Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II was Queen of Spain from 1833 until 1868. She came to the throne as an infant, but her succession was disputed by the Carlists, after a troubled reign, she was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1868, and formally abdicated in 1870. Her son Alfonso XII became king in 1874, Isabella was born in Madrid in 1830, the eldest daughter of King Ferdinand VII of Spain, and of his fourth wife and niece, Maria Christina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Queen Maria Christina became regent on 29 September 1833, when her three-year-old daughter Isabella was proclaimed sovereign on the death of the king, the first pretender, Ferdinands brother Carlos, fought seven years during the minority of Isabella to dispute her title. Carlos and his descendants supporters were known as Carlists, and the fight over the succession was the subject of a number of Carlist Wars in the 19th century, Isabellas reign was maintained only through the support of the army. After the Carlist war, the regent, Maria Christina, resigned to make way for Baldomero Espartero, Prince of Vergara, Espartero, a Progressive, remained regent for only two years.
Baldomero Espartero was turned out in 1843 by a military and political pronunciamiento led by Generals Leopoldo ODonnell and they formed a cabinet, presided over by Joaquín María López y López. This government induced the Cortes to declare Isabella of age at 13, the marriages suited France and Louis Philippe, King of the French, who as a result nearly quarrelled with Britain. However, the marriages were not happy, persistent rumour had it that few if any of Isabellas children were fathered by her king-consort, rumoured to be a homosexual. The Carlist party asserted that the heir-apparent to the throne, who became Alfonso XII, had fathered by a captain of the guard. Isabella had nine children, but only five reached adulthood, Ferdinand Maria Isabel, Princess of Asturias, Maria Cristina Alfonso XII Maria de la Concepcion Maria del Pilar María de la Paz, who married her cousin Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria. Francisco de Asis Eulalia de Asis de la Piedad, who married her cousin Infante Antonio, the couple was rather caustically described by an English contemporary thus, … The Queen is large in stature, but rather what might be called bulky than stately.
There is no dignity either in her face or figure, the countenance is cold and expressionless, with traces of an unchastened and impulsive character, and the indifference it betrays is not redeemed by any regularity or beauty of feature. Moderados and Unión Liberals quickly succeeded each other and kept out the Progressives, Queen Isabella II often interfered in politics. She showed favour to her reactionary generals and statesmen and to the Church, by virtue of a royal decree, she opened Iloilo to world trade on September 29,1855 exporting mainly sugar and other products to America and Europe. At the end of September 1868, Isabella went into exile, after her Moderado generals had made a show of resistance that was crushed at the Battle of Alcolea by Generals Serrano. This revolt, which deposed Isabella, is known as the Glorious Revolution, the new government replaced Isabella with Amadeo I, second son of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, after much deliberation. The First Spanish Republic collapsed in December 1874, Isabella had been induced to abdicate in Paris on 25 June 1870, in favour of her son, Alfonso XII, furthering the cause of the Restoration
Order of Isabella the Catholic
The Order of Isabella the Catholic is a Spanish civil order granted in recognition of services that benefit the country. The Order is not exclusive to Spaniards, and it has awarded to many foreigners. The Order was reorganized by royal decree on 26 July 1847, the King of Spain is Grand Master of the Order. The Grand Chancellor of the Order is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all deeds granting decorations of the Order must bear the signatures of both. Members of the order at the knight and above enjoy personal nobility and have the privilege of adding a golden heraldic mantle to their coat of arms, Knights at the rank of Grand Cross and Knight of the Collar receive the official style of His or Her most Excellent Lord. Knights at the rank of commander and commander by number receive the style of His or Her Most Illustrious Lord, the structure of the order has varied several times since then. The following is a summary of the history of the grades and medals of the order. Knights Grand Cross – Established 24 March 1815, Knight First Class – Established 24 March 1815, retitled Commander on 24 July 1815.
Officer – Established 10 October 1931, abolished 15 June 1938, Knight Second Class – Established 24 March 1815, retiled Knight on 24 July 1815. Silver Cross – Established 16 March 1903 to reward civil and palace officials, gold Medal with Laureate – Established on 24 July 1815 for award to European sergeants and enlisted men. Gold Medal – Established on 24 July 1815 for award to non-European natives, silver Medal – Established 15 April 1907 to reward non-commissioned officers and junior civil officials. Bronze Medal – Established 15 April 1907 to reward non-commissioned officers, women appointed to an applicable grade are not called Knights. Women are instead appointed as Dames of the Collar, Dames Grand Cross or Dames Cross, the decoration is a red-enameled cross, with a golden frame. The outer peaks are fitted with gold balls. The center of the medallion contains the inscription A La Lealtad Acrisolada, above the cross is a green enameled laurel wreath with the band ring. The ribbon is yellow with a central stripe, except the Collar
Battle of Trocadero
The Battle of Trocadero, fought on 31 August 1823, was the only significant battle in the French invasion of Spain. French forces defeated the Spanish liberal forces and restored the rule of King Ferdinand VII. The King was captured and detained at Cádiz, where the Cortes, on 17 April 1823, French forces led by Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, son of the future Charles X, crossed the Pyrenees into Spain. The French forces were welcomed by the Basques and in Catalonia, the duke dispatched a force to besiege San Sebastian while he launched an attack on Madrid, held by the rebel government, which on 23 May withdrew to Seville. The French moved south to deal with the rebels at Cádiz, and besieged the fort of Trocadero, on 31 August 1823 they launched a surprise bayonet attack from the sea side, taking advantage of the low tide, and took the fort. After this action, French infantry captured the Trocadero village by a flank attack, after this last action,1700 Spanish soldiers were captured by the French.
Cádiz itself held out for three weeks despite bombardments, but was forced to surrender on 23 September 1823 and King Ferdinand was released and handed over to the French. Despite a prior promise of amnesty, the king ordered reprisals against the rebels, in the following years, the fall of Trocadero was commemorated in Paris, with the Place du Trocadéro, where the city was expanding to the edges of the Bois de Boulogne. Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, the victor of the battle, was honoured with the title Prince of Trocadero, in Les Misérables, Victor Hugo devoted a half a sentence to the battle, in which he called the battle a fine military action
Juan Bravo Murillo
Juan Bravo Murillo was a Spanish politician and economist. He was president of the council of ministers of Spain from 14 January 1851 to 14 December 1852 during the reign of Isabella II, Bravo Murillo was born in Fregenal de la Sierra on 24 June 1803. After briefly studying theology, he studied law at the University of Salamanca and he practiced law for a time in Seville. He was a founder of the conservative newspaper El Porvenir and he was elected a deputy in 1837 and 1840 as a member of the Moderate Party. However, his reactionary views kept him out of leadership during the decidedly liberal ascendancy of General Baldomero Espartero and he emigrated briefly to France after the Spanish Revolution of 1841, but returned in 1843 after Esparteros fall, the beginning of the década moderada. In January 1847 he was named Minister of Grace and Justice in the government of Carlos Martínez de Irujo, General Ramón María Narváez named him Minister of Commerce and Public Works, in 1849 Minister of Finance.
He was named President of the Council of Ministers of Spain, effectively prime minister, taking office on 14 January 1851, while serving as his own Minister of Finance. He lost his position as head of government 14 December 1852 and he served as President of the Congress of Deputies in 1858, and was named to the Spanish Senate in 1863 as a senator for life. The most interesting of his writings were published in six volumes entitled Opúsculos and he died in Madrid 11 February 1873