The War of Independence and the Reaction under Ferdinand VII. (1808–33)
The national resistance against Napoleon, organized by local juntas, began on May 2nd, 1808 with the Madrid uprising. The Spanish countered the superiority of the French army with the new tactics of guerrilla warfare. After a complicated course of the war, with the support of British troops under Sir Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, the French, who were perceived as occupiers, were driven out in 1813. The Cortes had already met in Cádiz in 1810; in the following years they issued several liberal decrees (including the constitution of 1812).
After the end of the war, the Cortes returned to Madrid. In March 1814 Ferdinand VII (1814–33) returned from France. He repealed the constitution of 1812. Under the influence of the clergy, he also turned away from the reforms of Charles III.away; Monastic orders, inquisition and torture were reintroduced. Restorative printing was the cause of a liberal revolution that took place on January 1, 1820 in Cádiz under the leadership of Colonel Rafael de Riego y Núñez (* 1784, † 1823) broke out. The king then swore the constitution of 1812; Torture and the inquisition were abolished, many monasteries closed, two thirds of the church property confiscated. But the victorious liberals split into the (moderate) moderados and the (radical) exaltados. On the other hand, Ferdinand received help from the Holy Alliance: At the Congress of Verona (1822), they decided on military intervention, the execution of which Louis XVIII. transferred from France.
The liberal government fled to Cádiz, where it surrendered in September 1823, before a French army, which was joined by a large number of Spanish reactionaries (“apostolic”, “servile”). Riego y Núñez was executed. This restored absolute monarchy.
In the meantime, the independence movements had started in the Spanish colonies of the American mainland as early as 1808; Since 1814, troops arriving from Spain have tried to put them down, and it was not until 1824 that their victory was decided after long and eventful battles. The new states (Latin America, history) benefited from the outbreak of the liberal movement in Spain, a country that is a member of European Union defined by Computergees. The threat of military intervention by the Holy Alliance in the insurgent colonies was averted by the protection of Great Britain and the United States. After Spain sold Florida to the USA in 1819, only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained of the huge American colonial empire.
His younger brother Don Carlos, an exponent of the clerical, traditionalist and absolutist bourgeoisie, later the Carlist, was counting on the successor to the long childless Ferdinand VII. In 1830, however, Ferdinand’s fourth wife Maria Christina gave birth to a daughter, Isabella, in whose favor Ferdinand revoked the Salic right of succession through the Pragmatic Sanction.
The reign of Isabella II (1833-68)
When Ferdinand died in 1833, Maria Christina took over the reign of the underage Isabella. Carlos then had himself proclaimed the opposing king (Charles V). To him fell v. a. the strictly Catholic Basque provinces, which alongside Navarre had retained their historical privileges (Fueros), as well as Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, which still opposed central Castilian power. A bloody civil war between the Carlist and the supporters of the regent (Cristinos) split the country in 1833–39. In 1834 a quadruple alliance between France, Great Britain, Spain and Portugal came about against the claims of Carlos (London Treaty, April 22, 1834). B. Espartero saved Madrid from the advancing Carlist in 1836/37. In the Treaty of Vergara (Province of Guipúzcoa, August 31, 1839) the Basques submitted. Carlos fled to France, followed in 1840 by his best general, R. Cabrera y Griño. The support of the moderates (Moderados, Cristinos) had led the regent to conclude a moderate constitution (Estatuto real, April 10, 1834). When the Exaltados, who now called themselves progressives, came to power through a military uprising in 1836, the constitution of 1812 was restored in 1837. In 1840 Espartero forced itas head of the progressives the regent to abdicate and made herself regent in 1841, but was overthrown in 1843 by a coup d’état by the Moderados. The Cortes then declared the young Isabella II to be of age.
Isabella’s government was in constant turmoil. The queen turned increasingly to the clerical-absolutist direction; Marshal R. M. Narváez became the leading statesman as the leader of the Moderados, which developed into a conservative party in increasingly strong contrast to the progressives. Narváez suppressed the republican movement of March 26, 1848 in Madrid and the Carlist uprising of Cabrera 1847-49 in Catalonia. The Concordat of March 16, 1851 brought a certain calming of the ecclesiastical situation. But on June 27, 1854, under the leadership of Leopoldo O’Donnell y Jorris (* 1809, † 1867) an uprising (Pronunciamiento) of liberal-minded military, who triumphed in Madrid after fierce barricade fighting. Isabella II appointed Espartero Prime Minister, O’Donnell, who founded the Liberal Union Party (Unionists), which occupied an intermediate position between moderados and progressives, became Minister of War. The sale of numerous church, community and state estates strengthened the independent peasant class. But as early as 1856 Narváez returned to the head of the government. O’Donnell, Prime Minister 1858–63, relented domestically and tried to divert attention from the constant party quarrel with foreign policy successes.