¡Viva la Constitución! - A Spanish parliamentary monarchy

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Kurt_Steiner, Jul 23, 2019.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: 1. From Esquilache to Alfonso XII.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    1. From Esquilache to Alfonso XII.

    The unlucky king Charles III of Spain had reasons not to remember too fondly the year of 1766: First he lost his heir, Charles. Then, the Esquilache Riots broke out in the capital and soon a few more cities joined the revolt, which was, eventually, quelled, but by that time the power of the king had been curbed and a reform of the government on the way, a reform that would return under his incapable and lazy son, Fernando VII (1), whose position became even more weak after his sad role during the Napoleonic invasion. Eventually, when Napoleon was defeated, Fernando VII was no longer an absolute monarch, but the reluctant and useless head of a new-born parliamentary monarchy.

    When Fernando VII died in 1830, he was suceeded by his grandson and namesake, Fernando VIII (2), who, after a promising beginning as a Liberal king, supressed the parliament in 1837, something that would have dire consequences to Spain, as it ended up causing a short civil war that lasted from late 1847 to 1848 that ended with the restoration of the Spanish parliamentary regime. However, by that time most of the Spanish American empire was lost for good. Eventually, the king smashed the parliament and crushed the reform with the bayonets of the army and the guns of his fleet and, by 1849, Spain was, again, an absolute monarchy. Eventually, Fernando VIII would be murdered by a Liberal plot in 1856.

    His son, Francisco I (3), was as lazy and useless as Fernando VII and ended up facing a Liberal revolution in 1868 that put him close to abdicate. In the end, he became the head of a new parliamentary regime, but this time with a twist: he had neither the chance nor the will to try to reverse his fate. When he died childless in 1894, his brother Alfonso (4) became king as Alfonso XII, the first and true parlimentary monarch of Spain.

    [​IMG]
    Alfonso XII (1841-1934)

    (1) OTL Fernando I of the Two Sicilies. His son Leopoldo Juan would inherit the kingdom of the Two Sicilies in this TL.
    (2) OTL Fernando II of the Two Sicilies.
    (3) OTL Francisco II of the Two Sicilies.
    (4) OTL Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta
     
  2. Bob Gump Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Amazing to see how fast is progressing the history: 1 post and more than 100 years gone... :biggrin:
     
    TeePee and Rdffigueira like this.
  3. Colonel flagg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Can Spain keep new spain?
     
  4. Rattigan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Brooklyn
    Always a fan of any TL which gives Spain a happier 19th century. Instantly watched.

    Will we ever get more detail on some of the events you've outlined in your first post? I'd love more details on the Napoleonic period and its aftermath as well as relations with Latin America.
     
    Some Bloke likes this.
  5. Lalli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Intresting to see Spain which is democratic and possibility somehow progressive nation instead authotarian and reactionary Spain.

    Probably Spain will be much nicer place in 20th century. What did happen outside of Spain?
     
  6. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    My dream is to explain the whole alternative history of the Roman Empire in just one post...

    No. Even changing the royal line, events went more or less as IOTL. A few colonies have been kept, but... you'll see that.

    I was going to start directly with "Alfonso XII", but, as Colonel Flagg and you suggest that some hindsight will be necessary... well, I'll try to do something about it.

    Yes, that's the idea. To see if it's possible to modernize and to democratize Spain and avoid the bloodsheeds of the 19th and the 20th century. Too many lives and too much time wasted.

    You'll see what happens outside. My 20th Century Spanish TLs are a tad lacking of international events, but this one is going to have an interesting twist of its own...
     
  7. Threadmarks: 2. The Peninsula War.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Fernando VII of Spain
    (b. 1751- d. 1831)
    (1788-1831)

    2. The Peninsula War.

    Fernando VII had been ruling the kingdom of the Two Sicilies for 21 years when his father died. However, no one could say that the experience had helped to made him a good king. His wife, Archduchess Maria Carolina, daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria and sister of the Emperor Joseph II and of the queen of France, Marie Antoinette, was the real power behind the throne.

    Used to do her biding, she was shocked when she landed in Spain and saw that his power was curtailed by the one wielded by the prime minister, José Moñino y Redondo, earl of Floridablanca. Once she became a bit used to the Spanish habits, she began to conspire and to plot to became what she had been in Naples. However, by that time, the world was surprised and shocked by the French revolution. The reform was cut short in Spain due to the fears of being "polluted" by was happening in France, and, of couse, Maria Carolina began to move again. The radicalization of the revolutionaries and the forced abdication of Louis XVI of France paved the way for Manuel Godoy, a young officer of the Royal Guard, who, with the support of the queen, became the prime minister of Spain in 1796. Angered by the failure of Floridablanca and of his replacement, the earl of Aranda, who had been unable to save the life of the French king, the queen managed to have Godoy named as the new prime minister.

    Godoy changed radically the foreign policy of Spain. If Aranda had declared war on the French Republic and invaded the country (even if the offensive had failed and the Spanish army had been forced to defend the country from a French invasion), Godoy sealed an alliance with France, the San Idelfonso Pact, that incensed Spain's ally, Great Britain. The move was a complete failure, as the Royal Navy gave a severe beating to the Spanish fleet and then occupied Trinidad and Puerto Rico. Eventually, just as the reforms of Godoy collapsed, the prime minister was forced to resign by his own cabinet and replaced by Francisco de Saavedra.

    First Saavedra, and then his replacement, Mariano Luis de Urquijo, were not willing to accept the alliance offered by Napoleon. In this Fernando VII suported wholeheartedly his prime ministers, as he had been deeply shaken by the fate suffered by his son Leopoldo, who had been forced to flee to Sicily when his kingdom had been invaded by France in 1799. Even the queen supported this policy, as she deeply hated the French for executing her sister. Eventually, the lack of support from Spain and the refusal to join the Continental Blockade led to the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808.

    While Napoleon hinself entered Spain with his Grand Armée, advancing from Navarre to Burgos, part of this force, under General Lefèvbre marched against Zaragoza and General Bèssieres invaded Catalonia. Initially, the Spanish army was unable to stop the French advance. Zaragoza was surrounded by Lefèbre and Bèssieres entered in Barcelona without even fighting a small skirmish. Napoleon himself was able to enter without too much ado in Madrid, but the king and the royal family, as the government, had fled the city. Considering that the Spanish campaign was all but over, Napoleon returned to France, leaving the invasion of Portugal in the hands of General Jean Junot. Dupont would conquer Andalucia,

    Then, on June 14, the rearguard of Bèssieres forced, that was leaving Catalonia to invade Valencia, was defeated at El Bruc. On the next day, June 15, Lefèbvre attacked Zaragoza for the first time. To his surprise, the attack was beaten off by the defenders. Girona, that was considered conquered by Bèssieres in his advance towards Barcelona, rose in arms against the invader. A force was hurriedly send from France to take Girona and support the isolated Bèssieres, that had withdrawn behind the walls of Barcelona. Then, Dupont was beaten at Bailén (18 July) by the Spanish forced led by General Castaños, who captured Dupont and his whole army. To make it worse, Girona held against all odds.

    The unbeatable Imperial armies had been defeated three times in a month and forced to withdraw to the Ebro river while Fernando VII returned to Madrid to be hailed like a heroe. The invasion of Portugal had been cancelled, of course, but London dispatched Lieutenant General Wellington with 15,000 British troops to help his old ally. Sensing the weakeness of Napoleon, Austria and the United Kingdom allied themselves again and waged war to France, until the Austrian army was crushed at Wagram (1809). Then, on August 1809, Napoleon invaded Spain again: 250,000 French troops entered Spain with Napoleon. Nothing could stop this time the French onslaught. Zaragoza and Girona were stormed. The Spanish army withdrew in panic towards Portugal and, by January 1810, all Spain but Cádiz had been taken. Napoleon returned once more to France to prepare the invasion of Rusia, leaving Soult to subdue Portugal while General Victor was send to take Cádiz. Joseph, brother of the French emperor, was made king of Spain by his imperial brother.

    Meanwhile, Fernando VII and the government had taken shelter in Cádiz under the guns of the British fleet commanded by Admiral Lord Nelson. There, the king and the government wasted no time in arguing about reforms, the limits of royal and government power and, all in all, battling on the streets just as the forces of Victor came closer and closer to Cádiz. In fact, the two factions kept slaughtering each other until the very moment that the French guns released the canonade that began the siege (February 5th 1810) of the last free city of Spain. Then, Fernando VII and his wife boarded one of Nelson's ships, the HMS Vanguard, and almost stop playing a role in the defense of the city.

    Thankfully for Cádiz, Wellingon crushed Soult at Porto (May 1810) and advanced into Spain with an Anglo-Portuguese army, reinforced with the remnats of the Spanish army that joined him on the way to Burgos. Leaving Soult to deal with Cádiz, Victor raced north to stop Wellington's advance, that was checked at Talavera. After an undecesive battle, Wellington withdrew to Portugal to prepare his forces for a true invasion of Spain. His Spanish allies, however, felt betrayed by the British General and decided to take Madrid unaided. His forces, led by General Venegas, were defeated by General Sebastiani at Toledo, and had to withdraw in disarray.

    Then, on June 1812, Emperor Alexander of Russia invaded Poland and Napoleon rushed with his Grand Armée to face the Russian onslaught. Spain, for a while, felt into oblivion. Napoleon crushed Alexander during the "Second Polish War" and advanced towards Moscow. The greatest battle of all times took place at Borodino, where the two enemy armies clashed for two bloody days. Unable to take Moscow, with a Russian army that refused to be annhilated in spite of all the casualties suffered, and with his own Grand Armée severely depleted by the campaign, Napoleon was forced to withdraw back to Poland. Hardly a third of the original force made back to the Baltic in November 1812.

    On his part, Victor had been fighting an elusive enemy in Spain, as the Spaniards had resorted to wage a vicious guerrilla war that diverted a great amount of forces that Victor was readying for his planned invasion of Portugal. The siege of Cádiz was not working too well, either, as Soult had not enough forces to beat the city and the Spanish Cortes resumed again its works, creating the so called Junta Central, where the delegates of the mainland and of the colonies began to draft a new constitution. Then, just as Napoleon defeated the Russian army at Smolensk, Wellington invaded Spain again (July 1812) and defeated Victor at Salamanca. Victor was replaced by Mássena, who had arrived with reinforcements, but was unable to stop the enemy advance towards Madrid, which was abandoned by Joseph I and Mássena on August 14th. Realising that his army was in danger of being cut off, Soult ordered a retreat from Cádiz, suffering terrible looses at the hands of the guerrilleros.

    With the defeat suffered at Russia and with Prussia and Austria changing sides, Napoleon withdrew most of his troops from Spain. By early 1813 the French only held a front line in an arc from Bilbao to Valencia, while Wellington reinforced his army with more British, Spanish and Portuguese soldiers. After crushing the French at Vitoria in June, Wellington marched to free Aragon. On the way he was joined by Fernando VII, who was just a guest in the military force and of little use. Navarre was freed on August 1813, and by the time that Napoleon was crushed at Leipzing (October), the French forces had left Spain and were preparing to defend France from the inminent invasion that Wellington was ready to carry out.

    With his enemies advacing from all sides towards Paris, Napoleon finally surrendered on March 30, 1814.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  8. Drex Alférez de caballería

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Location:
    Regum Valentiae, Monarchia Hispaniae
    This TL has a lot of potential but it irks me how different events to those in our reality trigger events that happened IOTL around the same date (Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808, same commanders, same dates and same battles all along) but that's just a personal qualm. I hope this Ferdinand VII doesn't reach the post-war incompetence of our actual Ferdinand VII or else we're screwed. By the way, after reading the first chapter and the list of monarchs I kind of feel forced to say "¿Dónde vas Alfonso XII?"
     
  9. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    Basically, I didn't think that changing just a king and having him ruling for hardly a year before the proverbial matter hit the fan in France was going to change too many things around. So, I've butterflied just a few issues, not too many, to be able to change the course of events as time goes by. After all, till Alfonso XII there's a century to enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  10. Threadmarks: 3. ¡Viva la Pepa!

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Fernando VII of Spain
    (b. 1751- d. 1831)
    (1788-1831)

    3. ¡Viva la Pepa!

    The Constitución española de 1812 (Spanish Constitution of 1812), the Constitución de Cádiz (the Constitution of Cadiz) and as la Pepa written in Cádiz during the Napoleonic siege changed for good the role of the monarchy in Spain. It was one of the most liberal of its time: it affirmed national sovereignty, separation of powers, freedom of the press, free enterprise, abolished feudalism and established a constitutiona monarchy with a parliamentary system elected with universal male suffrage.

    Fernando VII was agasht by this Carta Magna, even if he promised to uphold it. However, he began to gather support from conservative politicians and the Catholic Church hierarchy, he persuaded General Francisco Javier de Elio, commander of the Second Army, to rise in arms at the head of his soldiers in the first pronunciamiento (coup d'etat) of the Spanish history. However, it soon proved to be a failure as de Elio discovered that most of his forces had not forgotten how Fernando VII had abandoned Cádiz to its fate and taken refuge in a British ship. Also, Fernando's lacklustre campaign alongside with Wellington had worsened the image of the king for his lack of initiative and of any independent action. For many, it had become Wellington's royal jester. So, when de Elio rose in arms, his own soldiers arrested him.

    Fernando VII, thus, was forced to sign the constitution while he kept asking Austria and France for help in his secret letters. However, the success of the Spanish reforms caused the 1818 Revolutions in Europe, and soon the Holly Alliance had troubles of their own. Inspired by the Spanish example, the citizens of Naples and Sicily revolted against King Leopold I of the Two Sicilies, who was forced to make concessions and promise a constitutional monarchy. Soon Portugal and Sardinia followed with similar revolts in 1819, which led Austria to invade the Two Sicilies and Sardinia to "restore the order". Meanwhile, the peacefullly Portuguese revolt spread to the rest of the country and to Brazil, with a constitution approved in 1820 that followed closely the Spanish example. However, when Joao VI died in 1826 with no clear heir, his two brothers, the absolutist Miguel and the liberal Pedro, would fight a war for the throne that was to last until 1828, when Pedro became victorious with Spanish support and, as Pedro IV of Portugal and I of Brazil, created the Comunidade Portugesa (Portuguese Commonwealth).

    While this was going on, the already depressed Fernando VII (who had lost his main support, his wife Maria Carolina, who died in 1814), felt into a somber mood as he saw his kingdom slipping gradually from his grasp (as the Liberal governments struggled to recover from the disasters caused by the Napoleonic invasion) while neither Austria nor France were willing to risk his forces to restore his crown. He became a virtual hermit in his palace of Aranjuez until the end of his lifetime. His elder son and heir, Francisco, was named regent in his father's name, but he was hardly interested in government's matters and lived with his mistresses until his death in 1830, leaving a liberal son, Fernando Carlos, as the heir of his granfather, who died the next year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
    Archangel, Bob Gump, numantia and 5 others like this.
  11. Threadmarks: 4. Shaping the nation

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Fernando VIII of Spain
    (b. 1810 - d. 1856)
    (1831-1856)

    4. Shaping the nation

    The new king filled with hope the nation. Fernando VIII was young (he was 21 when he became king) and well-known for his Liberal ideas. He promised to the nation that with him in the throne the injuries of the past would be healed, that corruption and misery would be a thing of the past and to fully implement the Constitution.

    He began by trying to find enough support in the parliament to rewrite the Constitution, which resulted in the new Carta Magna of 1834, which was a moderate version of the one of 1812. It introduced a bicameral parliament, similar to the British one, with the Estamento de Próceres that was clearly inspired in the House of Lords. Its members, though, were appointed by the King himself, and were selected from the nobility and wealthy families. The main house was he Estamento de Procuradores, following, too, the example of the the House of Commons -1-. It was an elected body and there was the problem, as only 16,000 Spaniards were allowed to vote them (Spain had, then, 12,000,000 inhabitants -2-).

    The new Constitution was supported by absolutist politicians as Cea Bermúdez, absolutist reformers like Javier de Burgos and moderate liberals like Francisco Martínez de la Rosa, who became the first presidente del Consejo de Ministros del Reino de España, akind to the British prime minister. He surrounded himself with more moderate liberals as José María Moscoso de Altamira, who became the spaker of the High Camera, Diego Clemencín, Ministro de Ultramar (minister of the colonies), Nicolás Garelli (minister of Justice), Felipe Sierra Pambley (Treasury) and Luis María Balznat de Orvay y Briones (War Minister).

    By this time, the liberal "party" had divided itself in two main groups: the moderate and the radicals, which eventually would become two of the main political parties of Spain, the Partido Progresista (Progressive Party) and the Partido Moderado (Moderate Party), which, eventually, would become the Partido Conservador (Conservative Party) and the Partido Liberal (Liberal Party). They were not, still, modern parties. They resembled the English political formations of the 18th century.

    Initially, Fernando VIII felt close to the moderates and its ranks were reinforced by many absolutist reformers, like de Burgos. Very interested in the Navy, Fernando VIII supported a naval program to reinforce it, as it had suffered badly during the Napoleonic invasion. This would lead to the Naval Programs of 1848-1851 and of 1853-1855, that brought the Spanish navy to modern standards.

    However, the king began to change his mind about the parliamentary system in the late 1830s, and, in 1837, with support of a part of the army, suppressed the parliament in a very Cromwellian style and tried to rule as an absolute monarch. The king, who had little education, who was highly superstitious and, on top of that, had a too high concept of his own capabilities, was determined to stop any foreign influence in his country, something that hurt badly the Spanish relations with the United Kingdom and France. Even worse, he cared little about his subjects, and did even less to improve their conditions.

    His actions led to two revolts in Catalonia. The first one in 1837 and the second (and big one) in 1847, that eventually developed into a civil war all over the country. The armed forces, which had been purged of extremist elements (both liberals and monarchists) was a extremely profesional force that was engulfed by the chaos of the civil war. Soon the monarchist army, awfully lead by the disruptions caused by the interventions of Fernando VIII, became depleted by casualties and desertions and the militias that were created to reinforce it proved to be not reliable and of little use. So, in March 1848, after 15 months of war, the king had to admit defeat and swore the new Constitution of 1848, that kept the bicameral parliament but returned to the spirit of the Cádiz Constitution.

    In March 1849, Fernando VIII, who had been secretly meeting with anti-liberal Generals and politicians and with the Church, claimed that he had been forced to swore the Constitution of 1848 and tried to restore his absolute ways. When Barcelona revolted against these changes, Fernando VIII ordered the city to be bombed. From then on, the absolute king was dominated by paranoia and fear. A string of endless and randoms detentions turned the country into a big jail, as 15,000 people were arrested in that time (some sources claimed that the number of prisoners in jail ammounted to 40,000). Such was the uproar caused by Fernando's policies that both London and Paris pressed Fernando for an amnesty, but without success.

    Such was the repression released by the regime that many moderate and radical liberals conspired to kill the king. This in turn, gave way to more arbitrary detentions until 1856, when a soldier fatally wounded Fernando VIII during a parade. Rushed to the Royal Palace by his doctors, the king died there two days later, on May 26, 1856, leaving the crown to his son Francisco.

    By then, however, as we shall see in the next chapter, Spain had lost most of its overseas colonies.

    -1- This was proposed by the Estatuto Real (Royal Chart) of OTL 1834.

    -2- Plus the colonies ITTL.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    rush4you, Milites, Archangel and 4 others like this.
  12. Threadmarks: 5. Onset of an empire (1): México.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]

    5. Onset of an empire (1): México.

    Since 1760 there had been attempts to reform the Spanish Empire. In 1781, Madrid send Francisco de Saavedra to Nueva España to meet the viceroy Martín de Mayorga. De Saavedra was deeply impressed by the richness of the viceroyalty, but also by the disgust of all social classes towards the imperial administration and the hatred of the criollos towards the preeminence of the peninsulares in the colonial administration (1). Soon three options emerged: the "colonialist" by José de Ávalos, who proposed to grant the independence to the colonies but with the king of Spain as their head of state; the "unionist" by José Moñino y Redondo, earl of Floridablanca, who suggested to disband the Ministry of Colonies and to have the "americanos" and the "españoles" ruled by the same government; and the "autonomist" by Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, earl of Aranda, who proposed to grant the independece to all colonies but for Cuba and Puerto Rico, creating the kingdoms of Mexico, Peru and the "Tierra Firme", that would include the remaining lands, all subordinated to the king of Spain, that would take the title of Emperor.

    This last idea was retaken during the kingship of Fernando VII, when it was proposed in 1804 to create as kings in the colonies as many Spanish Infantes as needed, so, as Spanish princes would rule there, the link with the mainland would never stop (2). Another option was to name Spanish princes as hereditary vicerois in America, returning the colony to the Spain crown in case that the line became extinguished.

    Then the Napoleonic invasion put the Spanish Empire in disarray. The first news of the invasion caused an impact in the colonies, that felt relieved when they heard about Castaños' victory at Bailen and the French withdrawal. However, when Napoleon returned in 1809 and the government and Fernando VIII were trapped in Cádiz, the colonies began to organize themselves.

    The first move took place in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, when the Junta de México came into being on May 1810, following the example of the Juntas de Gobierno created in Spain. However, soon the viceroy, José de Iturrigaray, began to resent the Junta, feeling that it aimed to leave him powerless and, on 15 June 1810, he tried to arrest the liberal members of the Junta. However, the Junta was alerted of Iturrigaray's intention and he ended up being arrested and send to Spain to face a trial. Pedro de Garibay, an old veteran soldier, was named as the new viceroy. Several independentist plots were thwarted, as the one of Valladolid (in Michoacán) and Querétaro, and its leaders executed (3). There were to be some more independentists attempts but, by 1820, the whole movement in México had been crushed.

    In 1827, Fernando VII had one of his rare moments of recovery and became interested in politics again. The Aranda's project became subject of study and debate again until it was eventually passed in 1830 and "tested" in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which became the Reino de México under Carlos Fernando (born in 1811), who was hurriedly married to Maria Vittoria de Savoy. They formed a nice couple and, for a while, the restless Carlos (now Carlos IV of México), seemed to forget his juvenile passions. This changed in 1836 when Carlos abandoned his throne and his family (by then he had two daughters from his wife) and ran away with Penelope Smyth. The following chaos was used by Agustín de Iturbide, until then a well-know loyalist leader, to take the crown in a blodless coup d'etat on April 5, 1836. However, in December that year Agustín I of México was deposedd by a republican conspiracy and executed, along with his whole family, a few weeks later.

    Thus was born the Republica de México, that would not be recognized as an independent country by Spain until 1858, as it was too busy with its own troubles between 1837 and 1849 to care about a fomer colony, as we have already seen.

    (1) Criollos: those born in America from European fathers; peninsulares: those born in Spain.
    (2) This was the idea that Manuel Godoy presented to Carlos IV in 1804.
    (3) IOTL, the plot of Querétaro evolved into the Mexican of Independence.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    Archangel, Bob Gump, numantia and 4 others like this.
  13. Threadmarks: 6. Onset of an empire (2): La República Federal de Centroamérica.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Francisco Morazán (1792 –1842)
    president of the
    República Federal de Centroamérica
    (1830-1838, 1838-1840)

    6. Onset of an empire (2): La República Federal de Centroamérica.

    Just as the Reino de México entered into turmoil when Carlos IV of México left the country with his lover and Agustín de Iturbide attempted to become to fill the void left by the Spanish prince that led to his execution and the proclamation of the Republica de México, the Capitanía General de Guatemala (the Captaincy General of Guatemala) declared its independence from the Spanish Empire (April 12, 1836) to become the República Federal de Centroamérica (Federal Republic of Central America). The process was bloodless as Spain was sunk in chaos with with the attempts of Fernando VIII to return to the absolutist ways and the Governor General and the royal governors of the five provinces supported the independence of the Captaincy and remained in office as executive powers pending a full transition to local rule.

    In May, Manuel José Arce became the first president of the Republic, but he wasted no time in trying to become a dictator and was deposed. The Honduran Francisco Morazán replaced him and soon began to enact liberal reforms in the Republic, including freedom of the speech, press and religion, but this made him powerful enemies and opposition to his government began to grow in the provinces, eventually leading to the breaking up of the Republic when Nicaragua separated from the federation on November 5, 1838, which led to a civil war as Morazán invaded the rebel province.

    Morazán crushed the enemy army led by José María Cornejo, the elected president of Nicaragua, but Cornejo waged a guerrilla war against the invader. This fact determined greatly the defeat of Morazán in the elections of 1839. His rival and next president of the Republic, José del Valle, attempted to bring conciliation and harmony between the opposing forces (Liberals and Conservatives), but Morazán, supported by a great part of the army, returned to power in 1840 after a bloody coup d'etat that ended up with the death of del Valle and a harsh repression.

    However, Morazán's measures only made matters worse. It was then when Costa Rica and Honduras also left the federation and proclaimed their independence in the following months and, by 1841, the Republic had been reduced to the province of El Savador, as Nicaragua and the Republic of Los Altos (which would join Guatemala in 1845) seceded too. The Republic was dissolved when Morazán attempted to raise an army to invade Guatemala, striking towards the capital, but his army was ambushed by the superior Guatemalan forces led by Rafael Carrera and Morazán's army was slaughtered. Returning to his country, Morazán relinquished power to Diego Vigil and went into exile in Costa Rica, where he would be executed by firing squad in 1842 after he attempted to take power there in order to 'restore the Central America motherland'.

    The República Federal de Centroamérica was dissolved when El Salvador established itself as an independent republic in February 1841. These new states would be recognized by Spain as independent countries between 1860 and 1865.​
     
  14. Threadmarks: 7. Onset of an empire (3): The Junta of Río de la Plata (I).

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Luis Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y Borbón,
    king of Argentina

    (b. 1824- d. 1897)
    (1832-1897)

    7. Onset of an empire (3): The Junta of Río de la Plata (I).


    Within the Viceroyalty of La Plata, Montevideo was the first to react with the creation of a Junta on September 1809. Made up by Spaniards, it remained loyal to Cádiz. It was followed by the Junta de las Provincias del Río de la Plata (Assembly of the Provinces of Río de la Plata), meant to govern in the name of the King of Spain, but, with Fernando VII leaving Cádiz and with the danger of the Junta de Gobierno falling if the city was finally taken by the French, the Assembly of Río de la Plata began to move further away from Spain and towards independentist positions, and, with the Revolución de Mayo (May Revolution) of 1810, it ended up creating the Primera Junta, the first form of local government in the territory. However, the Royal Audience and the Cabildo stood by the king and rejected to acknowledge the Junta, so conflict ensued.

    Furthermore, the Primera Junta had problems of its own, as there was a strong rivalry between its president, Cornelio Saavedra, and one of its secretaries, Mariano Moreno. Moreno accused Saavedra of conspiring with the royalist to restore the tyranny of the viceroys while Saavedra accused Moreno of usurping government roles. Furthermore, even if many cities supported the change, others did not. Upper Peru joined the king's side and the municipality of Paraguay announced its loyalty to the Spanish king. In Cordoba, the viceroy Santiago de Liniers began to organize an army to march against Buenos Aires. When the Junta reacted to this, war ensued. By the time de Liniers was defeated and executed in late August 1810, Moreno had removed Saavedra from power and was in control of the revolution.

    However, the army feared Moreno and plotted with Saavedra to get rid of him. By December 1810 Saavedra was back and, with the support of the deputies, forced Moreno to present his resignation on 18 December. With this, the Primera Junta became the new Junta Grande (Great Assembly). The royalists did not remain iddle and invaded Rio de la Plata from Upper Peru, defeating the rebel army led by Juan José Castelli at Guaqui. The defeat was such that General Manuel Belgrano was called to replace Castelli and reorganize the battered forces of the Junta while in Buenos Aires a struggle for power started again between Moreno and Saavedra.

    Belgrano, for all his good qualities, could not avoid being defeated at Salta (September 1811) by the royalist army of Juan Pío de Tristán, but he could stop its advance at Tucumán (February 1812), even if with heavy looses. To stop the chaos, General José de San Martín gave a coup d'etat, arrested Saavedra and Moreno and replaced them with a Triumvirate made up by Nicolás Rodríguez Peña, Antonio Álvarez Jonte and Juan José Paso. However, it was clear that San Martín was the real power behind the Triumvirate and, in the so-called Abrazo de Córdoba (the Embrace of Córdoba), joined forces with the royalist to put an end to the tyranny of the Triumvirate, which was defeated at the battle of Santa Fé (April 1812). With the Tercera Junta (Third Assemvly), the royalist power came back to Rio de la Plata.

    In 1832, after the Viceroyalty of New Spain became the Reino de México, Luis, earl of Oviedo, the younger brother of Fernando VII, was crowned as Luis II of Argentina under a Regency Council until 1840, when Luis became 16 years old and was considered ready to reign. The Reino de Argentina was the first to join the Mancomunidad Hispánica, created in 1855, to formally replace the old colonial system, which, by then, was long dead.


    Note: As this post is quite long, methinks, I will leave the fate of Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia for the next one.
     
    Sceonn, Archangel, numantia and 3 others like this.
  15. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    And Grand Colombia? all three(now four nations) did fight the fiercest against spain...
     
    Kurt_Steiner likes this.
  16. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú and Panamá will be next, after the already mentioned.
     
  17. Threadmarks: 8. Onset of an empire (4): The Junta of Río de la Plata (2).

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    Bernardo O'Higgins,
    Director Supremo de Chile
    (1813-1817)

    8. Onset of an empire (4): The Junta of Río de la Plata (2).


    When the Revolución de Mayo of 1810 led to the Primera Junta in Buenos Aires, José Gervasio Artigas led the Junta de Montevideo to remain loyal to Fernando VII and to move away from Buenos Aires. However, on July 12. a mutiny broke up when some units of the garrison of Montevideo led by two officers, Juan Prudencio Murguiondo and Juan Balbín González, who wanted Montevideo to join the Primera Junta. The mutiny was put down by the governor, Joaquín de Soria. The strong military force gathered in the city made up mainly by Spaniards made possible to supress the mutiny in a few hours. Furthermore, the rivalry between the bussinessmen of Montevideo and those of Buenos Aires played a decisive role in having the Junta of Montevideo loyal to Spain.

    In 1810 Gaspar de Vigodet (1) arrived to Montevideo as the new governor of the city. De Vigodet kept most of Soria's measures and worked closely with Artigas to preseve the independence of Montevideo from La Plata, defeating a weak attempt by Belgrano to capture the city in the battle of Las Piedras (May 25, 1811). However, Artigas eventually became the strong man in the city, replacing de Vigodet and moving the Junta to a more autonomous line, until the declaration of independence of April 21st, 1812 as the Liga de los Pueblos Libres (League of Free People), which included the provinces of Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Misiones, Santa Fe and the Eastern Province (modern day Uruguay). However, the federalist governors of Entre Ríos y Santa Fe did not accept the centralist politics of the government of Montevideo and left the League to join the Tercera Junta de la Plata in 1819. As Artigas became more and more unpopular and Córdoba, Corrientes and Misiones broke away from the League in 1821. Artigas was finally deposed by a coup d'etat led by Juan Antonio Lavallejas.

    With the Constitution of 18 July 1830, the new nation took the name of Estado Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern State of Uruguay), which was not formally recognized by Spain untii 1862.

    Santiago de Chile created its own Junta in September 18, 1810 when a national junta was established to govern Chile in the name of Fernando VII. the First Junta was organized with the same powers as a Royal Governor, and soon it began to divide itself among three main lines: the exaltados (the extremists), the moderados (the moderates) and the realistas (the royalists). All were all decidedly against independence from Spain, being the moderates, led by José Miguel Infante, the most powerful group. The two first groups wanted to reform the province stopping just short of full independence, while the royalists were against any reform at all. However, the idea of full independence gained momentum as the vacuum of power in Spain seemed to go on an on and the influlce of the royalist faction wore down. A provisional Constitution was promulgated in 1812 with a marked liberal character.

    Worried by the course of events in Chile, the Viceroy of Perú, José Fernando de Abascal, invaded the country. He had tried to do so in La Plata, but his invasion of 1810 had been defeated. Now, he tried again in 1813 with an military expedition by sea. The loyalist troops landed in Concepción, where they were received with applause, but their atttempted to take Santiago failed. However, this offensive cause the fall of the Junta of Santiago and the rise of the Segunda Junta (Second Junta), led by the moderate O'Higgins, who eventually took supreme control of the pro-independence forces. After four years of war, the Junta was defeated at the disaster of Rancagua by the loyalist army of Mariano Osorio (2 October 1817), who had the support of Argentine troops send by San Martín (1). O'Higgins harldy managed to escape north, joining Simón Bolivar's forces. The viceroy Abascal confirmed Osorio as governor of Chile, who began a campaign of fierce political persecution that ended up with many patriots executed or exiled.

    The Segunda Junta (Second Junta) ceased to exist in 1823, when it became the Provincias Unidas de Chile (United Provinces of Chile), that would join the Mancomunidad Hispánica a few days later than the Reino de Argentina did in 1855.

    (1) I must admit I have a very wicked sense of humour.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  18. Threadmarks: 9. Onset of an empire (5): The Junta of Río de la Plata (3).

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]
    José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia
    Dictador Perpetuo de la República de Paraguay
    (1814-1840)

    9. Onset of an empire (5): The Junta of Río de la Plata (3).


    The May 1810 revolution in La Plata did not impress the royal governor of Asunción, Bernardo de Velasco y Huidobro, whosent a reply to Buenos Aires announcing continued loyalty to the Spanish king and rejecting the authority of the Junta. Also, he began to recruit new troops and to establish defensive position along in th south. However, the balance of power of the province depended on three groups with different plans for the future: the gachupines (born in Spain), the porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) and the local Paraguayan-born Creole elite which was led by Fulgencio Yegros and Pedro Juan Caballero.

    In September 1810 a porteño conspiracy was undercovered and crushed, just as General Manuel Belgrano invaded the province of Paraguay. However, he was defeated twice in early 1811, first at Paraguarí (January 19, 1811 and then at Tacuarí (9 March 1811). However, Velasco was discredited by his cowardice during the battles and the success of the Creole army over Belgrano weakened the position of royalists faction.. Thus, the Creole officers began to plot to overthrow Velasco.

    The bloodless coup took place on May 14-15. Velasco surrendered without a fight. A ruling junta, consisting of Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia and a Spanish offcier, Juan Valeriano de Zeballas, was created. It still swore allegiance to the Spanish crown and ruled until the Primer Congreso Nacional (First National Congress) was convened on June 17, 1811, which approved the creation of a new five-man Junta Superior Gubernativa, led by Yegros. Some of its members proposed the creation of a confederation with Buenos Aires, but the invasion of 1811 was still fresh on many minds and the idea was quietly dropped. After this the Primer Congreso Nacional was quietly purged of any porteños, many of whom emigrated lately to Rio de la Plata.

    From September 30 until October 12, 1813 a new Constitution was drafted, which was approved that same day, when the Paraguayan Republic was officially proclaimed. Then, the Junta was replaced by a two-man executive body with two consuls – Yegros and de Francia, which, in turn, it was replaced by the National Congess by a single man dictatorship, to which de Francia was elected, on October 4, 1814. De Francia would be dictator of the Republic of Paraguay until his death, in 1840, leaving a strong country in economic tems, but weak democratically speaking.

    The first international recognition of Paraguay came from the United States in 1852. The Spanish one had to wait until 1868.


    Upper Peru followed also the model of the other American colonies on November 1810. However, when the Criollos established a second junta in La Paz on January 1811 and broke with any authorities both in Spain and in Buenos Aires, José de la Serna, the Spanish Viceroy in Lima, dispatched five thousand soldiers. The rebels were defeated and the leaders of the movement were hung or sentenced to live long imprisonment. The rebellion was stopped, but the yearning for freedom was far from extinguished.

    Six independentist guerrillas appeared betwen 1811 and 1818, creating the so-called republiquetas ("petty republics") in the areas they controlled. However, these smaill quasi-states, isolated and too small to represent any danger for the loyalists, were defeated one and, by 1818, the province was again under total Spanish control. The province would sent a representative to the Spanish Cortes, Mariano Rodríguez Olmedo, from May 1812 to May 1814.

    Bolivia remained as a Spanish stronghold until the late 1820s, as we shall see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
    Sceonn, Archangel, numantia and 4 others like this.
  19. luis3007 History amateur

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    The Grey City, South America
    The Vice-royalty of Peru will be keen to keep Upper Peru (OTL Bolivia) on its hands if they stay as a Kingdom in the Spanish Empire.
     
  20. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    Yes. They tried to reconquer La Plata and managed so degree of success, so you can imagine what comes next...
     
Loading...