The collapse of the Spanish monarchy in 1808 precipitated a political revolution that shattered that worldwide polity into new nation-states, among them Spain itself. In the wake of France's invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, three broad movements emerged in the Spanish world: the struggle against the invaders, the great political revolution that sought to transform the Spanish monarchy into a modern nation-state with one of the most radical constitutions of the nineteenth century, and a fragmented insurgency in America that relied on force to secure home rule. Elections to form a representative government for the Spanish world were held in the midst of a crisis of confidence. As their first act, the deputies to the Cortes of Cádiz declared themselves representatives of the nation and assumed sovereignty. The insurgencies and civil wars that engulfed some regions of Spanish America were a response to the same events that generated the constitutional political revolution. Both movements sought to maintain the Spanish monarchy as an independent political entity and to expand local political authority and representation.
Keywords: Spain; monarchy; political revolution; nation-states; constitutions; insurgencies; America; elections; Cortes of Cádiz; civil wars
Article. 8313 words.
Subjects: History ; Colonialism and Imperialism
Full text: subscription required