Mid-nineteenth century Spain

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Mid-nineteenth century Spain

Post  kosovohp on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:07 am

In 1793, Spain went to war against the new French Republic, which had overthrown and executed its Bourbon king, Louis XVI. The war polarised the country in an apparent reaction against the gallicised elites. Defeated in the field, peace was made with France in 1795 and it effectively became a client state of that country; In 1807, the secret treaty of Fontainebleau between Napoleon and the deeply unpopular Godoy led to a declaration of war against Britain and Portugal. French troops entered the kingdom unopposed, supposedly to invade Portugal, but instead they occupied Spanish fortresses. This invasion by trickery led to the abdication of the ridiculed Spanish king in favour of Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte.

This foreign puppet monarch was widely regarded with scorn. The 2nd of May 1808 revolt was one of many nationalist uprisings against the Bonapartist regime across the country.[36] These revolts marked the beginning of what is known to the Spanish as the War of Independence, and to the British as the Peninsular War.[37] Napoleon was forced to intervene personally, defeating several badly coordinated Spanish armies and forcing a British army to retreat. However, further military action by Spanish guerrillas, armies and Wellington's British-Portuguese forces, combined with Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia, led to the ousting of the French imperial armies from the Spain in 1814, and the return of King Ferdinand VII.[38]

The French invasions devastated the economy, and left Spain a deeply divided country prone to political instability. The power struggles of the early 19th century led to the loss of all of its colonies in the Americas (which stretched from Las Californias to Patagonia), with the sole exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

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