The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
Captaincy General of Chile
The General Captaincy of Chile or Gobernación de Chile, was a colony of the Spanish Empire from 1541 to 1818, the year in which it declared itself independent, becoming the Republic of Chile. It had a number of governors over its history and technically one king, Felipe II. The General Captaincy of Chile was incorporated to the Crown of Castile as were all the other Spanish possessions in the New World, the General Captaincy of Chile was first known as New Extremadura and as Indian Flanders. The Captaincy was a part of the Viceroyalty of Perú, the administrative apparatus of the General Captaincy of Chile was subordinate to the Council of the Indies and the Laws of the Indies, like the other Spanish colonial possessions. The day-to-day work was handled mostly by viceroys and governors, who represented the kings will, in 1536 Diego de Almagro formed the first expedition to explore the territories to the south of the Inca Empire, which had been granted to him as the Governorship of New Toledo.
After Almargos death, Pedro de Valdivia solicited and was granted in 1539 the right to explore, Valdivia founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo and a few months its cabildo appointed him governor and Captain General of New Extremadura on June 11,1541. In 1553 Valdivia founded a series of forts for protection of the areas, San Felipe de Araucan, San Juan Bautista de Purén. After Valdivias death that year, these last forts, Villarica. They were recovered following the war with Lautaro and Caupolicán, martín García Óñez de Loyola founded a last city south of the Bio Bio River, Santa Cruz de Coya, in 1595. In the 17th century, the Spanish colony of Chile saw a rearrangement of its population center, the colony went from being a gold exporter with potential for expanding to the Strait of Magellan to being one of the Spanish Empires most problematic and poor in natural resources. The Spanish Empire had to divert silver from Potosí to finance a standing army in Chile to fight in the Arauco War, since the raids of Francis Drake in Chilean waters more seaborne assaults followed in the 17th century, mostly from Dutch corsairs.
Thus, the governor was given command of the local military and this arrangement was seen in many places of the Spanish Empire. Chile has the distinction of being the one region of the Spanish Empire that technically had a king, Philip II. In 1554, the Infante Philip married Queen Mary I of England, in order to bring him up to an equal rank with the Queen, he was named the King of Chile by his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Additionally he received the Kingdom of Naples, a possession of the Crown of Aragon, for all practical purposes, the title had no effect on Chiles administration, continuing its practical identity as a gobernación and reino in the Spanish Empire. After Philip became King of Spain in 1556, the title simply merged back to the held by the Spanish king. The greatest set back the Spanish settlements suffered was the Disaster of Curalaba in 1598, all cities south of the Biobío River with the exception of Castro were destroyed. The river became La Frontera the de facto border between Spanish and Native areas for the next century, Chile gained two intendancies and Concepción in 1786 and became a Bourbon-style Captaincy General in 1789
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, the infirm and childless Charles II. Charles II had ruled over a vast global empire, and the question of who would succeed him had long troubled the governments of Europe, the English, the Dutch and the Austrians formally declared war in May 1702. By 1708, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy had secured victory in the Spanish Netherlands and in Italy, France faced invasion and ruin, but Allied unity broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain and with its casualties mounting and aims diverging and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference, and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, the Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Rastatt partitioned the Spanish empire between the major and minor powers. The European balance of power was assured, in the late 1690s the declining health of King Charles II of Spain brought to a head the problem of his succession, a problem which had underlain much of European diplomacy for several decades.
The empire was in decline, but remained the largest of the European overseas empires, unlike the French crown, the Spanish crowns could all be inherited by, or through, a female in default of a male line. The next in line after Charles II, were his two sisters, Maria Theresa, the elder, and Margaret Theresa, the younger, Maria Theresa had married Louis XIV in 1660 and by him she had a son, Dauphin of France. The testament of her father, Philip IV, reiterated this waiver and bequeathed the reversion of the whole of the Spanish dominions to his younger daughter, Margaret Theresa. However the French, using in part the excuse that the dowry promised Maria Theresa was never paid, nor was it clear whether a princess could waive the rights of her unborn children. Leopold I married Margaret Theresa in 1666, at her death in 1673 she left one living heir, Maria Antonia, who in 1685 married Max Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Shortly before her death in 1692, she gave birth to a son, if he chose, Louis XIV could attempt to assert his will on Spain by force of arms, but the Nine Years War had been an immense drain on Frances resources.
To seek a solution and gain support, Louis XIV turned to his long-standing rival William of Orange. England and the Dutch Republic had their own commercial and political interests within the Spanish empire, the Maritime Powers were in a weakened state and both had reduced their forces at the conclusion of the Nine Years War. Louis XIV and William III, sought to solve the problem of the Spanish inheritance through negotiation, based on the principle of partition, to take effect after the death of Charles II. However, the bulk of the empire – most of peninsular Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish Empire was now divided between the three surviving candidates. By this new treaty Archduke Charles would receive most of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the overseas empire. For Leopold I, control of Spain and its empire was less important than Italy
Viceroyalty of Peru
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Viceroyalty of Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian established by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The treaty was rendered meaningless between 1580 and 1640 while Spain controlled Portugal, the viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century. From September 2,1564 to November 26,1569 he was viceroy of Peru. In 1542, the Spanish created the Viceroyalty of New Castile, in 1544, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V named Blasco Núñez Vela Perus first viceroy, but the viceroyalty was not organized until the arrival of Viceroy Francisco Álvarez de Toledo. Toledo made a tour of inspection of the colony.
He improved the safety in the viceroyalty with fortifications, still, Luis Jerónimo de Cabrera, 4th Count of Chinchón sent out the third expedition to explore the Amazon River, under Cristóbal de Acuña. Many Pacific islands were visited by Spanish ships in the sixteenth century and these included New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands and the Marquesas Islands by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira. These groups had the advantage of remote geography and river access from the mouth of the Amazon, the Spanish were barred by their laws from slaving of indigenous people, leaving them without a commercial interest deep in the interior of the basin. One famous attack upon a Spanish mission in 1628 resulted in the enslavement of 60,000 indigenous people, in fact as time passed they were used as a self funding occupation force by the Portuguese authorities in what was effectively a low level war of territorial conquest. In 1617, Francisco de Borja y Aragón divided the government of Río de la Plata into two, Buenos Aires and Paraguay, both dependencies of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Viceroy Borja y Aragón established the Tribunal del Consulado, a special court, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, Marquis of Guadalcázar reformed the fiscal system and stopped the interfamily rivalry that was bloodying the domain. Fernández de Cabrera suppressed an insurrection of the Uru and Mapuche Indians, viceroys had to protect the Pacific coast from French contraband and English and Dutch pirates. They expanded the naval forces, fortified the ports of Valdivia, Valparaíso, Arica and Callao and constructed city walls in Lima, the famous English privateer Henry Morgan took Chagres and captured and sacked the city of Panama in the early part of 1670. Also Peruvian forces repelled the attacks by Edward David, Charles Wager, the Peace of Utrecht allowed the British to send ships and merchandise to the fair at Portobello. In this period, revolts were common, around 1656, Pedro Bohórquez crowned himself Inca of the Calchaquí Indians, inciting the indigenous population to revolt. From 1665 until 1668, the rich mineowners José and Gaspar Salcedo revolted against the colonial government, the clergy were opposed to the nomination of prelates from Spain.
Viceroy Diego Ladrón de Guevara had to take measures against an uprising of slaves at the hacienda of Huachipa de Lima, there were terrible earthquakes and epidemics, too
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power and this period of Spanish history has been referred to as the Age of Expansion. The Habsburg years were a Spanish Golden Age of cultural efflorescence, in some cases, these individual kingdoms themselves were confederations, most notably, the Crown of Aragon. Isabella and Ferdinand were bestowed the title of Most Catholic Monarchs by Pope Alexander VI in 1496, the Habsburg period is formative of the notion of Spain in the sense that was institutionalized in the 18th century. Her husband Philip I was the Habsburg son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, shortly thereafter Joanna began to lapse into insanity, though how mentally ill she actually was the topic of some debate. In 1506, Philip I was declared jure uxoris king, but he died that year under mysterious circumstances, possibly poisoned by his father-in-law, Ferdinand II.
Since their oldest son Charles was only six, the Cortes reluctantly allowed Joannas father Ferdinand II to rule the country as the regent of Joanna, Spain was now in personal union under Ferdinand II of Aragon. He attempted to enlarge Spains sphere of influence in Italy, as ruler of Aragon, Ferdinand had been involved in the struggle against France and the Republic of Venice for control of Italy, these conflicts became the center of Ferdinands foreign policy as king. The war was less of a success than that against Venice, Ferdinand would die that year. Ferdinands death led to the ascension of young Charles to the throne as Charles I of Castile and Aragon and his Spanish inheritance included all the Spanish possessions in the New World and around the Mediterranean. Upon the death of his Habsburg father in 1506, Charles had inherited the Netherlands and Franche-Comté, in 1519, with the death of his paternal grandfather Maximilian I, Charles inherited the Habsburg territories in Germany, and was duly elected as Holy Roman Emperor that year.
At that point and King Charles was the most powerful man in Christendom, the accumulation of so much power by one man and one dynasty greatly concerned Francis I of France, who found himself surrounded by Habsburg territories. In 1521 Francis invaded the Spanish possessions in Italy and Navarre, the war was a disaster for France, which suffered defeats at Biccoca and Landriano before Francis relented and abandoned Milan to Spain once more. Charless victory at the Battle of Pavia surprised many Italians and Germans, Pope Clement VII switched sides and now joined forces with France and prominent Italian states against the Habsburg Emperor, in the War of the League of Cognac. Henry VIII of England, who bore a grudge against France than he held against the Emperor for standing in the way of his divorce. Although the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ceresole, in Savoy Henry fared better. The Austrians, led by Charless younger brother Ferdinand, continued to fight the Ottomans in the east, with France defeated, Charles went to take care of an older problem, the Schmalkaldic League.
The Protestant Reformation had begun in Germany in 1517, the German Peasants War broke out in Germany in 1524 and ravaged the country until it was brutally put down in 1526, even as far away from Germany as he was, was committed to keeping order
French Wars of Religion
Approximately 3,000,000 people perished as a result of violence and disease in what is accounted as the second deadliest European religious war. Unlike all other wars at the time, the French wars retained their religious character without being confounded by dynastic considerations. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1598, Huguenots were granted rights and freedoms by the Edict of Nantes. The wars weakened the authority of the monarchy, already fragile under the rule of Francis II and Charles IX, apart from previously mentioned names, the wars have been variously described as the Eight Wars of Religion, or simply the Wars of Religion. However, the Massacre of Vassy in 1562 is agreed to begin the French Wars of Religion, during this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. Humanism, until the late 1520s, served as a ground for the French Protestant Reformation. The spirit of the Renaissance interested Francis I and he encouraged the study of the classics by establishing royal professorships in Paris, equipping more people with the knowledge necessary to understand the classics.
Francis I had no qualms with the religious order. Through the Concordat of Bologna, Pope Leo X increased the power of the king over the church, nomination of clergy depended upon the kings choice, in France, unlike in Germany, the nobles supported the policies and the status quo of their time. The establishment of the college and the spread of the printing press served the purposes of the Reformation. The printing press made mass production of inexpensive and fueled the spread of knowledge in all disciplines. Interest in the classics soared and literature was available to a wider audience. The accessibility coupled with romanticism for the knowledge from the past that built empires, precise language and eloquence were valued among scholars and true understanding of the classics meant studying them from the originals. Theological and religious thoughts were disseminated at an unprecedented pace, ideas about the Reformation were widespread in France by 1519. John Froben, a humanist printer, published a collection of Luther’s works, in one correspondence, he reported that 600 copies of such works were being shipped to France and Spain and were sold in Paris.
The humanist perspective on understanding Scriptures had theological and ecclesiastical implications, studying Scriptures in the original flourished in the Renaissance period. This contrasted the heavy reliance of the church on the Vulgate - the Latin translation of the Bible. The Meaux Circle was formed by a group of humanists including Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and Guillaume Briçonnet, bishop of Meaux, in the effort to reform preaching, the Meaux circle was joined by Vatable, a Hebraist and Guillaume Budé the classicist and librarian to the king
Third Treaty of San Ildefonso
The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was a treaty between France and Spain in which Spain returned the colonial territory of Louisiana to France. The treaty was concluded on 1 October 1800 between Louis Alexandre Berthier representing France and Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo for Spain, the treaty was negotiated under some duress, as Spain was under pressure from Napoleon, although Spain did gain the Tuscany area. This treaty affirmed the earlier Treaty of Alliance signed at San Ildefonso on 19 August 1796. The French Revolution ended in Napoleons taking of executive and legislative power in his coup of 18 Brumaire on 9 November 1799, whilst France was immersed in the War of the Second Coalition. It was this alliance led to Spains entry into the war against Great Britain, leading to the loss of Trinidad and Menorca in 1798. Spains financial system was facing serious trouble, from 1780, banknotes were circulating as legal currency, Charles IV and Maria Luisa of Parma ruled Spain, with Manuel Godoy as prime minister.
One month after the takeover, Spain would hand over six 74-gun ships-of-the-line to France. Six months after, Spain would retrocede the colony of Louisiana to France—under Spanish possession since the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years War. The agreement would be kept under top secrecy—even Manuel Godoy, Charles IVs favourite and this agreement was known as Third Treaty of San Ildefonso to be distinguished from those signed in 1777 and 1796. Minister Urquijo was removed from office by the end of 1800 because of his disagreements with the Catholic clergy. On 9 February 1801, France and the Holy Roman Empire signed the Treaty of Lunéville which empowered Napoleon to force Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany to resign and leave the duchy. The duke was rewarded with the Archbishopric of Salzburg that had been secularised and transformed into the Electorate of Salzburg—of which he was appointed Prince Elector, with Tuscany dominated by Napoleonic France the way to implement territorial exchanges became open.
The final treaty was signed on 21 March 1801, by Manuel Godoy, the conditions of this new treaty renewed those of the former one, expanding them, Resignation of Ferdinand I to the Duchy of Parma, for himself and his heirs. Cession by France of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to Louis-Francis of Bourbon-Parma, recognition of Louis as King of Tuscany with French support. If there were not successors in Louiss family the rights to Tuscanys throne would go to the Spanish Royal House, cession of the vast territories of Louisiana to France. Joint Franco-Spanish indemnization to Ferdinand in exchange for his resignation to the Duchy of Parma and this new agreement was signed by Charles IV on 11 April, that same year. Even though not written in the treaty, the French delegation pledged that in case France wished to leave Louisiana, it only would be back to Spain. The new kingdom was named Etruria, after the name in ancient Roman times
Treaty of Tordesillas
This line of demarcation was about halfway between the Cape Verde islands and the islands entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia. The lands to the east would belong to Portugal and the lands to the west to Castile, the treaty was signed by Spain,2 July 1494 and by Portugal,5 September 1494. Originals of both treaties are kept at the Archivo General de Indias in Spain and at the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo in Portugal. This treaty would be observed fairly well by Spain and Portugal, despite considerable ignorance as to the geography of the New World and those countries generally ignored the treaty, particularly those that became Protestant after the Protestant Reformation. The Treaty of Tordesillas was intended to solve the dispute that had been created following the return of Christopher Columbus and his crew, on his way back to Spain he first reached Lisbon, in Portugal. There he asked for another meeting with King John II to show him the newly discovered lands, the Portuguese King stated that he was already making arrangements for a fleet to depart shortly and take possession of the new lands.
After reading the letter the Catholic Monarchs knew they did not have any power in the Atlantic to match the Portuguese. The bull did not mention Portugal or its lands, so Portugal could not claim newly discovered lands even if they were east of the line. The Portuguese King John II was not pleased with that arrangement, feeling that it gave him far too little land—it prevented him from possessing India, by 1493 Portuguese explorers had reached the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese were unlikely to go to war over the islands encountered by Columbus, the treaty effectively countered the bulls of Alexander VI but was subsequently sanctioned by Pope Julius II by means of the bull Ea quae pro bono pacis of 24 January 1506. Even though the treaty was negotiated without consulting the Pope, a few sources call the line the Papal Line of Demarcation. Very little of the divided area had actually been seen by Europeans. Castile gained lands including most of the Americas, which in 1494 had little proven wealth, the easternmost part of current Brazil was granted to Portugal when in 1500 Pedro Álvares Cabral landed there while he was en route to India.
Some historians contend that the Portuguese already knew of the South American bulge that makes up most of Brazil before this time, the line was not strictly enforced—the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. However, the Catholic Monarchs attempted to stop the Portuguese advance in Asia, by claiming the meridian line ran around the world, Portugal pushed back, seeking another papal pronouncement that limited the line of demarcation to the Atlantic. This was given by Pope Leo X, who was friendly toward Portugal and its discoveries, for a period between 1580 and 1640, the treaty was rendered meaningless, as the Spanish King was King of Portugal. It was superseded by the 1750 Treaty of Madrid which granted Portugal control of the lands it occupied in South America, the latter treaty was immediately repudiated by the Catholic Monarch. The First Treaty of San Ildefonso settled the problem, with Spain acquiring territories east of the Uruguay River, the Treaty of Tordesillas only specified the line of demarcation in leagues from the Cape Verde Islands
Theory of the Portuguese discovery of Australia
This is based on the following elements, The Dieppe maps, a group of 16th-century French world maps, which depict a large landmass between Indonesia and Antarctica. The presence of Portuguese colonies in Southeast Asia from the early 16th century, various antiquities found on Australian coastlines, claimed to be relics of early Portuguese voyages to Australia. Precedence of discovery has claimed for China, Spain, India. A group of mid-16th-century French maps, the Dieppe maps, formed his main evidence, there is widespread agreement today that his approach to historical research was flawed and his claims often exaggerated. Richardson points out, this maps origins are from 1630, on finally locating and examining Erédias writings, Major realised the planned voyage to lands south of Sumba in Indonesia had never taken place. Major published a retraction in 1873, but his reputation was destroyed, collingridges theory did not find public approval and Professors G. Arnold Wood and Ernest Scott publicly criticised much of what he had written, collingridge produced a shorter version of this book for use in New South Wales schools, The First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea.
Professor Edward Heawood provided early criticism of the theory and he pointed out that a difficulty arises from the necessity of supposing at least two separate voyages of discovery, one on each coast, though absolutely no record of any such exists. He added, The difficulty, of course, has been to account for this map in any other way and he concluded, This should surely make us hesitate to base so important assumption as that of a discovery of Australia in the sixteenth century on their unsupported testimony. McIntyres book was reprinted in a paperback edition in 1982 and again in 1987. According to Dr. Tony Disney, McIntyres theory influenced a generation of teachers in Australian schools. A TV documentary was made of the book in the 1980s by Michael Thornhill and McIntyre, Australian history school textbooks reflect the evolution of acceptance of his theories. The support of Dr. Helen Wallis, Curator of Maps at the British Library during her visits to Australia in the 1980s seemed to add weight to McIntyres theory.
In 1987, the Australian Minister for Science, Barry Jones, launching the Second Mahogany Ship Symposium in Warrnambool, as soon as it appeared in 1977. In 1994, McIntyre expressed pleasure that his theory was gaining acceptance in Australia and it has been on the school syllabus, and therefore students have. They in due course become teachers and and they will tell their students and so on. Speaking in 1982, Kenneth McIntyre described the Dieppe maps as the evidence of Portuguese discovery of Eastern Australia. He stressed this to point out that the Mahogany Ship, and the Geelong Keys and it is the other way around
Enlightenment in Spain
The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment came to Spain in the eighteenth century with the new Bourbon dynasty, following the death of the last Habsburg monarch, Charles II, in 1700. Like the Spanish Enlightenment, the Spanish Bourbon monarchs were imbued with Spains Catholic identity, the Bourbon monarchs sought the expansion of scientific knowledge, which had been urged by Benedictine friar Benito Feijóo. From 1777 to 1816, the Spanish crown funded scientific expeditions to gather information about the potential wealth of the empire. Spanish scholars sought to understand the decline of the Spanish empire from its glory days. In Spanish America, the Enlightenment had an impact in the intellectual and scientific sphere, the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula was enormously destabilizing for Spain and the Spanish overseas empire. The ideas of the Hispanic Enlightenment have been seen as a contributor to the Spanish American wars of independence. The French Bourbons had a claim on the Spanish throne following the 1700 death of the last Hapsburg monarch, Charles II.
France won War of the Spanish Succession and the Bourbon monarchy was established in Spain, once it consolidated rule in Spain, the Bourbon monarchs embarked upon a series of reforms to revitalize the Spanish empire, which had significantly declined in power in the late Hapsburg era. The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment had an impact in Spain. A cortes was convened in Cádiz, which ratified a constitution in 1812. Ferdinand VII claimed he supported the liberal constitutions, but once restored to power in 1814, he renounced it, New Spain and Peru were the exceptions, becoming independent in 1821 and 1824. Mexico briefly had a monarchy under royalist military officer turned insurgent Agustín de Iturbide, Spain was at the center of this political crisis, but it was the object not the arbiter. The vastness of the Spanish Empire in the New World, along with her naval resources, had made Spain a vital part of European power politics. If the throne of Spain was to go to a relative of the king of France, if it remained in the hands of another member of the anti-French, Austrian Habsburg dynasty, the status quo would remain.
European politics during the century became dominated by establishing an orderly succession in Spain that would not alter the balance between Europes great powers. Castilian legitimists, who valued the succession of the closest heir of the king over the continuation of Habsburg rule, Spanish officials were concerned with Spain remaining an independent country, rather than another part of the French or Austrian empires. Even so, on hearing the news that his grandson had become King of Spain, Louis XIV proclaimed, at age 17, Philip V arrived in Madrid in early 1701 without visible opposition. Philip confirmed the fueros of Catalunya and Aragon, and to all appearances the Bourbon succession was successful, the Austrian Hapsburg claimant to the Spanish throne, Archduke Charles of Austria, argued that he had been cheated out of the throne of Spain unfairly