REACTION: SEXENIO ABSOLUTISTA (1814-1820)
OMINOUS DECADE (1823-1833)
REACTION: SEXENIO ABSOLUTISTA (1814-1820)
Manifesto of the Persians
When Ferdinand VII came back from France, he weighed up the situation and,
as he got the support of the absolutists (Manifesto of the Persians), he decided to
revoke all the laws passed by the Cortes of Cádiz and restore absolutism.
- Strong repression against the Francophiles and liberals
- Serious economic crisis after the Peninsular War
- Revolt of the Spanish colonies in America to get the independence.
- Several liberal uprisings (pronunciamientos) to end with absolutism
and restore the Constitution of 1812: Espoz y Mina (1814) Porlier
(1815), Lacy and Milans del Bosch (1817)… All these uprisings failed.
ESPOZ Y MINA, escaped to France
exiled to Valladolid
LIBERAL TRIENNIUM (1820-1823)
1st January 1820: Colonel Riego´s uprising in
Cabezas de San Juan (Sevilla) in favour of
the 1812 Constitution.
March 1820: Ferdinand VII
reestablished the Constitution and the
liberals reached power.
Ferdinand VII ´s decree swearing the
PROBLEMS DURING THE LIBERAL TRIENNIUM
- Disputes between moderate (doceañistas) and radical
- Peasants´ revolts: they were not happy with the liberal
reforms (they had to pay the rents for cultivating the lands in
Martínez de la Rosa,
- Bankruptcy of the State finances
- Continuation of the American colonies’ independence
- Ferdinand VII´s constant conspiracies against the
government: he asked the Holy Alliance for help. In the
Congress of Verona (1822) the Holy Alliance decided to
intervene in Spain to restore absolutism
Evaristo San Miguel,
The Holy Alliance sent a French army:
the Hundred Thousand
Sons of Saint Louis (127,000 soldiers,
commanded by the Duke
The liberal government took refuge in
Route followed by the Hundred Thousand Sons of
Duke of Angouleme,
commander in chief
of the Hundred Thousand
Sons of Saint Louis
The French army sieged Cádiz.
Ferdinand VII promised to keep the
Constitution if the liberals
surrendered, but when he met the
French army to negotiate, he broke
his promise and joined the
The liberals had to surrender. On
the 1st October 1823 Ferdinand VII
declared null and void all the laws
passed by the liberals during the
Liberal Triennium and restored
Ferdinand VII receiving the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis in Cádiz
DEFINITIVE LOSS OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES
- Process started in 1808 due to the power
vacuum created by the French invasion and the
- First independent republics: Argentina and
- From 1814 the independence processs
accelerated and generalized
- Liberators: San Martín from the South
Bolívar from the North.
- Process finished in 1824, with the
independence of all the colonies except Cuba,
Puerto Rico, Santo Domingp and the
-Problems of the new republics: ruled by
Creole elites and exclusion of the indigenous
population. Strong social inequalities.
GUAYAQUIL CONFERENCE (1822),
meeting between Bolívar and San Martín
to decide the best way of freeing Perú
JOSÉ DE SAN MARTÍN
OMINOUS DECADE (1823-1833)
-Absolutism was restored, but
-the critical situation (loss of the
colonies in 1824) led to a more
- The small reforms were seen as
a weakness symptom by the most
intransigent absolutists. Some
absolutist revolts: in 1827
Malcontents (Offended) Revolt in
- Liberal uprisings went on, but
were strongly repressed (Torrijos)
Execution of Torrijos and his companions at Málaga beach (1831)
FERDINAND VII´S LAST YEARS: SUCCESSION PROBLEM
Ferdinand VII changed the succession laws, so
that his daughter Isabella could become
- he issued the Pragmatic Sanction, that
revoked the Bourbons´ Salic Law, which
excluded women from the throne
Ferdinand VII´s death
- the most intransigent absolutists put
pressure on him in order to convince him to
give the throne to his brother Carlos Mª Isidro,
but Ferdinand VII finally decided to appoint
his wife Mª Cristina regent and his three-year
old daughter Isabella as heiress.
When Ferdinand VII died, those who supported Carlos Mª Isidro (carlists)
revolted against Mª Cristina and Isabella (supported by the isabelinos or
cristinos): 1st Carlist War(1833-1840)
- Mª CRISTINA (1833-1840)
- ESPARTERO (1840-1843)
- MODERATE DECADE (1844-1854)
- PROGRESSIVE BIENNIUM (1854-1856)
- ALTERNATION BETWEEN THE LIBERAL
UNION AND THE MODERATES (1856-1868)
Mª CRISTINA´S REGENCY (1833- 1840)
-1st Carlist War
- Division of liberalism: progressives
- Liberal Revolution: reforms that
established a liberal regime in Spain.
Mª Cristina of
Duke of Riánsares,
senator for life
Morganatic marriage three months after
Ferdinand VII´s death.
1st CARLIST WAR (1833-1840)
Not only a dynastic war, but a confrontation between two ways of
organizing the country:
- CARLISTS: they wanted to come back to the Ancien Régime, recover
CARLOS Mª ISIDRO
pretender to the throne
when she was a child
or preserve the fueros and defended traditional religion. Their motto
was: “Dios, patria y rey”. They got the support of the low clergy, rural
nobles and some rural areas
where small estates predominated (Navarre, Basque Provinces,
Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia) and absloutist countries (Austria and
- ISABELINOS OR CRISTINOS: they didn´t want to come back
to the Ancien Régime and were supported by the most moderate
absolutists, the liberals, the bourgeoisie of the main cities, high clergy
and the liberal powers (France and the United Kingdom).
The carlists couldn´t take any
important cities, although they
sieged Bilbao in 1835.
They also failed in their attempt to
take Madrid and other cities
(General Gómez´s expedition in
Areas controlled by the Carlists at the moment of their
1839: Vergara Agreement, signed by generals Maroto
(carlist) and Espartero (liberal), old comrades-in-arms: the
fueros of the Basque Provinces and Navarre would remain
and the carlist soldiers could join the liberal army with the
same rank they had in the carlist army.
War continued until 1840 in the
Maestrazgo, when the carlist general
Cabrera escaped to France.
FIRST POLITICAL PARTIES
More intransigent: CARLISTS
Enlarge the monarch´s
power and reduce
Restrict the monarch´s
powers and enlarge
Mª CRISTINA´S REGENCY
As Regent, Mª Cristina always preferred the moderates to rule.
In 1835 a liberal uprising, supported by popular protests in the main
cities,brought the progressives to the government.
The progressives started the reforms to end the Ancien Régime in Spain:
- Suppression of seigneurial rights (only the jurisdictional, not the
territorial ones) and feudalism
- Untying (abolition of primogeniture)
- Suppression of guilds and interior customs.
- Ecclesiastical confiscation of Mendizábal (1835-36): nationalization of
the properties of the Church and sell at auction to get money to finance
the Carlist War
-Constitution of 1837: national sovereignty, division of powers (executive:
monarch, with unlimited veto power, who appointed ministers and
senators. Legislative: two chambers, Congress and Senate), rights for the
citizens, other religions were not forbidden and the State would
compensate the clergy for the confiscation of their properties. Census
suffrage was later regulated.
GENERAL ESPARTERO´S REGENCY (1840-1843)
In 1840 some corruption problems and Mª Cristina´s opposition to reform
the municipalities led to her resignation. A new Regent was appointed:
general Espartero (progressive)
- Authoritarian way of ruling: this created problems with the members of his own
- The decision of imposing a free-trade tariff damaged the Catalan industry and there
were serious revolts in Catalonia. Espartero repressed protests by force (Barcelona
- In 1843, moderate military uprising, supported by some progressive politicians.
Espartero resigned and exiled in the U.K.
The Cortes decided to declare Isabella of age and she was proclaimed queen when she
was 13 years old.
Uprising against Espartero in Barcelona
Satirical drawing of Francisco de Asís of Borbón
Isabella II and her husband
Francisco de Asís of Borbón
MODERATE DECADE (1844-1854)
- Strong man: General Narváez.
- Creation of the Guardia Civil (1844)
- Municipal law: it reinforced centralism,
because the government appointed the mayors.
-Constitution of 1845: shared sovereignty between
the monarch and the Cortes, the rights of citizens
were reduced and the State identified with Catholic
- Mon and Santillán´s Tax Reform (1845): it simplified
tax collection, by creating direct and indirect taxes
- Concordate with the Holy See (1851)
- Criminal Code (1851) and project of a Civil Code
- Unified system of weights and measures.
Ramón de Santillán
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TAX REFORM
Isabella II swearing the 1845 Constitution
The consolidation of the Liberal State and administrative centralization took place
during the Moderate Decade
In 1849 a new political party appeared: Democratic party.
Ideology: they wanted to enlarge citizens´rights and universal suffrage. Some of them
PROGRESSIVE BIENNIUM (1854-1856)
June 1854: uprising led by the moderate general O
´Donnell in Vicálvaro (Vicalvarada) against the
moderates authoritarianism and corruption.
July: Manzanares Manifesto: Demand for political
reforms and Constituent Cortes. The progressives
joined the uprising and the popular support to the
revolt obliged Isabella II to appoint a new
government in October 1854
Espartero, prime minister
minister of War
- New political party, led by O´Donnell: Liberal
Union. Objective: being a center option
between moderates and progressives.
- Government formed by progressive and
Liberal Union members. Main decisions:
- Project of new Constitution (Non nata)
- Civil confiscation of Madoz: nationalization
and sell at auction of the properties of
municipalities, military orders, hospitals and
hospices. It was made to finance public works.
- Construction of railway lines (1855)
- Banking laws (creation of the Bank of Spain,
banking control and banknotes issue) and
creation of public limited companies
MADOZ´S CIVIL CONFISCATION
- Railway lines: Radiocentric network, in order to communicate Madrid with the rest of the
country. Wider track gauge than the rest of Europe.
- Speculative business: more interest in building lines than in their future profitability (railway
In 1855, general strike in Catalonia.
In 1856, increasing workers (Barcelona) and
peasants´ protests (Castile), because reforms didn
´t give solution to ordinary problems
(unemployment, increase of prices, bad harvests)
Espartero refused to use the army against
protesters and resigned. The queen appointed O
´Donnell prime minister and he strongly repressed
revolts. That was the end of the Progressive
Destruction of self-acting machines in Barcelona
ALTERNATION BETWEEN THE LIBERAL UNION AND THE MODERATES
In October 1856, the queen called the moderates
to power (Narváez). The moderates alternated
power with O´Donnell´s Liberal Union.
-Return to conservatism and the laws passed
during the Moderate Decade (Constitution of 1845,
confiscations were paralyzed, press censorship)
-Aggressive foreign policy: participation in some
international conflicts in Cochinchina (1858-1863),
Santo Domingo, Mexico (1862) and Morocco
(1859-60). Only the intervention in Morocco got
some results: occupation of Sidi Ifni and Ceuta
- Opposition parties (progressives and
democrats) were excluded from power and
obliged to conspire to reach the government.
They were strongly repressed by the moderates.
1858-1863: LIBERAL UNION
1863- 1865: MODERATES
1865- 1866: LIBERAL UNION
June 1866: Military uprising at San Gil
headquarters (Madrid).O´Donnell, in
conflict with the queen, definitely left
October 1866: Pact of Ostend (Belgium): the
progressives and democrats decided to
overthrow Isabella II´s monarchy, establish a
provisional government and call elections to
When O´Donnell died in 1867, the Liberal
Union joined the conspiracy
Only the moderates went on supporting the
OVERTROW ISABELLA II´S
REVOLUTION OF 1868