PERIODIZATION, REGIMES AND THE NATURE OF REGIME CHANGES INCONTEMPORARY SPAIN
Following the ‘revolt of Aranjuez,’ Charles IV abdicated in March 1808 and his son Ferdinandacceded to the Spanish crown. On 5 May 1808 both resigned the crown to Napoleón, who put his brother on the Spanish throne and enacted the
Estatuto de Bayona
(Bayonne Statute), a pseudo-liberal charter. Resistance to the French led to the formation of provincial juntas that constitutedthe
, which convened a unicameral parliament in Cadiz which included representa-tion from both metropolitan and overseas Spain, and which enacted a liberal constitution that wasto be particularly influential in Portugal, Italy and the Spanish colonies in America. The FrenchRevolution had a significant impact in Spain, notably on the work of the
of Cadiz, includ-ing the change from estate to national representation, and the introduction of equal citizenship.Although a large part of the elite accepted the ideas of constitutional government, on his returnfrom France in 1814, Ferdinand VII refused to accept the Constitution of Cadiz and establishedabsolute rule. In 1820, an army
sent to put down the rebellion in Latin America,forced him to swear to uphold the Constitution: however, with the help of the Holy Alliance, hesoon reestablished absolutism. Only after the death of the king in 1833 was the
defeated in Spain, although not without a long war of succession between his brother, Don Car-los, and the supporters of his daughter, Isabel II, which was also a war between the defenders of absolutism and the special role of the Catholic church and traditional institutions, and those of liberalism. Nevertheless, the fight against the traditionalist reaction would continue for almost ahalf century, after two further wars in 1846-49 and 1872-76 (Carr 1982; Linz et.al. 2000: 371-2).From then to the present, Spain has known the following periods and regimes:1833-1868: Isabeline Period:
A constitutional monarchy superficially outlined by the
(Royal Statute) enactedin 1834, and largely regulated through the Constitutions of 1837 and 1845, with two con-secutive Regencies (of María Cristina and General Espartero respectively) before the heiressascended to the throne.
1868-1874: Six-year Revolution (
Revolutionary period (1968-1871): overthrow followed by provisional government and a newRegency of Serrano.
Parliamentary monarchy as outlined in the 1869 Constitution granting universal suffrage, andwhich had only one monarch, Amadeo of Savoy (November 1871-February 1873).
First Republic (February 1873-January 1874), federal and extremely unstable, born as par-liamentarian and evolving to a presidential regime in a constitutional project that never re-ceived approval.
dictatorship (January-December 1874): centralist, authoritarian and conservativedisguised as republican and considered to be the Spanish version of MacMahon’s FrenchRepublic.1874-1931: First Bourbon Restoration
A liberal oligarchic constitutional monarchy, although in many respects – particularly duringits first half – close to a parliamentary regime compatible with both restricted and universalmale suffrage between 1876 and 1923.
Reign of Alfonso and Regency of María Cristina (1875-1902)
Constitutional reign of Alfonso XIII (1902-1923)