Timeline | Before 1800 to After 1930 | SPAIN | POLITICAL CONTEXT

Date

Country | Theme | Description

1808 - 1813

Spain | Political Context

Guerra de la Independencia (Peninsular War) during the French occupation of the Iberian Peninsula and the rule of King Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte.

1809 - 1899

Spain | Political Context

The beginning of the independence process in the Spanish territories in South America and Mexico, influenced by the American and French revolutions. The first Declaration of Independence is in Ecuador in 1809 and the American process ends in 1898 with Cuba, followed by the independence of the Philippines and the selling of the Carolinas and the Mariana islands to Germany in 1899.

1812

Spain | Political Context

Spain's first Constitution of 1812, influenced by the French Revolution, is revolutionary because it declares the Spanish American colonies to be provinces and all their inhabitants citizens. The constitution reduces some of the powers and privileges of the monarchy, aristocracy and church and will influence future post-independence South American constitutions. Up to 1876 Spain will change its constitution four times (1837, 1845, 1869, 1876).

1813

Spain | Political Context

The Valençay Treaty ends the war between Spain and France. Return of King Fernando VII and absolutist restoration.

1820 - 1823


Box, engraved with a scene showing King Fernando VII taking his Oath to the Constitution of 1812 
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Spain | Political Context

In 1820, the army mutiny led by Rafael del Riego leads to King Fernando VII accepting the Constitution, in spite of his former opposition to constitutional monarchy, bringing in the Trienio Liberal period of popular rule. The Congress of Verona in 1822 gives France a mandate to restore Fernando as absolute monarch. In 1823 the French army invades Spain to restore absolutism, ending the Trienio Liberal.

1833


Two plates from the book Reproducción del Panorama de la Guerra Civil en el norte ejecutado por los artistas Pla y Pellicer [Reproduction of the Panorama of the Civil War in the North, executed by the artists Pla and Pellicer] 
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Spain | Political Context

Isabel II becomes Queen of Spain. The Salic Law forbidding women to reign had been abolished in 1830 because Fernando VII's only heirs were female. His brother, Carlos de Borbón, asserts his claim to the throne against his niece (first Carlist War, 1836–39); two further Carlist wars will follow (1846–49, 1872–76).

1834

Spain | Political Context

Estatuto Real signed by the Queen Regent, María Cristina de Borbón, as a royal charter similar to the one under the French King Louis XVIII. There is no constitution, but it has two chambers (similar to the British House of Lords and House of Commons) and a government, with a president and ministers.

1836 - 1876

Spain | Political Context

As a consequence of political instability and of a woman taking over the rule of Spain, the deeply conservative and ultra-Catholic Carlist party rises three times in three dynastic wars against the State (1836–39, 1846–49 and 1872–76).

1836

Spain | Political Context

The Queen Regent, María Cristina, is forced to reinstate the 1812 Constitution after a military coup (pronunciamiento) in order to get support from the liberals in the First Carlist War. Under the Desamortización de Mendizábal Church properties are disentailed to fund the war. General Espartero takes over the Regency from the Queen in 1841.

1843 - 1868


Portrait of Queen Isabel II 
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Spain | Political Context

Isabel II comes of age in 1843. During her reign the political parties are divided into liberals and conservatives. The Church regains its privileges under the 2nd Concordat signed in 1851. The Queen's rule ends in 1868 with the revolution known as La Gloriosa (the Glorious Revolution).
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