TIMELINE / Before 1800 to After 1930 / SPAIN / POLITICAL CONTEXT
Date Country Theme
1808 - 1813 Spain Political Context
Guerra de la Independencia (Peninsular War) during the French occupation of the Iberian Peninsula and the rule of King Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte.
1809 - 1899 Spain Political Context
The beginning of the independence process in the Spanish territories in South America and Mexico, influenced by the American and French revolutions. The first Declaration of Independence is in Ecuador in 1809 and the American process ends in 1898 with Cuba, followed by the independence of the Philippines and the selling of the Carolinas and the Mariana islands to Germany in 1899.
1812 Spain Political Context
Spain's first Constitution of 1812, influenced by the French Revolution, is revolutionary because it declares the Spanish American colonies to be provinces and all their inhabitants citizens. The constitution reduces some of the powers and privileges of the monarchy, aristocracy and church and will influence future post-independence South American constitutions. Up to 1876 Spain will change its constitution four times (1837, 1845, 1869, 1876).
1813 Spain Political Context
The Valençay Treaty ends the war between Spain and France. Return of King Fernando VII and absolutist restoration.
1820 - 1823 Spain Political Context
In 1820, the army mutiny led by Rafael del Riego leads to King Fernando VII accepting the Constitution, in spite of his former opposition to constitutional monarchy, bringing in the Trienio Liberal period of popular rule. The Congress of Verona in 1822 gives France a mandate to restore Fernando as absolute monarch. In 1823 the French army invades Spain to restore absolutism, ending the Trienio Liberal.
1833 Spain Political Context
Isabel II becomes Queen of Spain. The Salic Law forbidding women to reign had been abolished in 1830 because Fernando VII's only heirs were female. His brother, Carlos de Borbón, asserts his claim to the throne against his niece (first Carlist War, 1836–39); two further Carlist wars will follow (1846–49, 1872–76).
1834 Spain Political Context
Estatuto Real signed by the Queen Regent, María Cristina de Borbón, as a royal charter similar to the one under the French King Louis XVIII. There is no constitution, but it has two chambers (similar to the British House of Lords and House of Commons) and a government, with a president and ministers.
1836 - 1876 Spain Political Context
As a consequence of political instability and of a woman taking over the rule of Spain, the deeply conservative and ultra-Catholic Carlist party rises three times in three dynastic wars against the State (1836–39, 1846–49 and 1872–76).
1836 Spain Political Context
The Queen Regent, María Cristina, is forced to reinstate the 1812 Constitution after a military coup (pronunciamiento) in order to get support from the liberals in the First Carlist War. Under the Desamortización de Mendizábal Church properties are disentailed to fund the war. General Espartero takes over the Regency from the Queen in 1841.
1843 - 1868 Spain Political Context
Isabel II comes of age in 1843. During her reign the political parties are divided into liberals and conservatives. The Church regains its privileges under the 2nd Concordat signed in 1851. The Queen's rule ends in 1868 with the revolution known as La Gloriosa (the Glorious Revolution).
1859 - 1860 Spain Political Context
War declared on Morocco. Battles of Castillejos (Fnidq) and Wad-Ras. A peace agreement is signed with the Moroccan Sultan leaving Tetouan under Spanish rule.
1868 Spain Political Context
Carlist wars, economic crisis (1866–68) and disgruntlement with Queen Isabel II and the government explode in the September revolution known as La Gloriosa. The revolution is followed by six years of democratic government under Amadeo I, from the Italian Saboya family, (1870–73) and then under the first Spanish Republic (1873–74), causing the 3rd Carlist war.
1874 - 1885 Spain Political Context
Restoration of the monarchy. A military uprising under General Martínez Campos in Sagunto against the Republic returns the throne to the Bourbon Dynasty, with Alfonso XII (son of Isabel II) as King.
1885 Spain Political Context
Death of King Alfonso XII. Alfonso XIII born posthumously. Pacto de El Pardo: agreement between liberals and conservatives to rule the country by turns. Regency of Queen María Cristina until 1902 when King Alfonso XIII comes of age.
1904 - 1912 Spain Political Context
After the loss of its last colonies, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, Spain focuses on North Africa in the framework of the colonial interests of other European powers such as France, the UK and Germany. After different international talks and agreements – Spanish–French Agreement (1904), Algeciras Conference (1906), Cartagena Declarations (1907) – Spain and France sign in November 1912 the Treaty establishing the French and Spanish Protectorates in Morocco.
1909 - 1926 Spain Political Context
Military actions in northern Morocco to prevent attacks by local tribesmen around Melilla are very unpopular in Spain because of forced levies. The levy decree of 1909 causes uprisings in Barcelona and other Catalonian cities known as Semana Trágica/Setmana Tràgica (Tragic Week). Spain is ultimately successful in the lengthy Rif War (1921–26) in preserving its rule over northern Morocco although in 1921 its army retreats with huge losses.
1918 Spain Political Context
Spain's neutrality in World War I brings important economic upturn.