Spain History – The Bourbon Dynasty Part 2

According to Sportsqna, the peaces of Utrecht (1713) and of Rastatt (1714) gave the throne to the French Philip V of Bourbon. With the new dynasty a period of recovery began for the Spain the dynastic policy of Elisabetta Farnese, wife of Philip V, led to the settlement of his sons Carlo in Naples and Sicily in 1734, and Filippo in Parma and Piacenza in 1748. With Carlo III (1759-88) the reforms continued and extended and in ecclesiastical politics, jurisdictionalism was affirmed, here called regalism.

● The wounds caused by the war of succession could not all be healed: Gibraltar remained in English hands, nor did the family pact of 1761, which linked the Spanish policy to the French one with anti-English purposes and dragged the Spain in the Seven Years’ War and in that for the independence of the United States of America.

● The Franco-Spanish alliance broke with the French Revolution; after an initial period of open hostility, closed by the peace of Basel in 1795, there followed a return to the old alliance and to an anti-English policy which proved to be unsuccessful (1805, defeat of Trafalgar). Finally, also following the conflicts that broke out between Charles IV (1788-1808) and his son Ferdinando, Spain became a vassal state of France with Joseph Bonaparte as king (1808).

● Against the foreigner, the country rebelled compactly and the people fought alongside the British troops sent to the Iberian Peninsula to free it from the French (1808-14). In the part of the Spain not occupied a national assembly (Cortes) was elected, which in 1812 promulgated a markedly liberal constitution in Cadiz. The Spain was freed from the French occupation thanks to the victories reported, starting from 1812, by the Duke of Wellington. Meanwhile, the insurrection that broke out in the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata (1810) marked the beginning of the process that would lead the provinces of the American colonial empire to the conquest of independence (➔ America) in a few years.

● Having ascended the throne in 1814, Ferdinand VII of Bourbon abolished the Constitution of 1812 and pursued a reactionary policy. In 1820 the Spain was the scene of an important liberal movement that forced the return to the Constitution of 1812, repressed in 1823 by French arms on behalf of the Holy Alliance. Since then, Spanish political life was for many years marked by a state of internal instability, due to the profound political conflict between liberal and reactionary tendencies, to the pre-eminent role assumed by the army; the repeal in 1829 of the Salic law in favor of Isabella II gave rise to the Carlist wars (➔ Carlists) with the consequent civil war, which ended in 1839 with the victory of the regent Maria Cristina.

● Around the middle of the 19th century. the Spain went through a period of relative economic expansion: thanks to credits from abroad (France above all), the railway network was strengthened, the Catalan textile industry and the wool industry developed in the Basque Country, the foundations were laid for a modern steel and mining industry. The old agricultural structures, however, slowed the development process and the large estates came out even strengthened by the sale of ecclesiastical and municipal assets (1854-55), purchased mostly by large landowners, who with the ecclesiastical and military hierarchies and the nascent bourgeoisie of finance and industry constituted the dominant power group.

● In 1868 a rebellion by liberal officers forced Isabella II to leave the country and a new Constitution (1869) introduced universal male suffrage and complete religious freedom. The throne of St. was offered to Amedeo di Savoia (1870), whose short reign, marked by the resumption of the Carlist war and the republican opposition, was followed by the proclamation of the Republic (1873), overwhelmed the following year by a blow military state; the Bourbon dynasty was restored in the person of Alfonso XII (1874-85) and a new Constitution (1876) reintroduced census suffrage and privileged positions for the Catholic Church.

● In 1898 the defeat suffered during the Spanish-American war (➔ Spanish-American, war) and the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines had enormous repercussions on the whole nation: the political and social structures of the country were subjected to profound criticism by a group of intellectuals, on the political level Republican propaganda and Basque and Catalan autonomist claims revived, while the reactionary direction assumed by the monarchy and the persistence of imbalances in the distribution of land ownership pushed anarchists to increasingly resort to terrorism. ● Neutral during the First World War (1914-18), the Spain went through in the following years, also as a consequence of the development of the socialist and anarchist movement, a phase of deep tensions, which in 1923 with the support of Alfonso XIII (1886-1931) led to the military dictatorship of M. Primo de Rivera. 8. The Republican Spain

The institution of the Republic.

In 1931, following the electoral victory of the republicans and socialists at the municipal elections, Alfonso XIII was deposed and the Republic was established, an advanced democratic-social constitution was promulgated. Having launched a statute of wide autonomy for Catalonia (1932), the government of the republican M. Azaña tried to limit the weight of the Church and the army in the political life of the country, introduced more advanced labor legislation, but failed to stem rising unemployment or meeting the demand for land from the agricultural proletariat. The legislative elections of 1933 were won by the radical party of A. Lerroux García and by a coalition of right-wing parties. The dominance of the right was interrupted in 1936 by the victory of the Frente popular (electoral coalition of left-wing republicans, socialists and communists), which could also count on the tacit support of anarchist organizations. 8.2 The civil war. the following day in the motherland. Proclaimed head of state by a junta meeting in Burgos in September, Franco consolidated his power by merging all right-wing groups into a single formation (the Falange), then assumed the title of head of government and armed forces (caudillo). A violent civil war followed (1936-39; fig. 3), during which the insurgents relied on substantial aid in men and materials from Italy and Germany, despite the fact that the two countries had formally adhered to the non-intervention agreements promoted by France and Great Britain; the legitimate government, in addition to the help of thousands of volunteers who came from all over the world and organized in the International brigades, he could count on the support of the USSR.

● With the fall of Catalonia (January 1939), on the republican front there was a split between the military, in favor of negotiating the surrender, and the Communists, who were determined to resist indefinitely and from 7 March 1939 violent fighting between the army and the Communists raged in Madrid; on 28 March Franco, whose government had already been recognized by France and Great Britain, entered the city and on 1 April 1939 announced the end of the conflict, which cost the Spain incalculable material damage, about a million deaths and hundreds of thousands of exiles. 8.3 The Franco regime. After the conflict, Franco established an authoritarian (suppression of political parties, with the exception of the Falange), corporate (single union) and centralist (abolition of the statutes of autonomy) regime. In Second World War the country remained neutral, despite repeated requests for intervention by the Axis powers. A certain downsizing of the role of the Falange, the institution of consultative Cortes (1942) and the granting of a charter of individual liberties (1945) did not prevent the international isolation of the Spain regime saw the application for UN membership rejected.

● Nominally restored the monarchy with the succession law of 1947, which assigned him the role of regent for life, Franco brought the country back into the international forum by taking advantage of the conflicts between the Allies and the advent of the Cold War. In 1955 the Spain was finally admitted to the UN. In parallel,Opus Dei (➔ # 10132;); thanks to international aid and the proceeds of an expanding tourism sector, starting from 1960 the Spain experienced a notable industrial development, while the agricultural sector remained stagnant.

● In the same decade, in the face of a resurgence of opposition and separatist instances in Galicia, Catalonia and in the Basque Country, where the ETA (➔ # 10132;) was established in 1959, timid reforms were launched, including the recognition of the right to strike for economic reasons (1965) and a more permissive law on the press (1966); moreover in 1966 Franco separated the positions of head of state and head of government (the first called to the post would have been in 1973, Admiral L. Carrero Blanco, then victim in the same year of an attack organized by ETA), established the direct election of a sixth of the Cortes and proclaimed the principle of religious freedom, while remaining Catholicism as the state religion; finally, he designated Prince Juan Carlos of Bourbon, nephew of Alfonso XIII, as his successor and future king of Spain

● In terms of foreign policy, between 1956 and 1975 the Spain peacefully renounced its African possessions (except the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla).

Spain History - The Bourbon Dynasty 2