to pass through Spain on their way to attack Portugal, that was allied with GB
French forces occupied Spain → Carlos IV and his son Fernando are sent to Bayonne, in France. They renounced their rights to the Spanish throne in favour of Napoleon, who named his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, the new king of Spain in 1808.
The Spanish War of Independence
2 May 1808 → people of Madrid rose up against the French occupation.
3 May 1808 → French reprisals: hundreds of Spaniards were rounded up and shot
At first, some Spanish victories (Battle of Bailén), but soon the French occupation was almost complete
Zaragoza and Girona resisted the French for a time, but were finally conquered.
Cádiz was the only city that did not fall to the French.
The French were finally defeated in 1813, thanks
Spanish guerrilla, paramilitary forces composed by former soldiers and peasant
support from British forces led by the Duke of Wellington
The political war
During the war, two separate governments coexisted in Spain:
Central Council: represented Fernando VII in the areas not occupied by the French.
It coordinated local and provincial councils that had been elected.
For the 1st time, the Spanish people had their own elected representatives.
José I: imposed the Bayonne Constitution, including enlightened reforms (equality u/t law).
Had some Spanish supporters, who were called afrancesados.
Spanish people rejected his authority.
Cortes de Cádiz
● French advances → the Central Council took refuge in Cádiz.
1810, replaced by the Regency Council → calle together the Cortes.
19 March 1812 → first Spanish constitution → a victory of the Enlightenment ideas over the Ancien Regime.
Constitution of 1812
Established the following principle
Popular sovereignty with limited male suffrage
Catholicism as the state religion
Separation of powers
Legislative: monarch and Cortes
Judicial: courts of justice
Guaranteed rights and freedoms (equality under the law, the right to privacy, freedom of the press and the prohibition of torture)
1814: end of the War of Independence
José I left Spain → Fernando VII returned. Reign divided in 3 periods:
The liberal period: rebellion in 1820 (Riego and Quiroga as leaders) → the king restored the Constitution of 1812 and rights and freedoms suppressed.
Victory of absolutism: 1823, the Holy Alliance help Fernando VII to re-establish absolutism.
The restoration of absolutism, abolishing the Constitution of 1812.
The pragmatic sanction
Proclaimed at the end of his reign, it allowed Isabel to become queen after his death. It replaced the salic law, which had excluded females from the line of succession. It prevented Carlos (Fernando's brother) from becoming king but led to conflicts :
SecondCarlist War (1845-49
First Carlist War (1833-1840)
Third Carlist War (1872-76)
Isabel II (1843-1868)
End of absolutism and establishment of a liberal constitutional monarchy
Two regents governed in her place:
Her mother Mª Cristina
Problems during his reign:
New political parties emerged → challenging the monarchy
Democratic Party, demanding universal manhood suffrage
Electoral fraud, causing discontent
1868 → military uprising, queen force to go into exile.
The Glorious Revolution
First attempt to establish democracy in Spain DEMOCRATIC SEXENNIUM (1868-1874)
Democratic monarchy (1871-1873) → Amadeo of Savoy
Abdicated: republicans, Carlists and supporters of Alfonso (Isabel's son) rejected him.
The First Republic (1873-1874) → internal divisions
1868: provisional government lead by Prim (leader of the rebellion) → they wanted to find a new king
Constitution of 1869, the most progressive Spanish Constitution in the 19th century → universal manhood suffrage
DECEMBER 1874 → military uprising → Restoration of the monarchy and return of the Bourbon dynasty
Alfonso XII (1874-1885)
Proclaimed king of Spain in 1874.
Period of stability:
Constitution of 1876 (limited male suffrage)
Only 2 political parties (Liberal and Conservatives): they alternated in power by manipulating election results.
When he died, his wife Mª Cristina became regent for their son Alfonso XIII, who will become king in 1902.