Greatest Nations: Spain - C. F. Horne

The Beginnings of Spain—The Gothic Kingdom

Phonecians in Spain


[Authorities: Coppee: History of the Conquest of Spain; Hume: Spain, Its Greatness and Decay, The Spanish People: Their Origin, Growth and Influence; Hale: The Story of Spain; Lane-Poole: The Story of the Moors in Spain; Latimer: Spain in the Nineteenth Century; Prescott: Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles the Fifth, Philip the Second; Irving: Life of Columbus, Moorish Chronicles, Conquest of Spain, Conquest of Granada; Watts, Spain; Burke: A History of Spain; Meyrick: The Church in Spain; Ticknor: History of Spanish Literature.]

It has been said that nations like individuals have their birth, growth, manhood, old age, decay, and death. Many of the stories already told in these pages confirm this declaration. Perhaps the most impressive example of modern times is that of Spain. She came into being many centuries ago, climbed to the greatest heights of power, influence, and glory, and, though she still exists, she is in a condition of senility and decrepitude, which, like that of the tottering nonagenarian, suggests a collapse not far distant.

The earliest historical mention of Spain finds it inhabited by a people who sprang from a number of different races. To the Greeks and Romans the country was known as Spania, Hispania, and Iberia, and in the Scriptures the "ships of Tarshish" probably referred to those of the Phoenicians, which traded with Spain. The colony of Gadir, or Cadiz, was planted by the Phoenicians about 1000 B.C., at which time they found the southern part of the country in the possession of the Iberians. It is uncertain where the latter came from. As a people, they were short of stature, with a swarthy complexion, and plentiful black, curly hair. Investigations seem to indicate an affinity with the Kabyl tribes of the Atlas instead of an Aryan origin.

Ancient Spain


Far back among the shadows of prehistoric times, a horde of Celts swarmed over the Pyrenees into this land of the Iberians, encountering possibly a still earlier race, whose descendants of to-day are the Basques. The Celts swerved to the west and settled in what now is Portugal and Gallicia. In civilization and physique, the invaders were much superior to the Iberians. As the centuries rolled on, the two peoples fought for mastery. They gradually blended in the central part of Spain, while the Celts continued dominant in the west and northwest of the peninsula, and the Iberians held their own in the east and south.

Such were the inhabitants of the country when the enterprising mariners of Phoenicia began planting colonies on the coast. They found the country fair and inviting, with fertile alluvial valleys; sheep with the finest of wool, and a soil rich with minerals, such as the quicksilver of Almaden, the silver and gold, the copper and tin from which bronze was formed, and the corals, pearls, and precious stones, which made the Phoenician colonies rivals in wealth of Carthage herself. It is said that the Phoenicians gathered such enormous quantities of gold that their ships would have sunk had they tried to carry it all away.

Cadiz was the most important settlement made by the Phoenicians, who induced the natives to develop the mines, whose richness became famous, and soon led other nations, among them the Greeks, to send expeditions thither. The strangers were welcomed, and since their only purpose was to procure all the gain they could, they made no attempt to interfere with the government of the country. We owe to the crude alphabet brought by them the more reliable history that has come down to us from those remote times.

Naturally, it was trade which gave the great Phoenician city of Carthage a foothold in Spain. At that time Carthage had no armies, but after her defeat by Rome in the first of their tremendous wars, the grand project of forming Spain into a Carthaginian province was conceived by Hamilcar. He was surnamed Barca or Barak, or "lightning," and when very young was given command of the Carthaginian forces in Sicily (247 B.C.), at a time when the Romans had full possession of the island. He maintained a long and successful warfare against them, but the defeat of the Carthaginian fleet compelled him to withdraw from Sicily (241 B.C.), and he became commander of the Carthaginian army. It was about 236 B. c. that he entered upon the campaign whose aim was to found a new empire in Spain, from which, as a base, he might attack the Romans. He advanced westward, while the fleet under command of his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, cruised along the coast. Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, Hamilcar attacked the natives, and steadily bored his way to the heart of the country. No force could be gathered to make a successful resistance, and he subdued many tribes and cities, and gathered such a stupendous amount of plunder that it interfered with the advance of his army. He spent nine years of conquest in Spain and then fell in battle.

Hamilcar, as you will recall, was the father of Hannibal, one of the greatest of all military leaders. You have not forgotten that the lad inherited from his father his hatred of Rome. In his later years, when in exile, he related the following anecdote: "When I was a little boy not more than nine years old, my father offered sacrifices to Jupiter the Best and Greatest, on his departure from Carthage as general in Spain. While he was conducting the sacrifice, he asked me if I would like to go to the camp with him. I said I would gladly and began to beg him not to hesitate to take me. He replied: 'I will do it if you will make the promise I demand.' He took me at once to the altar at which he had offered his sacrifice. He bade me take hold of it, having sent the others away, and bade me swear that I would never be at friendship with the Romans."

Hannibal, as we know, faithfully kept his youthful oath. After the death of his father, he was employed by Hasdrubal, his brother-in-law, in most of his military expeditions. He won the enthusiastic love of the soldiers by his heroism and noble character, and when Hasdrubal was assassinated, the army with one voice chose Hannibal their commander-in-chief, though he was only in his twenty-ninth year. Before entering upon his life work—that of fulfilling his pledge to his father—he spent two years in the conquest of Spain. Saguntum was a city in alliance with Rome, and Hannibal attacked it, on the ground that its inhabitants were making aggressions on some of the subjects of Carthage.

The story has been told of the fall of the city after a siege of eight months and after it had made a vain appeal to Rome for assistance. In capturing it, Hannibal violated the treaty made by his father, and in 218 B.C. brought on the second Punic War. The campaigns that followed were among the most remarkable in history, and brought to Hannibal a fame which places him among the foremost military geniuses of antiquity. After having maintained himself in Italy for upward of fifteen. years, he was recalled to Africa to defend his country against Scipio, who defeated him with great loss, and peace was concluded in the following year (201 B.C.).

Romans conquering the Iberians


The capture of Saguntum by Hannibal seems to have drawn the serious attention of Rome for the first time to Spain. Its importance was seen, and the future empress of the world began to send armies thither. The Romans drove the Carthaginians from the Peninsula in 206 B.C., and made the country a Roman province. The Romanizing of the country went on steadily for centuries, and to this fact Spain owes the basis of her language, and many of her customs, traits, and peculiarities.

Not until 25 B.C., however, did the Cantabri and Astures, in the extreme north, lay down their arms to the Roman conquerors, one of whom was the illustrious Julius Caesar. The country having been finally reduced to subjection, was divided into the three provinces of Tarraconensis, which embraced the northern and eastern provinces; Baetica (Andalusia), and Lusitania, which included Portugal and certain of the western provinces. This division of Spain lasted down to the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337), and until his death her condition was highly prosperous.

The Roman occupation was of great advantage in every respect to the Spaniards. They were forced to cease their wasteful intestine wars, and to give their energies to industrial pursuits. They adopted the laws, language, and customs of their conquerors, and the population increased rapidly. In numerous parts of the country Roman towns sprang up, while many aqueducts, bridges, amphitheatres, and buildings were erected, whose ruins are the wonder of modern tourists.

For three hundred years Spain was the richest province of the Roman Empire. It was for a long time the granary of Rome, and gold and silver flowed thence like a river into the coffers of the imperial city. According to Gibbon, twenty thousand pound-weight of gold was annually received from the provinces of Austria (Asturias), Gallicia, and Lusitania.

Spain was withdrawn from military history for four hundred happy years, and then the shaggy warriors from the German forests came rushing down upon Southern Europe. These Goths did not have to occupy France long to discover the riches of neighboring Spain, and nothing was more certain or natural than that they should move forward to occupy it. Rome could do nothing, for she herself was besieged by Alaric, and purchased her ransom by paying two and a half tons of gold, fifteen tons of silver, and valuable silks and cloths in profusion. Then Alaric died most opportunely for the Romans, who began negotiating with Ataulfus, the brother-in-law and successor of Alaric. These negotiations recognized the mastery of the Goths in Southern France and in Spain, which were presented to them as a gift, the Goths having no objection to becoming nominal subjects of the Empire on the single condition of military service. Indeed, it may be said of these Goths and Romans that they mutually conquered each other, for, though the barbarians were wild and savage, and able to beat down the others in battle, they began to learn the wisdom of employing their minds and bodies in more useful pursuits than fighting and hunting.

Before Ataulfus could occupy his new empire, he had to drive out the Sueves and Vandals, who were devastating it, but he and his lusty followers completed the work, and in Narbonne he established himself with a Roman bride. She was Placidia, sister of the Roman Emperor Honorius, and was among the captives taken in the siege of Rome. Ataulfus fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. The tawny chieftain had already captured the heart of the Roman maiden, and she consented. The Emperor held this mighty warrior for the time in awe, and to win his friendship approved the marriage. Ataulfus was anxious to retain the good-will of the Emperor, and, therefore, devoted his energies to warring upon the Vandals and Sueves, who were the enemies of both.

There was a Roman who had also wished to marry Placidia, and he persuaded the Emperor Honorius to attack the Goths. They were driven out of Gaul, and retreated into the Spanish country. Ataulfus withdrew to Barcelona, where he established his court and made the city the capital of his kingdom, to which he gave the name of Hispana-Gothia. Still anxious to conciliate the Emperor, he strove to introduce among his people the manners and civilization of the Romans, thereby offending his own followers, who thought his course weak and womanly.

You can understand that Ataulfus did not hold the most enviable situation in the world, and he must have had a hard time of it; for it was all important for him to keep the good-will of his turbulent warriors and to retain the regard of his high-spirited wife. He succeeded in the latter, but not in the former. Six bright, affectionate children were born to the couple, and received careful training, but the soldiers and officers were soured at sight of their leader becoming Romanized. They were angry when ordered to fight beside the Romans, whom they hated, and this made the trouble still greater.

One day, while the King and his family were watching the evolutions of his cavalry in the court yard of his palace at Barcelona, a dwarf stole up behind Ataulfus and drove a sword into his back. So intense was the resentment against the assassinated monarch, that the agonized Queen could find no one to avenge his murder. A relative, Sigeric, succeeded the dead King, and showed his anti-Roman ferocity by slaying the six children of Ataulfus, and compelling his widow to walk barefoot through the streets of the city. Such fiendish cruelty turned the anger of the people against Sigeric, who, a few days later, also fell by the dagger of an assassin.

Visigoths enter spain


The Goths were more fortunate in selecting Wallia as their next king, for, though he detested the Romans as much as his predecessor, he was tactful. He pleased his own people by sending an expedition against the Roman possessions in Africa. His fleet, however, was baffled by a tempest and his soldiers scattered. Before he could bring them together, a Roman army advanced against him, and he found himself in imminent danger.

A singular solution of the difficulty resulted. Constantius, the commander of the Roman army, was the admirer of Placidia, who had been won away from him by Ataulfus. Constantius had been told by the Emperor that he might wed her if she would agree, and the general, therefore, came rather to woo than to war. As soon as the two armies encamped within sight of each other, Constantius sent a proposal to Wallia that they should make peace, the condition being that the Gothic leader should surrender Placidia, widow of the dead chieftain.

You may be sure that Wallia was glad enough to do this, and he proved his wisdom by winning the ardent support of his followers in the step. He led them against the barbarians of the north, who had dared to occupy a country that the Goths claimed as their own. The campaign was successful, and the Vandals were compelled to withdraw into Gallicia, while the Sueves saved themselves by claiming the protection of Rome. The grateful Emperor gave the lands in Southern Gaul, from Toulouse to the sea, to Wallia, who made the city his capital, and lived there until his death, a few years later.

The successor of Wallia was Theodoric I. (418-451), son of the great Alaric who lost his life in the bloody struggle against Attila at Chalons, leaving his throne to his son, Thorismund (451-452), who was assassinated by his brother Theodoric II. (452-466), and he, after reigning a number of years, fell by the hand of an assassin, who was also a brother, named Euric (466-483). What a condition of affairs, when two rulers obtained their power by each assassinating a brother!

Yet the reign of Euric was brilliant and successful. He greatly extended the power of the Visigoths both in France and Spain, introduced the arts of civilization among his subjects, and drew up a wise code of laws for the government of his people. It will be seen that the Goths had made great advancement in civilization. Euric doubtless considered himself the equal in all respects of the Roman Emperor. The language of the kingdom was Latin, but corrupted by the tongues of the earlier tribes, to which confusion the Goths added by a mixture of their own words, though their books were written in Latin. The government had the form of an absolute monarchy, though the prelates of the church possessed so much influence that it was really a theocracy. Since there was no royalty or nobility of descent, every chieftain considered himself as good as the King, for there was always the possibility of his becoming one.

While it would take too much space to give the particulars of the rule of all the different Gothic kings, we must dwell for a brief time upon the career of Roderick, who, through various difficulties, became ruler of all Spain in the year 709. This was a century after the amazing success of the Arab Mahomet, who had set in motion that wave of conquest, in which the Mahometan hosts declared their purpose of conquering the world, and soon swept over Northern Africa and Western Asia.

Roderick was fiercely threatened by rivals for the throne, who were favored by the Church under the Bishop of Toledo. Count Julian, one of the foes of the King, held a virtually independent command in Africa, where the Goths had the posts of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar, of Tangier, and of Arsilla. Julian had defeated Musa, the Saracen leader, who to his astonishment one day received a visit from the victor, with an offer to surrender all the Gothic posts, on condition that Musa would use the Saracen army to aid the enemies of Roderick.

Musa was so impressed by the magnitude of the treason that he sent the Count to the Caliph in Arabia. The Caliph was highly pleased, and directed Count Julian to return to Musa with his approval. To test his sincerity, Musa sent a number of his troops to the northern shore, where under their leader, Tarik, they were allowed to plunder as they chose without molestation.

The glowing reports brought back by these visitors led Musa to send Tarik once more with a larger force. The name of this leader is perpetuated in the name given the town where he landed, Tarifa. Indeed, he has supplied all modern governments with a word by which he is likely to be forever remembered. Our "tariff "comes from the duties collected by the Mahometans at Tarifa on all goods entering Spain. Gibraltar is also "Gebel-al-Tarik," the Mountain of Tarik.

Despite the treason of his officers—and history contains few instances of equal perfidy—Roderick prepared to make the best resistance he could against the invaders. He hastened against them with a force so numerous that the Moors of Tarik were terrified. They were only some twelve thousand in all, and it was said the Goths numbered ninety thousand.

Baptism of the Goths in Spain


This battle of Xeres, fought on the plains of that name, near Cadiz, more than a thousand years ago, ranks among the decisive struggles in the world's history, for its results were of momentous importance. The disparity of numbers by no means indicates the true relative strength of the armies; for many of the Goths had no defensive armor, and their weapons consisted of short scythes, clubs, axes, slings, bows, and lances. Worse than all, was the disaffection among a large number of the officers and troops. Some who dared not act openly, merely waited to see which way the battle promised to go, with the purpose of joining the successful side, so as to claim a part of the reward. The army itself was too large to be handled well, and there was no commander equal to the task. In the height of his great career Napoleon Bonaparte expressed the doubt that there were two generals in France capable of effectively handling a hundred thousand men.

Exactly the opposite state of affairs existed in the Moslem army, which was compact, ardent, well armed, highly disciplined and fanatical in its heroism. Tarik, their commander, was idolized, for, as his own Caliph declared, he was one of the best swords in Islam. It is said the battle lasted eight days, but probably several were spent in preliminary skirmishing, and the severe fighting lasted but a day.

The struggle opened at dawn on Sunday, July 19, 711, and for the first day or two inclined to the side of the Goths. One inspiring cause that nerved the Saracens was the fact impressed upon them by Tarik, that he had burned their ships, and they must win a victory or be utterly destroyed; for the Goths were in front and the sea was behind them. All that mortal men could do they were certain to do. They hurled themselves upon the ranks of the Christians with irresistible fury. Tarik himself singled out a knight clothed in brilliant armor, and, believing him to be Roderick, fought a way through the defenders, and slew him with his own hand. The Moslem soldiers were fired to enthusiasm by the deed, which, in the Gothic ranks, caused dismay, confusion, and panic. At this critical moment a strong body of Roderick's foes is said to have drawn off and joined the Moslem troops. Be that as it may, the Gothic army was utterly routed and fled in wild, headlong confusion, with the Moors in merciless pursuit, cutting down and slaying the terrified fugitives, until no more food remained to the dripping swords. The losses on both sides were frightful, but that of the Goths must have been more than double—perhaps three or four times as great—as that of their conquerors.

It was never known what became of Roderick. By some it is said he was indeed slain on the field, though his body was never found. Another legend is that he was swept along with the frantic army, and that, exhausted from his wounds and exertions, and oppressed by his ponderous armor, he reached the marshes of the River Guadalete, where he was either slain by his pursuers or drowned. His riderless steed was found, and near the spot a royal crown, a purple mantle, and a sandal embroidered with pearls and emeralds.

The end of it all was that Spain was delivered helpless and bound to the Moslem invaders, and the whole current of her history abruptly changed.

Spain Under the Moors

Moors in Cordova


This was the message that Musa, the Governor of Africa, sent to the Caliph Welid at Damascus: "O Commander of the Faithful, these are not common conquests; they are like the meeting of the nations on the Day of Judgment."

And the solemn ecstasy of the Mussulman leader was natural, for he and all his people stood almost breathless at sight of the completeness of their triumph. It was Tarik who had won the astounding victory, but Musa, his superior, was moved by a base jealousy to go to treacherous lengths to rob him of the glory and claim it for himself. He succeeded partially for a time, but Tarik, the idol of his soldiers and one of the most daring and chivalrous of military leaders, was beloved by his Caliph, who had learned of his wonderful achievements, and he saw that full justice was done the hero. Musa himself was punished with such ferocious cruelty that with all his meannesses one cannot help pitying the old man who deserved better treatment from the country he had faithfully served.

Although the mortal blow had been struck against Spain, a good deal of work still remained to be done by the conquering invaders. Tarik was the one to follow up his success without a day's unnecessary delay, although in doing so he had to violate the express orders of Musa, which bade him remain on the defensive and await his superior's arrival. Tarik separated his forces into three divisions, and advancing over the Peninsula met little trouble in reducing city after city. One of his officers was despatched with seven hundred horse to seize Cordova. A rattling hailstorm and the dense darkness allowed them to approach a weak spot in the walls undetected. They rushed through, and the city was speedily left with no choice but to surrender. It was placed in charge of the Jews, who were staunch friends of the Moslems, because the latter did not persecute them as the Goths did.

Tarik and Musa.


Aided by the Jews, and by the panic which clung to the Spaniards, the Moslems subdued them in every quarter. Malaga surrendered, and Elvira, near the present site of Granada, was stormed and taken. Theodemir made a valiant defence in the mountain passes of Murcia, but was rash enough to fight a battle on the open plain, with the result that his army was annihilated. Theodemir escaped with a single attendant to the city of Orihuela, which he saved through a trick, which has become dear to story tellers.

Hardly any men were left to garrison Orihuela, most of them having fallen in the field, so Theodemir made all the women put on male attire, draw their hair under their chins, to imitate beards, wear helmets, and carry long rods that looked like spears. Then they were lined up along the ramparts, and, in the dusk of early evening, the Moslem general did not dream that they were not what they pretended to be. He saw that a desperate fight was inevitable, with doubtful results, and was gladdened, therefore, at sight of a knight with a flag of truce issuing from the gates, for the purpose of negotiating the surrender of the city.

The general, who was a son of Musa, and a brilliant leader, was prepared. to listen to a demand for liberal terms, and he heard it. The knight impressed upon him the fact that the city could defend itself for a long time, but his master was anxious to spare the lives of his soldiers, and knew the magnanimity of the Moslem commander. He demanded, therefore, that the inhabitants should be allowed to retain their property and become peaceful tributaries to the Moors. Upon this condition they would surrender without striking a blow; otherwise the garrison would fight to the last man.

Abdulaziz expressed his willingness to grant the terms, and suggested to the messenger that he should return and lay them before Theodemir. "That is unnecessary," replied the Goth, "for I have full authority to conclude the matter and sign the treaty." Accordingly the terms of the capitulation were immediately drawn up and signed by the Moslem general, who handed the pen to the other for him to attach his signature. He did so with a bold sweep of his arm, and the name he wrote, to ! it was "Theodemir."

Abdulaziz was astonished to find he had been treating with the famous Gothic commander himself, but he complimented his adversary on his cleverness, and thanked him for the confidence shown in his generosity. The reader may be interested in the words of this remarkable document, which, yellow with the mould of twelve centuries, is preserved in the Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis of Casiri. It was drawn. up in Latin and Arabic, and the translation reads:

"In the name of God, clement and merciful: condition of Abdulaziz, son of Musa, son of Nosseyr, to Theodemir, son of the Goths [Tadmir Ibn Gobdos]: Peace is ordained, and this shall be for him a stipulation and a pact of God and of his Prophet, to wit: That war will not be waged against him or his people; that he shall not be dispossessed of, or removed from, his kingdom; that the Faithful shall not slay, nor subjugate, nor separate from the Christians their wives or their children, nor do them violence in what pertains to their law [religion]; that their temples shall not be burned;—with no further obligation on their part than those herein stipulated. It is understood that Theodemir will exercise his authority peacefully in the seven following cities,—Orihuela, Valencia, Alicante, Mula, Biscaret, Aspis, and Lorca; that he will take nothing belonging to us, and will neither aid nor give asylum to our enemies, nor will conceal their projects from us; that he and his nobles will pay a dinar or gold-piece per head yearly; also four measures of wheat, four of barley, four of must, four of vinegar, four of honey, and four of oil. Vassals and people liable to tax will pay the half. Agreed to on the fourth of the moon Regeb, in the ninety-fourth year of the Hegira [April, 713]. The present writing is signed by Otman Ibn Abdah, Habib Ibn Abi Obeida, Idris Ibn Maicera, and Abul-Kasim el Moseli."

Early the next morning the gates of Orihuela were thrown open and a force of Moslems rode in to take formal possession. When Abdulaziz looked around and saw only a few men, he asked Theodemir what had become of all whom he had seen upon the ramparts. Theodemir then smiled and explained the joke he had played upon the Moslem.

Abdulaziz was a man who could appreciate a jest of that nature, and he laughed heartily and praised Theodemir for his quick wit. He honorably kept the letter and spirit of the agreement he had made, and, while he remained in Orihuela, he was treated as a guest and not as an enemy. Sad to say, the Caliph of Damascus in his resentment against Musa, who had used Tarik so ill, caused this generous son of Musa to be beheaded.



Neither the people nor the city suffered any injury at the hands of the Moslems, who soon left the province to occupy the other cities in southern Spain. Murcia and its seven cities, because of the friendship of the two commanders, were treated with leniency and were garrisoned with only small parties, who, in every instance, obeyed the orders of Abdulaziz to act generously toward the conquered. The Moorish general made Theodemir governor of the province of Murcia, which was afterwards called in Arabic "Theodemir's land." It may be added that the Moors set an excellent example to the Christians in their chivalrous treatment of their enemies. Centuries later, the victorious Spaniards addressed them as "Knights of Granada, Gentlemen, albeit Moors."

Tarik had pushed on to Toledo, the Gothic capital, in quest of the nobles, but when the city was delivered into his hands by the Jews, he found his foes had fled into the mountains of the Asturias. 'Count Julian and other traitors remained, and were rewarded with governmental posts, but the others had abandoned Spain to the Moors, and it became part of the immense empire of the Arab Caliphs, whose court at Damascus governed a country stretching from the mountains of India to the pillars of Hercules. All that remained to be done for the pacification of Spain was accomplished by Musa, who crossed the Straits in the summer of 712, with eighteen thousand men, reduced Carmona, Seville, and Merida, and at Toledo met Tarik. He showed his insane jealousy of Tarik by striking him in the face with his whip, when that victorious general begged his pardon for having disobeyed his orders, and by removing him from command, but as soon as the news reached the Caliph Welid, he summoned Musa to Damascus and restored Tarik to the leadership in Spain.

You do not need to be reminded of the dream of the followers of Mahomet, who aimed to overrun all Europe and bring it under the green banner of the Prophet. Musa had revelled in the vision, but his recall ended that. In 719, however, an Arab leader occupied the southern part of Gaul and raided into Burgundy and Aquitania. In 721, the Saracens were defeated by Eudes, Duke of Aquitania, in front of Toulouse, but the repulse only changed the course of the devastating wave to the westward. The invaders seized Avignon in 730 and desolated the neighboring districts. Then the new governor of Narbonne, Abderahman, planned to conquer all Gaul. He checked Eudes, who had tried to carry the war into the enemy's country, captured the Aquitanian's fair daughter Lampagie, and sent her as a prize to Damascus. He now invaded Aquitaine, defeated Eudes, captured Bordeaux, and, in 732, advanced in triumph toward Tours.

Between that city and Poitiers Abderahman met Charles Martel, the "Ham mer," who fought with him one of the decisive battles of the world, for upon its issue depended the question whether Europe was to be Christian or Mahometan. 'The conflict was a stupendous one, but the Moslems were overthrown and driven from the field in irrestrainable panic. Long after, the scene of the battle was known as the "Pavement of the Martyrs," and never again did the Moors, through all the centuries they held sway in the south, attempt to invade France.

But France had learned to respect the heroism and prowess of her swarthy neighbors and, though her troops indulged in occasional forays, there was little effort to subjugate the Moors. You have learned elsewhere of the attempt of Charlemagne in 777 to stamp out the Moslem power on the other side of the Pyrenees, and of his disastrous failure. The rear of his army was destroyed in the Pass of Roncesvalles, by the treacherous Basques, aided by the Saracens. It was on that dreadful day that Roland, the Paladin, commander of the frontier of Brittany, fell, and his sad fate has been commemorated many times since in song and story.

The triumph of Charles Martel having ended all possibility of the Saracen conquest of Europe, the Moors gave their attention to the work of consolidating the kingdom they had won. For nearly three hundred years after the ill-starred invasion of Charlemagne they were hardly disturbed in their possession of the country. While some of the Goths in the mountainous districts of the north refused to yield, and now and then regained small portions of their dominion, there was no real interference with the domination of the Moors until the eleventh century. They did not think the conquest of the northern districts worth the cost. They, therefore, left Gallicia, Leon, Castile and the Biscayan provinces to the Christians, and were content with the possession of the better part of the country.

Thus it came about that Spain presented a peculiarity never seen before or since: she was the home of two distinct races and civilizations, which for centuries flourished side by side. It was Christian in the north and Moslem in the south. Although opposed by blood and religion, the two peoples not only lived in comparative harmony, but in numberless instances displayed friendship and mutual regard.

The reader should study the map and make careful note of the boundaries of these two extraordinary kingdoms. In a general way, the dividing line may be taken as the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, which extend northeasterly from Coimbra, in Portugal, to Saragossa, from which point the Ebro can be accepted as the boundary. This division gave to the Moors the rich valleys of the Tagus, the Guadiana, and the Guadalquivir, in addition to the famous cities of Andalusia, with their soft climate, occasionally plagued by the hot winds from Africa, but well watered and capable of high cultivation, while the north was bleak, sometimes intensely cold, deluged with rains, and having few natural advantages other than good pasturage. These two divisions were separated by a large plateau, belonging chiefly to the Moors, who left it to the care of the descendants of the Berber tribes that first came to the country with Tarik. Two-thirds of the Peninsula belonged to the invaders, and was by them called "Andalus," though the more familiar form of the name is Andalusia.



It was there that these people founded the remarkable kingdom of Cordova, which was the wonder of the Middle Ages. While all the rest of Europe was sunk in the darkness of anarchy and ignorance, Cordova held aloft the beacon light of learning and civilization. Her rulers were wise, mild and just. Indeed, one of the unsolvable problems is where those people got their ability for administration, since they came from the flaming deserts of Arabia, and never had the opportunity to acquire the difficult art in which, however, they showed themselves to be past masters. The Goths were always unable to rule to the satisfaction of their subjects, but Spain in all her history was never so contented, happy, and prosperous as under the Moors. The so-called religion of the Christians had made little impression upon the native Iberians. The one thing they yearned for was the privilege of living in security and peace, and that boon was given to them for the first time by those of another race, who were fanatical believers in a wholly different religion.

The people were allowed to keep their own laws and judges, to collect the taxes and to adjust all differences among themselves. The citizen classes were required to pay only a moderate poll tax, instead of all the State expenditure; .and they paid no other taxes unless they held cultivable land, while the poll tax was graduated according to the rank of the payer. Being, however, a tax upon what was termed heresy, it was levied only upon the Christians and Jews, while all, including Moslems, had to share in the land tax. In most cases there was no disturbance of the property of cities, or of the farming class. While the lands of the Church and of those who had fled were confiscated, the serfs were allowed to cultivate them undisturbed, or were required to pay only a small portion to their new masters. In short, with the exception of the poll tax, the Christians did not suffer any more exactions than the Moslems. Moreover, they were permitted to sell their lands, which right they never possessed under their Gothic rulers.

As regarded religion, they were not disturbed. Indeed, the poll tax assumed such big proportions that the frugal Arab preferred that no attempts should be made to turn the Goths from the error of their ways. Like many since, they decided not to let religion interfere with business, and it is not to be wondered at that the Christians of lower rank openly declared their preference for the rule of the Moors over that of the Goths.

The Mahometan rulers, however, were by no means at peace among themselves. It must not be supposed that the Arabs were a closely united people, even though all professed the faith of Islam. Bitter jealousies and enmities prevailed among many of the tribes. It was the militant character of Islamism that made it permanent and extended its boundaries so as to include millions of people. Nor must it be imagined that the Mahometans fought only to advance their faith; the hope of "loot" and booty was as potent to them as to professing Christian nations, though their fanatical devotion to the cause of God and his Prophet cannot be denied.

So long as these turbulent warriors could be kept fighting, it was easy to hold them together, but Spain being conquered and themselves in quiet possession, the old jealousies and quarrels reappeared. For about six hundred years most of the immense Mahometan Empire was under the nominal authority of a central ruler, known as a Caliph, which title means a "successor." This Caliph appointed the governors of all the provinces and removed them when he chose. So vast an empire, however, could not long be held together by a central point, and the power of the Caliphs steadily diminished, while the local governors, including the "Emir of Andalus," virtually became independent, though still professing loyalty to the Caliph.

In a furious contest between rival Caliphs of the houses of the Abbasides and the Omeyyads, all of the latter, except two, were treacherously slain. One of these succeeded in reaching a remote part of Arabia, where he and his descendants ruled for many years. The other, who bore the common name of Abderahman, left Damascus with horses and money, and by rapid flight over almost unknown paths, joined a band of Bedouins, who received him hospitably. He remained a long time with them, often changing from one tribe to another through fear of his pursuers. He wandered through Egypt to Barca, where the governor, an ardent Abbaside, heard of his presence and sent out agents to arrest him. Escaping his enemies by the narrowest chance, he fled to the desert, where messengers came to him from Cordova with the offer of an independent crown, though they warned him at the same time of the great personal peril he would have to face. He promptly accepted the offer, and, accompanied by some seven hundred picked horsemen, all fully armed, set out for turbulent Spain.

The Abbaside Emir in control of the country at that time, who was named Yusuf, received the startling news while returning from Saragossa. He made all haste homeward, sending messengers in every direction to summon troops to the defence of the endangered country.

Abderahman was a strange compound. He was tall, athletic, brave, and of no mean mental ability. He had but one eye, lacked the sense of smell, and, while merciful and charitable when he chose to be, at other times was as remorseless as Satan himself. He landed on the southern coast of Spain early in 755, and was received with shouts of welcome, thousands flocking to his standard. The Abbaside ruler of the country made a brave resistance, but was defeated and driven into exile, while Abderahman, in less than a year, suppressed all opposition and declared himself independent of the Caliph of Damascus. Thus the Mahometan world was divided, and there reigned in Spain an independent Caliph of Cordova.



Firmly established, Abderahman set himself to work to improve the capital, and under him and his successors, Cordova grew into a splendid city. The Guadalquivir was narrowed, and the space gained from the waters turned into beautiful flower gardens. He transplanted the palm into the peninsula, cultivated the soil more highly than before, and made the country one of the most delightful and attractive in the world. But to do all this, he acted with a harshness that was appalling, murdering and massacring all who dared to raise a hand against his iron authority. If the people feared, they also detested him, and he died a gloomy and unhappy man. His rule of thirty-two years was upheld by the swords of mercenaries whose bloody support he purchased with gold, and he sank into his grave amid curses instead of regrets and blessings.

For nearly three hundred years Spain was governed by the descendants of the house of Omeyya, the first being the fugitive Abderahman, and the mightiest, the conqueror Almanzor. During that period, the sovereigns at Damascus were of the house of the Abbasides, who were kept so busily employed at home in suppressing disorder that they had no time to give to concerns in Spain. To the period named belonged the most brilliant portion of the Moorish occupancy of the country. The government resembled that of the eastern Caliphs, and the sovereign was called, like them, the "Commander of the Faithful."

The civilization of Moorish Spain became the wonder of Europe. Scholars flocked from all lands to the schools of Cordova. Science and the arts made rapid advancement. We are told that when the Greek Emperor at Constantinople, then the most gorgeous of Christian cities, sent an ambassador to Cordova, the envoy fainted at sight of the splendor that confronted him. Yet, as is so often unhappily the case, while the land increased in wealth and culture, it declined in virtue and military strength. Gradually it broke up into a number of semi-independent little kingdoms, offering an easy re-conquest to the advancing Christians.

Rise of the Christian Kingdoms

Palace of Almanzor


Let us turn now to the story of those Goths who fled from the fatal defeat of Roderick at Xeres. One party, as we have seen, secured peace under the crafty Theodemir, and became subjects of the Moors in Murcia.

Another band refused submission on any terms, and fled northward till they could go no farther and found themselves in the mountains of Asturias, the coast land bordering the Bay of Biscay. This heroic little troop, reduced at one time, according to legend, to only thirty men, sought refuge in the mountain caves. Their leader was Pelayo, who may or may not have been a descendant of the ancient kings of the Goths. He was certainly a valiant warrior, from whom the present royal family of Spain is proud to trace its descent.

While a Moorish army was hunting Pelayo and his men amid the mountain defiles, the fugitives suddenly hurled masses of rocks down upon their pursuers, and amid the confusion and death thus caused, charged boldly upon the entire army. The Moors were put to flight, and this battle of Covadonga (720) marks the turning point in the tide of conquest.

The Mahometans recognized that the subjugation of those wild mountains was impossible, or at least not worth the cost. No second serious attempt seems to have been made to disturb Pelayo, and he ruled over the wild precipices and wilder men of the north, a king, if you choose to call him so, though we do not know that he ever took the title. His subjects, all mingling together, Goths, Romans, Celts, native Iberians, and we know not what fragments of other races, became the ancestors of the modern Spaniards, the hidalgos, who pride themselves upon their blue and ardent blood.

On the immediate successors of Pelayo we need not dwell. They were sturdy fighters all. Gradually they ventured out of the Asturian mountains into the plains to southward. Alfonso I. extended his conquests to the capture of cities on the Douro River, so that the weight of his hand was felt over nearly a fourth of Spain. He did not, however, really rule this land, he only ravaged it, always returning to his region of refuge among the cliffs. It is from these early Spanish forays and fightings, guerrillas or little wars, as they called them, that we get our modern word for that cruel and barbaric system of surprise and licensed robbery, guerrilla warfare.

About the year 910, that is, after nearly two centuries of this wild mountain life, King Garcia, or his brother, Ordofio II., ventured to desert their highland capital of Orviedo and establish their court permanently at Leon, a city of the plains. Ordofio II. was buried there in 923, and from that time the Spanish state may be said to have assumed a permanent power and location. Its chiefs no longer depended on their caves for refuge, but met the Moors upon equal terms. Their possessions, named from their new capital, became the Kingdom of Leon.

At this time Castile was a waste borderland lying between the Christians and the Moors, and harried alternately by both; a land of castles, as its name suggests, strong places to which the inhabitants fled for refuge from the marauders. Aragon was still in possession of the Moors, Navarre was a wild, semi-independent mountain region, half Spanish and half French.

The earliest of the Castilian heroes is Fernan Gonsalez. He was the governor or Count of Castile from 932 to 970, and successfully asserted the independence of the borderland of castles against the claims of the King of Leon to be regarded as its overlord. At one time Fernan was overpowered and imprisoned. But he had won the love of the Princess Sancha of Navarre, and she helped him to escape, bribing his jailer and then guarding his flight with a troop of her wild Navarrese. She became Fernan's bride, and he made her both Countess and Queen of Castile, for he finally achieved the independence of his land. The city of Burgos was founded by his successor in 982 as the Castilian capital.

Ordano, king of Leon


Doubtless Fernan was much helped by the victories of Almanzor, a warlike Moorish chieftain, who at this period rearoused the Moslem fanaticism and sought to urge his race to the complete reconquest of northern Spain. Almanzor repeatedly defeated the kings of Leon, and finally stormed their capital and put all its population to the sword. Once more the Christians seemed on the point of being driven to take refuge in the mountains. Fortunately for them, Almanzor died. Maybe Fernan Gonsalez defeated him first; maybe the King of Leon did; more probably they did not. The earlier Christian chroniclers merely tell us that at last God took pity on their great miseries, that a demon carried off Almanzor, that he died "and was buried in hell." The slow advance of the Christian kingdoms recommenced.

From all these centuries of battle Spanish romance has fastened upon two, heroes as specially its own. They are Bernardo del Carpio and the Cid.. Modern critics have insisted that history shall abandon Bernardo altogether. Romance makes him the chief hero of the Spanish resistance to Charlemagne's inroad, which seems, by the way, to have been directed quite as much against Christians as against Moors. Bernardo is represented as the Spanish leader at the victory of Roncesvalles. He slays most of Charlemagne's paladins, and finally, finding Roland's armor invincible to sword-blow, takes the Frankish champion in his arms and strangles him to death.

The Cid, on the other hand, is a positive historic figure, who lived toward the end of the eleventh century. It is not our province to separate carefully the real from the fanciful in his career. He was one of the leading nobles of Castile, and when, in 1072, his sovereign was assassinated, the Cid consented with his peers, though most unwillingly, to acknowledge the next heir as their king.

This heir was Alfonso VI., King of Leon, and thus the two kingdoms were once more united, though by this time Castile had grown to be the greater and more important of the two. Castile's first hero, Fernan Gonsalez, had separated the kingdoms; the Cid, her most celebrated hero, saw them reunited.

The Cid's real name was Rodrigo Diaz, the title by which he is generally known, El Cid Campeador, meaning merely the Signor, or Lord Champion. Before Rodrigo would submit to his new King, Alfonso, he insisted on that monarch's making oath that he had taken no part in the assassination of the previous King. Naturally the ceremony did not please Alfonso, and he and the Cid were never friends. Indeed, the Cid soon found himself a banished man, and went forth on his good steed Bavieca to carve a kingdom for himself from troublous Spain. We find him warring now in one service, now in another, lending his mighty sword, if truth must be told, to Moors as well as Christians.

At length he gathered such strength and wealth and so many followers that he set up as a king on his own account in eastern Spain, and, in 1094, he undertook the most gigantic enterprise of his fierce career. Next to Cordova, the most powerful city of the Moors was Valencia, on the eastern coast. The Cid besieged Valencia and captured it after a desperate resistance. He wanted it for his capital city; but unfortunately the Moors also recognized its value. Again and again they endeavored to retake it; each time the Cid repulsed them. Finally, in 1099, he died, and the Moors coming again to assault Valencia, we are told that his followers placed his dead body on horseback and rode out behind it. The mere sight of the Cid was enough, and once more his enemies fled. This method of defence seems, however, to have had no permanent value, for a year or so later Valencia was easily retaken by the Moors.

King James of Aragon


In the mean time the Cid's despised sovereign, Alfonso VI., had made a conquest of more permanent effect. In 1095 he recovered from the Moors the city of Toledo, which had been the ancient capital of Gothic Spain. We may, therefore, fairly consider this period to indicate that the balance of power in the Peninsula was at last inclining to the Christian side. Indeed, Alfonso is said to have marched his forces right through to the southern coast and stood in mailclad might upon the shores of Gibraltar's strait.

The coming of new hordes of Mahometans into Spain saved their dominion from extinction. Alfonso was defeated, Valencia recaptured. The newcomers, however, were not civilized like the Spanish Moors; they were barbarians, and the opulent magnificence of Andalusia declined as their power increased. In the course of a half-century these wild Africans drew all' the Moorish power into their own hands, and reinforced by armies of their African kinsmen, started out once more to conquer Spain and Europe.

A crusade was preached against them. Warriors from all over Europe hurried to Toledo, where Alfonso IX., King of Castile and Leon, held his court. The crusaders met the foe in a great battle on the borders of the southern mountain land in the region called the Navas (fields) de Tolosa, July 16, 1212.The result was long doubtful, but in the end the Mahometans fled, and their power in the West was broken forever.

The Moors were not, however, immediately driven from Spain. Alfonso IX., well content with having repelled the great African invasion, disbanded his costly army of crusaders and went back to his capital. He died soon after and left it to his grandson, Fernando III. (Saint Fernando) to reap the fruits of his victory. Fernando captured the ancient Moorish capital of Cordova in 1235, and soon after, by adding Seville to his dominions, extended them to the southern ocean.

At this period, then, there were five kingdoms in Spain. Castile and Leon was the central and most powerful one, its bounds touching the coast line on the north, west, and south. But the Moorish kingdom of Granada still lay in the extreme south, Portugal was in the extreme west, and Navarre among the northern mountains, while all eastern Spain had been gathered into the kingdom of Aragon, second only to Castile in power and importance.

Aragon had grown slowly with the centuries. Its independence of Castile and Leon had been positively established in 1096, when its King, Pedro I., aided by the Cid, won the battle of Alcoraz against both Moors and Castilians. The Aragonese King, Alfonso the Battler (1104-1134), wellnigh conquered all Spain, but the Moors slew him in battle, and his power disappeared with his death. Pedro II. lent a generous and most efficient help to Castile in the great battle of Tolosa; and then came his son, James, called the Conqueror, who made Aragon permanently an important state, one of the powers of Europe. The first exploit of James the Conqueror was the conquest of the Balearic Isles from the Moors, in 1228. To win these he had to build a fleet, and for the first time Spain disputed the Mahometans' sovereignty of the Mediterranean and its islands. James then conquered the great city of Valencia, which had been the glory and death of the Cid. The new conqueror, however, wisely retained his own seat of government, the safer inland capital of Saragossa.

Pedro III., son and successor of James, interfered in the quarrels of Italy and became King of Sicily. This drew him into a quarrel with France, and a powerful French army invaded his country. The heroic defence of one city after another wore out the invaders. They died in great numbers, and Pedro drove the exhausted remnant back through the Pyrenees into their own country. His ships, under his great admiral, Roger de Lauria, twice defeated and shattered all the naval force of France. Thus Aragon was fairly established as a naval power, a kingdom of islands, stretching from Spain to Italy, the equal and rival of France and of Castile.

Of Alfonso X. of Castile (1252-1284), Alfonso the Wise, we need hardly speak, except to remind you that he was elected Emperor of Germany during the Great Interregnum there. He was a learned busybody, feebly intruding himself everywhere, .and accomplishing nothing, with the best of intentions. He was, however, a really noteworthy scholar, the earliest to appear among the kings of Europe.

Pedro II of Aragon


Pedro of Castile (1350-1369), the Cruel, is only memorable as the miserable and bloody tyrant who called the English Black Prince into Spain to save him from his infuriated subjects. The French also entered the Peninsula, upholding the cause of Pedro's rival and brother, Henry; and the land was a prey to horrors of every kind. The Black Prince defeated the French in a great battle at Navarrete, and restored Pedro to power; but the knave cheated him out of his pay, starved the English army, and let the Prince wander back to Bordeaux, a prey to the disease from which he died. The rebels under Henry took heart once more. Pedro was besieged in a small castle and, seeking escape, met Henry in a personal and undignified squabble. Each stabbed at the other with a dagger, and the cruel King was slain. Henry succeeded to the throne of the exhausted land as Henry 11. (1369-1379).

These and similar dissensions had delayed the final expulsion of the Moors for over two centuries. At last Henry IV. (1454-1474), on coming to the throne of Castile, announced his intention of leading his subjects in a final crusade against the Mahometans. The warlike Castilians took up the project eagerly, but Henry proved to have neither the valor nor the wisdom necessary for a general. He led his armies year after year into the Moorish territories, but dared not risk a serious battle, contenting himself with establishing a strong camp, from which small parties were despatched to burn and plunder.

Henry's people finally became so disgusted that many rebelled against him and the nation thus returned to its favorite pastime of civil war. The insurgents set up a young half-brother of Henry as his rival, and the lad was so successful that he is sometimes included in Spain's list of kings, as Alfonso XI. He died suddenly, perhaps poisoned. The rebels besought his sister, Isabella, to take his place; and thus comes into our pages that fair young lady, the greatest and most striking figure in all Spain's story, the Queen to whom she owes both her greatness and her fall.

Death of Pedro the Cruel


Ferdinand and Isabella

Death of Columbus.


The reign of Ferdinand and Isabella was made noteworthy by the three greatest events of Spanish history: first, the final conquest of the Moors, and the consequent expulsion of that able race from the Peninsula; second, the discovery of America, with its vast resulting increase of Spanish territory and wealth; third, the enforcement of the Inquisition and the establishment of a religious intolerance so severe as utterly to crush the intelligence of the people.

Personally, Isabella must have been among the noblest of women. She was deeply and thoughtfully religious. No faintest shade rests upon her moral character. She was shrewd and tactful, wise, far-sighted, and ready for all highest thoughts and enthusiasms. Perhaps she was a paragon of beauty as well; but one must not accept too blindly the profuse extravagance of adulation with which courtier chronicles portray the features of a young and powerful Queen.

In the very first act with which Isabella comes before our notice, she displayed both patriotism and wisdom. Being urged by the ablest and most honorable of the Castilians to head the rebellion against her feeble and wicked half-brother, Henry, she refused, and insisted that the factions should become reconciled. Her course endeared her to all parties except, indeed, the capricious King, who had no wish to see her more popular than himself.

Under Isabella's influence a peace was arranged by which Isabella was declared the heir to the feeble and fast aging King, with the right of selecting her own husband.

Ferdinand and Isabella.


You may be sure that suitors without number hastened to compete for the hand of the charming heiress to so rich a kingdom. The brother of crafty old Louis XI. of France was a candidate, as was the Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV., the triumphant York King of England. The King of Portugal also came to woo, and managed to enlist the Spanish King so strongly in his favor, that Isabella found herself in much danger of being forced into the match. By this time, however, she had made her own choice of a partner, one far more suitable than either the treacherous English duke, the sickly French prince, or the widowed Portuguese King. Aragon had, as we have seen, grown to be a powerful state. Navarre had recently been added to the Aragonian dominion, and the kingdom—what with its navy and its Italian possessions—was almost, if not quite, the equal of its neighbor. The oldest son and heir of the kingdom of Aragon was Ferdinand, a youth of eighteen, who had naturally made his bid for Isabella among the rest. She caused inquiries to be made as to his character, and learned that he was handsome, manly, and clever. Just which of the three characteristics moved her most you must guess for yourself; she was only a year older than the young prince himself. At any rate, she sent Ferdinand word that if he wanted her he must come in haste and take her.

Indeed, it was high time. Her brother, King Henry, was party to a plot to carry her off secretly and marry her to whom he pleased. A few of her own partisans saved her by fleeing with her in hot haste to Valladolid before the conspirators arrived. Efforts were made to waylay Ferdinand upon the frontier, and he had to slip into the country in disguise and with insufficient money to pay his expenses. It was all very exciting and romantic, and Ferdinand won his way to his lady like a true knight-errant, and they were hastily married amid the shouting of the good people of Valladolid, for all the world loves lovers; and though this young pair had never before seen each other, still the efforts to keep them apart had doubtless made them lovers for all that.

King Henry did his best after that to deprive his sister of her inheritance; but he died only four years later (1474) of mingled age and depravity, and thus the young Queen and her husband succeeded to the throne of Castile and Leon.

The disappointed King of Portugal attempted to fight them for it; but Ferdinand, who had wisely kept in the background during his wife's coronation, now came vigorously forward and at the head of the Castilian forces defeated the Portuguese so completely that a peace was soon arranged, which included a promise of marriage between the Portuguese King's son and the baby girl just born to Isabella. Five years later Ferdinand's father died, and he became King of Aragon in his own right.

Thus at last all the little Christian kingdoms of the Spanish peninsula were, with the exception of Portugal, united under this youthful royal couple. And seldom have a pair seemed better mated, or king and queen proved abler. Each was wise, earnest, and energetic. We are told that Isabella was an inch taller as she was a year older than her husband; but Ferdinand was not the man to be overshadowed in any company; and though we cannot find for his cold nature the same admiration we give to her intense and holy spirit, yet it may well be that his strength and caution were just the qualities needed to give weight and success to her less calculated impulses. Indeed Isabella seldom came forward, leaving the task of government to her husband, except when her deeper enthusiasms were aroused.

It was she who insisted that in the name of Christianity the task dropped by her brother must be taken up and the Moorish kingdom of Granada subjugated at last.

The mighty city of Granada was then the most populous in Spain. It had been founded by the Moors in the eighth century, and for a time remained subject to the caliphs of Cordova. It was made capital of the province of Granada in 1235, and rapidly acquired distinction for its trade and wealth, and as the seat of arts and architecture. By the end of the fifteenth century its population was nearly half a million, and the city was enclosed by a wall with more than a million towers. One of the most famous structures of the world is the Alhambra, which was begun in 1248 and completed just a hundred years later. The fortress which bore that name formed a part of the citadel of Granada, which contained the palace of the ancient Moorish kings. The Spaniards call the remains of the palace the Casa Real. They are ranged around two oblong courts, the Court of the Fish Pond and the Court of the Lions. Nothing can surpass the richness of the ornamentation and the elegance of the columns and arches. Yet the Moors themselves began to be sunk in sensual sloth. Boabdil, at this time their King's son, was educated rather as a girl than a boy in oriental languor and idleness.



No time could have been more favorable for the grand campaign of Ferdinand and Isabella, for not only was the whole Spanish people fired by one resolve, but there was bickering and wrangling among the different factions in Granada, though they were so defiant and self-confident that they anticipated the sovereigns by striking the first blow and captured the notable stronghold of Zahara. This last exploit of the Moors in Spain has such historical value that we quote the account of our own brilliant Washington Irving:

"In the year of our Lord, one thousand four hundred and eighty one, and but a night or two after the festival of the most blessed Nativity, the inhabitants of Zahara were sunk in profound sleep; the very sentinel had deserted his post, and sought shelter from a tempest which had raged without for three nights in succession; for it appeared but little probable that an enemy would be abroad during such an uproar of the elements. But evil spirits work best during a storm. In the midst of the night an uproar rose within the walls of Zahara, more awful than the raging of the storm. A fearful alarm-cry, 'The Moor! The Moor!' resounded through the streets, mingled with the clash of arms, the shriek of anguish, and the shout of victory. Muley Abu1-Hasan, at the head of a powerful force, had hurried from Granada, and passed unobserved through the mountains in the obscurity of the tempest. While the storm pelted the sentinel from his post and howled around tower and battlement, the Moors had planted their scaling ladders and mounted securely into both town and castle. The garrison was unsuspicious of danger until battle and massacre burst forth within its very walls. It seemed to the affrighted inhabitants as if the fiends of the air had come upon the wings of the wind, and possessed themselves of tower and turret. The war-cry resounded on every side shout answering shout in the streets of the town ; the foe was in all parts, wrapped in obscurity," but acting in concert by the aid of preconcerted signals: Starting from sleep, the soldiers were intercepted and cut down as they rushed from their quarters ; or, if they escaped, they knew not where to assemble, or where to strike. Whenever lights appeared, the flashing cimeter was at its deadly work, and all who attempted resistance fell beneath its edge. In a little while the struggle was at an end. Those who were not slain took refuge in the secret places of their houses, or gave themselves up as captives. The clash of arms ceased, and the storm continued its howling, mingled with the occasional shout of the Moorish soldiery roaming in search of plunder. While the inhabitants were trembling for their fate, a trumpet resounded through the streets, summoning them all to assemble, unarmed, in the public square. Here they were surrounded by soldiery, and strictly guarded until daybreak. When the day dawned, it was piteous to behold this once prosperous community, which had lain down to rest in peaceful security, now crowded together without distinction of age, or rank, or sex, and almost without raiment, during the severity of a winter storm. The fierce Muley Abul-Hasan turned a deaf ear to all remonstrances, and ordered them to be conducted captives to Granada. Leaving a strong garrison in both town and castle, with orders to put them in a complete state of defence, he returned flushed with victory to his capital, entering it at the head of the troops, laden with spoil, and bearing in triumph the banners and pennons taken at Zahara. While preparations were making for jousts and other festivities in honor of this victory over the Christians, the captives of Zahara arrived—a wretched train of men, women, and children, worn out with fatigue and haggard with despair and driven like cattle into the city gates by a detachment of Moorish soldiery."

Columbus at Salamanca.


This disaster roused the Spaniards to fury. Henceforward the war was, pressed with unrelenting vigor. Hardly had Muley Abul-Hasan reached Granada when he found that the Christians had seized one of the bulwarks of his capital. There was still discord among the defenders, and, at last, in 1491,. the Spanish army settled itself before the capital for the final siege. To encourage the soldiers, Isabella herself came and resided in the camp, and she had it built into a regular city, the city of Santa Fe (holy faith), as a warning to the Moors that she meant to dwell there permanently until they surrendered. There were gallant deeds of valor on both sides; but the persistency of Isabella and the civil strife among the Moors left but one ending possible.

None saw this more clearly than the Arab leaders, who opened negotiations for surrender. Boabdil, who had forcibly wrenched the Moorish crown from Abul-Hasan, his father, accepted the inevitable and made his preparations for the surrender of the city, which took place on the 2nd of January, 1492. Accompanied by. two score cavaliers, he rode out to the plain where Ferdinand and Isabella, surrounded by their gorgeous court, awaited him. Had not the Christian King prevented, Boabdil would have dismounted and knelt in token of his homage. Ferdinand spoke soothing words and showed the fallen sovereign all courtesy and honor. He made his submission and abdication also to Isabella, and then, accompanied by his mother, rode away. At some distance on a rocky elevation, Boabdil paused and looked back at the citadel and fortress of Alhambra and, while the tears filled his eyes, mournfully contemplated the kingdom he had lost. The spot is still pointed out, and bears the name of "El ultimo suspiro del moro" (the last sigh of the Moor).

Spain, so long distracted and torn by civil war, was consolidated into one compact, powerful empire, extending from the Pyrenees to the Strait of Gibraltar, and at the same time she acquired an immense domain in the New World.

The story of America's discovery needs no repetition. Let us, however, stop to recall King Ferdinand's treatment of Columbus. His plans were referred to a court of judges, mostly churchmen at Salamanca, and these laughed at him as a madman. He was turning from Spain in despair, after seven years of wasted entreaty, when another churchman brought his project to the notice of Isabella. "After Granada is conquered, I will listen to him," said the single-minded Queen.

Columbus before Isabella.


So Columbus went to her camp city of Santa Fe, and we can imagine him wielding an enthusiast's sword against the heathen Moors. Then, when Granada fell, he had a personal audience with the sovereigns, and when Ferdinand turned away from him as a madman, Isabella, stirred by the dream of converting an entire world to Christianity, spoke her famous decision: "I will undertake the enterprise for mine own crown of Castile, and am ready to pawn my crown jewels for the expense."

So, you see, Aragon, if we may still discriminate between the united Spanish kingdoms, had no part in the momentous expedition. Isabella's crown jewels were not pawned, though her offer of them was no idle speech, so low had the royal treasury sunk in the long struggle with Granada. A year later Columbus returned in triumph, and at once hundreds of Spanish cavaliers, having lost the excitement of war at home, sought adventure in the newly discovered world. Columbus became only one of a thousand sailors to those distant climes, and wealth hitherto undreamed of poured into Spain.

Even before Isabella's death, in 1504, the condition of the land had changed marvellously. What with the sudden influx of wealth, the union of the little kingdoms, and the ability of her sovereigns, Spain stepped at one stride into the foremost place among European countries. Yet even in this, the moment of Spain's triumph, were sown the seeds which have led to her decay.

The causes which joined to weaken Spain irreparably were the drain made by the flocking to the New World of thousands who supposed that gold was as plentiful there as the stones in the streets at home; the establishment of the Inquisition; and the driving out of the remaining Moors and Jews, who vainly hoped that the terms of the surrender of Granada would be kept. Ferdinand and Isabella were fanatical in their religious faith, and could not rest until it was firmly established throughout the kingdom. Those of the Moors, or Moriscos, as they came to be called, who would abjure their religion and accept the new one were allowed to stay, otherwise they were exiled, and were not permitted to carry their accumulated wealth away with them. Some of the Moriscos accepted outwardly the new religion, but they hated their oppressors with an inextinguishable hatred. They were ordered to throw aside their picturesque costume and wear that of the Christians; they were forbidden to bathe, and must remain as unclean as their conquerors; they were prohibited from using their accustomed ceremonies, were commanded to speak only the Spanish language, and even to change their names to conform with the detested tongue. In short, they were to become Spaniards in the fullest sense.

In 1526 Charles V. confirmed this cruel decree, and, though he was prudent enough not to enforce it rigidly, it served to wring torturing bribes from the sufferers.

Expulsion of the Jews from Spain.


The Inquisition had had a nominal existence for a long time in Spain and Portugal but it was first rigidly enforced under Ferdinand and Isabella, the pretext being the discovery of certain sinister plots among the Jews. The application, in 1478, to Pope Sixtus IV. for the reorganization of the Inquisition was followed by the action of the crown in appointing the inquisitors and taking sole charge of the whole horrible business. The Pope protested, but the Spanish crown maintained its assumption; and, in 1483, the Inquisition opened its appalling work under Thomas de Torquemada. In 1492 just after the surrender of Granada its cruelty expelled the Jews from Spain in a body, torturing all who remained and refused Christianity. Then the Pope tried to lessen the rigors of the tribunal, but little or no attention was paid to his protests. The historian Llorente asserts that during the sixteen years that Torquemada held office, 9,000 people were condemned to the flames, and that his successor in eight years put 1,600 to a similar death. Other historians declare the statements of Llorente grossly exaggerated, but, making all possible deductions from his figures, the work of the Inquisition in the New as well as the Old World was frightful beyond description.

Let us sum up briefly the subsequent history of this terrible engine. Its severity was abated in Spain in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and under Joseph Bonaparte it was repressed, in 1808, until the Restoration; suppressed again on the establishment of the new constitution in 1820; partially revived five years later, and finally abolished in 1835.

The persecution and deportation of the Moriscos continued until 1610, when the last half million were driven out after the previous exiles. With their destruction vanished the culture, refinement, the arts and sciences that had made southern Spain a beacon light among the nations of the world.

Henry of Castile


Spain Under the Hapsburgs

The Escurial


Ferdinand and Isabella were singularly unhappy in the misfortunes of all their five children. These were sought in marriage by Europe's foremost rulers; but Isabella's only son and two of her daughters died in their early days of youth and promise. Of the two surviving daughters, the younger was that Catharine of Spain, who wedded Henry VIII. of England, and to divorce whom he broke with the Pope and quarrelled with most of Europe.

The older daughter, Joanna, was married to Philip of Hapsburg, only son of the great German Emperor, Maximilian of Austria. This young couple thus seemed ultimately destined to rule the combined Spanish and Austrian possessions, then at their widest extent, including all America and most of Europe. But alas! Philip died, and Joanna, who had loved him devotedly and had always shown symptoms of insanity, went completely out of her mind at his loss. It is one of the saddest tales in history; for the poor mad queen insisted that her husband was not dead, and she bore his coffin everywhere about with her.

This final breakdown of her intellect did not come until after Isabella had died and Joanna had borne to Philip two sons, to be inheritors of all this wealth and sorrow. Joanna's oldest son, Charles of Hapsburg, was named King of Castile, in 1504, to succeed his grandmother, Isabella. But as Charles was an infant, as his mother was insane, and as his Austrian father, Philip, soon died, the real control of Castile remained in the same hands that had so long held it, those of Ferdinand of Aragon, widowed now, grown old, and cold, and very wise, and very crafty.

No difficulties of state marred his reign, and at his death, in 1516, he left the Spanish domain at its highest efficiency. Young Charles, a cold and shy but highly educated lad of sixteen, inherited all his grandfather's possessions, and was promptly declared to be of age, King of Aragon as well as Castile, and of all Aragon s Italian possessions. A year later his other grandfather, the German Emperor Maximilian, also died, and Charles succeeded to all the properties of the great house of Hapsburg.

Condemned by the inquisition.


Of the reign of this young world-ruler, Charles I. of Spain, Charles V. of Germany, you have already heard. He was neither Austrian, nor German, nor Spanish. He had been born at Ghent, in the Netherlands, where his father, Philip, held rule, and his early training was Flemish.

Taking up the rule of Spain where Ferdinand had laid it down, Charles easily made his authority there absolute. Spain had, indeed, a sort of parliament called the Cortes, but Ferdinand had deprived this of almost all power. The Spaniards had learned to trust their sovereigns, and there was no machinery of government to thwart the young despot's will.

The nobles, indeed, looked with dislike upon the rule of a man who was not a Spaniard. In those days, the voyage between the Netherlands and Spain was a considerable undertaking; and Ferdinand had left a will placing the kingdom in charge of Cardinal Ximenes as regent until the arrival of Charles. The cardinal was an able and wise prelate, who did much to smooth the way for the new sovereign. Had he not done so, there might have been open revolt. It required months of urging on the part of Ximenes before Charles visited his dominion, but he finally set out, and arrived in the month of September, 1517. He treated his faithful servant with such gross discourtesy that Ximenes died before completing two years of his regency. This insulting course, it is said, was due to the interference of the King's Flemish ministers, he having assumed the rule of Flanders several years before.

When the Emperor Maximilian died, there were a number of competitors for the imperial throne of Germany. Charles was elected, mainly through the influence of the Elector Frederick of Saxony, and on the 22nd of October, 1520, was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle, the Pope giving him the title of Roman Emperor. You will recognize the period as one of tremendous agitation in Germany owing to the crusade against the Catholic Church by Luther. Alarmed by the excitement which threatened a convulsion and overturning of everything, the famous Diet of Worms was held in 1521, before which Luther made his declaration that marks an epoch in the history of Protestantism.

Meanwhile, the towns of Castile had leagued themselves together in a war to maintain their ancient liberties. The Emperor marched thither a force which brought them under subjection. Soon after he became involved in a war with the Turks under Solyman the Great, and also defeated them. Then followed a war with France, whose armies, after long fighting and varied fortune, were driven out of most of their conquests in Italy. Francis I. of France became a prisoner to Charles at Pavia, in 1525.

Queen Joanna


Connected with those stirring times is the history of Ignatius de Loyola, born in the Basque provinces, in 1491. He served a while as page in the court of Ferdinand, and then his restless nature led him to embrace the profession of arms. His fortitude was proved when in battle he received two frightful wounds in the legs, was taken prisoner by the French, and by them carried to his paternal castle of Loyola, where he hovered between life and death for a long time owing to a severe surgical operation. When he recovered, he found himself suffering from a partial deformity, owing to the poor setting of one of the fractured limbs. He had it re-broken and set again, and then, since another long and tedious confinement was before him, his light-hearted and frivolous temperament found relief in reading all the romances upon which he could lay hands. When the stock was exhausted, he took up the solemn volume, "Lives of the Saints." He became absorbed, and was soon thrilled with a spiritual enthusiasm, that led him to throw aside his military ambition, turn his back on his friends, and give all his energies to the cause of religion.

In the garb of a wretched beggar he retired to the monastery of Montserrat and hung up his arms as token that henceforward his life was to be devoted to spiritual warfare. Withdrawing to a secluded cavern, he led such a life of austerity and self-denial that he was utterly worn out and was carried back to the hospital in which he had formerly served. When his powers rallied, he made his way to Rome, where he received the papal benediction of Adrian VI., and then trudged as a beggar to Venice and embarked for the Holy Land. His wish was to remain at Jerusalem and preach to the infidels, but the local authorities discouraged him, and he returned to Venice and Barcelona. Conscious of his deficiency in education, he set resolutely to work, when past the age of thirty, to learn the rudiments of grammar. He spent years in study at different places, and completed his task in Paris, sometimes incurring the censure of the authorities by his attempts at religious teaching in public. There it was that he formed the organization of the Jesuits, whose influence has been of the most marked nature on the religious and moral character of the modern world. His biography has been written in nearly all languages. Dying In 1556, his name was admitted to the preliminary step of beatification in the Church of Rome, in 1609, and he was solemnly canonized as a saint in 1622, by Gregory XV.

The Pope became alarmed over the continuous successes of Charles and made common cause with France and the leading Italian States, declaring the King of France released from the obligations assumed in his treaty with Charles. The Pope was jealous of any encroachments upon his Italian domains, and was determined to keep the Emperor out of them, but his attempt was the sowing of the wind and the reaping of the whirlwind; for Charles of Bourbon, former Constable of France, captured and plundered Rome and made the Pope himself prisoner. Here was an opportunity for Charles to play the hypocrite, and he did it to perfection. He expressed great sorrow for the occurrence, caused his court to go into mourning, and directed prayers to be said for the liberation of the holy father, and yet it was by the Emperor's own orders that he was kept prisoner for many months. Peace was made in 1529 on terms satisfactory to Charles.

The tumult created by Luther would not down, and Charles was hopeful of bringing it to an end and restoring tranquillity to the empire; but he would not recognize the principles of the Protestants, and they on their part refused to help him in his war with the Turks, who had overrun Hungary and were besieging Vienna. The Protestant princes went further, and, in 1531, formed the League of Smalcald, allying themselves with England and France as a means of self-protection. The Turks were still threatening Austria, and Charles perforce made some concessions to the Protestants.

Two brothers known as Barbarossa, renegade Greeks, had made themselves the terror of the Mediterranean. As Mahometan corsairs, they became masters of Algeria and Tunis, and robbed and slew with as much daring as did their successors nearly three centuries later, when the United States brought them to terms. Spain and Italy suffered so much from these pirates that their commerce was in danger of extinction. The Barbarossas were established in Tunis, whither Charles sent an expedition from Spain against them. The miscreants were utterly defeated, and more than 20,000 Christian captives, belonging to different nations, which would do nothing for them, were set free. This naturally added to the popularity of the Emperor, but he alienated his own people by his subsequent course. War broke out with France, and a truce was established, but it did not last long, and hostilities began again in 1542. The great success which seemed always to follow Charles did not desert him now, and he was successful at Muhlberg in April, 1547, against the Protestant princes of Germany.

Charles V


Now, however, the tide turned. It was so plain to all that Charles meant to convert the German empire into a hereditary possession of his family that a more formidable opposition than ever arose, and the Emperor was compelled to yield before Duke Maurice of Saxony and the Protestants. Unable to escape the humiliation, he pledged them the peaceful enjoyment of their religion, and this pledge was confirmed by the Diet of Augsburg, in 1555.

"Vanity of vanities—all is vanity!" Charles became weary of the ceaseless vexations and never-ending trials of his stormy life, and determined to fling the burden from his shoulders. There was only one way of doing this, and he did it. Perhaps he was disgusted with his own tortuous course, his intrigue, his double dealing, and the seeming impossibility of leading an honest life. On the 25th of October, 1555, he called together an assembly of his States and announced his purpose of seeking repose and devoting the remainder of his days to the service of God. He resigned his royal rights in favor of his son, but was unable to secure for him the imperial throne. Relinquishing to him the crown of Spain, the Emperor retired to the monastery of Yuste, in Estremadura, where he thought he was serving God by spending a part of his time in mechanical amusements, a greater part in eating and drinking, and a much less part in religious exercises. Then he became a gloomy ascetic, discontented with himself and with the world, unhappy and miserable, and so he died, September 21, 1558.

Among his Spanish subjects Charles was always fairly popular. He was a mighty sovereign whose state lent splendor to their land, not seen sufficiently often to become familiar and despised. He crushed the power of the nobles, which naturally won him favor with the poorer classes, and he offered to the hardy Spanish fighters a field of adventure and plunder in Germany, of which they eagerly took advantage. The Spanish troops, trained by centuries of fighting, were long reckoned the best of Europe.

Charles was succeeded by his brother Ferdinand as Emperor, while his only son became Philip II. of Spain. Philip was born at Valladolid in 1527, and educated with extreme care. Possessing decided ability, he became a noted mathematician and accomplished linguist, but with all this he was a man of singular temperament and tastes. He despised the chivalric ideas of the time, was very reserved, rarely smiled, and seemed to distrust everybody. He spoke with such extraordinary slowness that it was impossible for it to be natural, and he assumed a calmness under the most exciting occasions that deceived no one. He was in his teens when entrusted under the direction of a council with the government of Spain, and when sixteen he espoused Mary of Portugal, who died three years later. He followed exactly the policy of his father, which was the maintenance and extension of absolute rule, and the unwavering support and propagation of the Catholic religion.

In 1554 Philip married Mary Tudor, Queen of England. His absorbing ambition was to restore England to the Catholic Church; and, to win the confidence of his wife's subjects, he threw off his natural reserve and did all he could to ingratiate himself into their favor. His purpose was discovered. Added to his humiliating disappointment was the nagging jealousy of his wife, so Philip, in 1555, shook the English dust from his shoes and never again set foot in that country.

It was in the latter part of the same year, as you will remember, that Philip, through the abdication of his father, became the most powerful potentate in Europe. Reflect for a moment upon the immensity of his domain, which included Spain, the two Sicilies, the Milanese, the Low Countries, Franche Comte, Peru, and Mexico. He had under his control the best disciplined armies of the age, and they were led by generals who had no superiors anywhere. No people in Europe were so wealthy as his subjects, though his father's numerous wars had left little in the national treasury.

Philip was bigoted and intensely eager to begin his crusade for religion; but his hand was stayed for the time by the league formed by the Pope, the Sultan, and France, to wrest his Italian dominions from him. He did not wish to go to war with the Pope, but he overcame his scruples after a while and placed the defence of the two Sicilies in the hands of the infamous Duke of Alva, who soon drove out the French and the forces of the Pope, and conquered the papal territories, while Philip himself pressed the war strongly in the north, where the French were defeated at St. Quentin, in August, 1557, and at Gravelines in the following July. These Spanish successes compelled his enemies to make peace.

By this time Philip was a widower, and he set out to win the hand of Elizabeth, Queen of England, who, as you know, refused every offer of that nature. The personality of a wife or husband makes little difference to a sovereign, and finding he could not secure the English Queen, Philip turned to Isabella of France, whom having espoused, he returned to Spain, where he remained.

His realm being at peace, Philip now gave all his energies to. the propagation of his religion. The first step was to replenish his treasury. He could force any contribution he wished from Spain and America, for in those places he held absolute sway; but it was different in his other states, where something in the nature of free institutions prevailed. As a means, therefore, to this end, the King made the attempt to introduce the Inquisition into the Low Countries and Italy. The indignant people kept it out of Naples and Milan, while it was so shackled in Sicily as to be practically powerless. Angered by these failures, Philip bent all his power to introducing the terrible thing into the Low Countries. He succeeded, and it raged for a while, but the Catholics joined with the Protestants in rebellion.

Don John at Lepanto.


The terrible Duke of Alva was sent to suppress the uprising. He established a tribunal, before which were dragged all suspected heretics or rebels, and his unspeakable cruelties drove over a hundred thousand fugitives from the country. Flanders, or modern Belgium, submitted to him in despair; but the northern provinces kept up the struggle, formed the Dutch Republic, and for over seventy years resisted all the power of Spain. It was this exhaustive war which perhaps more than any other single cause contributed to the downfall of Spain. Like the quicksand, the Netherlands devoured men and money in an unending stream.

Meanwhile, Philip's half-brother, Don John of Austria, had conquered the Mahometans of the East in the great sea-fight of Lepanto (1571), and Philip had plunged still further toward ruin by despatching against England the "Invincible Armada" (1588).

The direct male line in Portugal became extinct in 1580, and Philip promptly laid claim to the throne. The Duke of Alva, who had been banished from the Spanish court for a private quarrel, was summoned by the King to lead an army into Portugal to maintain the claim. The duke speedily drove out Don Antonio, grandson of John III., who had taken possession of the throne, and subdued the country. With his usual rapacity and cruelty, Alva seized all the treasures himself and allowed his soldiers to plunder and ravage at will. Philip wished to investigate his conduct, but was afraid to do so, and the duke died about a year later.

The hardly less perfidious Catherine de Medicis had come to power in the French court, and the union between France and Spain became closer than before. Catherine hesitated to accept all of Philip's bloody schemes for the extirpation of the heretics, but there is little doubt that both he and Alva urged her to the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. When the Huguenot Henry of Navarre became heir-presumptive to the French throne, Philip allied himself with the Guises and other Catholic leaders who were in revolt. His bigotry led him to persist in these intrigues long after all possible hope for the Guises had vanished, and because of this Henry declared war upon him. It went against the Spaniards, who were glad to make peace in May, 1598. Four months later Philip died in his palace of the Escurial. It was he who built this celebrated royal residence of the Spanish kings. He transferred the capital of the country to Madrid, and then built the Escurial outside of the city. In its gloomy recesses he planned his stealthy plots and treacherous cruelties.

No more fanatical follower of the Catholic faith ever lived than Philip II. He was absolutely without a drop of mercy in his heart for any one of another religion. Once when one of his friends protested against some shocking cruelties, he grimly replied that if his own son were a heretic he could look on and enjoy his burning to death. He broke the chivalrous spirit that had once been the pride of Spain, ground her under his savage oppression, and treated the Moriscos as if they were so many serpents not fitted to crawl over the ground. Yet it would be passing strange if this ruler did not have some qualities that can be commended. Petrus Johannes Blok, Professor of Dutch History in the University of Leyden, has this to say of him:

"Thus died the man who had once been the mightiest prince of the earth, who had dreamed of universal sovereignty, ever hampered in his ambitions and comprehensive plans by the weakness of the means as well as the narrowness of his spirit. The universal sovereignty of Spain and the supremacy of the Catholic Church—these were the two ideas for which he had lived, welding the two in his spirit into one coherent maxim. From morning to evening the sombre, reserved man had striven more than forty years for the realization of this aim, exerting an indefatigable activity, devoting himself in his lonely study to the great goal for which he was ready to sacrifice everything, and did sacrifice much—his own happiness, that of his own family, the prosperity, the riches of his states, the lives of thousands and thousands of his subjects. And when he died he was further than ever from his goal. He left his successor an exhausted treasury and an empire ruined by a war which was not yet finished. The curse of posterity was on his memory for centuries after his death, casting suspicion on his best feelings, his zealous faith, and his love for his children, as though they were hypocritical. Not until our time has it been made clear that in the heart of this politician, full of political cunning, of devilish revenge, of low craft—in the heart of this little-spirited, narrow, sombre, bitter king—there were also great world-ranging thoughts, noble feelings of belief, hearty love, rich artistic sympathies, and devotion to higher ideals."

By his fourth wife, Anne of Austria, Philip left a son, born in 1578, who now became Philip III. In the following year he married the Princess Margaret of Austria, by whom he had seven children. The assertion has been made that his father, in order to prevent his son becoming too assertive while still an heir, took measures to have his mind dwarfed. This is not credible, but Philip III. was in reality little more than an imbecile. He was lazy, had not the slightest liking for the affairs of state, and, abandoning himself to indulgence, turned over public matters to miserable favorites. He allowed the war in the Netherlands to go on, and Ostend was captured in 1604, after a siege of three years. It was under Philip III. that the last of the Moriscos were, despite their entreaties, driven out of Spain. He died in 1621, and it is of him that the astounding story is told that one day he found himself roasting before the fire, whereupon he sent a messenger to tell some other messenger to tell some one else to instruct still another officer to move him farther back from the flame, but before the whole round required by Spanish etiquette could be completed, the poor King was so nearly broiled that he fell ill and died.

Philip II at the Escurial.


This death brought Philip IV. to the throne when seventeen years old. He was little better than his father, and, like him, turned over the government to a set of incompetents. Although the country was going down hill fast, the court never saw more splendid entertainments. To one of these Charles, Prince of Wales, afterward Charles I. of England, went in company with the Duke of Buckingham in disguise, with the object of wooing the Infanta Maria, sister of Philip, but the scheme came to naught.

Philip IV. married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry IV. of France, and chose for his first minister the Count of Olivarez, whose ambition and atrocious policy brought many calamities to the kingdom. War was renewed with the Dutch, and did not end until the peace of Westphalia. The Catalans revolted and begged the aid of the French King. Philip roused himself to conduct the war in person, but Count Olivarez had not the courage to face the enemy, and set on foot a plot to assassinate Cardinal Richelieu and dethrone the French King. The war dragged on from 1635 to 1659, when the Catalans grew weary of the French rule, and were received back into the former fold, without any punishment whatever for their revolt.

The treaty which brought the end to this strife was known as that of the Pyrenees. It arranged that the Infanta Maria Teresa should marry Louis XIV. of France. Such an alliance was sure to create opposition among the other crowned heads, and it was quieted by the solemn pledge of Louis to yield all his claims to the Spanish crown both for himself and his successors, but the pledge was broken in the lifetime of Louis himself.

Portugal threw off the Spanish yoke in 1640, and the war thus started lasted till 1665, when the Portuguese were successful at Villaviciosa. This crowning calamity seemed to break the heart of Philip, who died three months later. What a melancholy man he must have been when it is said of him that he was seen to smile only three times during his whole life!

Charles V


It must not be forgotten that Velasquez, born at Seville in 1599, became court painter to Philip IV. in 1623, and was the greatest of Spanish artists. He is noted chiefly as a portrait painter, and when we look upon the likenesses produced by his marvellous brush, we know we are gazing into the faces of the most perfect resemblances that human skill can produce. Velasquez also excelled in history, landscape, and genre, and, like most of the Spanish painters, he belongs to what is called the naturalist school. His greatest works are in the galleries of Madrid, whither thousands repair every year to admire them.

This was also the period in which Cervantes, the greatest of Spanish writers produced his Don Quixote. Cervantes was a soldier and an adventurer, a playwright and a teller of short stories; but the foreign world knows him only as the author of Don Quixote. Whatever of Spanish chivalry had not been crushed by the tyranny of the court and of the Inquisition, Cervantes laughed out of existence by heaping ridicule upon it in his immortal novel.

Spain Under the Bourbons

Defense of Saragossa


We now approach the reign of the first Bourbon in Spain. The founder of the historical family of that name, which came in time to possess several European thrones, was Adhemar, at the beginning of the tenth century. The name itself comes from the castle and seignory of Bourbon, in the ancient province of Bourbonnais, in the central part of France. This is not the place to follow the ramifications of the many collateral branches, which were identified with numerous sovereignties, but rather to show how the Bourbons came into the possession of the Spanish throne.

As has been stated, Philip IV. died in 1665. He left three children—Charles, who now became Charles II. of Spain; Maria Teresa, who married Louis XIV. of France, and Margaret, Queen of Hungary. Under Charles the Spanish kingdom rapidly declined, but such was the mighty prestige she had gained during the preceding two centuries that even in her decay she held the respect of other nations. Before his death in 1700, Charles, who was childless, promised the Spanish throne to both Charles of Hapsburg, Archduke of Austria, and Philip of Bourbon, the grandson of Louis XIV. and Maria Theresa.

Last of the Moors expelled from Spain


The question of the succession was of the highest importance to other nations, especially to England, Germany, and Holland; for the Spanish crown carried with it the sovereignty of the Netherlands, the Milanese, Naples, Sicily, and the enormous possessions in the New World. If all these went to the French Philip, there was good ground for alarm, since Philip was a mere boy, and it was his ambitious and shrewd grandfather, Louis XIV., who would be the real ruler. Louis was already the mightiest king in Europe, and such an accession to his power might make him irresistible. So most of the Powers of Europe supported Charles of Hapsburg, who was a younger son of the German Emperor Leopold.

You might have supposed that the Spaniards themselves would be allowed some voice in the matter, and, indeed, their Cortes met and offered the throne to the French aspirant, Philip. He was duly crowned as Philip V.; but that did not discourage the allies, who sent Charles into the land with an army of Austrians and English to assert his claim to the crown; while they all together turned against Louis XIV. and attacked him in the "War of the Spanish Succession."

This was the war of Marlborough's victories. Gibraltar was wrenched forever from Spain and became English. At Vigo the French fleets were destroyed, and Toulon was besieged both by sea and land. The French forces in Italy were sent in headlong flight by Prince Eugene, who scared France by his approach to its boundaries. In the midst of these crushing calamities Louis was sorely afflicted by the death of his only son and two of his grandsons, so that the lonely old monarch found that the only one left in the direct line of succession was his infant great-grandson.

An extraordinary complication secured to Philip his doubtful hold upon the throne of Spain. When the war had gone on for more than twelve years, Charles of Hapsburg, through a series of deaths, became Emperor of Germany. Now, if he should become King of Spain also, the "balance of power" would be more endangered than by the choice of Philip of Bourbon. So what did England and Holland do but turn round and ratify the nomination of Philip for the Spanish crown Louis was astonished indeed, and another forceful illustration was given of the criminal foolishness of war. That for the Spanish Succession was concluded by the treaty of Utrecht (1713) and of Rastadt (1714). Louis XIV. died the next year, and that is how Philip V. became the first Bourbon King of Spain.

Philip was born at Versailles in 1683, and married Maria Louisa, daughter of Victor Amadeus. She died in 1714, and he espoused Elizabeth Farnese of Parma, who had no trouble in persuading her husband to commit the government to Alberoni, who was successively made grandee, cardinal, and prime minister. Of Philip, the historian says he was noted for good nature, had few faults and as few virtues, with just and honorable sentiments, but was wholly deficient in energy, with no taste for anything beyond devotional exercises and the chase. He was made to be governed, and was wholly under the control of his talented wife, to whom he could refuse nothing.

The career of Alberoni was remarkable. It was he who destroyed the last liberties and rights of the Spanish people. In his insatiate ambition he knew no such thing as scruple or honor. To please his mistress, he violated the treaty of Utrecht by invading Sardinia, hoping to re-establish the monarchy of Charles V. and Philip II. This audacious act caused the regent of France to break off his alliance with Spain and to unite with England and Germany. Undismayed, Alberoni pressed the war, even after the Spanish fleet in the Mediterranean had been destroyed by an English one (1719). He angered the French King by patronizing the French Protestants, and stirred the resentment of England by his open friendship for the Pretender; he did his utmost to make Peter of Russia and Charles XII. of Sweden his allies, to drive Austria into a war with the Turks and to incite a revolt in Hungary. Through his intrigues with the French court he actually secured the arrest of the Duke of Orleans, the regent.

Battle of Cape Passaro


By this time, however, the complaints against the firebrand frightened Philip, and he concluded a treaty of peace, one of whose conditions was that Alberoni should be dismissed. It may be doubted, however, whether Philip would have taken this decisive action but for the urging of his wife, Elizabeth, who could no longer stand the arrogance of her late favorite. In December, 1720, the prime minister was notified that he must leave Madrid within twenty-four hours and Spain within five days.

What a striking commentary on human greatness that this man, who had kept all Europe in a turmoil, now did not know whither to turn! He was in that dreadful position of not having a living friend, for every Power hated him, and none more bitterly than the Pope of Rome. Alberoni disguised himself and took a fictitious name, but was arrested in Genoese territory, and on the urgency of the Pope and the Spanish monarch, was imprisoned. He soon recovered his liberty, however, and Innocent XIII. coming to the papacy, all the rights and dignities of a cardinal were restored to Alberoni, who lived to be nearly ninety years old.

Philip's dislike of the vexations of royalty became so intense in 1724 that he abdicated in favor of his son, who died a few months later, and, therefore, does not figure among the Kings of Spain, for the father was obliged to reassume the detested crown, which he held until his death, in 1746. He was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand VI., who proved to be a just and humane ruler. His intelligent energy developed the internal welfare of his country, strengthened the navy, and greatly increased the manufactures. His wise political course placed his brother on the throne of Naples. Since his death occurred in 1759, his reign saw the destruction of Lisbon, Lima, and Quito by earthquakes.

Charles, the brother of Ferdinand, now came to the throne. He was King of Naples, which he surrendered for the crown of Spain at the death of his brother, Ferdinand. Under him there was a considerable revival of commerce and different industries, and could the regenerating process have been kept up Spain might have won something of her former power and prestige. But Charles was called upon to go the way of all flesh in 1788, and was succeeded by his son of the same name, who was forty years old, and one of the most abominable examples of the Bourbon family that has cursed so many nations and peoples.

Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, was a handsome youth, who at the age of twenty entered the King's bodyguard at Madrid and became a favorite of the weak King as well as the vicious Queen. She had been the Princess Maria Louisa of Parma. Godoy had honors heaped upon him, and was afterward known as the Duke of Alcudia and the Prince of Peace. In the brief space of four years, he moved up from the rank of a private in the Life Guard to that of prime minister of Spain and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

This wretch became the power behind the throne and the real ruler of Spain. Everybody except the King knew that he was the lover of the Queen, who was shamelessly infatuated with him. In all the trouble that followed, the "poor Prince" was first in her thought, and all her efforts were for his welfare. He was the most unpopular man in the kingdom, and never could have sustained himself for a day but for the shocking passion of his royal mistress, who taught him the art of intrigue, which was the highest of all arts in that wretched country, and showed him how to control the King.

There was one person, however, who did not conceal his detestation of Godoy: that was Ferdinand, the eldest son of the King and the heir to the throne. As a consequence, his parents turned against Ferdinand, who was as tricky and fond of double dealing as they. When the Terror came to France, Godoy found himself in a situation to which he was unequal. Naturally the sympathies of the Madrid court were with Louis XVI., for he was a Bourbon sovereign; but if this sympathy took active form, France was likely to pour her armies over the frontier, and then "the deluge" would come. An alliance with that country would encourage Spanish revolutionists and offend England, who would close communication with the Spanish-American provinces. A policy of neutrality was tried. Godoy attempted the role of peacemaker, and offered immense bribes to members of the Convention to vote against taking the life of Louis. When Louis was guillotined, the Spanish court went into mourning and moved several regiments to the northern border. France replied by declaring war against Spain, in March, 1793, whereupon Spain made an alliance with England, whom she hated. But the French arms were victorious, and Godoy gladly made peace, stipulating that the French rulers should be lenient with the children of the dead King and Queen. No attention was paid to this condition, and the treaty was signed at Basle, in July, 1795. It was in recognition of these "splendid services" that Godoy was made Knight of the Golden Fleece, Grandee of Spain of the First Class and Prince of Peace, with an enormous sum of money thrown in to enable him to maintain himself in a style befitting his exalted rank.

Court of Charles IV


In the following year Spain made an alliance with Holland, which so offended England that she declared war, captured the Island of Trinidad, and destroyed the Spanish commerce with the West Indies. Godoy neglected so grossly to defend his country that a cabal compelled the Queen to dismiss him from his office as prime minister; but no power on earth could dismiss him from her adoration, and it was not long before he came back to the Council Board. By this time the mailed hand of Napoleon Bonaparte made itself felt at Madrid. It would be hard to decide which he despised the most—the weak, vacillating King Charles, the intriguing, shameless Queen Maria Louisa, the incompetent, unscrupulous Godoy, or the truculent Ferdinand, son of the royal couple. He played them one against the other for several years, violating promises, betraying friends, and obeying his own ambitious impulses in a style peculiarly his own. All these people feared the terrible conqueror and did everything to gain his good-will. They allied Spain to France, and at Trafalgar, in October, 1805, the naval power of both countries was annihilated by the English. An alliance on the part of England, Russia, Prussia, and Saxony against France was signed in 1806, and secret treaties were made with Spain and Portugal, by which, when called upon, they were to join the alliance.

Bonaparte came so to detest the Spanish character, and especially the puppets who in turn had control of affairs, that against the advice of his best friends he determined to secure Spain by placing one of his own family on the throne. Prince Ferdinand had every reason to believe that the mighty autocrat would make him king after depriving his parents of power, but in 1808 Joseph Bonaparte, who was ruling in Naples, was brought much against his will to Spain, to assume the crown.

Joseph Bonaparte was about a year and a half older than his famous brother, with whose character his had little similarity. Joseph had no liking for war, was not inordinately ambitious, and strove, so far as he could, to benefit those over whom he was placed, and to make their happiness his chief aim. But like all who came in contact with his resistless brother, he bowed to his imperious will. After the coronation of Napoleon, Joseph was made commander-in-chief of the army of Naples; ruler of the two Sicilies in 1805, and King of Naples in 1806. Many beneficial changes were there brought about by him, such as the abolition of feudality, the suppression of convents, the building of roads, the extinction of banditti, and the establishment of good laws. In consenting to accept the throne of Spain he had stipulated that his reforms should be carried out in Italy, but the promise was forgotten when Murat took his place as King of Naples.

In July, 1808, England made a treaty with Spain, recognizing Ferdinand VII. as King, and sent an army to aid the Spanish uprising. Joseph Bonaparte reached Spain on July 9, and his army defeating the Spaniards at Rio Seco, he entered Madrid on the 20th. Joseph, however, suffered defeat at Baylen, and after a ten days' residence at the capital, was obliged to retire north to Vittoria. The patriots were also encouraged by the Spaniards in Saragossa, which did not surrender until the French stormed the city, street by street, house by house, even church by church, and slew some sixty thousand of the populace.

Joseph possessed only a moderate amount of military ability, and speedily found himself unable to cope with the Spanish insurgents, who seemed to be springing up everywhere. His great brother continually reproved, advised, and commanded him, and it is to be assumed that the elder did the best he knew how, which was not much. He begged his brother to relieve him of his distressing situation, but Napoleon refused.

Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterward the Duke of Wellington, landed on the 5th of August with an auxiliary force at Mondego Bay. Immediately he opened the Peninsula War and defeated the French at Roliza and Vimiero, but he was recalled to England. In November, Napoleon entered Spain and assumed command of the one hundred thousand men Ney had marched thither. He was repeatedly successful, and early in December recaptured Madrid. Then he departed to guide his followers in the war with Austria.

Sir John Moore at this time commanded the English forces in Spain, which were much inferior in numbers to those of the French. Moore was driven backward until he reached Corunna, on the 11th of January, 1809, and his troops withdrew from Spain. The native Spanish troops were quite unequal to meeting the French in open battle, and the struggle for independence sank to a mere guerrilla warfare. In the latter part of the following April, General Wellesley arrived once more in Portugal and at once began vigorous operations. The French were soon driven from Oporto, and Portugal fell into the possession of the British.

Siege of Saragossa


A number of causes united to aid the English. The several French armies holding Spain worked disjointedly, Napoleon was compelled to withdraw large levies to assist him in his other continental wars, he himself could not remain in Spain to direct operations, and the Spanish and Portuguese guerrillas fought viciously against their oppressors, the French. By the display of masterly generalship, Wellesley succeeded after four admirably conducted campaigns in driving the French from the Peninsula, the most important battles being the storming of the French strongholds at Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo, and the battle of Salamanca (1812). Salamanca was fortified by the French, who turned its many churches and convents into batteries. Sometimes fighting and church services went on together, for the brave Spanish priests refused to abandon their altars. Napoleon sent his brilliant and trusted Soult to stop the British from entering France; but he failed, and, early in 1814, the long contest ended in the complete success of the English arms.

When Napoleon was a prisoner at St. Helena, he was fond of philosophizing over the amazing events of his career and explaining the policy which controlled him at certain crises. Referring to the incidents that culminated in the Spanish war, he said:

"It was that unhappy war in Spain that ruined me. The results have irrevocably proved that I was in the wrong. But there were serious faults in the execution of my plans. One of the greatest was that of having attached so much importance to the dethronement of the Bourbons. Charles IV. was worn out. I might have given a liberal constitution to the Spanish nation, and charged Ferdinand with its execution. If he had put it in force in good faith Spain would have prospered, and put itself in harmony with our new institutions. If he failed in the performance of his engagements, he would have met with his dismissal from the Spaniards themselves. The unfortunate war in Spain proved a real wound,—the first cause of the misfortune of France. If I could have foreseen that that affair would cause me so much vexation and chagrin, I would never have engaged in it. But after the first steps taken in the affair, it was impossible for me to recede. When I saw those imbeciles quarrelling and trying to dethrone each other, I thought I might as well take advantage of it to dispossess an inimical family, but I was not the contriver of their disputes. Had I known at the first that the transaction would have given me so much trouble, I never would have engaged in it."

After his Russian disaster Napoleon saw that it was impossible to hold the Peninsula, and he recalled Joseph and offered to reinstate Ferdinand VII. on the throne. The latter returned to Spain on the 14th of March, 1814, and was received with every expression of affection and loyalty. The fact that he had been the unrelenting enemy of Godoy, and had suffered at his hands, was sufficient to make all like him, and great things were hoped from his rule. But unfortunately for Spain the character of Ferdinand had undergone a complete change, or rather his true character had developed. Ingratitude, "the basest of all crimes," controlled him, and caring nothing for the sacrifices his people had endured in his cause, he became an uncompromising absolutist. Before he reached Madrid, he refused to swear to the liberal constitution adopted by the Cortes in 1812, though he promised to grant a good one in its place.

The perfidy of Ferdinand disgusted Europe. He began a furious persecution of all who were suspected of holding liberal opinions, and imprisonments, executions, and confiscations of property turned the kingdom upside down. Liberty of speech was denied; the fearful Inquisition with the hideous rack was restored. The tyrant exiled those whom he did not choose to torture to death, and, in short, became a modern Nero. In 1820 the worm turned, and a formidable uprising forced Ferdinand to restore the constitution of 1812. The French Government, however, interfered, and absolutism was re-established, in 1823.

It was during this period of turmoil in Spain that her American colonies seized the opportunity to free themselves from her long oppression. Paraguay, which revolted in 1810, was the first to secure its independence, a fact due to its isolated position. Mexico rebelled in the same year under the leadership of two priests, Hidalgo and Morelos; and the first national congress which assembled in 1813 declared the independence of the country, which was not gained, however, until after years of fighting, civil war, anarchy, and no end of bloodshed. Ecuador declared itself independent in 1820, and two years later united with New Granada and Venezuela to form the republic of Colombia, under Simon Bolivar. So it went to the end, until Spain at last was left with only the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico on the American continent, and those were to be wrested from her before the close of the century.

Ferdinand VII. was married four times. His first wife was a princess of Naples, alert, intriguing, and a bitter enemy of Godoy; his second, a Portuguese princess and a cousin, was mild, kind, and loving; the third was much the same. None of the three bore him any children. The third wife died in May, 1829, and four months later a marriage contract was signed with Christina, a sister of his third wife, and niece of Queen Marie Amelie, wife of the French King, Louis Philippe. You cannot forget what sort of woman the mother of Ferdinand was. Well, Queen Christina was just as bad. I would say worse, but that seems hardly possible, for both sank to the lowest depth of degradation.

Battle of Badajoz


We are told that after his fourth marriage there came a noticeable change in the character of Ferdinand. He was fitful in his impulses, continually indulging in whimsical acts, and, after alarming those about him, would switch off and frighten those whom he had just pleased by his conduct. Once he had shown a fondness for public business, but now he felt an aversion for it. He hated to show himself in public, and became more and more subject to the strong-willed Queen. He weakened physically as well as mentally. His hands trembled, he was languid, sighed a great deal, became listless, and sank into melancholia.

When it became known that she was soon to become a mother, the Queen set to work to induce King Ferdinand to sign an abrogation of the law of succession. This law declared that so long as there was a male heir to the throne, no matter how remote, no female should succeed to it. When Ferdinand was asked to sign the abrogation, he flared up and swore he would never consent; but the wily Christina persevered and gave him no rest until his signature was attached to the important decree. The law that had prevailed for a hundred and twenty years became of no effect.

The promulgation of this decree caused profound excitement throughout the kingdom. Note what it did. Under the old law, if Ferdinand died without male issue, the crown would pass to his brother, Don Carlos, and to his male descendants. Naturally Don Carlos vigorously protested against a change, and all the male members of the family did the same, prominent among them being the father of Queen Christina, who was King of Naples. The protest was joined by the Bourbons of France, and even by Louis Philippe, at that time Duke of Orleans.

Of course, if the child when born should prove to be a boy, all this made little difference; but lo! it was a girl, as was the second and only remaining child born to the royal couple. The former was Isabella, who first saw the light on October 10, 1830, and at once crowded Don Carlos out of his right as heir to the throne. Now, to show the vacillation of Ferdinand. In September, 1832, he abrogated his law permitting females to inherit the crown, and restored the old law of 1713. About two months later, he alleged that he had been taken by surprise and deceived into doing this in order to prevent civil war, and on the last day of 1832 he reversed his abrogation. The miserable creature was in such a bodily and mental state, and so completely under the influence of his wife, that it is hard to censure him for playing the weather cock. He died September 29, 1833.

Queen Christina had now to maintain the position of her infant daughter, Isabella. You can readily bear in mind the distinction between the most prominent parties of Spain. The repeal of the ancient law caused all the trouble. But for that repeal, Don Carlos would have become the successor to Ferdinand, and the crown would have passed to his male descendants. Those descendants still to-day claim the crown, and their adherents are Carlists. Their representative at present is the grandson of this Don Carlos, who was the disinherited brother of Ferdinand VII.

Isabella II

Wedding of Isabella II


It is well to bear in mind the distinctive principles of the different political parties in Spain. A "royalist" does not mean an adherent of the king or queen, but a member of the Carlist faction. The partisans of the infant Queen Isabella II. were members of the Liberal or Constitutional party, who split into the Moderados (Conservatives), Progresistas (Progressives), and the Exaltados (Radicals), who favored radical measures. There were subdivisions which it is not important to enumerate, and which increased the number of political parties to more than a score.

Don Carlos showed himself lacking in nerve, when the time came for him to strike a blow for his rights. The cunning Queen Christina had so conducted matters that at the time of Ferdinand's death not an office in the kingdom, military or civil, was held by a royalist. Don Carlos was an exile in Portugal. Ferdinand before his death sent him an order to find a refuge with his family in the papal states. He would have obeyed the order had not Lisbon been captured by his own forces.

As soon as the northern provinces learned of the King's death, they rose and proclaimed King Charles V. The uprisings spread all through Spain, but unfortunately for the rebels, they were without a competent leader. Had there been a strong man to mould and direct the insurgents, the rule of Christina would have toppled to the ground like a pack of cards. Then was the time of all others for Don Carlos to hasten to Spain, where thousands would have rallied to his standard with tempestuous enthusiasm. Why he failed to do so was one of those things which only he could explain, but one cannot help suspecting he was too timid to face the crisis that called for him. He sent plenty of letters promising his friends soon to be among them. He had been declared a rebel by the Queen Regent; and by the quadruple alliance of Spain, Portugal, England and France he was banished from Portugal. Yet instead of hastening to his friends in Spain, he embarked in June, 1834, for England.

There the calls for him became so urgent that he could no longer refuse to heed them. Accompanied by a single friend, Baron de Los Valles, one of his most devoted counsellors, he made his way in disguise through France into Spain, where he was received with wild enthusiasm and multitudes flocked to his support.

Battle of Salamanca


The fighting which followed lasted for years, and was often marked by dreadful atrocities on both sides. For a time, the Carlists made good headway, but the troops opposed to them were better handled, and after awhile gained ground. The prospect became so hopeless that Don Carlos lost heart. A convention closed the war, and he and several thousands of his followers passed over into France, where for a time he was kept under close surveillance. His wife having died, he was allowed to take up his residence in Trieste, Austria. He was afterward urged to return to Spain, where the outlook for a successful uprising was good, but nothing could persuade him to pass again through what he had already suffered in striving after the bauble crown. It was in 1844 that he renounced all his rights, and he died at Trieste in March, 1855.

The first Carlist war brought forward one of the most remarkable Spaniards of the last century. This was Joaquin Baldomero Espartero, who, while studying for the priesthood, joined the army in 1808, when only sixteen years old, to fight the French. When matters became more tranquil in 1814, he and a number of his friends went to South America and fought valiantly against the insurgents. When, however, the great victory of Bolivar at Ayacucho, in December, 1824, ended Spanish rule on the American continent, Espartero sailed for Spain, where he declared himself in favor of the succession of Isabella in 1832. In the civil war that followed, his great ability raised him to the rank of lieutenant-general. In the summer of 1836, he was successful in saving the city of Madrid from capture. Honors followed, and he became General-in-chief of the army in the north, Viceroy of Navarre, and Captain-general of the Basque provinces.

Once more, in September, 1837, Espartero saved the capital from the army of Don Carlos, and it was his campaign two years later that drove Don Carlos across the frontier into France. For these and other services, Espartero was made a Grandee of Spain and Duke de la Vittoria y de Morella. Such a man was the one to insist upon the Queen Regent carrying out the pledges of reform which she had made. When she refused, he gave her the choice of keeping her promises or accepting his resignation. In her indignation she abdicated the regency and sailed for France. She was a thoroughly evil woman, and spent years in plotting the overthrow of the Spanish government.

The flight of Queen Christina compelled the selection of another regent, and fortunately the choice fell upon the excellent Espartero, who soon found he had his hands full in the management of Isabella, the degenerate daughter of a degenerate mother. She was coarse, and lumpy of feature, dull of intellect, and early gave proof of immorality and utter disregard of the proprieties of life. In later years, she became coarser and excessively fat. The honorable conduct of Espartero made him the target of envy and treachery, and late in the summer of 1843 he left Spain for England, pursued by a decree which tore all his decorations, titles, and honors from him. In the following March, Christina came back to Spain, riding into Madrid by the side of her daughter Isabella.

As you know, the marriages of royalty are based upon national interests, without a thought of love, though now and then, as in the case of Queen Victoria and later in that of one of the Kings of Spain, genuine affection manifests itself. From the very birth of Isabella, the future Queen, one of the most interesting questions of Spain was as to who should be her husband. Many candidates were named, and the consideration of the problem went on for several years, but the choice finally fell upon Don Francisco d'Assis, one of the sons of Don Francisco di Paula, a brother of Ferdinand VII., and therefore the cousin of Isabella. He was an effeminate man, whom Isabella abhorred, and for that reason he was selected by Christina and her allies. The marriage took place amid splendid ceremonies in 1846, on the sixteenth birthday of Isabella.

The young Queen made no attempt to conceal her contempt for her husband, but exiled him to a country residence, and in her indignation toward her mother gave her to understand that she would permit no further interference from her. Then she threw off all restraint and wallowed in a mire of shameless immorality.

The general upheaval in 1848 convinced the Carlists that the opportunity was favorable for another uprising. Don Carlos, as you remember, had renounced his rights, doing so in favor of his eldest son of the same name, Count de Montemolon, and when approached he refused to have anything to do with the revolt. By this time, Isabella had proved herself an absolutist, and the downfall of Louis Philippe removed one of the strongest supports from Spain, so that it would seem the Carlists had grounds for their hope. Cabrera, who, despite his frightful cruelties, had won high honor in the preceding Carlist war, and proved his military ability, now dashed here and there through Spain, most of the time in disguise, and organized the insurgent forces with masterly skill. But the second Don Carlos was as timid and incompetent as his father. Cabrera did his utmost to bring him forward, until, disgusted with his unfitness, the general threw up the command of his fast dwindling forces, made his way to London, and swore he would never again help the Carlists. He kept his word.

Marriage of Isabella II.


Plotting, intrigue, and treachery followed the unfortunate marriage of Queen Isabella. In a brief period, six ministers rose and fell in succession. There was rioting in many of the provinces, as there has been at intervals to the present time. General Narvaez, who was in power in 1848, crushed the insurrections with such dreadful harshness that the British ambassador remonstrated, and was denounced so angrily that diplomatic relations between England and Spain were severed for several years.

The intrigue and treachery which festered everywhere culminated in a revolt in Madrid in the latter part of June, 1854. It was a surprise to those not in the secret, the Queen being absent at the Escurial, twenty miles distant, with most of the ministers away. The uprising was wholly military and no precautions had been taken against it. Isabella received the news by telegraph, and with a certain coarse animal courage set out for Madrid, where she arrived late at night. The next morning she reviewed the troops that were about to march out to meet the insurgents, but no enthusiasm was shown for her, and the insurgent generals, to whom overtures were sent, rejected them. They notified the Queen that they would not lay down their arms until the obnoxious ministry was dismissed, and the government "conformed to the principles of liberty, morality, and justice."

A murderous collision took place a few miles from Madrid, in which a number of lives were lost, but the victory was with the government. A brief spell of quiet was followed by news of turbulent outbreaks in the provinces, and many regiments of the government forces openly went over to the insurgents. The ministry at Madrid resigned, and there was rioting in the capital. In the midst of the turmoil and peril, there seemed but one person capable of extricating the country from threatened destruction: that was General Espartero, who was then living at his country home on the borders of the Basque provinces. The Queen telegraphed him, and he sent a messenger to name the conditions on which he would return. The acceptance of them was bitter medicine to Isabella, but she dared not refuse.

Espartero, now sixty-two years old, formed a new ministry, whose most troublesome immediate question was the disposal of Queen Christina. The resentment against her was so hot that it was almost worth one's life to speak in her favor. But Espartero felt that it would never do to bring her to trial, and he permitted her to escape, as the best way to rid the country of the ulcer. The anger against him was violent, but so universal was the respect and liking for the man that it soon calmed down. Thus vanished the baleful presence that was to plague Spain no more.

The new ministry made Espartero the Progresista, and General O'Donnell the Moderado, the heads of the government. They soon quarrelled, and were succeeded by General Narvaez, Duke of Valencia, who was devotedly loyal to the Queen. He was a blunt, honest soldier who governed Spain successfully for two years, during which there was a marked advancement in the prosperity of the kingdom. In November, 1857, the Prince of the Asturias, afterward Alfonso XII., was born, his entrance into the world being received with rejoicing by all supporters of the crown, while the mother regained to some extent her former popularity with the people. Carlos Luis de Bourbon, Count de Montemolin, however, was busy with schemes for another Carlist uprising. He had not forgotten the lesson of his former fiasco. He issued a declaration that he would govern the people constitutionally. This alienated many of the elder Carlists, but their places were filled by powerful recruits. The plotting went on for several years, and, in March, 1860, Don Carlos Luis, with his brother Don Fernando, his secretary and three officers and attendants left Paris for Marseilles. Pausing at Palma, the principal town of Majorca, they found nearly 4,000 soldiers and four pieces of artillery, though none of the troops and few of the officers knew the nature of the business on which they were to be employed.

Sailing into a small port near the mouth of the Ebro, the troops landed and advanced toward Valencia. By this time the soldiers and their officers began to suspect their real errand. An open revolt followed, and Don Carlos and his immediate friends made their escape as best they could. Later they were captured and threw themselves upon the mercy of the government. The insurrection was so widespread that it was impossible to punish all, and, as the best way out of an embarrassing situation, the whole lot were pardoned. Don Carlos and his brother impressively renounced all the rights they had claimed to the Spanish crown, and begged to be allowed to return to France, where they would plague the Queen no more. She willingly forgave them, and thus again the Carlist rising "flashed in the pan."

During those troublous years, Cuba caused a great deal of anxiety in Spain, whose misgovernment brought about more than one rebellion. Spain also took part in the attempt of France to establish Maximilian on the throne of Mexico, but, like the English, withdrew before that ill-starred episode reached its tragic ending.

Marshal Prim rallying the Spanish patriots.


All this time a sentiment was steadily growing that the only effectual cure for the manifold miseries of the country lay in a change of dynasties, but the trouble was in fixing upon the right one to place at the head of the government. Candidates were as plentiful as blackberries in summer, but they were a sorry lot, and among them all there was not one upon whom the people were willing to unite. The revolution came to a head in the spring of 1868. The leaders were General Dulce, formerly Captain-General of Cuba, Senor Olozaga, a man of high character, Marshal Serrano, and General Prim, who had commanded the Spanish forces in the Mexican expedition. Prim felt a bitter personal enmity toward the Queen because of an insult she once put upon him, and General Serrano, Field Marshal and Duke de la Torre, detested her as intensely, because of her shameless character. All entered heartily into the conspiracy, the secret of which was well kept.

So perfect indeed were all the arrangements that failure was impossible. The leaders gathered at Cadiz, where the inhabitants were roused on the morning of September 19, 1868, by the firing of salutes and the strains of Riego's Hymn, which had not been heard for years in the kingdom. When the people rubbed their eyes and looked about them, they saw the men-of-war in the harbor gay with streamers and bunting, while sailors and soldiers .were cheering over the fall of the abominated dynasty. Wherever Prim showed himself, he was greeted with the wildest enthusiasm, the women crowding forward to kiss the man whom they looked upon as the savior of Spain. On the same day, a pronunciamento was issued, setting forth the grievances of the country, which certainly were numerous enough. The signatures carried immense prestige, and a provisional government was speedily formed, at the head of which was Marshal Serrano.

All this was terrifying news to Queen Isabella, who with her immediate friends, including a new lover, named Marfori, was at San Sebastian taking the sea baths. The authorities telegraphed her to return to Madrid at once, but to leave her lover behind. The request threw her into a rage, and she stayed where she was.

Meanwhile, the few generals who still held out for the queen collected what troops they could muster and advanced against Serrano's troops. Near the city of Cordova, the forces met at the bridge of Alcolea, and those of the Queen were routed, "horse, foot, and dragoons." It was the death-knell of the hopes of Isabella II. It is said that, as a last, despairing hope, she implored Louis Napoleon III. to interfere in her behalf, but that wily rogue knew better than to commit suicide in that fashion. He replied by advising her to take up her residence at Pau, a town in France. A French newspaper gave the following account of how the Queen and her party crossed the frontier:

"It is one o'clock. The Queen is at the station of St. Jean de Luz. The Emperor and Empress arrive at the Biarritz station. The Emperor walks alone on the platform with head bent, and plunged in thought. . . . The departure from St. Jean de Ruz is signalled, and soon after the special train enters the Biarritz station. The Queen was alone on the balcony of the saloon carriage. The King (her long-neglected husband) stood at the door of the saloon. Marfori stood behind the Queen, pompous, and wearing over his black coat the broad ribbon of the order of Charles III.

"At the moment when the Emperor advanced to offer his hand to the Queen, the express train from Paris to Madrid thundered up, bearing exiles now returning to their country, and from it were heard to proceed cries most insulting to the Queen, the loudest being Fuera! (Out with her!)

"At those cries the Emperor made a step backward, and tears gushed from the eyes of the Queen, who got out as well as the King, her children, the high personages of her suite, Father Claret, and the inevitable Marfori. After having shaken hands with the Emperor, and kissed the Empress, all four, the Emperor, Empress, the Queen and the King, entered the first-class waiting-room. Nobody else entered. Nobody heard what was there said.

"The interview lasted twenty minutes. At last the Queen made a movement toward the door, and all four advanced. At that moment a Spanish general who stood beside me exclaimed in Spanish, ` We having nothing left but to depart, showing that up to the last moment hopes had been cherished of the intervention of the Emperor.

"The parting was brief, silent, and mournful. The Emperor was unmoved; the Empress hardly restrained her tears; the Prince Imperial looked astonished. The Queen endeavored but in vain to smile. The little King fidgeted about to hide his emotion. The suite stood aghast. The Queen got into the carriage again; then the King, the Prince of the Asturias, whom the Emperor had kissed, and the royal children. . . . I never was present at a funeral where the grief of the mourners was more profound. It was the funeral procession of a dynasty two hundred years old, which had breathed its last sigh in the Biarritz station. The signal is given. The train is put in motion. Everybody bows, and all is over."

At this writing, ex-Queen Isabella is living, gray-haired and almost forgotten. Her mother died in 1878.

Spain as a Republic—Eclipse of Carlism

Don Carlos


The success of the revolution of 1868 was absolute, over-whelming, and complete. The mushy Isabella, still clinging to her lover and lamenting the misfortunes which she had deserved ten times over, was across the border, fortunately never again to trouble the people whom she had misruled so long.

But what next? While all were united in the resolution to hustle the intolerable nuisances out of the country, there was no agreement as to the nature of the government that was to replace the old. The majority of the leaders favored a constitutional monarchy, but there were many republicans. Eight candidates were discussed, among whom were three Bourbons, but they were speedily dropped. Three princes and Espartero, who were named, declined a candidature. Meanwhile, a provisional government was formed with Serrano as president of council and Prim as minister of war. They summoned a Cortes which met in the beginning of 1869, and took up the question as to the form of the government which should be established in Spain.

It was decided to restore a monarchical form with constitutional guarantees, the constitution which was accepted establishing freedom of conscience, replacing the principle of legitimacy with the sovereignty of the people, and organizing a Senate and a Council of State to act in conjunction with the House of Representatives. This constitution was adopted on the 2nd of June, 1869. Meanwhile, Marshal Serrano was appointed regent until the right sovereign could be found, and General Prim was delegated to set out on a hunt for a king.

Loyalist Troops during Carlist Wars


His choice was Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, a man of fine capacity and every way fitted to govern the kingdom. He was grand-nephew of William, King of Prussia, and the throne was offered to him; but the moment the news reached Emperor Napoleon of France, he boiled over with indignation. You remember how he instructed his minister at Berlin to warn the King of Prussia that if he did not forbid the young man to accept the throne, it would be taken as an unfriendly act and war would follow. This demand upon the aged monarch was made with insulting brusqueness, for Napoleon wanted a war and the Empress Eugenie clapped her hands with delight and called it her own war.

Well, it came, and France was ground to powder. Louis Napoleon was made prisoner, and his Empress saved her life by a midnight flight from Paris. So the dethronement of Isabella in one sense brought about the downfall of Napoleon III. as well.

Prince Leopold never wanted the Spanish crown and expressed his pleasure years afterward that he had refused it. The choice narrowed down to one or two and then settled upon Amadeus, Duke of Aosta, the second son of Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy; and Amadeus, born in 1845, was a fairly able and conscientious man. Like nearly all the rest to whom the crown was offered, he did not wish it, and refused it four times before he yielded to the urgency of his father.

Just before his arrival in Madrid, a shocking crime was perpetrated. General Prim, on the evening of December 27, 1870, when in a cab that was to take him to the Ministry of War, was fired upon by unknown persons and so sorely wounded that he lived but a short time. When the new King arrived he was greatly depressed by the occurrence, and wept over his dead friend as the body lay in the coffin in the church ready for burial.

Amadeus entered Madrid and was proclaimed King January 2, 1871. From the first he was subjected to the most vexatious annoyances. The fact that he was a foreigner made it impossible, no matter how discreet and praiseworthy his course, to win the good will of his subjects; his father was at that time under the ban of excommunication, and Spain is essentially a Catholic country; his wife was snubbed, and at times neither of them was treated with common courtesy. More than once a man on the street was kicked and cuffed for no other cause than that he had saluted the King. His elevation to the throne brought about such a mixing, overturning, mingling, and recasting of parties that no person unless a Spaniard (and not always he), could comprehend their principles. A traveller once asked an intelligent countryman to draw the distinctions for him, and he did so in this style:

"There are five principal parties,—the Absolutists, the Moderates, the Conservatives, the Radicals, and the Republicans. These are subdivided until there are twenty-two parties already formed or in process of formation. Add to these those who desire a republic with Amadeus for president; the partisans of the Queen (Isabella); the partisans of Montpensier (Isabella's sister); those who are Republicans on condition that Cuba be retained; those who are Republicans on condition that Cuba be given up; those who have not yet renounced Prince Leopold; those who wish for a union with Portugal,—and you will have thirty parties. As for their leaders, Sagasta inclines toward the Unionists; Zorilla toward the Republicans; Serrano is disposed to join the Moderates; the Moderates, if they had the chance, would join hands with the Absolutists, who, in their turn, are disposed to coalesce with the Republicans, who would be glad to join the Radicals to blow up Sagasta, who is too conservative for the Democratic Progresistas and too liberal for the Unionists, who are afraid of the Federal Republicans, who place no confidence in the Radicals, who are always vacillating between the Democrats and the followers of Sagasta."

Try as much as he might, Amadeus could not govern this muddle acceptably. Against his will he was compelled to make changes in his ministry, but most of the new men proved as worthless as those they displaced. It was a sad truth that the King found it impossible to secure a dozen competent, patriotic, unselfish, and honest men in the whole kingdom of Spain. No doubt there were many in the country, but Amadeus could not find them at his court.

King Amadeus of Spain


Some of those associated with him lost heart, and urged him to a coup d'tat. He repelled the suggestion with scorn, declaring that if he could not reign constitutionally he would resign. Thereupon his ministers resigned, and he was obliged to form a new cabinet, which was no better than the other. His position became more intolerable every day. Not only did his subjects refuse to appreciate him, but his life was attempted, and even the Republicans and Carlists partially fused in order to get rid of him. Forbearance finally ceased to be a virtue. He sent his wife to southern Spain in order to have her near the Portuguese frontier, and on the 11th of February, 1873, he took a seat in a railway carriage, joined her, and they quietly entered Portugal. Thus vanishes Amadeus from Spanish history.

The King having abdicated, the Cortes immediately proclaimed the Republic by a vote of nearly eight to one. In doing so they astonished themselves, Spain, and the world, for such a form of government in that country was to many unthinkable. Some looked upon the step as a grim jest. Perhaps it was, for it was the first time in the history of the kingdom that such a thing had been done, and it seems unlikely that it will soon be repeated. The Spaniard is not constructed for democracy.

Having solemnly adopted a republic, it remained to decide whether it should be a centralized or a federal one. The people preferred the latter, but the men of affairs were certain that nothing would answer except the former. While the problem was brewing, it was necessary to form a provisional government, in order to prevent the country from crumbling to ruin. This was done with Marshal Serrano at the head, and, amid ferment and fierce turmoil, Spain once more accepted the republic.

And now we must give attention to the Carlists, who were making matters lively throughout the kingdom. Let us briefly recapitulate. The original Carlos V., after an unsuccessful war for his rights, had renounced them, in 1844, in favor of his son, made his bow and walked off the stage, to die in 1855. The son Don Carlos, born in 1818, was better known as the Count de Montemolin, and led a revolt in 1849, only to fail as his father had done. Another revolution was tried in 186o, and not only came to naught, but the Count de Montemolin and his brother Don Fernando, to save their heads, renounced all claim to the throne. Another brother, Don Juan, was with them, but he took no part in the renunciation. As soon as the Count de Montemolin reached England he, as might have been expected, tried to retract his renunciation. This exasperated Don Juan, who felt that he was now the rightful heir, and he denounced the double dealing of his brother, with whom his relations became "strained." On the 1st of January, 1861, Don Fernando suddenly died. His death greatly depressed the Count de Montemolin and his wife, who both fell ill and passed away within a fortnight of the death of Don Fernando. They had no children, and the strange series of fatalities left Don Juan and his two sons the only representatives of the Carlist line of succession to the throne.

After the abdication of Isabella, Don Juan renounced his claims in favor of his son Don Carlos, born in 1848. (He is married and has four daughters and a son, Prince Jamie, born in 1870.) This present Don Carlos, or Duke of Madrid, following the order, assumed the title of Charles VII. He deemed the time favorable for an uprising, and the attempt was made in 1872, but the insurgents were poorly armed and equipped, the conduct of Don Carlos was cowardly, and Marshal Serrano with little trouble quelled the revolt.

The proclamation of the republic was followed by a good deal of disorganization among the government troops. This encouraged the Carlists, who carried on a partisan warfare with great vigor. Beginning in the latter part of the reign of Amadeus, it continued, and was accompanied by numerous raids in Catalonia, which was always ready to assail any government established in Castile. Neither side had a fixed plan of campaign, and for a time no decisive engagements took place. In July, 1873, Don Carlos, who had fled from Spain, returned and took command of an army of 16,000 men, with several excellent officers as his assistants. Opposed to them was Marshal Serrano, Commander-in-chief in the Basque provinces. Being recalled to Madrid by political necessity, Serrano left his army in charge of Marshal Concha, an able and energetic leader, who was killed in the battle of Abazuza, fought in the latter part of June, 1874. His army suffered a disastrous repulse. A lamentable part of this woeful business was that little or no quarter was shown by either side, all fighting with the ferocity of red savages.

Carlist Wars


Great confusion followed in the Republican ranks, and the prospects of the Carlists were never brighter, but toward the close of 1874 signs of weakness appeared in their ranks. True, they had met with successes, some of them considerable, but they were still outside the shell of the government they were seeking to break. They could not reach the core, which still defied them. Discipline became lax and here and there was open disaffection. It should be noted, moreover, that two months after Abazuza, Marshal Serrano gained an important political triumph in securing the recognition of his government by all the European powers with the single exception of Russia. This recognition of the Serrano government made a strict blockade of Spain probable, and the Carlist forces would find it almost impossible to procure arms and supplies. They were deficient in field artillery and cavalry, but, worst of all, they were deficient in an able, vigorous leader, who would open the way to Madrid. All appeals to General Cabrera, the staunch commander of other days, were vain, for he had given up hope, and could not be induced to draw his sword again for the cause he once loved so well. The disintegration of the army proceeded rapidly. Officers resigned and soldiers deserted by the score. Several failures by Don Carlos to capture towns which he attacked added to the demoralization of his cause.

Meanwhile, the Republicans felt the necessity of some decisive success on their part. Serrano again left Madrid, and in the latter part of 1874 took command of the northern army. He knew when he did so that a revolution was likely to break out in Madrid, where the dissatisfaction with the Republic was fast drawing to a head. He was still in the north with his troops, when news reached him that a pronunciamento had been issued on December 31, 1874, and that the son of the expelled Isabella, the Prince of the Asturias, had been proclaimed king with the title of Alfonso XII.

Alfonso was born in 1857, and had therefore been a boy of eleven years when he accompanied his mother into exile. His choice was the act of the army, which pronounced in his favor. Serrano accepted the situation, and, without any attempt to oppose the movement which ended his dictatorship, declared his adhesion to the new government and crossed the border into France. The armed forces everywhere welcomed the new order of things with enthusiasm, and thus, after an existence of two years, the Spanish Republic quietly passed out of existence.

The way being opened, Alfonso XII. sailed from Marseilles, January 7, 1875, pausing at Barcelona, whence he continued his voyage to Valencia, where he took train to Madrid, which he entered on the 14th of the month. He was received with shouts and rejoicings, and no ruler could have asked for more ardent proofs of loyalty than greeted him. He at once announced his intention of going to the seat of war, and a few days later he departed to take nominal command of the army of the north, where he found the same joyous welcome awaiting him. As has been said, his accession was due to the army, with whom he was more popular at all times than with the civilians. His elevation to the throne strengthened the cause of Don Carlos, who denounced with vehemence the outrage upon his rights.

Like young and ardent leaders, Alfonso thought he could win over his rebellious subjects by soothing proclamations, but they produced no effect and the third Carlist war went on. The battle of Lucar was the first in which the young King took part, and though it was a repulse for his army, he displayed marked personal bravery and added to his popularity with the troops.

It would take too long to narrate the details of the numerous campaigns which followed. Before the close of 1875 the Carlist army in Catalonia existed only in name. Martinez Campos, the royal commander in that section, sent a despatch to Madrid to this effect, adding the proud and, under the circumstances, unusual declaration that in securing peace he had not bribed nor purchased a single guerrilla leader, but had won by arms alone.

In the midst of the fighting, Don Carlos made a most remarkable proposition to his cousin Alfonso. War with the United States over Cuba seemed so imminent that he proposed they should unite their forces against the young giant of the West, and, after he was soundly trounced, Carlos and Alfonso should resume fighting for their respective rights. No one knows how the scheme struck the Madrid authorities, for they sent back no reply. Everywhere the Carlists lost ground, until at last Don Carlos saw all hope vanish, fled from Spain, and so follows his predecessors off the stage. As has been said, he has four daughters and a son, Prince Jamie, to whom it is believed he has transferred his "rights." Whether Jamie will ever make a stir in the world remains to be seen, but it seems hardly probable that he will vex Spain as his ancestors have done.

The New Monarchy



Peace at almost any price was welcome to distracted, exhausted Spain. It is conceivable that if the republic had been declared again, it would have been accepted. But the young Bourbon on the throne was liked by nearly every one, and no sovereign could have asked. for greater loyalty than was manifested for the new ruler.

Alfonso XII. was a youth of good parts. He had been carefully educated under the best of instructors, though his health was never rugged, and he was inclined to consumption. The man who had most to do with shaping his views and principles was Don Antonio Canovas del Castillo, who urged liberal ideas in place of the clerical and absolutist principles of Isabella. Canovas kept in close touch with Madrid and directed the policy of the friends of Alfonso. It was he who persuaded the Spanish nobility to send an address to the Prince on his birthday, and it was he who wrote the reply. Naturally, as soon as Alfonso became King, he made Canovas his prime minister. Bear in mind that he was only seventeen years old and had gained the crown without intriguing for it. It was not the Cortes that proclaimed him King, but the army.

He won the respect of his advisers by the maturity of his views, and by their vigorous sense and wisdom. He was handsome, cultured, and at the time seemed to be in sound health, though the seeds of consumption were in his system and destined soon to reap their sad harvest.

Canovas set out to mould a new party from which the absolutists and clericals were excluded, and he aimed to maintain universal suffrage, but opposition in his cabinet caused him to resign, though his influence with the King was never weakened. He was soon in power again, and his second term saw the close of the Carlist war. While making Catholicism the religion of the state, he permitted toleration to all faiths, and thus offended the powerful ultramontane party, but his relations with the Pope remained friendly.

Alphonso XII


Peace added greatly to the prosperity of Spain, whose natural wealth and richness of soil warranted the saying that you had only to tickle the earth to make her laugh a harvest. The value of her minerals is boundless, and could the inhabitants be taught to war no more, and to be honest, industrious, and self-respecting, Spain could not fail to rise to something of its old-time greatness. The fatal defect, however, is in the Spanish character itself. This has been proved so many times in the events described that it is useless to dwell upon it.

Alfonso having attained the age of twenty, the Cortes began discussing the question of his marriage, but he informed the ministers that he had already selected a wife in Maria de las Mercedes, the second daughter of the Duke of Montpensier, and of his aunt Luisa Fernanda de Bourbon. She was two years younger than himself, and his love for the girl began when he was a boy receiving his education in France, where he often met her. The ministers saw many advantages to be gained by the choice of another wife, and urged Alfonso to give first place to such considerations, but he was immovable.

"Talk to me of no one else," was the reply of Alfonso to the protests of his ministers; "argument and words are wasted: Mercedes and none other shall be my wife."

It may be believed that those stern, plotting, far-seeing ministers recalled their own youthful days, sighed, and liked the King all the better for his determination that his hand should go where his heart had already gone.

Since Mercedes was just as devoted to the King, we have the delightful and rare picture of a genuine love match between a royal couple. Although Spanish etiquette would not permit them to exchange a word in private, there was no necessity for any repetition of vows and pledges. All the world loves a lover, and Spain became interested in the two who showed themselves very human, very affectionate, and wholly trustful of each other. Mercedes was beautiful and with so sweet and amiable a nature that she won friends wherever she went. All wished them well.

And so they were married in Madrid, January 23, 1878, and the city was turned upside down with feasting and rejoicing. The wedding was grand and impressive, as all such weddings are. Among the almost numberless presents were splendid souvenirs from the Emperor of Morocco, the Prince of Wales, and Queen Victoria. All that could contribute to the beauty, the joy, and the happiness of the occasion was lavishly bestowed.

It is touching to think of the young couple, loving, trustful, and with a future radiant in promise, with everything to fill them with the sweetest joy that can come to the human heart. But a few months later, Mercedes fell ill and she breathed her last June 25, 1878.

All sympathized with the afflicted husband, who when bowed by his grief, was compelled to marry again, for Spain could never be satisfied until an heir or heiress was born to the throne. One of the ladies who had formerly been urged upon Alfonso was now chosen in the person of the Archduchess Maria Christina, niece of Francis Joseph, the Emperor of Austria. The couple were married by proxy in the summer of 1879, so that when she entered the kingdom it was as queen. The first child, the Princess of Asturias, Maria de las Mercedes, was born in 1880, and the Infanta Maria Theresa in 1882. Ex-Queen Isabella was allowed to come quietly back to Spain, but she knew better than to attempt to take any part in politics, for as soon as she did so, she would have been sent away once more.

Several causes united to add to the popularity of Alfonso, the greatest of which was the fact that he was Spanish-born. No other people hates foreigners more bitterly, and we have learned that much of the fighting and bloodshed was caused by this implacable prejudice. When cholera desolated the southern part of the kingdom, Alfonso was indefatigable in relieving the sufferers. He exposed himself unselfishly, and left nothing undone that could smooth the pillows of the afflicted, provide asylums for the orphans and food for the famishing.

It did not decrease his popularity when he gave proof that his marriage vows sat lightly upon him. He was involved in so many scandals that once the Queen gathered her two little daughters, and indignantly went to her father; but Alfonso promptly followed, and, by denying many things and promising to behave himself in the future, persuaded her to return, after which they lived happily.

Alphonso XIII


But consumption had marked him for its own, and he sank rapidly until November 25, 1885, when he passed away. His death left his widow the most lonely of women, for she was no longer a queen and was a foreigner. So pitiful indeed was her situation that the sympathy of the nation was stirred in her behalf, and she was chosen Queen Regent during the minority of her elder daughter. Canovas was leader of the Conservative party and prime minister when Alfonso died; but his administration was unpopular, and with a nobility that did him credit, he advised Christina to form a Cabinet with Sagasta, the Liberal leader, at the head. This wise advice was followed.

On May 17, 1886, more than five months after the death of his father, a son was born to the Queen Regent. From the moment of his birth, he was King of Spain, as Alfonso XIII., with his mother still Queen Regent. Since that hour, all official documents have been put forth in his name. The Queen has shown at all times intelligence, amiability, and a sincere desire to administer the affairs of her turbulent kingdom for the best interests of all. Her trials and difficulties have been of the severest nature and often have crushed her to the earth, as when in 1898 she saw that war with the United States over Cuba could not be averted. Before the little King was a year old, a mutiny was attempted by General Villacampa, whose purpose was wholly selfish, since he hoped that through the prominence thus given him, he would be able to gain power and honors. The conspiracy was discovered and crushed before the least harm was done, the offenders receiving no more punishment than exile.

The political parties in Spain were once described by Canovas as consisting of the extreme irreconcilables,—the Carlists in the rural districts, the Socialists and advanced Republicans in the large cities. Between these poles is the great mass of the nation, who remain calm and resigned, "whether Sagasta or I direct the affairs of the monarchy. It is not the mode of government, but the manners and customs of a country that influence the elections. Abroad, people do not understand the necessary and preponderating role which the royal prerogative plays with us."

As the years passed and political storms gathered, the respect for the Queen Regent was deepened. John Foreman, in the National Review, paid her this warm compliment:

"Among all the confusion of Spanish politics, the whirlwind of rejoicing, lamentation, intrigue, religion, corruption, collective patriotism, and individual grabbing, there is one noble figure which prominently stands out in vivid contrast, a model of virtue and enviable tact. Her Majesty, the Queen Regent, notwithstanding her foreign birth, knows exactly how to do the right thing at the right moment with exquisite taste. She has won by her charitableness the adoration of the masses; by her gracious sympathy the love of the middle classes; and by her clear comprehension of all that is traditionally Spanish, the esteem and admiration of the aristocracy."

It would be uninteresting to follow the ministerial changes that have taken place in Spain during the regency of Christina. Her struggle from the first has been that of checking the dry rot of the kingdom, and, though it may have been stayed at times, there is no evidence, so far as human wisdom can see, of the country's having regained even a small part of the greatness that once made her the proudest nation in the world. She passed the vigor of youth in the tempestuous centuries that are gone, and must now be content to trail behind those who long since left her far to the rear.

One of those hideous crimes, which now and then horrify democracies like our own as well as monarchies, was perpetrated on the 8th of August, 1897. Senor Canovas de Castillo, prime minister of Spain, had gone to the baths of a health resort in the north, and was sitting in a public gallery reading a newspaper, when an assassin hastily approached and quickly fired three shots from his revolver, all of which took effect, causing the death of the premier within an hour. The assassin defiantly declared that he was a member of a band of anarchists who had selected him as the executioner of Canovas, in revenge for the punishment of some of their number for having thrown a bomb into a religious procession at Barcelona, an act by which several innocent persons had been maimed and killed.

Through all these years there had been ever-growing trouble in Cuba, the last remaining of Spain's American colonies. The island was governed with cruel tyranny, and its people revolted. Milder generals having failed to crush the rebellion, the notorious General Weyler was sent to Cuba, where his cruelties roused the United States to protest. The Spanish-American war followed in 1898. Spain made great efforts but the fleets which she gathered were badly manned, badly armed, and badly provisioned. They were completely defeated, and the prostrate country had no choice but to surrender the last remnants of her once mighty colonial empire.

Spanish American War


It is never absolutely quiet in Spain, though there has been nothing lately in the nature of a general upheaval. In the latter part of October, 1900, a Carlist force attacked a garrison at Badalona, near Barcelona, but was repulsed and a number of arrests followed. Other towns near the French border were assailed, but the Carlists were so few in number that they were defeated, pursued, and a good many arrests made. The government closed all Carlist clubs and organs, and some Catholic ones, and constitutional guarantees were suspended in a resolute effort to stamp out every vestige of Carlism. This course was so successful that two weeks later the government announced that there was not a single armed Carlist in Spain. It was afterward stated that the outbreak was a premature uprising, planned for a fortnight later. When the news reached Don Carlos in Venice, he declared that the movement was entirely without his knowledge and in violation of his positive instructions.

About this time it was announced that a convention had been signed in Washington in which Cagayan and Sibutu, the only islands in Oceania remaining in the possession of Spain, were ceded by her to the United States for $100, 000.

The Infanta Maria, sister of the King and better known as Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias, was married to Prince Charles of Bourbon, on February 14, 1901. The bridegroom is the son of the Count of Caserta, who fought hard against Alfonso XII. in the Carlist war. This caused him to be regarded as still an enemy of Spain. Should Alfonso XIII. die, without issue, the Princess of the Asturias, wife of Caserta's son, would become the Queen of Spain. It required a special dispensation of the Queen Regent to allow this famous Carlist to enter the kingdom that he might attend the wedding, which it is said was favored by the Pope, and probably by the Queen Regent, who hoped that it would aid in closing the breach between the two houses of Bourbon and check future Carlist outbreaks.

The lower classes took the opposite view of the matter. There had been so many outbreaks in Madrid and the provinces, that more than one prophecy was made of a coming revolution. Mobs and riots followed on the heels of one another, monasteries were attacked, and Jesuits stoned and maltreated in the streets. These disturbances became so serious that to prevent interference with the royal wedding, General Weyler declared martial law in the city the day before the ceremony. When the Count of Caserta was recognized, he was hissed, and, but for the powerful guard, would have suffered violence. There was no disturbance, however, at the wedding, which was quietly celebrated in the chapel of the Royal Palace, a civil ceremony having preceded the religious one.

No intelligent, idea can be gained of the confused condition of modern Spain, without an explanation of the "Catalans," as they are termed. The province of Catalonia occupies the northeastern part of the kingdom, with France on the north and the Mediterranean on the east and southeast. It was one of the earliest and last of the Roman provinces, having been invaded and captured by the Alans, who were followed by the Goths, from which fact came its name of Gothalonia, or Catalonia. The southern part fell into the possession of the Arabs in the eighth century, and when Spain was conquered by Charlemagne, as far as the Ebro, in 788, Catalonia was the central portion of the Spanish mark, governed by French counts who resided at Barcelona, and soon made themselves independent of France. It was joined to Aragon in 1137, and, as we know, the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469 united both with Castile. Thus it became a part of the Spanish monarchy, but it has never been a peaceable one. Not only has it been the bulwark of the Carlist uprisings, but it has been the scene of violent strikes and labor disturbances as late as the opening years of the present century. It is the principal manufacturing province of the kingdom, and is often called the "Lancashire of Spain." The inhabitants are neither French nor Spaniards, being distinct from both nations in language, costume, and habits. They have their own coins, weights, and measures, and far surpass the real Spaniards in energy, industry, and sturdy honesty.

Alponso XIII


The last statement gives the key to the chronic unrest, dissatisfaction, and seething rebellion against Andalusia and Madrid. In Catalonia every one, no matter whether a Conservative, Liberal, Republican, or Socialist, is a Catalan. He despises the indolent, cruel, corrupt Spaniard of the south; he feels detestation for the rotten system of government; his confidence in his own superiority is absolute, and the steady growth of the northern towns has bred a strong sentiment of secession. The Catalan is like a vigorous man tied to a corpse. He is patriotically anxious to save his language, his purse, his independent spirit, and his manhood from the disease with which the whole body politic is festering. The breach between the two sections steadily widens, and how the momentous question is to be solved awaits the near future.

It has been shown that the present King of Spain was a posthumous child, and that, during his minority, the regency was exercised by his mother, the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria. As has been said, the moment the lad was born he was sovereign of the kingdom which was governed in his name by his mother from the hour of his birth. No parent could have watched over the education of her child more lovingly than the Queen Regent. Never for one minute did she lose sight of her great duty of educating her son for the grave responsibilities of kingship. Sorrow, humiliation, cruel vicissitudes, and anguish have made up much of her life, but she has never flinched in her duty to her child.

The boy was born with a weakly constitution. He is pale, narrow-chested, and with none of the lusty vigor of youth. He seems to have inherited a consumptive tendency from his father, and when four years old he was seized with an illness from which no one believed he could recover. Yet it is the sickly person who often stands such attacks better than the one of robust frame. Everything that a loving intelligence can do has been done to strengthen his frame and improve his health. He learned to become an excellent swimmer and a fine horseman, and is an adept at many sports. None the less, the narrow chest, the high forehead, the two bright eyes, the sensitive nerves and consumptive tendency remain, with the probability that the youngest sovereign at present in Europe will not occupy the throne during many years. That throne is tottering, and the grandeur and vastness of the royal palaces emphasize the contrast between the magnificence of the empire that once overshadowed all Europe and the decrepit kingdom of to-day.

Alfonso XIII, born a king, attained his legal majority on May 17, 1902. He left the Royal Palace on the forenoon of that day, for the palace of the Cortes, to take the coronation oath, the Cortes being in session. The procession had hardly started when a man, dressed like a workman, moved spryly forward from the crowd, and before any one could interpose, opened the door of the royal carriage and threw a paper packet at the feet of the young King, who, without the least sign of agitation, kicked it out and it fell inert to the ground. The guard instantly attacked the man, who received several sabre cuts on the head and was stunned by a number of blows from the halberdiers. Then, white and trembling, he was seized and hustled off to the Corps de Garde station. But for the guard, he would have been lynched by the enraged crowd. The excitement passed off when it was seen that no harm had been done, and the King's carriage was moving forward with the same smooth deliberate pace as before. Subsequent investigation showed that the young man was a crazy waiter from Murcia, and the package flung at the sovereign's feet contained, instead of a death-dealing bomb, a request for the hand in marriage of the Infanta Maria Teresa.

The incident increased the vigilance of the police, and some time later four men were arrested among the swarm near the Cortes. They were acting suspiciously and it was stated that each was armed with dynamite cartridges with detonators attached, eleven of such deadly missiles being found on the four.

The wildest enthusiasm was shown by the people along the route and the King was obliged continually to thrust his head and arms out of the window and acknowledge the applause of his subjects. His naturally pale face was flushed, and it was plain that he was deeply touched by these manifestations of loyalty. Regardless of etiquette, which is nowhere so rigid as in the Spanish court, the members of the Cortes, as he entered, sprang to their feet and broke out into cries of "Long live the King!" The cheering continued for fully ten minutes, during which Alfonso stood calm and cool, unmoved by the excitement which swayed everyone else. As soon as he could be heard, he called out in a clear, firm voice, "Sit down!" Then in the same distinct tones, he pronounced the oath:

"I swear by God upon these holy relics to keep the Constitution and the laws. If I do so, may God reward me. If I fail, may He hold me to account."

This ceremony was witnessed by the foreign princes, the various special ambassadors and the diplomats accredited to Spain, after which all passed to the church, where the coronation services ended. Two cardinals and thirty bishops received the young King on his entrance to the Church of St. Francis, and an impressive Te Deum was sung, in the presence of an immense and aristocratic throng. All the men wore brilliant uniforms, the women white mantillas, and the church was ablaze with light. The Queen mother conferred upon the special envoys to the coronation the Order of the Grand Cross of Carlos III., and upon President Loubet of France the Order of the Golden Fleece. She wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sagasta thanking the people for their loyalty during her regency.

The general belief is that so long as Alfonso lives he will be King, for it cannot be denied that he is popular among the people. He has, however, lost the help of his wise and patriotic minister, Sagasta, who resigned the premiership in December, 1902, and died in January, 1903. He was succeeded in office by his friend Senor Silvela, but behind him looms another menacing form, the dreaded Marquis of Teneriffe, the "Butcher of Cuba," General Weyler. He was made Minister of War to placate him; but many believe that it will not be long before he heads a Republican revolution that will not end until he is placed upon the throne of the distracted and turbulent kingdom.

Chronology of Spain

British at Gibralter


1100 B.C.(approx)Cadiz founded by the Phoenicians.
800 B.C.(approx)Rhodia founded on the coast of Catalonia.
264-241First War between Rome and Carthage.
236 B.C.Hamilcar entered Spain to make it a Carthaginian province.
228 B.C.Hasdrubal continued the work of subjugation.
218 B.C.Hannibal captured Saguntum; beginning of the Second Punic War.
206 B.C.The Carthaginians driven from the Peninsula by Romans; who divide the country into Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior.
190 B.C.Cato put down rebellion.
154 B.C.The Romans defeated by the Lusitanians.
133 B.C.Scipio destroyed Numantia; the growth of Roman civilization promoted.
105 B.C.Great invasion from the Cimbri; the country saved by the Celteberi.
97 B.C.The Celteberians rose against Rome, under Sertorius.
71 B.C.Pompey reconquered the country for Rome.
61 B.C.Caesar was governor of Further Spain.
49 B.C.Civil war with Pompey.
45 B.C.Caesar defeated Pompey's sons near Cordova, and became master of the Roman world.
27 B.C.Augustus won decisive victories over the wild northern tribes.
19 B.C.The Roman conquest of Spain complete; the country divided into three provinces; Tarraconensis, Baetica, and Lusitania; many Roman towns established.
256 A.D. Spain ravaged by the Franks.
409After a long period of prosperity, a tide of barbarism swept over the country.
414The Visigoths entered Spain, under Ataulfus.
415Wallia succeeded Ataulfus, conquered the barbarians and founded the Visigothic kingdom.
456Theodoric II. defeated the Suevi.
466Euric made the country still more independent of Rome and framed the Gothic Code.
483Alaric II. became King.
506The Story of the Greatest Nations Amalaric ruled; the kingdom declining before the Franks.
586Recared, the first Catholic King of Spain, gave great power to the ecclesiastics; persecution of the Jews.
709Roderick ruled all Spain.
711The Saracens, under Tarik, entered Spain and overthrew the Gothic dominion; battle of Xeres.
718The Christian Pelayo was made King in Asturias.
720Battle of Covadonga.
731Battle of Toulouse.
732The Saracens defeated at Tours by Charles Martel; retreat of the Moors to southern Spain.
755Abderahman landed in Spain and took command of Andalusia, making Cordova a splendid city and an independent Caliphate.
777Unsuccessful invasion of Charlemagne.
778Defeat of the Franks by the Basques at Roncesvalles.
788Death of Abderahman.
837The kingdom of Navarre founded.
910Leon made the capital of the Spanish King, Garcia.
932Fernan Gonsalez asserts the independence of Castile.
976Beginning of the remarkable career of Almanzor, who conquered Leon, Barcelona, and Pampeluna, and was caliph in all but name till 1002.
1035Ramirez I. established the Kingdom of Aragon.
1072The King of Leon becomes King of Castile also; the Cid quarrels with him.
1085Alfonso VI. of Castile captures Toledo.
1095The Cid captures Valencia; Portugal taken from the Saracens by Henry of Besancon; dynasty of the Almoravides set up at Cordova.
1096Pedro I. of Aragon defeats the Moors and Castilians at Alcoraz.
1099Death of the Cid.
1137Catalonia and Aragon united.
1144Alfonso of Leon defeated the Moors; dynasty of the Almonades at Cordova.
1212Victory of the Christians at Las Navas de Tolosa decided the fate of Spain.
1228James of Aragon captures the Balearic Isles.
1230Castile and Leon finally united.
1232Fall of the Almonades.
1235Ferdinand III. captured Cordova.
1238The kingdom of Granada begun by the Moors.
1248Ferdinand III. captured Seville; work on the Alhambra begun.
1274The crown of Navarre passed to the royal family of France.
1367Battle of Navarrete saves Pedro the Cruel.
1369Death of Pedro.
1469Marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella united the Christian dominions of Spain.
1481Establishment of the Inquisition.
1492Granada captured; Columbus sent to explore the western ocean.
1504Death of Isabella.
1506Death of Columbus.
1512Ferdinand conquered the greater part of Navarre.
1516Death of Ferdinand; accession of the House of Austria to the throne of Spain.
1519Charles V. Emperor.
1522The communes defeated at Villalar.
1556Abdication of Charles; Philip II. reigned.
1571Great sea-fight of Lepanto.
1572Beginning of the long wars with Holland.
1580Portugal successfully claimed.
1588Destruction of the Spanish Armada.
1598Philip III. became King.
1610Expulsion of the Moors from Spain, with disastrous consequences to the country.
1620Spain became involved in the Thirty Years' War between Bohemia and Austria.
1621Philip IV. succeeded his father.
1631The Treaty of Cherasco extorted by Richelieu; the Spaniards driven from the Rhine.
1640Internal dissensions; Catalonia formed itself into a republic; revolt in Lisbon and the Portuguese crown assumed by John of Braganza.
1648Spain transferred the districts of Brabant, Flanders and Limburg to Holland, and surrendered her claims to sovereignty over the northern provinces.
1659By the Treaty of the Pyrenees, Spain gave Roussillon and Cerdagne and other possessions to France, while France recognized Catalonia as a province of Spain.
1665The Spanish forces routed by the French at Villaviciosa; Charles II. became King, under regency of Maria Anna.
1668Spain purchased the restoration of Franche-Comte by ceding part of Flanders to France in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
1668Independence of Portugal acknowledged.
1680France secured more Spanish territory.
1686Spain became a member of the league of Augsburg.
1697The war between France and Spain concluded by the Treaty of Ryswick; the Spanish succession became an important question.
1700Charles II. died, bequeathing the succession to Philip of Bourbon, who became Philip V. of Spain.
1701War of the Spanish Succession.
1705Charles III. was acknowledged in Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia.
1713Treaty of Utrecht, between England, France, Spain and Holland; Philip V. acknowledged; administration of Alberoni; the Queen's ambitions.
1729England, France and Holland formed an offensive and defensive alliance with Spain.
1739Maritime war with England.
1745Ferdinand IV. became King.
1748Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
1759Accession of Charles III.
1779Spain allied herself with the American colonists.
1788Charles IV. became King; Spanish fortunes influenced by the French revolution; schemes of the Queen and Godoy.
1801Spain attacked Portugal in the interests of France.
1803Bonaparte compelled a burdensome treaty, involving Spain in a new war with England.
1808Charles IV. abdicated and the crown of Spain was conferred by Napoleon on his brother Joseph; the people infuriated.
1814Ferdinand VII. was released from captivity and permitted to become ruler of Spain.
1818Ferdinand sold Florida to the United States.
1820The Inquisition abolished by the Cortes and other reforms instituted.
1823The King revoked all acts of the Cortes.
1833Isabella proclaimed Queen, with her mother regent; the Carlist struggle; faction and intrigue during the reign.
1868The people revolted and Isabella fled to France; Serrano regent during the interregnum.
1870Assassination of General Prim.
1871Amadeus became constitutional king.
1873Amadeus resigned and a provisional republic was formed.
1874The monarchy restored and crown accepted by Alfonso XII.
1876Termination of the Carlist War.
1885Death of Alfonso XII.
1886Birth of a posthumous son to Alfonso XII. and Maria Christina; regency of the Queen.
1897Canovas, the prime minister, assassinated.
1898Disastrous war with the United States.
1901Marriage of the Infanta Maria and Prince Charles of Bourbon.
1902Coronation of Alfonso XIII.
1903Death of Prime Minister Sagasta.

Hispanic History

Rulers of Spain

Rulers of Spain


Kings Of Asturias And Leon

739Alfonso I.
791Alfonso II.
842Ramiro I.
850Ordono I.
866Alfonso III.
914Ordono II.
923Fruela II.
925Alfonso IV.
93oRamiro II.
950Ordono III.
955Ordofio IV.
956Sancho I.
967Ramiro III.
983Bermudo II.
999Alfonso V.
1027Bermudo III.
1037Ferdinand I.
1065Alfonso VI.

Kings Of Leon And Castile

1072Alfonso VI.
1109Queen Urraca.
1126Alfonso VII.
1159Sancho III.
1158Alfonso VIII.
1188Alfonso IX.
1214Henry I.
1230Ferdinand III., the Saint.
1252Alfonso X., the Wise.
1284Sancho IV.
1295Ferdinand IV.
1312Alfonso XI.
1350Peter the Cruel.
1369Henry II.
1379John I.
139oHenry III.
1406John II.
1454Henry IV.
1474Isabella and Ferdinand V.
1504Joanna and Philip I.
1506Ferdinand V.

Kings Of Aragon

1035Ramiro I.
1065Sancho Ramirez.
1094Peter I.
1104Alfonso I., the Battler.
1134Ramiro II.
1137Petronilla and Raymond.
1163Alfonso II.
1196Peter II.
1213James I., the Conqueror.
1276Peter III.
1285Alfonso III.
1291James II., the Just.
1327Alfonso IV.
1336Peter IV.
1387John I.
1412Ferdinand the Just.
1416Alfonso V.
1458John II.
1479Ferdinand II. (V. of Castile).

Kings Of Spain

1506Ferdinand V.
1516Charles I.
1556Philip II.
1598Philip III.
1621Philip IV.
1665Charles II.
1766Philip V.
1746Ferdinand VI.
1759Charles III.
1788Charles IV.
1868Ferdinand VII.
1868Joseph Bonaparte.
1814Ferdinand VII. (restored).
1833Isabella II.
1874Alfonso XII.
1886Alfonso XIII.