Trienio Liberal

Last updated

Kingdom of Spain
España
Reino de España
1820–1823
Motto:  Plus ultra (Latin)
(English: "Further Beyond")
Anthem:  Himno de Riego
Anthem of Riego
Imperio Espanol (1821-1898).png
Capital Madrid
Common languages Spanish
Religion
Roman Catholic Church (official)
Demonym(s) Spanish
Government Unitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy
King  
 1820–1823
Ferdinand VII
Secretary of State  
 1820–1821
Evaristo Pérez
 1821–1822
Ramón López-Pelegrín
 1822
Francisco Martínez
 1822–1823
Evaristo Fernández
 1823
José María Pando
Legislature Cortes Generales
Historical era Revolutions during the 1820s
1 January 1820
7 March 1820
April – May 1820
October – December 1822
1 October 1823
Currency Escudo, Real
ISO 3166 code ES
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Sexenio Absolutista
Ominous Decade Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg

The Trienio Liberal ( [ˈtɾjenjoliβeˈɾal] ) or Three Liberal Years was a period of three years in the modern history of Spain between 1820 and 1823, when a liberal government ruled Spain after a military uprising in January 1820 by the lieutenant-colonel Rafael de Riego against the absolutist rule of Ferdinand VII.

Contents

It ended in 1823 when, with the approval of the crowned heads of Europe, a French army invaded Spain and reinstated the King's absolute power. This invasion is known in France as the "Spanish Expedition" (expédition d’Espagne) and in Spain as "The Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis".

Revolution of Cabezas de San Juan

1820 print depicting the Cortes Generales. Cortes of the Trienio Liberal.jpg
1820 print depicting the Cortes Generales.

King Ferdinand VII provoked widespread unrest, particularly in the army, by refusing to accept the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812. The King sought to reclaim the Spanish colonies in the Americas that had recently revolted successfully, consequently depriving Spain from an important source of revenue.

In January 1820, soldiers assembled at Cádiz for an expedition to South America, angry over infrequent pay, bad food and poor quarters, mutinied under the leadership of Rafael del Riego. [1] Pledging fealty to the 1812 Constitution, they seized their commander.

Subsequently, the rebel forces moved to nearby San Fernando, where they began preparations to march on the capital, Madrid.

Liberal government

Rafael del Riego (1784-1823), the leader of the Cortes Generales, which sought to restore the 1812 constitution. Rafael Riego.jpg
Rafael del Riego (1784–1823), the leader of the Cortes Generales, which sought to restore the 1812 constitution.

Despite the rebels' relative weakness, Ferdinand accepted the constitution on 9 March 1820, granting power to liberal ministers and ushering in the so-called Liberal Triennium (el Trienio Liberal), a period of liberal rule. However, political conspiracies of both right and left proliferated in Spain, as was the case across much of the rest of Europe. Liberal revolutionaries stormed the King's palace and seized Ferdinand VII, who was a prisoner of the Cortes in all but name for the next three years and retired to Aranjuez. The elections to the Cortes Generales in 1822 were won by Rafael del Riego. Ferdinand's supporters set themselves up at Urgell, took up arms and put in place an absolutist regency, the Urgel Regency.

Ferdinand's supporters, accompanied by the Royal Guard, staged an uprising in Madrid that was subdued by forces supporting the new government and its constitution. Despite the defeat of Ferdinand's supporters at Madrid, civil war erupted in the regions of Castile, Toledo, and Andalusia.

Three years of liberal rule (the Trienio Liberal) followed. The Progresista government reorganized Spain into 52 provinces, and it intended to reduce the regional autonomy that had been a hallmark of Spanish bureaucracy since Habsburg rule in the 16th and 17th centuries. Opposition of the affected regions, in particular, Aragon, Navarre, and Catalonia, shared in the king's antipathy for the liberal government. The anticlerical policies of the Progresista government led to friction with the Catholic Church, and attempts to bring about industrialisation alienated old trade guilds. The Spanish Inquisition, which had been abolished by both Joseph Bonaparte and the Cortes of Cádiz during the French occupation, was ended again by the government, which led to accusations of it being nothing more than afrancesados (francophiles), who, only six years earlier, had been forced out of the country.

More radical liberals attempted to revolt against the entire idea of a monarchy, regardless of how little power it had. In 1821, they were suppressed, but the incident served to illustrate the frail coalition that bound the government together.

Ferdinand VII of Spain, who abolished the Spanish Constitution of 1812 in 1814. Portrait by Francisco Goya, 1814. Francisco Goya - Portrait of Ferdinand VII of Spain in his robes of state (1815) - Prado.jpg
Ferdinand VII of Spain, who abolished the Spanish Constitution of 1812 in 1814. Portrait by Francisco Goya, 1814.

The election of a radical liberal government in 1823 further destabilized Spain. The army, whose liberal leanings had brought the government to power, began to waver when the Spanish economy failed to improve, and in 1823, a mutiny in Madrid had to be suppressed. The Jesuits, who had been banned by Charles III in the 18th century, only to be rehabilitated by Ferdinand VII after his restoration, were banned again by the government. For the duration of liberal rule, Ferdinand (still technically head of state) lived under virtual house arrest in Madrid. The Congress of Vienna, ending the Napoleonic Wars, had inaugurated the "Congress system" as an instrument of international stability in Europe. Rebuffed by the Holy Alliance of Russia, Austria, and Prussia in his request for help against the liberal revolutionaries in 1820, by 1822, the "Concert of Europe" was so concerned by Spain's liberal government and its surprising hardiness that it was prepared to intervene on Ferdinand's behalf.

In 1822, the Congress of Verona authorized France to intervene. Louis XVIII of France was only too happy to put an end to Spain's liberal experiment, and a massive army, the 100,000 Sons of Saint Louis, was dispatched across the Pyrenees in April 1823. The Spanish army, fraught by internal divisions, offered little resistance to the well organised French force, who seized Madrid and reinstalled Ferdinand as absolute monarch. The liberals' hopes for a new Spanish War of Independence were dashed.

Regarding the policy for America in the absolutist period, the new government changed political repression into negotiation. Sending troops was replaced by commissioners to attract pro-independence leaders, who were invited to submit to royal authority in exchange for recognition by Spain. With that in mind, the government announced a ceasefire for negotiations with the rebels until the 1812 Constitution, which ironically, had been superseded by Ferdinand's actions, was accepted.

According to the ceasefire, Spain would end the persecution and would issue a blanket amnesty for the insurgents; otherwise, the war would continue. The 11 commissioners failed, since the patriots demanded recognition of their independence from Spain.

French intervention

Luis Maria de Borbon y Vallabriga, 14th Count of Chinchon (1777-1823), Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, a liberal churchman who abolished the Spanish Inquisition in 1820. (It would be re-established in 1823.) El cardenal don Luis Maria de Borbon y Vallabriga (Museo del Prado).jpg
Luis María de Borbón y Vallabriga, 14th Count of Chinchón (1777–1823), Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, a liberal churchman who abolished the Spanish Inquisition in 1820. (It would be re-established in 1823.)

In 1822, Ferdinand VII applied the terms of the Congress of Vienna, lobbied for the assistance of the other absolute monarchs of Europe, in the process joining the Holy Alliance formed by Russia, Prussia, Austria and France to restore absolutism. In France, the ultra-royalists pressured Louis XVIII to intervene. To temper their counter-revolutionary ardour, the Duc de Richelieu deployed troops along the Pyrenees Mountains along the France-Spain border, charging them with halting the spread of Spanish liberalism and the "yellow fever" from encroaching into France. In September 1822, the cordon sanitaire became an observation corps and then very quickly transformed itself into a military expedition.

The Holy Alliance (Russia, Austria and Prussia) refused Ferdinand's request for help, but the Quintuple Alliance (United Kingdom, France, Russia, Prussia and Austria), at the Congress of Verona in October 1822, gave France a mandate to intervene and restore the Spanish monarchy. On 22 January 1823, a secret treaty was signed at the congress of Verona, allowing France to invade Spain to restore Ferdinand VII as an absolute monarch. With that agreement from the Holy Alliance, on 28 January 1823, Louis XVIII announced that "a hundred thousand Frenchmen are ready to march, invoking the name of Saint Louis, to safeguard the throne of Spain for a grandson of Henry IV of France".

Bibliography

In French

In Spanish

In English

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ferdinand VII</span> King of Spain, 1808 and 1813–1833

Ferdinand VII was King of Spain during the early 19th century. He reigned briefly in 1808 and then again from 1813 to his death in 1833. Before 1813 he was known as el Deseado, and after, as el ReyFelón.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Trocadero</span>

The Battle of Trocadero, fought on 31 August 1823, was the only significant battle in France's expedition in support of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII. The French defeated the Spanish liberal forces and restored Ferdinand to absolute rule.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spanish Constitution of 1812</span> First Constitution of Spain

The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, also known as the Constitution of Cádiz and as La Pepa, was the first Constitution of Spain and one of the earliest codified constitutions in world history. The Constitution was ratified on 19 March 1812 by the Cortes of Cádiz, the first Spanish legislature that included delegates from the entire nation and its possessions, including Spanish America and the Philippines. "It defined Spanish and Spanish American liberalism for the early 19th century."

The "Himno de Riego" is a song dating from the Trienio Liberal (1820–1823) of Spain and named in honour of Colonel Rafael del Riego, a figure in the respective uprising, which restored the liberal constitution of 1812. The lyrics were written by Evaristo Fernández de San Miguel, while the music is typically attributed to José Melchor Gomis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rafael del Riego</span> Spanish general and politician (1784–1823)

Rafael del Riego y Flórez was a Spanish general and liberal politician, who played a key role in the establishment of the Liberal Triennium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Spain (1808–1874)</span>

Spain in the 19th century was a country in turmoil. Occupied by Napoleon from 1808 to 1814, a massively destructive "liberation war" ensued. Following the Spanish Constitution of 1812, Spain was divided between the 1812 constitution's liberal principles and the absolutism personified by the rule of Ferdinand VII, who repealed the 1812 Constitution for the first time in 1814, only to be forced to swear over the constitution again in 1820 after a liberal pronunciamiento, giving way to the brief Trienio Liberal (1820–1823).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Juan Álvarez Mendizábal</span>

Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, was a Spanish economist and politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 25 September 1835 to 15 May 1836.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Agustín Argüelles</span>

Agustín Argüelles was a Spanish liberal politician. He served as the 81st and 94th president of the Congress of Deputies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francisco Javier de Elío</span> Spanish Viceroy (1767–1822)

Francisco Javier de Elío y Olóndriz was a Spanish soldier and governor of Montevideo. He was instrumental in the Absolutist repression after the restoration of Ferdinand VII as King of Spain. For this, he was executed during the Trienio Liberal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis</span> 1823 French army that helped Spanish King Ferdinand VII regain absolute power

The "Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis" was the popular name for a French army mobilized in 1823 by the Bourbon King of France, Louis XVIII, to help the Spanish Bourbon royalists restore King Ferdinand VII of Spain to the absolute power of which he had been deprived during the Liberal Triennium. Despite the name, the actual number of troops was between 60,000 and 90,000.

Asensio Nebot, known as "The Friar" and born in Nules, Spain in 1779, was a guerrilla in the Kingdom of Valencia during the Peninsular War. His exploits during the Peninsular War are well documented but, as he worked as a secret agent after the end of the war, there are gaps in what is known about his life from 1815 onwards.

The Moderate Party or Moderate Liberal Party was one of the two Spanish political parties that contended for power during the reign of Isabel II. Like the opposing Progressive Party, it characterised itself as liberal and dynasticist; both parties supported Isabel against the claims of the Carlists.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ominous Decade</span> 1823–1833 absolutist rule of Ferdinand VII of Spain

The Ominous Decade is a term for the last ten years of the reign of King Ferdinand VII of Spain, dating from the abolition of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, on 1 October 1823, to his death on 29 September 1833.

Revolutions during the 1820s included revolutions in Russia, Spain, Portugal, and the Italian states for constitutional monarchies, and for independence from Ottoman rule in Greece. Unlike the revolutionary wave in the 1830s, these tended to take place in the peripheries of Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">José María de Torrijos y Uriarte</span> Spanish general (1791–1831)

Jose Maria Torrijos y Uriarte, Count of Torrijos, a title granted posthumously by the Queen Governor, also known as General Torrijos, was a Spanish Liberal soldier. He fought in the Spanish War of Independence and after the restoration of absolutism by Ferdinand VII in 1814 he participated in the pronouncement of John Van Halen of 1817 that sought to restore the Constitution of 1812, for which he spent two years in prison until he was released after the triumph of the Riego uprising in 1820. He returned to fight the French when the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis invaded Spain to restore the absolute power of Ferdinand VII and when those triumphed ending the liberal triennium exiled to England. There he prepared a statement which he himself led, landing on the coast of Málaga from Gibraltar on December 2, 1831, with sixty men accompanying him, but they fell into the trap that had been laid before him by the absolutist authorities and were arrested. Nine days later, on December 11, Torrijos and 48 of his fellow survivors were shot without trial on the beach of San Andres de Málaga, a fact that was immortalized by a sonnet of José de Espronceda entitled To the death of Torrijos and his Companions, Enrique Gil y Carrasco's A la memoria del General Torrijos, and by a well-known 1888 painting by Antonio Gisbert. "The tragic outcome of his life explains what has happened to history, in all fairness, as a great symbol of the struggle against despotism and tyranny, with the traits of epic nobility and serenity typical of the romantic hero, eternalized in the famous painting by Antonio Gisbert." The city of Málaga erected a monument to Torrijos and his companions in the Plaza de la Merced, next to the birthplace of the painter Pablo Picasso. Under the monument to Torrijos in the middle of the square are the tombs of 48 of the 49 men shot; One of them, British, was buried in the English cemetery (Málaga).

Trágala is a song the Spanish liberals used to humiliate the absolutists after the military pronunciamiento of Rafael del Riego in Cabezas de San Juan, at the beginning of the period known as Trienio Liberal (1820-1823).

The Exaltados was the label given to the most left-wing or progressive political current of liberalism in nineteenth-century Spain. Associated with, and at times inspired by, French Jacobinism and republicanism, it corresponded to the political current known more generally as Radicalism.

The Urgel Regency was an interim government, or interregnum, expressly authorised by Fernando VII towards the end of May 1822.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francisco Copons y Navia</span> Spanish soldier

Francisco Copons y Navia, 1st Count of Tarifa was a Spanish soldier, active during the War of the Pyrenees and the Peninsular War. He was appointed captain general of Catalonia in 1812 and promoted to lieutenant general in 1814.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">July 1822 Spanish coup d'état</span> Attempted coup détat in Spain.

The Spanish coup d'état of July 1822, also known as the coup d'état of July 7, was a failed coup d'état that took place in Spain during the Liberal Triennium. It was intended to put an end by force to the constitutional regime, reestablished after the triumph of the Revolution of 1820, and to restore the absolute monarchy. As Juan Francisco Fuentes has pointed out, "it was the most serious attempt of absolutist coup d'état, which not in vain had its epicenter in the Royal Palace of Madrid", although it had numerous ramifications outside the capital, which demonstrates "the existence of a relatively broad and mature plan". "It marked a turning point in the course of the Triennium", stressed Ángel Bahamonde and Jesús Antonio Martínez. The same thesis is held by Pedro Rújula and Manuel Chust: "The July crisis marked in a traumatic way the evolution of the constitutional regime".

References

  1. Lawrence, Mark (2014). Spain's First Carlist War, 1833-40. New York, NY. p. 27. ISBN   978-1-137-40174-8. OCLC   881418310.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)