The Almohad Caliphate was a Moroccan Berber Muslim movement and empire founded in the 12th century. The Almohad movement was founded by Ibn Tumart among the Berber Masmuda tribes of southern Morocco. Around 1120, the Almohads first established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains, they succeeded in overthrowing the ruling Almoravid dynasty governing Morocco by 1147, when Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi conquered Marrakesh and declared himself Caliph. They extended their power over all of the Maghreb by 1159. Al-Andalus soon followed, all of Islamic Iberia was under Almohad rule by 1172; the Almohad dominance of Iberia continued until 1212, when Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" was defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena by an alliance of the Christian princes of Castile and Navarre. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon afterwards, with the great Moorish cities of Cordova and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively; the Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled the rise of their most effective enemies, the Marinids, in 1215.
The last representative of the line, Idris al-Wathiq, was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269. The Almohad movement originated with Ibn Tumart, a member of the Masmuda, a Berber tribal confederation of the Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco. At the time and much of the rest of North Africa and Spain, was under the rule of the Almoravids, a Sanhaja Berber dynasty. Early in his life, Ibn Tumart went to Spain to pursue his studies, thereafter to Baghdad to deepen them. In Baghdad, Ibn Tumart attached himself to the theological school of al-Ash'ari, came under the influence of the teacher al-Ghazali, he soon developed his own system. Ibn Tumart's main principle was a strict unitarianism, which denied the independent existence of the attributes of God as being incompatible with His unity, therefore a polytheistic idea. Ibn Tumart represented a revolt against, his followers would become known as the al-Muwahhidun. After his return to the Maghreb c.1117, Ibn Tumart spent some time in various Ifriqiyan cities and agitating, heading riotous attacks on wine-shops and on other manifestations of laxity.
He laid the blame for the latitude on the ruling dynasty of the Almoravids, whom he accused of obscurantism and impiety. He opposed their sponsorship of the Maliki school of jurisprudence, which drew upon consensus and other sources beyond the Qur'an and Sunnah in their reasoning, an anathema to the stricter Zahirism favored by Ibn Tumart, his antics and fiery preaching led fed-up authorities to move him along from town to town. After being expelled from Bejaia, Ibn Tumart set up camp in Mellala, in the outskirts of the city, where he received his first disciples - notably, al-Bashir and Abd al-Mu'min. In 1120, Ibn Tumart and his small band of followers proceeded to Morocco, stopping first in Fez, where he engaged the Maliki scholars of the city in debate, he went so far as to assault the sister of the Almoravid emir `Ali ibn Yusuf, in the streets of Fez, because she was going about unveiled, after the manner of Berber women. After being expelled from Fez, he went to Marrakesh, where he tracked down the Almoravid emir Ali ibn Yusuf at a local mosque, challenged the emir, the leading scholars of the area, to a doctrinal debate.
After the debate, the scholars concluded that Ibn Tumart's views were blasphemous and the man dangerous, urged him to be put to death or imprisoned. But the emir decided to expel him from the city. Ibn Tumart took refuge among his own people, the Hargha, in his home village of Igiliz, in the Sous valley, he retreated to a nearby cave, lived out an ascetic lifestyle, coming out only to preach his program of puritan reform, attracting greater and greater crowds. At length, towards the end of Ramadan in late 1121, after a moving sermon, reviewing his failure to persuade the Almoravids to reform by argument, Ibn Tumart'revealed' himself as the true Mahdi, a divinely guided judge and lawgiver, was recognized as such by his audience; this was a declaration of war on the Almoravid state. On the advice of one of his followers, Omar Hintati, a prominent chieftain of the Hintata, Ibn Tumart abandoned his cave in 1122 and went up into the High Atlas, to organize the Almohad movement among the highland Masmuda tribes.
Besides his own tribe, the Hargha, Ibn Tumart secured the adherence of the Ganfisa, the Gadmiwa, the Hintata, the Haskura, the Hazraja to the Almohad cause. Around 1124, Ibn Tumart erected the ribat of Tinmel, in the valley of the Nfis in the High Atlas, an impregnable fortified complex, which would serve both as the spiritual center and military headquarters of the Almohad movement. For the first eight years, the Almohad rebellion was limited to a guerilla war along the peaks and ravines of the High Atlas, their principal damage was in rendering insecure the roads and mountain passes south of Marrakesh – threatening the route to all-important Sijilmassa, the gateway of the trans-Saharan trade. Unabl
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered the viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent, not known to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat obscure, but scholars agree that he was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language, he went to sea at a young age and travelled as far north as the British Isles and as far south as what is now Ghana. He married Portuguese noblewoman Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and was based in Lisbon for several years, but took a Spanish mistress. Though self-educated, Columbus was read in geography and history.
He formulated a plan to seek a western sea passage to the East Indies, hoping to profit from the lucrative spice trade. After years of lobbying, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain agreed to sponsor a journey west, in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, after a stopover in the Canary Islands made landfall in the Americas on 12 October, his landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani. Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies 500 years earlier, he arrived back in Spain in early 1493. Word of his discoveries soon spread throughout Europe. Columbus would make three further voyages to the New World, exploring the Lesser Antilles in 1493, Trinidad and the northern coast of South America in 1498, the eastern coast of Central America in 1502. Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use.
He continued to seek a passage to the East Indies, the extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain. Columbus's strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and removal from Hispaniola in 1500, to protracted litigation over the benefits that he and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown. Columbus's expeditions inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization that lasted for centuries, helping create the modern Western world; the transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange, the period of human habitation in the Americas prior to his arrival is known as the Pre-Columbian era. Columbus's legacy continues to be debated, he was venerated in the centuries after his death, but public perceptions have changed as recent scholars have given attention to negative aspects of his life, such as his role in the extinction of the Taíno people, his promotion of slavery, allegations of tyranny towards Spanish colonists.
Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus, his name in Ligurian is Cristoffa Corombo, in Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish is Cristóbal Colón, in Portuguese is Cristóvão Colombo. He was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa, though the exact location remains disputed, his father was Domenico Colombo, a middle-class wool weaver who worked both in Genoa and Savona and who owned a cheese stand at which young Christopher worked as a helper. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino, Giacomo were his brothers. Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood, he had a sister named Bianchinetta. Columbus never wrote in his native language, presumed to have been a Genoese variety of Ligurian: his name in the 16th-century Genoese language would have been Cristoffa Corombo.
In one of his writings, he says he went to sea at the age of 10. In 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples; some modern historians have argued that he was not from Genoa but, from the Aragon region of Spain or from Portugal. These competing hypotheses have been discounted by mainstream scholars. In 1473, Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa, he made a trip to Chios, an Aegean island ruled by Genoa. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe, he docked in Bristol and Galway, Ireland. In 1477, he was in Iceland. In the autumn of 1477, he sailed on a Portuguese ship from Galway to Lisbon, where he found his brother Bartolomeo, they continued trading for the Centurione family. Columbus based himself in Lisbon from 1477 to 1485.
He married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of the Porto Santo governor and Portuguese nobleman of
Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros
Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, O. F. M. Known as Ximenes de Cisneros in his own lifetime, referred to today as Cisneros, was a Spanish cardinal, religious figure, statesman. Starting from humble beginnings he rose to the heights of power becoming a religious reformer, twice regent of Spain, Grand Inquisitor, promoter of the Crusades in North Africa, founder of the Complutense University, today the Complutense University of Madrid. Among his intellectual accomplishments, he is best known for funding the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, the first printed polyglot version of the entire Bible, he edited and published the first printed editions of the missal and the breviary of the Mozarabic Rite, established a chapel with a college of thirteen priests to celebrate the Mozarabic Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist each day in the Toledo Cathedral. Cardinal Cisneros' life coincided with, influenced, a dynamic period in the history of Spain during the reign of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.
During this time Spain underwent many significant changes, leading it into its prominent role in the Spanish Golden Age. Modern historian John Elliott said as far as any particular policies that can be attributed to Spain's rise, they were those of King Ferdinand and Cardinal Cisneros, he was born as Gonzalo Jiménez de Cisneros in Torrelaguna in Castile in 1436, the son of hidalgos Alfonso Jiménez y María de la Torre, from the villa of Cisneros, Palencia. He studied at Alcalá de Henares and Salamanca. In 1459 he traveled to Rome to work as a consistorial advocate, where he attracted the notice of Pope Pius II, he returned to Spain in 1465 carrying an "executive" letter from the Pope giving him possession of the first vacant benefice. That turned out to be Uceda. However, Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña, the Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, refused to accept the letter, wishing instead to bestow the benefice upon one of his own followers; when Cisneros insisted, he was thrown in prison, first at Uzeda and afterwards in the fortress of Santorcaz.
For six years, Cisneros held out for his claim, free to leave at any time if he would give it up, but at length in 1480 Carrillo relented at Cisneros' strength of conviction and gave him a benefice. Fearing further reprisals, Cisneros traded it at once for a chaplaincy at Sigüenza, under Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, the bishop of Sigüenza, who shortly after appointed him vicar general of his diocese. At Siguenza, Cisneros won praise for his work and he seemed to be on the sure road to success among the secular clergy, when in 1484 at the late age of forty-eight he abruptly decided to become a Franciscan friar. Giving up all his worldly belongings, changing his baptismal name, for that of Francisco, he entered the Franciscan friary of San Juan de los Reyes founded by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile at Toledo. Not content with the normal lack of comforts for a friar, he voluntarily slept on the bare ground, wore a cilice, doubled his fasts, denied himself with enthusiasm.
He retired to the isolated friary of Our Lady of Castañar and built a rough hut in the neighboring woods, in which he lived at times as an anchorite, became guardian of a friary at Salzeda. Meanwhile, Mendoza had not forgotten him, in 1492 recommended him to Isabella as her confessor. Jiménez accepted the position on condition that he might still live in his community and follow the religious life, only appearing at court when sent for; the post was politically important, for Isabella took counsel from her confessor not only in religious affairs but matters of state. Isabella's Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain, followed immediately upon Cisneros' appointment as her confessor. Cisneros' severe sanctity soon won him considerable influence over Isabella, in 1494 he was appointed Minister Provincial of the order for Spain. Cardinal Mendoza died in 1495, Isabella had secretly procured a papal bull nominating Cisneros to Mendoza's Archdiocese of Toledo, the richest and most powerful in Spain.
With this office was given the office of chancellor of Castile. Isabella tried to surprise him by presenting the bull as a gift in person, but Cisneros did not react as she had hoped. Instead, he fled her presence, ran away, only to be overtaken by Isabella's messengers several miles outside of Madrid and convinced to return to court for further discussion. Cisneros resisted the appointment for six months and reluctantly agreed only after a second papal bull ordered him to accept. Despite his lavish new position, Cisneros still maintained a simple life. From his new position Cisneros set about reforming the Franciscan order in Spain; the ordained friars had to become celibate. They had to reside in the parish where they were supposed to work, attend confession, preach every Sunday. There was intense opposition. By 1498 the reforms were expanded to include not only Franciscans but other mendicant orders as well; the resistance was so fierce that four hundred monks and friars left for Africa with their "wives" and converted to Islam.
The Minister General of the order himself came from Rome to attempt to temper the archbishop's strict reforms, but Cisneros, backed by the influence of a strong Queen, managed to impose them. In 1499 Cisneros accompanied the court of the Spanish Inquisition
Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose cult and mysteries were combined from those of Libera, an early Roman goddess of wine, the Greek Persephone and Demeter, goddesses of grain and agriculture. The Roman goddess Libera was daughter of the agricultural goddess Ceres and wife to Liber, god of wine and freedom. In 204 BC, a new "greek-style" cult to Ceres and Proserpina as "Mother and Maiden" was imported from southern Italy, along with Greek priestesses to serve it, was installed in Libera and Ceres' temple on Rome's Aventine Hill; the new cult and its priesthood were promoted by Rome's religious authorities as morally desirable for respectable Roman women, may have subsumed the temple's older, native cult to Ceres and Libera. Just as Persephone was thought to be a daughter of Demeter, Romans made Proserpina a daughter of Demeter's Roman equivalent, Ceres. Like Persephone, Proserpina is associated with its ruler, her name is a Latinisation of "Persephone" influenced by the Latin proserpere, with respect to the growing of grain.
Her core myths – her forcible abduction by the god of the Underworld, her mother's search for her and her eventual but temporary restoration to the world above – are the subject of works in Roman and art and literature. In particular, Proserpina's seizure by the god of the Underworld – described as the Rape of Proserpina, or of Persephone – has offered dramatic subject matter for Renaissance and sculptors and painters. In early Roman religion, Libera was the female equivalent of Liber, she was an Italic goddess. She enters Roman history as part of a Triadic cult alongside Ceres and Liber, in a temple established on the Aventine Hill around 493 BCE; the location and context of this early cult mark her association with Rome's commoner-citizens, or plebs. Otherwise, her relationship to her Aventine cult partners is uncertain. Libera was identified with Proserpina in 205 BCE, when she acquired a Romanised form of the Greek mystery rites and their attendant mythology. In the late Republican era, Cicero described Libera as Ceres' children.
At around the same time in the context of popular or religious drama, Hyginus equated her with Greek Ariadne, as bride to Liber's Greek equivalent, Dionysus. The older and newer forms of her cult and rites, their diverse associations, persisted well into the late Imperial era. St. Augustine observed that Libera is concerned with female fertility, as Liber is with male fertility. Proserpina was introduced to Rome around 205 BCE, along with the ritus graecia cereris, as part of Rome's general religious recruitment of deities as allies against Carthage, towards the end of the Second Punic War; the cult originated in southern Italy and was based on the women-only Greek Thesmophoria, a mystery cult to Demeter and Persephone as "Mother and Maiden". It arrived along with its Greek priestesses, who were granted Roman citizenship so that they could pray to the gods "with a foreign and external knowledge, but with a domestic and civil intention"; the new cult was installed in the ancient Temple of Ceres and Libera, Rome's Aventine patrons of the plebs.
Their joint cult recalls Demeter's search for Persephone, after the latter's rape and abduction into the underworld by Hades. At the Aventine, the new cult took its place alongside the old, it made no reference to Liber, whose open and gender-mixed cult continued to play a central role in plebeian culture, as a patron and protector of plebeian rights and values. The female initiates and priestesses of the new "greek style" mysteries of Ceres and Proserpina were expected to uphold Rome's traditional, patrician-dominated social hierarchy and traditional morality. Unmarried girls should emulate the chastity of the maiden, their rites were intended to secure a good harvest, increase the fertility of those who partook in the mysteries. A Temple of Proserpina was located in a suburb of Melite, in modern Mtarfa, Malta; the temple's ruins were quarried between the 17th and 18th centuries, only a few fragments survive. The best-known myth surrounding Proserpina is of her abduction by the god of the Underworld, her mother Ceres' frantic search for her, her eventual but temporary restitution to the world above.
In Latin literature, several versions are known, all similar in most respects to the myths of Greek Persephone's abduction by the King of the underworld, named variously in Greek sources as Hades or Pluto. "Hades" can mean both the hidden Underworld and its king, who in early Greek ver
La Pinta was the fastest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first transatlantic voyage in 1492. The New World was first sighted by Rodrigo de Triana aboard La Pinta on 12 October 1492; the owner of La Pinta was Cristobal Quintero. The Quintero brothers were ship owners from Palos; the owner of the ship allowed Martin Alonso Pinzon to take over the ship so he could keep an eye on the ship. La Pinta was a caravel-type vessel. By tradition Spanish ships were named after saints and given nicknames. Thus, La Pinta, like La Niña, was not the ship's actual name; the Santa María's original name was La Gallega. The actual original name of La Pinta is unknown; the origin of the ship is disputed but is believed to have been built in Spain in the year 1441. It was rebuilt for use by Christopher Columbus. La Pinta was smaller than Santa María; the ship weighed 60 tons with an estimated deck length of 17 meters and a width of 5.36 meters. The crew size was 26 men under Captain Martín Alonso Pinzón.
The other ships of the Columbus expedition were Santa María. There are no known contemporary likenesses of Columbus's ships. Santa María was the largest, of a type known by the Portuguese term nau. La Niña and La Pinta were smaller, they were called caravels, a name given to the smallest three-masted vessels. Columbus once used it for a vessel of forty tons, but it applied in Portuguese or Spanish use to a vessel ranging one hundred and twenty to one hundred and forty Spanish "toneles"; this word represents a capacity about one-tenth larger than that expressed by the modern English "ton". La Niña, La Pinta, Santa María were not the largest ships in Europe at the time, they were small trade ships surpassed in size by ships like Great Michael, built in Scotland in 1511 with a length of 73.2 m, a crew of 300 sailors, 120 gunners, up to 1,000 soldiers. Peter von Danzig of the Hanseatic League was 51 m long. Another large ship, the English carrack Grace Dieu, was built during the period 1420–1439, was 66.4 m long, weighed between 1,400 tons and 2,750 tons.
Ships built in Europe in the fifteenth century were designed to sail the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean coastlines. Columbus' smaller-sized ships were considered riskier on the open ocean than larger ships; this made it difficult to recruit crew members, a small number were jailed prisoners given a lighter sentence if they would sail with Columbus. Most of the commerce of the time was the coastal commerce of the Mediterranean, so it was better if ships did not draw much water; as it sailed, the fleet of Columbus consisted of Gallega, which he changed to Santa María, of La Pinta and La Niña. Of these the first two were of thirty tons. La Niña was not more than fifty tons. One writer says that they were all without full decks, that is, that such decks as they had did not extend from stem to stern. Other authorities, speak as if La Niña was only an open vessel, the two larger were decked. Columbus himself took command of Santa María, Martin Alonso Pinzon of La Pinta, his brothers, Francis Martin and Vicente Yanez, of La Niña.
The whole company in all three ships numbered 90 men although some historians cite 120 men. A replica of La Pinta was built by the Spanish government for the Columbian Naval Review of 1893. Along with replicas of Santa María and La Niña, it participated in the review. Replicas are on display at the Wharf of the Caravels in Palos de la Frontera, Spain, in Baiona, Galicia, Spain. In 2008, a replica of La Pinta- although 15 feet longer and 8 feet wider than the original- was launched by the Christopher Columbus Foundation; this ship weighs 101 tons and sails alongside an authentic replica of La Niña, launched in 1991. Florida Museum of Natural History. List of crew members on La Pinta
The Cortes Generales are the bicameral legislative chambers of Spain, consisting of two chambers: the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The members of the Cortes are the representatives of the Spanish people; the Congress of Deputies meets in the Palacio de las Cortes, the Senate meets in the separate Palacio del Senado, both located in Madrid. The Cortes are elected through universal, equal and secret suffrage, with the exception of some senatorial seats, which are elected indirectly by the legislatures of the autonomous community; the Cortes Generales is composed of 616 members: 266 Senators. The members of the Cortes Generales serve four-year terms, they are representatives of the Spanish people. In both chambers, the seats are divided by constituencies that correspond with the fifty provinces of Spain, plus Ceuta and Melilla. However, the Canary and Balearic islands form different constituencies in the Senate; as a parliamentary system, the Cortes confirms and dismisses the Prime Minister of Spain and his or her government.
The Congress can dismiss the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence. The Cortes holds the power to enact a constitutional reform; the modern Cortes Generales was created by the Constitution of Spain, but the institution has a long history. Its direct precedent were the Cortes Españolas of military dictator Francisco Franco; the system of Cortes arose in the Middle Ages as part of feudalism. A "Corte" was an advisory council made up of the most powerful feudal lords closest to the king; the Cortes of León was the first parliamentary body in Western Europe. From 1230, the Cortes of Leon and Castile were merged. Prelates and commoners remained separated in the three estates within the Cortes; the king had the ability to call and dismiss the Cortes, but, as the lords of the Cortes headed the army and controlled the purse, the King signed treaties with them to pass bills for war at the cost of concessions to the lords and the Cortes. With the reappearance of the cities near the 12th century, a new social class started to grow: people living in the cities were neither vassals nor nobles themselves.
Furthermore, the nobles were experiencing hard economic times due to the Reconquista. So the King started admitting representatives from the cities to the Cortes in order to get more money for the Reconquista; the frequent payoffs were grants of autonomy to the cities and their inhabitants. At this time the Cortes had the power to oppose the King's decisions, thus vetoing them. In addition, some representatives were permanent advisors to the King when the Cortes were not. Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, started a specific policy to diminish the power of the bourgeoisie and nobility, they reduced the powers of the Cortes to the point where they rubberstamped the monarch's acts, brought the nobility to their side. One of the major points of friction between the Cortes and the monarchs was the power of raising and lowering taxes, it was the only matter. The role of the Cortes during the Spanish Empire was to rubberstamp the decisions of the ruling monarch. However, they had some power over economic and American affairs taxes.
The Siglo de oro, the Spanish Golden Age of arts and literature, was a dark age in Spanish politics: the Netherlands declared itself independent and started a war, while some of the last Habsburg monarchs did not rule the country, leaving this task in the hands of viceroys governing in their name, the most famous being the Count-Duke of Olivares, Philip IV's viceroy. This allowed the Cortes to become more influential when they did not directly oppose the King's decisions; some lands of the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre were self-governing entities until the Nueva Planta Decrees of 1716 abolished their autonomy and united Aragon with Castile in a centralised Spanish state. The abolition in the realms of Aragon was completed by 1716, whilst Navarre retained its autonomy until the 1833 territorial division of Spain, it is the only one of the Spanish territories whose current status in the Spanish state is linked with the old Fueros: its Statute of Autonomy cites them and recognizes their special status, while recognizing the supremacy of the Spanish Constitution.
Cortes existed in each of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre. It is thought that these legislatures exercised more real power over local affairs than the Castilian Cortes did. Executive councils existed in each of these realms, which were tasked with overseeing the implementation of decisions made by the Cortes. However, throughout the rule of the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties the Crown pressed for more centralization, enforcing a unitary position in foreign affairs and empowering Councils outside the control of the Cortes of the several Kingdoms. Thus, the Cortes in Spain did not develop towards a parliamentary system as in the British case, but towards the mentioned rubberstamping of royal decrees. Never
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists and Catholics, led by General Francisco Franco. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism; the Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975. The war began after a pronunciamiento against the Republican government by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces under the leadership of José Sanjurjo; the government at the time was a moderate, liberal coalition of Republicans, supported in the Cortes by communist and socialist parties, under the leadership of centre-left President Manuel Azaña.
The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups, including both the opposing sides of Alfonsists and the religious conservative Carlists, the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, a fascist political party. Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists; the coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, Burgos, Valladolid, Cádiz, Córdoba, Seville. However, rebelling units in some important cities—such as Madrid, Valencia, Málaga—did not gain control, those cities remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided; the Nationalists and the Republican government fought for control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and air support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican side received support from the Soviet Union and Mexico.
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, continued to recognise the Republican government, but followed an official policy of non-intervention. Notwithstanding this policy, tens of thousands of citizens from non-interventionist countries directly participated in the conflict, they fought in the pro-Republican International Brigades, which included several thousand exiles from pro-Nationalist regimes. The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937, they besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. After much of Catalonia was captured in 1938 and 1939, Madrid cut off from Barcelona, the Republican military position became hopeless. Madrid and Barcelona were occupied without resistance, Franco declared victory and his regime received diplomatic recognition from all non-interventionist governments. Thousands of leftist Spaniards fled to refugee camps in southern France.
Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime; the war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred, on both sides. Organised purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces so they could consolidate their future regime. A significant number of killings took place in areas controlled by the Republicans; the extent to which Republican authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied. The 19th century was a turbulent time for Spain; those in favour of reforming Spain's government vied for political power with conservatives, who tried to prevent reforms from taking place. Some liberals, in a tradition that had started with the Spanish Constitution of 1812, sought to limit the power of the monarchy of Spain and to establish a liberal state.
The reforms of 1812 did not last after King Ferdinand VII dissolved the Constitution and ended the Trienio Liberal government. Twelve successful coups were carried out between 1814 and 1874; until the 1850s, the economy of Spain was based on agriculture. There was little development of a bourgeois commercial class; the land-based oligarchy remained powerful. In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. Two distinct factors led to the uprisings: a series of urban riots and a liberal movement within the middle classes and the military concerned with the ultra-conservatism of the monarchy. In 1873 Isabella's replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated owing to increasing political pressure, the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed. After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874, Carlists and Anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy. Alejandro Lerroux, Spanish politician and leader of the Radical Republican Party, helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was acute.
Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909. Spain was neutral in World War I. Following the war, the working class, industrial class, military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuc