Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Romanticism: was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. Romantic art focused on subjects as nature, religion, emotions, revolution and beauty. Goya was an example of Romanticism art.
El Quitasol. Goya. Wikimedia Commons.
Realism: was a reaction against Romanticism. Artists and writers focused on the working classes and their reality of everyday life. Martí I Alsina was an example.
Born Vell. Marti i Alsina. From Wikimedia Commons.
Modernism emerged in Cataluña and is associated with the architect Gaudí. He was inspired by nature and Religion.
Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. By Sagrada Família (oficial) (Own work). 
Wikimedia Commons


Isabel II was the queen (1833-1868). It was a period of instability in Spain. There were frequent changes of government and military coups. Isabel was forced to leave Spain in 1868 and she abdicated. The monarchy was restored in 1874. The period after that is known as the Restoration.
After Isabel II left Spain:
• Amadeo of Savoy, an Italian prince, became king of Spain in 1871, chosen by the Cortes. But he faced a lot of opposition and he abdicated in 1873.
• In 1873 the First Republic was proclaimed. In 1874 there was a military coup led by General Martínez Campos, and the Republic ended.
In 1874 the Restoration began. Alfonso XII, Isabel II’s son, returned to Spain to become king. The politician Antonio Cánovas Del Castillo prepared it.
He organized a political system with two political parties: the Conservatives (led by Cánovas) and the Liberals (led by Sagasta). There were elections but only some men could vote. The elections were manipulated and both parties took turns in the government. This was a period of stability which lasted into the 20th century.


Before the Industrial Revolution:
Society was divided into three groups – estates (it was difficult for people to change classes):
• The clergy, owned most of the land and had special privileges.
• The nobility, owned most of the land and had special privileges.
• Ordinary people, paid taxes and had no privileges.
After the Industrial Revolution:
There were three classes with big differences between them but no one was given special privileges:
• The upper class: rich factory owners and bankers and the nobility.
• The middle class (bourgeoisie): civil servants, lawyers, doctors, merchants and small landowners.
• The working class (proletariat):  factory workers and peasants.


The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the 18th century with the invention of the steam engine. Products could be made in factories instead of by hand. Industry expanded and became more important than agriculture.
During the 19th century the Industrial Revolution took place in Europe. These changes happened more slowly in Spain. Spain’s economy was based mainly in agriculture in the 19th century.
But, there were textile factories in Cataluña, mining in Asturias and Río Tinto in Huelva and the steel industry developed in País Vasco.
Transport was transformed by the invention of the steam engine. In the second half of the 19thcentury the Spanish railway network expanded rapidly. This helped industry to develop (it was easier to transport people and products.


In 1898 Spain fought a war against the United States because they supported the independence movement of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The United States defeated Spain. So Spain lost control of it last colonies to the United States. This event is known as the Disaster of ’98. It was the end of the Spanish Empire.

USS Maine entering Havana harbor. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


At the start of the 19th century, Spain controlled most of Central and South America, as well as the Philippines in Asia. But by the end of the century, Spain had lost its last colonies.
Between 1810 and 1825 most of Spain’s colonies became independent, for two reasons:
• The colonists were influenced by the French Revolution. They wanted more rights and freedom from Spanish control.
• Spain was busy fighting against the French people, so its control over the colonies was weaker. The colonies won their independence.
Haiti became independent in 1804. Argentina and Colombia in 1810. Paraguay and Venezuela in 1811. Chile in 1818. Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Peru in 1821. Ecuador in 1822. Bolivia in 1825. Uruguay in 1828. Dominican Republic in 1844. And, finally, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines in 1902.
Spanish Empire at its greatest extent (1790). By Nagihuin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Spain in 1898
Spain in 1898. By Xaverius (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


At this time only males could inherit the throne. Fernando VII and his wife, María Cristina had a daughter, Isabel, but they didn´t have any sons. So, Fernando’s brother, Carlos would be the next king. Fernando VII changed the law so that Isabel could be queen. Fernando died in 1833. Isabel was three years old. Her mother, María Cristina, ruled until Isabel was 18. This caused a series of conflicts named the Carlist Wars:
• The liberals supported Maria Cristina and Isabel II. The liberals supported the ideas of the French Revolution and the Constitution of Cádiz (economic reforms and less power to the monarchy and the Catholic Church).
• The Carlists (conservatives) supported Carlos (Fernando’s VII brother). They wanted a powerful Catholic Church and an absolute monarchy.
The First Carlist War began in 1833 and ended in 1839. The liberals won. The Second Carlist War began in 1846 and ended in 1849. The Third Carlist War began in 1872 and ended in 1876. The liberals won the three of them.
María Cristina, by Vicente López y Portaña [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Isabel II niña. By Carlos Luis de Ribera y Fieve [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Isabell II queen of Spain. See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Carlos María Isidro De Borbón, Fernando VII's brother. Vicente López y Portaña [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


The French army was occupying Spain. On 2 May 1808 there was a revolt in Madrid against the French. This was the beginning of the Spanish War of IndependenceThe war ended in 1814.
Scene from Spanish War of Independence, by Goya. By Yelkrokoyade (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.
The Spanish people fought a guerrilla war against the French army. The French army soon controlled most of Spain. Spain had two governments. A French government in Madrid, headed by Napoleon’s brother, Joseph I (Pepe Botella). 
Joseph Bonaparte. Photo by François Gérard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
And a Spanish government in Cádiz headed by Fernando VII (Carlos IV’s son).
Fernando VII by Goya. Via Wikimedia Commons.
In 1812 the Spanish government in Cádiz approved a new Constitution, called the Constitution of Cádiz (la Pepa). It was Spain’s first liberal constitution:
• The power of the monarchy was reduced.
• Ordinary people could vote in elections (only men).
• Government was separated into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial.
• Freedom of press was established.
• The Spanish Inquisition was abolished.
Constitution of Cadiz, known as "La Pepa". Photo voa Wikimedia Commons.
Spain defeated the French army in 1814 and Fernando VII returned to power. He abolished the Constitution of Cádiz and restored the absolute monarchy.


The Modern Age starts with the French Revolution, in 1789The French people rebelled against their king, Louis XVI.
Louis XVI by Antoine-François Callet. From Wikimedia Commons.
Europe was in crisis. Louis XVI, the French king, ruled as an absolute monarch, he had all power. There were great inequalities between the nobility and the ordinary people (who were extremely poor).
On 14 July 1789 the people of Paris attacked the Bastille prison. The revolt spread from Paris to other parts of France. The king was killed in 1793 and the monarchy was abolished.
As a result of the revolution, France became a republic:
• Power was separated into three branches: legislativeexecutive and judicial.
• The law recognized all citizens as equal (no privileges for the nobility).
• Ordinary people could vote in elections (only men).
The central ideas of the French Revolution were liberty, equality and fraternity.
Photo by Meryabad.
During the French Revolution Napoleon Bonaparte was a military commander. He became Emperor of France in 1804. He wanted to establish a big empire conquering other European countries.
Napoleon Bonaparte. By Halldór Axel (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons.
Spain was ruled by Carlos IV, but Manuel de Godoy, his prime minister, was really in control. In 1807 Napoleon and Godoy signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau. This allowed the French army to cross Spain to conquer Portugal. When the French army was in Spain, Napoleon decided to conquer Spain.
Carlos IV by Goya. Via Wikimedia Commons.
Manuel De Godoy by Agustín Esteve y Marqués. Via Wikimedia Commons.