¡La Constitución Vive! - A Spanish parliamentary monarchy

11. Spain in the new century.

11. Spain in the new century.

Since the end of the Napoleonic wars and the American Independence Wars, Spain had enjoyed a peaceful period that would was interrupted by the Civil War of 1848-1849, the royalist repression (1849-1856) and the short First Morocco War (1859), which had a visible effect upon the growning of the Spanish population, that would be hit hard again by the famine crisis of 1880-1885 (1), made worse by the cholera outbreak of 1885. The colonial wars in Cuba would kill 65,000 soldiers and, to this death toll, we must add the famine crisis that plagued the country between 1885 and 1890, that caused a rise in the mortality rate, which grew to a 2,5% and remained stable there until 1894, when it fell to 2,1% (2). By 1920, the mortality rate in Spain was 1,78%, while the birth rate would go down from 3,4% in 1905 to 3,03 in 1920. We must to keep in mind that between 1882 and 1900 230,000 Spaniards emigrated towards South America and France. Thus, in spite of this troubles, the Spanish population grew from 1860 to 1900. If in 1860 Spain had a population of 15,6 millions in 1900 had grew to 20,5 (3).

With this growing population, the economic and social crisis mutiplied themselves too. The quality of life had improved, indeed, but the mentioned troubles forced to an increased inmigration too, so, while in the 1890s around 15,000 Spaniards a year left Spain for the Americas and France, by the 1910s this number had grew to 36,000, until it fell down in the 1920s to 14,000 and vanished totally by the 1930s. The internal emmigration will be also a factor in the rise of big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. If by 1877 45,4% of the population of Madrid and 19,5 of the inhabitants of Barcelona were not born in those cities, by 1910 the percentages were 39,9% in Madrid and 29,3% in Barcelona. If we analyze the overall figures of Spain we shall see a small rise from a 8,5% in 1877 to 10,2 in 1910.

How were the economy and the politics that had to back this growing population? The industry and services were well developed by 1882-1890, but the strain seen during the famine of 1881-1885 would go on from then on during the 1890s, when an imbalance between industry and population was clearly seen. In spite of the best efforts of the government, there was a huge difference in the industralization process of the different Spanish regions, as Catalonia gathered the bulk of the industry (with the heavy industry and the shipyards placed in the Basque Country and a small industrial settlement in Valencia) and of the banking system. The thriving steel and mining industry in Málaga, Sevilla and Huelva of the 1870s, it had been halved by the end of the century, and it survived only by the presence of the French and British mining companies (4).

After the end of the Cuba War, the Spanish industry underwent a process of expansion. The coal and the steel industries, along with the hyropower one, were joined by the iron and textil bussines and the new banks that would help to Spanish markets well stocked at least until the end of the 1910s. Another sign of this industrial rise is the expansion of the Spanish roads. If Spain had 20,000 kms of roads by 1880, they had grown to 35,000 in 1895 and 49,000 in 1905 (5), with 1,000 new cars being bought by the Spaniards every year by 1911. The railways would also follow this rise, from 5,500 kms in 1870 to 15,000 in 1901.

(1) In spite of all the improvements of the Spanish "health services", this famine was hard enough in TTL. Thus, the cholera outbreaks of 1833-1834 and 1854-1855 killed 500,000 people, but the one of 185 "only 75,000 -120,000 IOTL- and the one of 1885 65,000 - 120,000 IOTL-). However, as there are no Carlist Wars, we avoid 250,000 deads and around 200,000 victims from illnesses caused by the war.

(2) 3% IOTL 1885-1890; 2,9% IOTL 1894.

(3) 18,5 million IOT. No Carlist Wars, no Ten Year Wars in Cuba, less damaging outbreaks, better health services... all this explains this slight change.

(4) This was so true IOT, when this industries had almost vanished by the end of th 18th but for Huelva, thanks to the French and British companies, which converted the area into a small colony. There the industry survives in better shape thanks a bit to the Spanish government and the foreign companies.

(5) 27,000 kms IOTL 1985, 43,000 IOTl 1905.
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12. The General Elections of 1910.

12. The General Elections of 1910.

Ironically, the "victory" in Morocco cost Antonio Maura the General Elections of 1910. As the list of casualties kept arriving to the mainland, there was an uproar amont the worker class, as most of the dead or maimed came from their ranks. This was more than noticeable when reinforcements were sent from Barcelona (and other places as well). Among the units sent to Africa there was the Third Mixed Brigade of Cazadores (Light Infantry), which was composed of both active and reserve units. In their ranks there were 500 men who had their completed active and who now were found thesembles called to arms. The reservists were the only breadwinners for their families and were too poor to hire a substitute if unable or unwilling to fight. To make it worse, the conscripted service in North Africa for the perceived benefit only of wealthy mining interests was deeply unpopular.

Thus, when, on August 10, the conscripts were boarding their ships while being the subject of patriotic addresses, the playing of the Royal March, and the distribution of religious medals by well dressed ladies, while the conscripts remained silent, many of the onlookers jeered and whistled. Then, some of the conscripts thew away their weapons and equipment and refused to go on board. A few of them were able to give the slip to the military authorities and the police and were hidden by the onlookers. However, everybody knew that those arrested were going to face a trial and, without a doubt, a firing squad. Thus, August 12 as the delegations sent to their officers requesting the mutineers' pardon were not heard, the union Solidaridad Obrera ("Workers' Solidarity"; originally, in catalan, Solidaritat Obrera), called a general strike against not only the trial but also Maura's call-up of the reservists. Although the civil governor Ángel Ossorio y Gallardo had been warned about the growing discontent, acts he was caught by surprise when the strike paralyzed Barcelona.

This explosion of popular rage caught Maura by surprise, who overreacted. Pablo Iglesias and most of the leaders of the PSOE were arrested on August 15. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, chaos ensued. The Captain General of Catalonia, General Luis de Santiago, wanted to declare the martial law, but Governor Ossorio opposed fiercely to that measure and resigned on August 14. His replacement would not reach the city until fifteen days later. Then, De Santiago, following the orders of Madrid, declared the state of war in the city and did nothing, waiting for reinforcements. Thus, by August 14, the workers were in control of most of the city and it soon spread to the neighbouring cities of Sabadell, Mataró and Granollers, were a committée was formed and proclaimed the Republic. That same day Girona was also on strike.

Many of the rioters were antimilitarist and anticlerical, and their hatred was directed soon against the Roman Catholic Church, which was considered part of the system that send their sons to war. Thus, convents were assaulted and burned. When the police and civil guards opened fire against the rioters in Las Ramblas, barricades appeared everywhere. The arrival of reinforcements from Valencia, Zaragoza, Pamplona and Burgos (the first troops reached Barcelona on August 15th) helped de Santiago to recover the city bit by bit. However, 10,000 soldiers had to been used to put down the rebellion, which was not over until August 21st.

Police and army casualties were three dead and 124 wounded. Of the civilians, 75 were reportedly killed and 386 wounded. More than 1,700 individuals faced military courts for "armed rebellion". Three were sentenced to death and executed; 59 received sentences of life (1). These events caused, it goes without saying, a great upheaval against Maura, who knew that he had lost the elections here and then.

However, the turnout of the elections were not "too" bad for the Conservative party, as their defeat was not too worse than the previous ones. For instance, the last Conservative "cataclysm", the one of 1895 had far worse than this one (a loss of 180 seats then vs 104 now). Maura, forced to resign by the events and his own party, would not submit to this defeat and he would try to return to the leadership of the party in 1913, causing, as we shall see, the schism of the party between idóneos ('apt ones') and mauristas ('maurists'), which was to be a great asset for the victorious Liberal party and its leader, José Canalejas.

The tragic events in Barcelona and also an unforeseen effect: the dramatic fall of the PSOE. Their lack of reaction to the revolt (even keeping in mind that their leaders had been arrested quite soon), added to their most than "strange" behavoir towards strikes, as we have already seen, doomed them, going from 30 seats in the previous elections of 1905 to just 10 in 1910. Its place as the third Spanish force would go, ironically, to a Catalan party, Solidaritat Catalana (Catalan solidarity, a coalition of several Catalan political parties, included the main one, the Lliga de Catalunya), which went from 7 to 27 seats.

(1) I've spared two of them: Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, who was a radical freethinker, anarchist, and educationist behind a network of secular, private, libertarian schools in and around Barcelona, and who was not even in the city when the revolt took place IOTL; and Ramón Clemente García, a young man with a mental illness whose crime was having "danced" with the corpse of a nun taken from a profaned grave.
13. First Canalejas Ministry (1910-1914) -1-.

A street in Madrid,
December 25, 1912.

13. First Canalejas Ministry (1910-1914) -1-.

From the very beginning, the new prime minister, who had the support of Alfonso XII, looked for having a wide representation of the progressive forces in Spain. Thus, he persuaded Segismundo Moret, who was close to the Republicans, to become his Ministry of Labour. Furthermore, he solved the inner troubles of the party by giving representation in the cabinet to the different factions of the party. Thus, Canalejas worked mainly to for the "nationalization of the crown", that is, to move Spain even further to the model given by the "crowned republics" of Britain and Belgium. Canalejas was determined to have the king taking part in the political fights instead of being a simple symbol for the country. However, the king, who was 73 years old, deferred the political role to his heir, prince Fernando Pio, born in Madrid in 1869.

However, the prince was quite different from his father. If Alfonso had been known for his strong views about the power of the monarchy but also for his deference towards the constitution and the parliament, Fernando was a mistery even for his father and showed little inclination for politics. When his only male son, Carlos, born in 1901, died in 1914, Fernando withdraw even from public life and became a prisoner of himself in the royal palace. Thus, Canalejas had to trust in the support of an absent king. This, for a while, worked quite well.

Thus, Canalejas began with a religious reform, in spite of his own Catholic faith, that reduced the role of the religious schools in the education of the next generations of Spaniards and, with the "Ley de las congregaciones religiosas" (Religious Communities' Law) or "Ley del candado" (Padlock law) of December 1910, he banned the arrival of more priests and nuns to Spain, much to the changrin of Rome and of the divided Conservative party (1).

Keen on the need of social reform, Canalejas fought against all odds to achieve a tangible improvement in the life of the Spanish workers. In 1911, he put an end to the taxes that affected salt, alcohol, water, food and enerhy, which were very damaging for the economy of the low classes. This also worked well to reduce the rate of smuggling and corruption, even this two troubles were not to be finally solved until the 1930s. In 1912, the hiring of substitutes for the army was also forbidden and, in addition to this, Canalejas introduced the compulsory military service for all men, even if the sons of well-to-do families had a shorter time in the ranks. This reform was part of the "big plan" of Canalejas, that is, to improve the rise the patriotismo of the Spaniards. Thus, Canalejas aimed to create an army of patriotic Spaniards, with the same rights for all of them. This national feeling was to be bound to the king, but, however, Canalejas would find in Catalonia a hard nut to crack.

Then, on November 12, 1912, Canalejas suffered an assasination attempt in Madrid when an Anarchist gunman, Manuel Pardiñas, fired three times against the prime minister, who was only grazed in the neck by one of them (2).

(1) IOTL, this law was never approved. In TTL, it is.
(2) IOTL, Canalejas was killed by Pardiñas.
14. First Canalejas Ministry (1910-1914) -2-.

"There goes the ship",
the crisis of the Conservative party
caricatured by the Catalan magazine El Cu-Cut.

14. First Canalejas Ministry (1910-1914) -2-.

Hardly two weeks after the failed attack on his life, Canalejas went back to work. His attempts to incorporate the trade unions into the existing political problem failed. However, the temporay peace in Morocco and the weakness of the republicans and of the socialists softened the situation. However, Canalejas had to endure a "rebel" faction within his party, being Melquíades Álvarez the head of this movement along with Manuel Azaña. Both Álvarez and Azaña were determined to reform the Liberal Party, as they considered that it had become corrupted by the existing political system. Even if they were not fully republican, they did not exclude the possibility of replacing the monarchy with a republic.

Things came to a head in 1913, when Álvarez openly accused Alvaro Figueroa, earl of Romanones, by then the Liberal Major of Madrid, of "permeating the vices, the lies and the corruption of the old political ways". Evenutally, Álvarez left the Liberal Party to create the Partido Reformista (PR - Reformist Party) with Azaña.

The big battle of Canalejas would be the Ley de Mancomunidades Provinciales (Provincial Goverment Bill) of November 1913, which aimed to give partial self-government to the provincial delegations. Canalejas had a great trouble to have this law passed, with heated debates in the Senate in 1912 an 1913. The impasse was broken when Canalejas threatened to have it passed as a Royal Decree (1), even if with limited powers compared to those originally envisioned for it by the prime minister. Thus, in April 1914, Catalonia became the first Mancomunidad (Commonwealth) in Spain, with Enric Prat de la Riba as its first president. In September 1914, Valencia would became the second Mancomunidad, with the Basque Country, Navarre, Madrid and Aragon slated to be the following ones after the General Elections of 1914.

Meawnhile, the Conservative party broke in half. The cracks were to be seen during the debates about the Provincial Goverment Bill, supported by Eduardo Dato but fiercely opposed by Antonio Maura. Thus, when Dato was selected to head the old party created by Cánovas del Castillo, as we have seen, Maura refused to give in and this divided the Conservatives. Then, Canalejas dissolved the Parliament and called for new Elections, that were to be held on March 1914.

(1) IOTL, the lower house of the Spanish Parliament approved the law but the Senate never did. IOTL 18 December 1913 the king signed the law granting all Spanish provinces the right to group themselves into associations or commonwealths. It was only applied in Catalonia.
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15. News of the world (1900-1914) -1-.

The old British Lion, turned into a lovely lady,
goes on with the German gentleman while
the French regrets his mistakes

15. News of the world (1900-1914) -1-.

Ironically, the balance of power in Europe was changed by an event that took place out of its borders, in Manchuria, where Japan defeated Russia in the short war of 1904. That an European nation had been beaten by Japan had caused an impression, even more because it was perceived that Czar Michael was a weak ruler. Michael's determination to shorten the war once he saw it as lost to cut short the troubles at home had had worse effect than if the Russian Empire had been crushed by the Japanese. The dissent at home remained, waiting for a chance to boil, and the prestige of Russia had simply sunk to the bottom. Even worse, it had damaged the relations with Germany, that suddenly saw its ally not as a valuable asset against France but as a nuisance. Never mind this, Berlin thought, as the German chancellor, von Bülow, was determined to keep Russia by their side. It was understood that it was beter to have the once mighty Empire to their side that aiming a knife to their backs. However, when Pyotr Stolypin became the new Russian Chancellor, he wasted no time to persuade Michael about the desirability of reaching a settlement with Britain.

However, when the new foreign minister, Alexander Izvolsky, attempted to to secure London’s acceptance of free access by Russian warships to the Turkish Straits, the British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey explicitly discouraged his Russian counterpart to think along these lines. In an conversation with the Russian ambassador in London in March 1907, Grey declared that ‘England would no tolerate any change in the existing arrangement’ in the Straits. This "failure" to reach an agreement with London would cause the replacement of Izvolsky by Sergei Sazonov in 1910, a move that reinforced Stolypin's control of the government and the loss of initiative of the Czar. Thus, after this change, Stolypin directed the Russian foreign policy, and this led to a period of pronounced rapprochement with Berlin until the prime minister was murdered by a revolutionary on September 1st, 1911. Izvolksy, who by then was the Russian ambassador in Paris, used the weakness of Kokovtsov, the new prime minister, and of Sazonov, to apply his own politics and to move Russia closer to France, while Nikolai Hertwig was weaving the intrigues in Belgrade that, eventually, would lead to the Balkan crisis of 1919. By then, Germany had already written off Russia as too unreliable to be counted as a substantial asset, making the the Reinsurance Treaty a dead letter.

What had changed in Berlin to drop Russia as an ally? When Bismarck resigned in 1890, Friedrich von Holstein, the new foreign minister, became the repository of the Bismarckian tradition. Then, in 1899, with British forces tied down in South Africa and fearing that Russia could use the chance to put pressure in Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Lansdowne was so keen to secure Germany's simpathy to, in this way, neutralize Russia, that he probed Berlin about with a a draft proposal for a secret treaty of alliance with Germany that could have committed Britain and Germany to wage war on Russia in support of Japan. However, Germany was reluctant to such an alliance, as it meant being encircled by the French and Russians. This move, however, was to open a new path for the Anglo-German relations that would came to a head with the Naval Treaty of 1906 that, in the words of Admiral Sir Arthur K. Wilson, made ‘difficult to see how such a conflict could arise’ between the British and the German Empires.

Again, as it had happened with Russia, two crisis, one in France and another one in China, were the main reasons for this Anglo-German reapprochement, as we shall see.
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16. News of the world (1900-1914) -2-.

French soldiers resting during a patrol
in the Lenguadoc, 1907

16. News of the world (1900-1914) -2-.

Just as the Russo-Japanese War ended, Sun Yat-sen began to conspire in Tokio to dethrone the Qing dinasty and to replace it with a Republic. However, before he could act, on November 24, 1905, General Yuan Shikai, commander of Beijing Army, staged a coup d'etat with the support of Dowager Empress Cixi, against Cen Chunxuan's government, accusing the prime minister of trying to bring back the Wuxu Reform. Cen Chunxuan was arrested and with this coup China entered a time of chaos, with ten failed uprisings taking place from 1905 to 1911, when Cixi died and Pu Yi became the new emperor. The hopes of a deep transformation of the country were enhaced when Yuan Shikai was dismissed and Prince Ch'ing was appointed as the new Prime Minister of the "Imperial Cabinet" in May 1911. However, the hopes were crushed when Prince Ch'ing failed to bring new life to the decaying system and the chaos returned in November 9 when the province of Fujian declared its independence with Sun Daoeran as its first minister.

Three days later, Guangdong followed the same steps with Hu Hanmin at the helm of the new government. Trying to put down the rebellions, Prince Ch'ing was replaced by Cen Chunxuan, who was called from his retirment in Shangai to led the transformation of the country from an autocratic system to a constitutional monarchy. This act had a pacifying effect upon the country, until the reform process failed and chaos returned by january 1912 when the provinces of Shandong, Sichuan and Chengdu declared their independence. Thus, when General Xu Shaozhen of the New Army, marched with his troops against Nanking, the Chinese Civil War (1912-1914) started. It finished with the abdication of Puyi, who was eight years old at the time, and the proclamation of the Republic (March 10, 1914), with Yun Shikai as its first president, but he was assassinated ten days later and Sun Yat-sen became the new head of the unstable Republic. However, by June 1914 his influence over the country had been reduced to the capital, Nanjing, as several warlords had risen and were figthing among them over the control of China.

Sun Yat-sen
Second president of the Republic of China

Since the defeat of 1871, France had lived in constant turmoil until 1895, when President Félix Faure and Prime Ministers Jules Méline (1896-1898) and Charles Dupuy (1899-1902) managed to end the troubles times of the Fourth Republic. However, the Russian defeat in the war of 1904 produced a severe shockwave in France, the main creditor of the Czars. Then the miners' strike threatened with widespread disorder on 1 May 1906 and the Minister of Interior, Georges Clemenceau, ordered the military against the strikers, which were joined by the wine-growers in the Lenguadoc. Then, when on 12 July 1906 that the Supreme Court rejected to cancel the sentence of the military trial of 1899 against Alfred Dreyfuss, the country finally exploded. The wave of anger that run across France became soon a violent General Strike in August 1906 and forced again Clemenceau to use the army against the protest -1-.

When Ferdinand Sarrien, the prime minister, resigned in October, Clemenceau became premier. However, his term was not more peaceful than the one of his predecessor and the strikes returned soon after. On February 15th, 1907, Théophile Delcassé pointed out in the French Parliament that Clemenceau was not only unable to put down the protests, but also making them worst as his repression was causing even more dissent. Thus, he demanded new elections. When the prime minister refused Delcassé demands, he left the Parliament followed by a third of the French members of the parliament. They would meet again in Vichy, in the so-called Assembly of the Parliament. There they demanded, again, new elections and a deep reform of the political system. Clemenceau reacted by declaring the state of war in France and he accused Delcassé and his followers of committing sedition; he also censored the press and send the army to arrest the "rebels". This move led to the General Strike of 1907 (March 13 - April 27), which, even if it was not a complete success, forced Clemeanceau to resign on April 19th. Aristide Briand became the new prime minister of France, opening a period of instability that would last for six years.

(1) A tad ironic, being poor old Clemenceau a Dreyfussard himself...
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17. News of the world (1900-1914) -3

17. News of the world (1900-1914) -3-.

By the time that George V (1) came of age and the regency ended in 1904, the British Empire opened a new period of his "Splendid Isolationsim" age. The Russian defeat in 1904 meant that the threat over India had ceased to exist, at least temporally. Furthermore, the rigid respect of Michael I towards the weakling Parliamentary system of the Empire granted that the it worked without outside interferences but, at the same time, the Czar did not act as a mediator between the parties, something that was deeply needed during the hung parliament of 1909. However,many believed that, once Russia's parliamentary system began to properly work and chaos vanished, the ongoing industrialization process would make the old Empire a powerful enemy, proved that it could sove its social problems, of course.

Furthermore, the close diplomatic relations that had briefly united France and the United States during the term of presidents Jauré and McKinley had been a deep cause of concern in London, until the widespread riots and disorder that exploded in France in 1906 made President Alton B. Parker to reduce the US support in 1910, when the General strike of that year in France put the country on the verge of the abyss of a civil war. Thus Parker, fearing that this chaos could damage the economy of his country, cut short the American credit line and began to press Paris for an increased pace of the return of the loans. Eventually, this would lead to the Paris Market Crash of 1912 and the coup d'etat of March 24th, 1913 that installed Paul de Cassagnac (3) as president of the Fifth Republic (March 24 - July 25, 1913), who called for the referendum (June 28th) that made possible the restorarion of the French monarchy with Jean, Duke of Guise, crowned as king Jean III of France on July 25th.

Jean III of France
(b. 1874 – d. 1940)
This could had lead to a the second USA-France rapprochement, but when Woodrow Wilson became president of the United States of 1912, he turned his back to Europe to seize the mantle of leading reformer in American politics. In no time the Governor of New York and former vice-president during McKinley's two terms, Theodore Roosevelt, frustrated with the policies of Wilson, made plainly clear his opinion during his speech on June 31st, 1914, in Pittsburgh, when, while demanding a return to prosperity and protection, he criticised the Democratic trust policy and made plain his disdain for the foreign policy of Wilson and William Jennings Bryan, which he regarded as both weak and ineffectual. Modern historians consider today that this speech marks Roosevelt's race to be nominated Presidential candidate for the Republican party in 1916. However, in my humble opinion, he already had that ambition in 1908, but Roosevelt had sensed that his time had not yet come.

Thus, with both France and Russia not in the shape of being a threat for their interests and with the German rivalry effectively neutralized with the Naval Treaty of 1906, that not only eased the Anglo-German relations but also improved the economies of both countries, Britain returned to its traditional isolationism.

(1) TL, the son of William V (2) and Mary of Teck, born in 1886
(2) IOTL, William IV's wife had an stillborn child on 5 September 1819. ITTL he was king of the United Kingdom (1874 to 1892).
(3) De Cassagnac here goes from the Bonapartist party to the Orleanist side when he felt betrayed by when the Bonapartist heir, Prince Victor, endorsed the Republican values in 1911, even if by then the party was in decline.
(4) Who was not mudered in this TTL.
18. The General Elections of 1914.

18. The General Elections of 1914.

The Conservative schism did not prove too decisive in the end and Maura did not divide the party as much as many had thought. Eventually he would do it, but not in 1914. In any case, Eduardo Dato was able to gather not only enough support but also to capture the attention of the voters, who were persuaded that with Dato Spain would go forward and away for the hesitating ways of Canalejas, who, ironically, wa surrounded by the very chore of the reformist politicians that wanted to bring that change to the country.

Furthermore, that Maura had taken out himself of the leadership of the Conservative party increased its chances of victory, which were reinforced by the brief outburst of infighting that exploded in the Liberal Party when Canalejas made Alvaro de Figueroa, count of Romanones a his most trusted companion in the party, and that opened a small civil war within the Liberal ranks as Manuel García Prieto felt wronged. García Prieto considered that he and not Romanones was the worthy replacement of Canalejas. Eventually, Canalejas reminded García Prieto of his place in the party. Knowing that once Romanones replaced Canalejas and had the control of the party, he would had no role in it, so he began to consider his options, out of the Liberal ranks.

Another trouble for Canalejas was when Melquíades Álvarez decided to leave the party after he saw clearly that he was unable to reform it and to clean the corruption that, in his opinion, the collaboration with the system had brought to the Liberals. However, he decided to postpone his final decision after the General Elections.

Almost againt all odds, Dato won the election but, for the first time in the last eighty years, he had not a majority government and was forced to to look for outward support. Determined not to trust Maura, who he deemed too unreliable, Dato decided to play with his rivals and, as we shall see, he moved back and forth from the Liberal Party to the Lliga Regionalista, hoping to bring the Catalan party close to the government and thus defuse the nationalists ways of Prat de la Riba. However, this would prove to be a harder task than Dato thought, one that he was not going to win, and that would have a too high a cost for him and the Conservatives.

Spain was changing, even if its politicians failed to noticed that.
I can't but notice that for a while, the swing of seats at each passing election is in the dozens of seats if not, often, over a hundred.
How is the electoral system leading up to that trend?
I can't but notice that for a while, the swing of seats at each passing election is in the dozens of seats if not, often, over a hundred.
How is the electoral system leading up to that trend?
The electoral system has a main problem: the voters. In spite of the educational reforms, 30% of the male population are still illiterate, so they are easily manipulated and/or pressed to vote what they are told; in some areas (Andalucia, Castilla y León, Castilla la Mancha), the "caciquismo" ("boss rule"), so we have the interference in politics of the power of local political bosses. IOTL Spain, this trouble lasted until the II Republic. In addition to this, there's not a national news system, but for the main cities, so in some areas people vote in mass following the advice of the most trusted members of the community, which are human, after all. Thus, the system is still in need of a lot of improvement...

...which is on the way, but not in the short term.
19. The Third Spanish Industrial Revolution (1910-1920).

The Greek battleship Kilkis, former USS Mississipi,
during her sea trials off Salonika in August 1913.

19. The Third Spanish Industrial Revolution (1910-1920).

Eduardo Dato had the responsability of leading Spain during its Third Industrial Revolution. However, he failed hard even if the Spanish economy grew in spite of his best efforts, as we shall see. This industrial expansion had its roots in the economical upheaval (see chapter 11) that followed the Cuba War in the late 1890s. There we can find the bases of the process that, between 1910 and 1920, developed new industries and centered its focus on the domestic market: mechanical engineering, power utilities, paper making and textile industries. The rapid expansion of these industries was clearly helped by the existence of a powerful private banking system, created during the colonial wars of the late 1890s with the money that returned to the mainland, which also grew with this expansion, which in turn reinforced the speed of this new stage of industrial development in Spain. Furthermore, to support this process, Spain imported vast amounts of foreign capital to finance it, something that was to turn the country into one of the main debtor nation in the world by the 1920s.

This process was reinforced also by the tense international situation created by the first symptoms of what would become the Balkan crisis of 1919. These first manifestations of the problem were the diplomatic friction between Serbia and Bulgaria about their boundaries. The Kriva Palanka-Ohrid line became a bone of contention between the two countries. As this area was under German and Russian arbitration, Sofia and Belgrade turned to Berlin and Saint Petersburg for a solution as the Bulgarians demanded the anexation of northern Albania and Vardar Macedonia to them. Thus, when the Ruso-German's verdict supported the Bulgarian claims, the Serbs, displeased with the decision, adamantly refused to give up any territory. However, Russia was not inclined to press Serbia to honour the pact and Germany was unwilling to further allienate Russia just as France seemed to be in turmoil again.

Thus, by the summer of 1912, the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance came to an end and everybody could see that a future war between the two countries was inevitable. From then on minor clashes broke out along the borders of the occupation zones with the Bulgarians against the Serbs, which led to Serbia starting negotiations with Greece to from an alliance, as Athens also had reasons to be concerned about Bulgarian intentions. Then, Romania demanded to Bulgaria the cession of the fortress of Silistra, but Sofia offered instead some minor border changes, which excluded Silistra. Romania threatened to occupy Bulgarian territory by force, but a Russian proposal for arbitration prevented hostilities. Finally, in the Conference of St. Petersburg (May 1913), Bulgaria agreed to give up Silistra. This result made the Bulgarians uncertain of the reliability of the Russian arbitration if Serbia or Greece returned with their claims, so Sofia began to drift away from Russia towards Germany.

As skirmishing continued in Macedonia between Serbian and Bulgarian troops, Czar Michael I tried to stop the conflict, since Russia did not wish to lose either of its Slavic allies in the Balkans, not knowing that Bulgaria was almost on the German side. However, just as Berlin pressed Sofia to remain calm, Foreign Minister Sazonov was able to ensure that peace was not to be broken in the short term. With sabre rattling being heard both in Sofia and Belgrade, the two governments turned their attention to local issues that, ironically, were determined by the international situation. Thus, the war parties in the two countries began to slowly gain control of the state affair of Bulgaria and Serbia and waiting for their time to come while their governments began to expand their armed forces for the unavoidable conflict.

Greece also, looked outside its borders for military supplies, finding an unexpected source in France, as the de Cassagnac cabinet used the Balkan mess as a way to introduce France again as a broker in international affairs. Thus, from 1913 onwards, French weapons found their way not only to Greek but also Romanian and Serbian armories while Bulgaria began to buy Krupp guns and Mauser rifles, followed by the Ottoman Empire in 1914, who ordered two modern battleships to Vickers and Armstrong respectively (1). This move was answered by Russia by laying down three such vessels itself. The Porte simply replied by purchashing the Almirante Latorre, which had been laid down in December 1911 at Armstrong’s yard for Chile, and the Moreno and Rivadavia, which were then building in the United States for Argentina.

This force of five modern battleships would change the power dynamic in the Black Sea, as it would utterly outclass the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which then comprised only obsolete predreadnought battleships. Even when the Russian navy completed its ongoing Black Sea modernization programme, the Turkish navy would have a superiority in numbers. Then Greece reacted by ordering a dreadnought to Germany in 1913 and another one to France in 1914 in response. As a stop-gap measure, the Greeks purchased Mississippi and Idaho from the US Navy in 1915 (2).

Thus, the tensions in the Balkans led to international demand for Spanish exports of strategically important products such as steel, to be used in the armaments industry, increased rapidly, and with the demand so did the prices. The increasing arrival of foreign money as payments for the Spanish exports was to be a crucial factor not only in the payment of the Spanish debt but also in the configuration of its new industrial sector. However, this industrial expansion was not joined by a similar social process, and it is here where we are going to find the clues that explain Dato's failure and determined his own tragic end.

(1) 1911 IOTL.
(2) 1914 IOTL.
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This is very well done. This era is one I know a bit about, and you've pretty much nailed it with this chapter.
Thanks a lot, Oldbill! The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th are some of my favourite topics in history, but I'm hardly an expert on the issue, so, again, thanks a lot!
20. Dato Ministry (1914-1918). -1-

Workers demonstrating in the streets of Barcelona
demanding justice and freedom in front of the Palace of Justice.

20. Dato Ministry (1914-1918). -1-

The first trouble that Dato found on his way as First Minister of Spain was that he was short of one MP to have a majority government and that he could not count with the support of his fellow party companion but enemy at the same time, Antonio Maura. For that reason, Eduardo Dato adopted a solution that would be imitated in the future for different Spanish politicians in very different times: a coalition government. However, Dato was unable to achieve a long-term agreement with either the Liberal Party or the Catalan Party but just temporary arrangements.

Thus, Dato began his term with the support of Prat de la Riba and embarked himself on his crusade to bring order to the country. He passed the law that created the Mancomunidad (Commonwealth) of the Basque Country as it had been planned by the Canalejas cabinet. However, he delayed the drafting of the bills for the ones of Navarre, Madrid and Aragon. The Navarrese Mancomunidad would not become a reality until July 30, 1916 and the draft for the Aragonese one would had to wait until the next General Elections. The cause for this delay was the big opposition to the Mancomunidad project that Dato found within his own party and in the Liberal faction led by Santiago Alba.

Alba (1872-1949) was the leader of the right wing of the Liberal Party. He had been Minister of Education under Canalejas and was against any intervensionism by the State, did not trust the Republicans and, being a commited believer in the need of a strong central natinal government, he was dead set against the Commonwealth project. However, his faction was not made up by a group of politicians with the same ideas, but with personal grunts and grievances against Canalejas for not being part of the distribution of political favours. His centralism was in line with Maura's idea of Spain. The other common feature was that they carried little weight in their parties. However, while Aba was determined to remain within the Liberal Party and to fight his way to the leadership, Maura has managed to isolate himself for his hatred towards both the Liberals and the Conservatives, who he called them traitors. Even worse, in 1914, Dato's Minister of War, Juan de la Cierva (1864-1938), would from his own group on the far right border of the Conservatives. In due time, de la Cierva would close the gap between him and Maura, who began to move closer to proto-fascists positions around 1915. Thus, by 1914, it was hard to mark the limits between factionalism and a multi-party system.

In addition to this confusion, Dato had to deal with the social conflicts that surfaced again in 1910-12. Alejandro Lerroux had attempted to lead the discontent to the system with his demagoguery and, in the beginning, he had been successful. From 1908, with his Partido Republicano Radical (PRR - Radical Republican Party), to 1910, he had become a popular politician in Barcelona with his radical ideas and his anti-clericalism, specially among the inmigrant mass of workers. However, his end came quite soon. Elected as a member of the Parliament in 1910, he became involved in a scandal of emblezzement and corruption and soon lost most of his supporters when it was discovered that he was a fraud. Thus, the political career of Lerroux vanished in a blaze of fury. However, he had set in motion the popular anger and had made them feel powerful. Thus, as soon as Lerroux was out of the political scene, the Anarchists replaced him. Their ideas became quite popular in the industrial areas of Spain, but above all, in Barcelona but also among the Andalusian farmers. Their influence, however, had many up and downs. Their finest moment came in 1906, during the General Strike in Barcelona, even if it ended in a failure that caused a crisis among the Anarchist movement, that was in disarray from that moment on. This chaos was the main cause of Lerroux's rise and that a some Anarchists adopted terrorist methods from 1908 onwards.

Thus, from 1914 to 1916, Dato had a "happy time". With the new age of industrial development giving rise to a time of prosperity, he worked closely with Prat de la Riba, who used his prestige to demolish his rivals in Catalan politics, until both politicians clashed in 1916 when Prat de la Riba wanted to expand the powers of the Catalan Mancomunidad and Dato refused his demands and applied pressure to his Catalan ally by reducing the funding and the power of the Mancomunidad. Thus, the suport of the Lliga Regionalista came to and end. By then Dato and Prat had little to boast about those two years of work. The Catalan local government had the same powers but less funding that under Canalejas, in one side, and Dato had hardly carried out any improvement of the political system of Spain but for several reforms of the law system to act harshely against strikers and protesters. In fact, the 1914-1916 period could be considered a wasted time that had within it the seeds of future social troubles.

Then Dato tested the Liberal waters and Canalejas used the chance to offer him a deal: if Dato's way came close to his own, the prime minister could count with the support of Canalejas' party. If not, he would be on his own. However, Dato considered that Canalejas' patriotism was to support him in all his enterprises. On that issue, he was to have soon a rude awakening.

Meawnhile, in 1916, Dato embarked the country in a big colonial enterprise that was to muddy the political waters of Spain and would create some unwanted international troubles.
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21. Dato Ministry (1914-1918). -2-

Spanish gunners getting a gun in position
in a rocky hill somewhere in Lybia

21. Dato Ministry (1914-1918). -2-

The main reason for Dato's lack of actions in national politics during the first two years of his term was his intense international diplomacy. Dato was determined to improve the prestige of Spain with a short and victorious colonial war, which was to bolster the unity of the Spanish people and would put all the social issues to rest. To achieve this, he went after a prize that had been virtually ignored during the Berlin Conference (1878), Lybia. When France and Great Britain had agreed for the occupation of Tunisia and, respectively, Cyprus, both part of the then ailing Ottoman Empire, the head of the Spanish delegation, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Palafox, 16th duke of Alba, hinted about a possible interest of the Spanish government on Lybia. The topic was not seriously retaken until the Franco-Spanish negotiations of 1904, when both countries settled the Moroccan question and France recognized the Spanish right of intervention in Tripolitania, even, for a while, the Spanish government did little about it until Dato recovered the project.

Thus the Spanish press began a massive lobbying campaign in favour of an invasion of Libya at the end of April 1916. The country was depicted as rich of minerals, full of water, and lightly defended by the Ottoman troops, who where stretched to the maximum of their forces by trying to control the local population, who, according to the Spanish journalists, were hostile to the Ottoman Empire and friendly to the Spaniards. If the Spanish army invaded the country, it would be a "military walk". Meanwhile, Salvador Bermúdez de Castro, the Foreign Minister, was tasked by Dato with persuading the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to support the Spanish colonial adventure. Bermúdez de Castro had to persuade Naples to give access to the Spanish forces to its Sicilian harbours. Both sides came easily to an agreement: Lybia would become a condominium of the two kingdoms, with Spain having full control of the country and its ally local influence while Sicily was turned into an enourmous military base for the Spanish expeditionary force. This pact would have a long lasting effect for Spain, as, with its alliance with the southern Italian kingdom, she gained the hatred of the Piamont, as Spain was deemed another enemy of the Piamontese dream of forging the unity of Italy.

Thus, in September 1916, after a proposal of the Ottoman Empire to hand over control over Libya without warring, maintaining a merely formal Ottoman suzerainty (as in Egypt), was rejected by the Spanish government, the Spanish troops landed in Tripoli. Soon, the Spanish controlled this city, Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk. By late October, the Spanish force mustered 40,000 soldiers, which were deemed more than sufficient as the Ottoman forces had done little to stop the Spanish advance inland. However, on October 23, 1911, a Spanish batallion was ambushed by Turko-Arab forces. In spite of the heavy losses, the Spanish soldiers held their ground, but the battle signaled a turn in the course of war, with the invaders facing a stronger enemy oposition that grounded their advance to a halt, until the superior Spanish weaponry settled the matter.

By early November, with 100,000 Spanish soldiers on the field, Dato declared the Spanish suzerainty over Lybia, even if the Spanish troops only controlled the coastline. The peace negotiations between Spain and the Ottoman Empire started in February 1917. By then the Ottoman Empire was on the verge of chaos (in fact, the country would suffer a coup d'etat in June that year that left the government in the hands of Enver Bey and Talaat Bey -1-) and Dato recoginized that Lybia was proving to be a hard nut to crack. Thus, the treaty was signed on February 12. Its terms formally equal to those proposed by Istambul at the beginning of the war, and maintained a formal Ottoman suzerainty over Libya. Thus, the war had been fought for naught.

The war was a costly enterprise for Spain. The Spanish treasury was hit hard by the war effort, but the conflict proved to be highly divisive among the Spaniards themselves, who considered that this mad colonial scheme was of the same kind that the Moroccan one: a war that benefited only a powerful minority at the expense of the blood of the lower classes: during the Lybian campaign 561 Spanish soldiers were killed and 1,839 wounded. Even worse, it became clear that Lybia would need further campaigns to be pacified (2). From then on until the next General Elections, Dato would frantically try to find a way to extricate Spain from the colonial quagmire that his ambition had created and began to consider to sell the Spanish rights over Lybia to Naples.

However, the question would have to wait until Spain had voted the new government.

-1- The coup d'etat of 1913 takes place in 1917.
-2- ITTL, the Spanish-Two Sicilian control over Lybia is a bit more fragile that the Italian one IOTL.
22. The General Elections of 1918.
22. The General Elections of 1918.

The main (and only) reform that Dato was able to bring forward was, ironically, the one that, along with his mad Lybian enterprise, doomed him. The uproar that caused the intervention on the North-African country brought back the memories of the Second Morocco War and that, among the paltry results of his tenure determined Dato's defeat. This was made worse by the Conservative split. Maura and De la Cieva were still determined to lead the party on their own. For them, no agreement was possible, only submission to their leadership. Thus, the party went to the elections as three different formations.

Meanwhile, José Canalejas was to lead the Liberal Party for the last time. His leadership had kept the party united, but he knew that, once he retired from politics, the internal differences between Romanones, García Prieto and Alba could take the Liberal formation to the same fate that their rivals had met. To this, Canalejas was unable to find a solution.

The PSOE was also having a critical moment in its history. Pablo Iglesias was seriously ill and his heirs were at odds between them. Thus, when the founder of the party died in 1920 (1), Julián Besteiro, the new president of the PSOE, would be unable to stop the schism when first Indalecio Prieto and then Francisco Largo Caballero left the party. Prieto, who had begun his turn to social-democratic positions, was to create the Partido Social Demócrata (PSD - Social Democratic Party) while Largo Caballero was to form the chore of what, eventually, would give rise to the Partido Comunista de España (PCE - Communist Party of Spain). Thus, the General Elections of 1918 would be the last for the united PSOE and for Pablo Iglesias.

The new voting system, which was still far from perfect, reduced the interference in politics of the power of local political bosses, who, however, still had a say in the Andalusian and Castillian regions. Nevertheless, the results were there to be taken, even if the turnout proved a pill hard to swallow to many. For the Liberals, it proved a bitter sweet victory, as even by rising the number of MPs from the 122 of the 1914 General Elections of those 170 of 1918, to the great suprise of some within the party that had predicted a loss of 45 seats. However, even then the situation was quite clear: Canalejas, as Dato before him, would need the support of other political formations to go on. On the Conservative side, Dato saw the results as a complete disaster, the confirmation that he had lost control of his party, that the voters did not longer trust him and thus they had voted him out for his awful tenure.

For Maura, however, it was a vindication of his own politics. He had greatly improved the results of the last elections and he considered himself as a key element to ensure the stability of the government. De la Cierva saw how his party had been unable to have an impact in the voters, whose lack of trust had been translated in just 5 PMs for his formation. Furthermore, the good results of Prat de la Riba were deemed unsatisfactory in Catalonia, as he had failed to persuade Dato to increase the Catalan autonomy. This "failure" would lead to the rise of a new nationalist Catalan party with a new aim: the independence of Catalonia. Finally, 1918 had been the last victory for Iglesias, who had greatly increased the Socialist presence in the Parliament by triplicating the number of MPs of his party.

Thus, 1918 saw the beginning of the "new" General Elecction system and the end of the "classic age" of the Spanish Democracy, as we will see in the transformation suffered by the two main partis of Spain until that day, the Liberals and the Conservatives, and the rise of new ones that would drastically change the history of Spain just as the world suffered a crisis that dwarfed the Napoleonic wars.

(1) IOTL he died in 1925.
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I just found a little inconsistency with Liberal numbers. 215 is the number of seats won in 1910, not 1914, and for that year, the infobox states 122 seats won.
23. Second Canalejas Ministry (1918-1921) -1-

Enric Prat de la Riba (left) and José Canalejas (right)
the main personalities of the
second ministry of the Liberal leader.

23. Second Canalejas Ministry (1918-1921) -1-

The troubles that had suffered Dato to form a government in 1914 were mirroed in 1918 by those faced by Canalejas when he had to choose the alliances that would allow him to be the next Prime Minister. Prat de la Riba and the Lliga seemed to be a sure bet. Then, due to the mutual dislike between the would-be first minister and Maura excluded a Liberal-Maurists agreement. Then, it was either Dato or Iglesias, which none of them were a safe option. Even in Canalejas had been willing to try to incorporate the most moderate Leftish factions into the "system", Iglesias was too "extreme" for him and he knew that including the PSOE in the government was a political suicide. Thus, the other option was Dato. Of course, Canalejas had fresh in his memory the price that his party had paid in the last elections for his collaboration. For that reason Canalejas included in his coallition government the Basque Nationalist party Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV - Basque Nationalist Party), which, with their seven MPs, settled the question and gave the majority to Canalejas.

Then the prime minister had to reconcile his own reformist program with the proposals of the Lliga and the PNV just as his fears became a reality with the social uproar that exploded in the strikes of 1917, repressed with violence by the former Prime Minister. However, as the increased police effort seemed not to be able to abate the social unrest, Canalejas became persuaded that the only solution to the problem was social reform. It was either that or revolution, the Liberal Prime Minister feared. Hardly two months after the elections,a strike action broke out in Barcelona and the feared revolution seemed to be there. It began in July 1918 and evolved over forty-four days into a general strike paralyzing much of the industry of Catalonia initially and then spreading to Valencia, Zaragoza and Andalucia. Thus, to put an end to the revolt, the Spanish government issued the Decreto de la jornada de ocho horas de trabajo, a law that limited the working day to eight hours.

However, this did not put an end to the social unrest, as employers created their own Trade Union, the so-called Sindicatos Libres (Free Trade Unions) to divide the workers while hiring thugs to face syndicalists and notable workers, who replied in turn by hiring their own gunmen. Then, to this violence, a foreign element was added when, on March 8, 1919, Eduardo Dato was murdered in Madrid by "Italian" Anarchists (1). Thus, Dato was the first victim of the dirty war that the Piamontese Secret Service released against Spain and that became involved too in the fight between employers and workers. Their participatin was discovered when the head of the terrorist group, Luigi Galleani (2), was arrested as he attempted to leave the country. While being interrogated, Galleani confessed that he had been trained in bomb throwing and marksmanship by members of the Piamontese military. This was kept secret for the moment, as by 1919 there were strong suspicions that a wave of terrorist attacks suffered by the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Republic of Venice, plus the failed murder attempt of the German Ambassador in Paris, Ulrich Karl Christian Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau, were the deeds of a secret Piamontese organization called Arditi, which was controlled by the cabal created by the group of plotters of the coup of 1891. To Canalejas and his ministers, there was no doubt that the actions of the Arditi were a revenge for the Spanish-Two Sicilies alliance in Lybia. Despite the best efforts of Canalejas, the violence went on and by the end of 1919, 30 workers and 10 employers' gunmen had been killed.

Meanwhile, Canalejas went for his great reformist project. His government passed the Ley para la depuración del Censo (Law for the Depuration of the Census) in May 1918, which gave voting right to women for the first time in Spanish history. However, they had to be over 23 years old who were heads of households and they paid their taxes (3). Furthermore, in December 1918, the first minimum wages were introduced for agricultural workers. This was followed, in January 1919, by the Ley del Retiro Obrero (State Pension Bill) (4) and the Ley de Maternidad (March, 1919 - Maternity Leave Bill) (5). This two laws were bitterly fought in the Cortes, when Francesc Cambó, the new leader of the Lliga after Prat de la Riba died in 1918 (6), sided with the Catalan bussinessmen and employers and refused to support the bills, as they would mean a tax increase to support them. Ironically, this two laws were passed with the support of Dato, who would be murdered a few days later, as we have already seen. This split in the government alliance was to threat the steadiness of the government.

Then, Juan de la Cierva, who replaced Dato, found himself unable to control the warrying Conservative factions. This opened the way for Antonio Maura to return to the party as de la Cierva offered the old leader to return to the party as its new leader, which happened on April 15th, 1919. Meanwhile, a scandal rocked the Liberal Party when Manuel García Prieto saw himself on the first pages of the newspapers when two of his brothers in law, Eugenio Montero Villegas (7) and Benito Calderón Ozores, were acused of nepotism, as the former had used his influence on the local governmnet of Galicia to appoint the latter as a secretary in the City Council of La Coruña. Apparently, García Prieto saw himself involved in the case, as it was claimed that Montero had used also some of his connections in the high politics in Madrid through his brother-in-law. Thus, García Prieto was forced by Canalejas to resign from his positions as Speaker of the Parliament (May 7th, 1919) and, a few weeks later, he withdrew from politics. Ironically, this scandal worked in favour of the Liberals, as Canalejas got rid of the main "troublemaker" within the party.

(1) IOTL, Dato was murdered in 1921 by three Spanish Anarchist gun-men.
(2) The 1919 United States anarchist bombings still took place, but in a different way and without the Gallieanists.
(3) IOTL, Spanish women could vote for the first time in 1931, with the Second Republic. I must add that they had voting rights briefly from 1924 to 1926. However, because during that time Spain lived under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and no elections were held, women never went to the polls.
(4) Ironically, this law was passed in OTL 1919, too.
(5) This one was passed in OTL 1929.
(6) IOTL 1917.
(7) Son of the former TTL Prime Minister Eugenio Monterio Ríos.
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I just noticed the next election is due for 1924, two years past the usual four, so I guess it might have been delayed by war. Or is it just another glitch of the infobox?