The Fall of the Restoration System, 1914–1923

Sebastian Balfour

in The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898–1923

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780198205074
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676482 | DOI:
The Fall of the Restoration System, 1914–1923

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The Restoration system did not survive the effects of the First World War. Although she did not enter the war, Spain was transformed by it. Under its impact, the prolonged crisis of legitimacy of the political regime became a crisis of the state itself as in 1917 the labour movement, the army, and the parliamentary opposition led by representatives of the Catalan bourgeoisie staged separate challenges against the ruling political order. In an effort to maintain the status quo, the king and the political elites formed coalition and national governments. These, however, failed to cope with the economic and social problems thrown up by the war and its aftermath. When, finally, the army seized power in 1923 with the approval or acquiescence of Spain's élites, they merely toppled a crumbling edifice long abandoned by most Spaniards.

Keywords: Spain; Restoration system; First World War; legitimacy; army

Chapter.  8207 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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