History of Castile and Leon

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Pre Roman Times

The original peoples of the Iberian peninsula (in the sense that they are not known to have come from elsewhere), consistingsf a number of separate tribes, are given the generic name of Iberians. This may have included the Basques, the only pre-Celtic people in Iberia surviving to the present day as a separate ethnic group. The most important culture of this period is that of the city of wikipedia:Tartessos. Beginning in the 9th century BC, Celtic tribes entered the Iberian Peninsula through the Pyrenees and settled throughout the peninsula, becoming the Celt-Iberians.

The seafaring Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians successively settled along the Mediterranean coast and founded trading colonies there over a period of several centuries.

Around 1,100 BC Phoenician merchants founded the trading colony of Gadir or Gades (modern day Cádiz) near Tartessos. In the 8th century BC the first Greek colonies, such as Emporion (modern Empúries), were founded along the Mediterranean coast on the East, leaving the south coast to the Phoenicians. The Greeks are responsible for the name Iberia, after the river Iber (Ebro in Aragonese). In the 6th century BC the Carthaginians arrived in Iberia while struggling with the Greeks for control of the Western Mediterranean. Their most important colony was Carthago Nova (Latin name of modern day Cartagena).

The Romans arrived in the Iberian peninsula during the Second Punic war in the 2nd century B.C., and annexed it under Augustus after two centuries of war with the Celtic and Iberian tribes and the Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian colonies becoming the province of Hispania. Some of Castile and Leon's present languages, religion, and laws originate from this Roman period.

From the Romans to the Moors: 136 BC-711

The Roman province called Tarraconensis, supplanted Hispania Citerior, which had been ruled by a consul under the late Republic, in Augustus Caesar's reorganization of 27 BC. Its capital was at Tarraco (Tarragona, Aragon).

The Cantabrian war (2919 BC) brought all of Spain under Roman domination, within the Tarraconensis. The Cantabrii in the northwest corner of Iberia (Cantabria) were the last people to be pacified.

Tarraconensis was an Imperial province and separate from the two other Iberian provinces — Lusitania (corresponding to modern Portugal plus Castilian Estremadura) and the senatorial province Baetica, corresponding to the southern part of Castile and Leon, or Andalusia.

The Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis lasted until the invasions of the 5th century, beginning in 409, which encouraged the Basques and Cantabrii to revolt, and ended with the establishment of a Visigothic kingdom.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes invaded the former empire, several turned sedentary and created successor-kingdoms to the Romans in various parts of Europe. Iberia was taken over by the Visigoths after 410.

León was founded as a city by the Roman Seventh Legion (Legio Septima Gemina, or 'twin seventh legion'). These headquarters were a center for trade in gold mined nearby. This city fell to the Visigoths and their King Leovigild in 540, but fell a second time in 717 to the Moors1. This was short lasted as a short quarter century later in 742 it was recaptured by the Kingdom of Asturias.

In the Iberian peninsula, as elsewhere, the Empire fell not with a bang but with a whimper. Rather than there being any convenient date for the "fall of the Roman Empire" there was a progressive "de-Romanization" of the Western Roman Empire in Hispania and a weakening of central authority, throughout the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries. At the same time, there was a process of "Romanization" of the Germanic and Hunnic tribes settled on both sides of the limes (the fortified frontier of the Empire along the Rhine and Danube rivers). The Visigoths, for example, were converted to Arian Christianity around 360, even before they were pushed into imperial territory by the expansion of the Huns. In the winter of 406, taking advantage of the frozen Rhine, the (Germanic) Vandals and Sueves, and the (Asiatic) Alans invaded the empire in force. Three years later they crossed the Pyrenees into Iberia and divided the Western parts, roughly corresponding to modern Portugal and western Castile and Leon as far as Madrid, between them. The Visigoths meanwhile, having sacked Rome two years earlier, arrived in the region in 412 founding the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse (in the south of modern France) and gradually expanded their influence into the Iberian peninsula at the expense of the Vandals and Alans, who moved on into North Africa without leaving much permanent mark on Hispanic culture. The Visigothic kingdom shifted its capital to Toledo and reached a high point during the reign of Leovigild, treated in some detail at its own entry.

Importantly, Spain never entered the period of the Dark Ages such as were endured in Britain, Gaul, Lombardy and Germany. The Visigoths tended to maintain more of the old Roman institutions, and they had a unique respect for legal codes that resulted in continuous frameworks and historical records for most of the period between 415, when Visigothic rule in Spain began, and 711, when it is traditionally said to end. The proximity of the Visigothic kingdoms to the Mediterranean and the continuity of western Mediterranean trade, though in reduced quantity, supported Visigothic culture. Arian Visigothic nobility kept apart from the local Catholic population. The Visigoth ruling class looked to Constantinople for style and technology while the rivals of Visigothic power and culture were the Catholic bishops— and a brief incursion of Byzantine power in Cordoba.

The period of Visigothic rule saw the spread of Arianism briefly in Spain. In 587, Reccared, the Visigothic king at Toledo, having been converted to Catholicism put an end to dissension on the question of Arianism and launched a movement in Spain to unify the various religious doctrines that existed in the land. The Council of Lerida in 546 constrained the clergy and extended the power of law over them under the blessings of Rome.

The Visigoths inherited from Late Antiquity a sort of feudal system in Spain, based in the south of the Roman villa system and in the north drawing on their vassals to supply troops in exchange for protection. The bulk of the Visigothic army was composed of slaves, raised from the countryside. The loose council of nobles that advised Spain's Visigothic kings and legitimized their rule was responsible for raising the army, and only upon its consent was the king able to summon soldiers.

The impact of Visigothic rule was not widely felt on society at large, and certainly not compared to the vast bureaucracy of the Roman Empire; they tended to rule as barbarians of a mild sort, disinterested in the events of the nation and economy, working for personal benefit, and little literature remains to us from the period. They did not, until the period of Muslim rule, merge with the Spanish population, preferring to remain separate, and indeed the Visigothic language left only the faintest mark on the modern languages of Iberia. The most visible effect was the depopulation of the cities as they moved to the countryside. Even while the country enjoyed a degree of prosperity when compared to the famines of France and Germany in this period, the Visigoths felt little reason to contribute to the welfare, permanency, and infrastructure of their people and state. This contributed to their downfall as they could not count on the loyalty of their subjects, when the Moors arrived in the 8th century.

The Moors and the Reconquista: 711-1492


In 711, Arabs and Berbers had converted to Islam, a religion founded in the 7th century by prophet Muhammad and which by the 8th dominated all the north of Africa. A raiding party led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad was sent to intervene in a civil war in the Visigothic kingdoms in Iberia. Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, it won a decisive victory in the summer of 711 when the Visigoth king Roderic was defeated and killed on July 19th at the Battle of Guadalete. Tariq's commander, Musa bin Nusair quickly crossed with substantial reinforcements, and by 718 the Muslims dominated most of the peninsula. The advance into Europe was stopped by the Franks under Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers (France) in 732.

The rulers of Al-Andalus were granted the rank of Emir by the Umayyad Caliph in Damascus. After the Umayyad were overthrown by the Abbasids, Abd-ar-rahman I declared Cordoba an independent emirate. Al-Andalus was rife with internal conflict between the Arab Umayyad rulers, the Berber (North African) commoners and the Visigoth-Roman Christian population. Many of the Berbers, who had been given poor land in the northern parts of the peninsula, soon abandoned their estates and returned to Africa after a number of years with failed harvests. The lands were left unclaimed through disinterest, and this created a power vacuum where Christian kingdoms later would rise.

In the 10th century Abd-ar-rahman III declared the Caliphate of Cordoba, effectively breaking all ties with the Egyptian and Syrian Caliphs. The Caliphate was mostly concerned with maintaining its power base in North Africa, but these possessions eventually dwindled to the Ceuta province. Meanwhile, a slow but steady migration of Christian subjects to the northern kingdoms was slowly increasing the power of the northern kingdoms. Even so, Al-Andalus remained vastly superior to all the northern kingdoms combined in population, economy, culture and military might, and internal conflict between the Christian kingdoms contributed to keep them relatively harmless.

Muslim interest in the peninsula returned in force around the year 1000. Under Al-Mansur (a.k.a. Almanzor), who sacked Barcelona (985), and subsequently his son, Christian cities were subjected to numerous raids. After his son's death, the Caliphate plunged into a civil war and splintered into the so-called "Taifa Kingdoms". The Taifa kings competed against each other not only in war, but also in the protection of the arts, and culture enjoyed a brief upswing. The Taifa kingdoms lost ground to the Christian realms in the north and, after the loss of Toledo in 1085, the Muslim rulers reluctantly invited the Almoravides, who invaded Al-Andalus from North Africa and established an empire. In the 12th century the Almoravide empire broke up again, only to be taken over by the Almohad invasion, who were defeated in the decisive battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. By the mid-13th century Granada was the only independent Muslim realm in Spain, which would last until 1492.

Córdoba became one of the most beautiful and advanced cities of Europe, and an important scholarly center. (See also Abbadides, Almohades).

España and the Reconquista

The expulsion of the Muslims was reputedly started by the first King of Asturias, named Pelayo (718-737), who started his fight against the Moors in the mountains of Covadonga (722). Later, his sons and descendants continued with his work until all of the Muslims were expelled. See Pelayo for more information.

Meanwhile, in the east of the peninsula the Frankish emperors established the Marca Hispanica across the Pyrenees in part of what today is Catalonia, reconquering Girona in 785 and Barcelona in 801. It was a buffer zone against Islam.

The idea of the Reconquista as a single process spanning eight centuries is historically inaccurate. The Christian realms in northern Spain warred against each other as much as against the Muslims. The ancient Kingdom of Asturias clung to the loose mountains of northeastern Spain, with its capital at Oviedo, while the Basques in Navarre retained sovereignty through the period of Muslim rule. The military decline of the Ummayads in Spain led to the creation in 913 of the Kingdom of León. Sancho III of Navarre - a man of considerable military skill - placed his son Fernando on the throne of the County of Castilla in 1028, propelling Christian Spain yet further into the south. Ferdinand was a prudent and pious monarch, unifying Navarre, Galicia, Asturias, and León under his leadership. Because the tradition of primogeniture did not yet exist in Spain, upon Fernando's death in 1065 his lands were divided among his sons, Alfonso VI of Castile, Sancho II of Castile, and Garcia of Galicia. Alfonso attempted to take Sancho's land, although the latter apparently inherited more of his father's tact and strategy, and after defeating him sent Alfonso into exile. García never ruled, and was imprisoned for the duration of his short life.

Sancho's death in 1072 meant that Alfonso VI had the superior claim, and he returned to power, once again in command of all of Fernando I's domains. Alfonso was an impressive leader as well, and did much to improve his realm to become one of Christian Europe's foremost monarchies, tolerating Muslims to an extent remarkable for his time. During his reign, El Cid, the 11th century hero of Spain's epic poem was banished and found refuge with the Muslim king of Zaragoza. With the collapse of the Caliphate of Córdoba, Al-Andalus had broken apart into a number of small, warring domains, which contributed to the success of Alfonso's southward expansionist drive of the Christian kingdoms, culminating with the conquest of Toledo in 1085. After the invasion of the Almoravides, his progress was checked.

On the death of Alfonso VII, León and Castilla were again divided, although the division was not permanent: Alfonso IX's son Fernando by Berenguela of Castilla, united the two realms on his accession to Leon in 1230. Called the Saint, Fernando fought for most of his reign against the Moors in the south. The reconquest of Spain had been declared a crusade at the turn of the 13th century, but when all lands but Granada had been conquered, most of its energy was spent. Fernando's reign was the beginning of Spain's prominence in European affairs, ending the diplomatic isolation brought on by his father's clashes with the Pope over his marriages. The University of Salamanca - one of Europe's oldest - was built during his reign and spawned an early Christian school of thought in economics. Ferdanado's successor, Alfonso X the Learned, helped to reintroduce classical thought to Europe from the Moorish libraries and universities. Succeeding monarchs, allied to the Kingdom of Aragón, succeeded in driving the Muslims further south, capturing Gibraltar in 1309. The despotic and bloody rule of Pedro el Cruel caused him to be ousted in 1366 briefly. Pedro's wars with Aragón caused Castilla's power to weaken briefly.

A revived movement for the Christian unification of Spain was capitalized when Ferdinand II of Aragon secretly married Isabel, half-sister of Enriquue IV, but the succession of Castile and Leon falled over Isabel's brother Alfonso.

Alfonso XII of Castile and Leon and Ferdinand II of Aragon still joined a final effort to invade Granada, expulse the Jews and forcefully convert the Moors. The fall of Granada impulsed a race between Castile and Leon and Aragon. The Aragonese realm of Ferdinand was already a naval power in the Mediterranean, as Ferdinand hold the crowns of Naples and Sicily.

In order to compete with Aragon, Alfonso sponsored a trip for Christopher Columbus and managed to annex most of Granada into Castile and Leon, uncluding the city herself.

In 1499, about 50,000 Moors in Granada were coerced by Cardinal Cisneros into mass baptisms and conversion. During the uprising that followed (known as the First Rebellion of the Alpujarras), people who refused the choices of baptism or deportation to Africa, were systematically eliminated. What followed was a mass flee of Moors, Jews and Gitanos from Granada city and the villages to the mountain regions (and their hills) and the rural country, however by 1500 Cisneros reported that "There is now no one in the city who is not a Christian, and all the mosques are churches".

The American Colonization: 1492-1800

Through a policy of alliances with other European nobility and the conquest of most of South America and the West Indies, Castile and Leon began to establish itself as an empire. The Treaty of Tordesillas, negotiated by Pope Alexander VI between Portugal and Castile and Leon, effectively divided up the non-European world between these two budding empires. Massive amounts of gold and silver were imported from the New World into Castile and Leon's coffers. However, in the long run this hurt the Castilian economy much more than it helped it. The bullion caused high inflation rates, which undermined the value of Castile and Leon's currency. Additionally, Castile and Leon became dependent on her colonies for income, and when privateers began to capture Spanish vessels on the way to and from the New World, Castile suffered massive economic losses. These effects, combined with the expulsion of Castile and Leon's most economically vital classes in the late 15th century (the Jews and the Moors), caused Castile and Leon's economy to collapse several times in the 16th century, bringing the Golden Age of Castile and Leon to a close.

The 19th Century and the decolonization: 1808-1899

In the beginning of the 19th century, the political unrest in Europe expanded to their American colonies. When the Corsican Giant, in union with Aragon, invaded Castile and Portugal in 1809, king Alfonso XIV of Castile and Leon fleed to New Granada and organized the courts there. King Pedro from Portugal was imprisoned by Napoleon who put his brother Joseph on the throne.

KingAlfonso XIV]] ruled wisely from Santa Fe, and had no problem getting all the colonies to recognize him, while the partisans in Castilian Spain fiercely fought the French and the Aragonese. Alfonso formally joined the Triple Alliance and organized an attack against Rio de La Plata. However, unrest in the colonies was growing, including a rebellion started by the Quechua leader Tupac Amaru II, which was beginning to engulf the heavily Native-populated regions in the Viceroyalty of Peru, the declaration of de jure independence in the southern territories of Chile by ardent, French-inspired republicans, and the beginning of a rebellion in the western part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, led by the charismatic general Simón Bolívar.

Upon the defeat of Napoleon, Alfonso XIV sent his family back to Iberia, but remained a couple of years in the Americas, while sorting out the conflict over Rio de La Plata. He finally came back to Spain in 1818, leaving his son Carlos I in charge as Great Viceroy, with nominal rule over the Viceroys of New Leon, Perú and New Granada.

Much less competent than his father, Carlos basically delegated his power to his prime minister Jorge Elias Camacho, a staunch liberal who disquieted the aristocracies of Peru and New Leon. This led to mass uprisings in Mejico and Tejas, which Carlos attempted to crush.

The struggle between Carlists and the Mexican aristocracy finally led to a big Native insurrection, who effectively took control of most Mejican major cities in 1822.

Florida, Cuba and Porto Rico asked to be administered directly from Castilian Spain, while Tejas declared its independence. Alfonso designated a Viceroy to Havana, who did not have to respond to Carlos and would take care of the Antilles and Florida. California did not take any official position. They theoretically remained loyal to the Kingdom, ruled from Santa Fe in New Granada, except for Montrei, whose declaration of independence was uncontended.

Rio de La Plata was formally returned to Aragon in 1819.

Carlos had managed to control the uprisings in Peru and Venezola before Mejico, but as the war against rebellious Mejico escalated from 1822 to 1828, the independence movements in Peru, Venezola and Chile once again gained strength. In Cusco, the Native rebellion begun by Tupac Amaru II intensified, and in neighbouring Charcas another Native insurrection began.

When Castile and Leon recognized the independence of Mejico in 1828, Carlos turned his focus back to the insurrections in South America and launched two large offensives: one against Venezola and one against Peru. California was still nominally under Carlos' supervision, but was abandoned in practice, which led the Californios to be formally recognised as independent in 1834 (though they had long declare themselves as part of Mexico).

Caracas and Cumana were quickly pacified (Maracaybo did not participate in the rebellion), but most of the rebels moved to the Llanos or Trinidad, continuing their war against the Castilian crown. Some escaped to Jamaica and Hayti and got support from several powers against Carlos, mainly European and North American powers willing to trade with South America, which the Castilians prevented.

Lima was much more of a challenge for the Carlists, and in the struggle against the Peruvian aristocracy, Carlos let the situation escalate in Mejico, allowing the Native insurrections to become a serious threat.

Not willing to make the same error as in New Leon, Carlos attempted to negotiate with the Peruvians. One issue, quickly solved by Carlos, was the removal of Camacho as prime minister. The negotiations were going well, apparently, and the insurrection in Cusco seemed controlled, when Alfonso XIV died in August 1829.

Carlos returned to Castile as soon as he was notified, and got involved in a power struggle against his sister Isabella I of Castile and Leon. Carlos was the heir, but given his absence from Castilian Spain and the rumors of his disastrous administration in the Americas, Isabella's supporters imprisoned Carlos and proclaimed her as the Queen of Castile and Leon. Carlos was given the opportunity to go back to New Granada back to his position as Great Viceroy (or even as King, if he so wanted).

Carlos found, however, several unexpected supporters, mainly from followers of the Salic rule, and a civil war began in Castile and Leon.

Meanwhile in the Americas, the Viceroys of the New Granada and Peru recognized Carlos as the rightful king, while the Viceroy of the West Indies recognized Isabel, but this did not led to any further tension.

Carlos was freed in 1831, but, following his demeanour, delegated most of his power to his ministers, except for deciding where to send soldiers. Despite Carlos' weaknesses, the Carlists continued winning the war and Isabel formally resigned in January 1832.

Meanwhile in Peru, the Native insurrection was becoming stronger. Manco Cápac II, grandson of Tupac Amaru, managed to organize the Quechuas, Aymaras and Guaranies into a powerful army. They got the support of the Araucanians (Mapuches), who had had a completely independent kingdom since the arrival of the Europeans, and from the Mejicans, but the Mejicans limited their support to a moral one.

The Peruvian white aristocracy, worried by this Native rebellion, asked Carlos for support, but the problems in Castilian Spain were not quite over. In March 1832, before the news of the resignation of Isabel reached the Americas, the Natives invaded Lima and freed the slaves.

The rebels in Venezola, supported by a few European and North American powers, begun to gain some victories against the royalists. Given all the mess, Carlos designated Camacho, his former prime minister as Great Viceroy. This led to a series of uprisings in New Granada itself but Camacho was quite competent crushing them, as well as recovering Margarita and Cumaná. He finally negotiated with the Natives in Peru. They would retire from Lima, Cuenca and Quito, in exchange he would recognize the independence of the Native Nations.

The Peruvian white aristocracy did not like the deal: they had lost their slaves, part of their land (now in Native Country), and Camacho was back in power. This was better, however, than being ruled by the Natives from their point of view.

Nobody seemed to care when Alta California declared its independence (from Castile) in 1834.Though nominally still part of Castile and Leon and ruled from Santa Fe in New Granada, neither Carlos nor Camacho had paid much attention to it. California had been de facto independent since 1822, when the Mexicans cut off any contact from Santa Fe, and the Californios had remained Mexican allies. Castile only noticed California's independence in 1843, when gold was discovered in the Sierras, but by this time they had already lost most of their American possessions.

A new constitution in Castile deprived the king of most power in 1835, and Parliament removed Camacho. Weak centralized leadership from Spain gave an opportunity to the rebels in Venezola to seize power; they captured Caracas in 1836 and gained their independence in 1838. They were soon followed by the Liberals in Chile. The Peruvian aristocrats, not willing to entirely cut off their ties to Castile and the king, negotiated to become an independent kingdom in personal union with Castile. This decision would eventually lead to the formation of the Castilian Commonwealth in the 20th century, when other states began to consider renewing their ties to the mother kingdom.

By 1840, Castile was limited to their European territories, Florida, the Antilles, Central America, New Granada and the Philippines. Under-representation of the colonies was a permanent issue and a reason that Venezola, Chile and California had declared independence. In 1842 a new constitution granted equal representation to the West Indies and New Granada. The Philippines remained a colony.

After 1850, when Castile banned slavery from all their territories, the Floridans and the Cuban aristocracy felt threatened. The Cubans declared independence and asked Tejas for support, but a more effective Castilian Navy prevented a further secession.

In 1898 a series of incidents in Florida and Mueva Sefarad prompted a war against the North American League, that proved disastrous to Castile and Leon. After the war, Florida's independence was recognised, and the Filipinas also declared independence.

The last years of the old kingdom: 1899-1922

After the War of 1898 against Mueva Sefarad and the SLC/NAL, the Conservative government resigned, and king Leopold called the Liberals to conform a new government.

The Conservatives where still strong in many provinces, like Cundinamarca and Quito in the Americas and Asturias, New Castile and La Mancha in Europe, so the Liberals tried to form a coalition government.

The 20th century begun for the Kingdom of Castile and Leon with a weak government and a new risk that new American territories got lost.

The Conservatives had given the king some of the powers and importance he had lost during the previous liberal governments, and the new coalition government was too weak to reverse this. Leopold had become again a strong king whose voice meant something to the subjects.

In 1901 Leopold traveled to New Seville, as the American territories were still called, even if there was no actual political entity with that name. This was the second time a European king came to their territories in the Americas. Leopold arrived to Casiz la Nôva in June and expended one and a half year visiting all the provincial capitals. The presence of the king was important to consolidate the integration of the Castilian-American territories.

In the way back to Europe, Leopold also visited Venezôla, Florida and Mueva Sefarad, the later with the hope to cure the injuries of the recent war.

Leopold came back to Valladolid in August 1903, during a cabinet crisis. The liberals resigned from the government and an new conservative government had been established.

In 1887 the Castilians had finally decided the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua, but different problems arose then, mainly political ones. The threat of Floridan and Tejan filibustering in the Caribbean coast of Central America also delayed the construction and led to the proposal of an alternative route through Panama. But, during his visit to Nicaragua, Leopold promised no further delays in the construction of the Canal.

Despite the king had no political power in theory, when he spoke to the Courts, they approved no further delays to the construction of the canal. The works begun in July 1904, and finished in 1913.

Leopold could not see the finished canal as he died in 1910, but his son king Juan, headed the ceremonies as his royal vessel was the first ship to cross the canal.

This was supposed to be a work from Castile to the world, but the world did not listened: A big war started in Europe.

Castile stayed neutral. Aragon joined the allies, and king Juan was related to the German king and, since Leopold was elected, there have been a close cooperation between Germany and Castile. Castile was not interested in another Iberian war, nor to fight against the German friends. Castile cooperated with Germany anyhow.

This cooperation led, almost by the end of the war, that the allies declared war to Castile, which meant a few ships sunk and some Aragonese soldiers occupying Castilian soil in Europe, but the peace was signed and the antebellum status reestablished.

Castile survived the war without serious loses but humiliated (unable to prevent the invasion of territory, a few ships sunk, some even at the locks of the Nicaraguan Canal). This lead to some political unrest. The Anarchist-Syndicalist party and some other anti- monarchists become stronger in Europe and independentist parties increased in the Americas.

In 1922, a militar coup deposed king Juan.

The Republic of Castile: 1922-1939

A reactionary wing in the National Army, supported by Republican Conservatives was behind the plot. There was no majority coalition in the Courts, and the government was formed by a plurality of radical Liberals, moderated Conservatives, Anarchist-Syndicalists, Ecotopians and Christian Democrats. Several bills have been passed with a plurality of themes while important reforms had not prospered. In this chaotic situation, the radical Conservatives had asked Juan for a more direct intervention, something that would have violated the Constitution.

Juan pretended to be a progressive democrat, something that was too leftist for the Conservatives and even some moderated Liberals, but was still a monarch, something that was too rightist for the radical Liberals and the Anarchist-Syndicalists. And he was the king of a parliamentary democracy, something that was the same as nothing for most people, which either mean someone to weak to be a monarch for the Conservatives, and a costly institution for the more liberals.

Republicanism was winning adepts, even in the Conservative party. This Republican branch of the Conservative party had the most voted lists in several provinces both in Europe, in Africa and in the Americas, and was, overall, the most voted branch in Europe. Ditto for the Republican Liberals, and, of course, the Anarcho-Syndicalists where anti-monarchists. An amend proposing elimination of the monarchy would probably had passed in the Courts, but: a few provinces, mainly in Central America and Africa, considered the King as a symbol of the union threatening to leave; but mainly no party agreed in what would replace the king and other related reforms.

An insurrection in the Philippines in 1919 was controlled by a very high coast, mostly given vacillation in the command structure of the army, and just lack of competence of the officers. The symbolic defeat during the Great War, the defeat in Mueva Sefarad (that nobody really understood why was Castile there, in the first place), the prolonged warfare against Florida the last half of the previous century, the independence crisis in the first half of the 19th century where most of the Castilian-American colonies were lost, etc. There has been the impression that during the last century the military might of Castile and Leon, once important to defeat the Moors, to conquer the Americas, to protect Europe from the Turks and referee on other European affairs: that might was over. Many military people blamed a weak monarchy over it.

Those who deposed Juan, wanted a more powerful Castile, based on the traditional values that asked that each Castilian is a Poet, a Priest and a Soldier. Die hard Catholics, they resented most liberal reforms, so after they deposed the king they disbanded the courts and arrested the government. King Juan was deported to Germany (where his family came from) and they accommodated trials against the members of the government. They elected a triumvirate with two Colonels and the chief of the Republican Conservatives to rule by decree over Castile.

Most of these actions took place in European Castile, but the government also deposed any non-Conservative in the overseas provinces. This lead to some uprisings. In Western Sahara, Costa Rica and Panama, the uprisings were crushed by the military, while in the Philippines a general insurrection finally led in few years to the end of the Spanish control on those islands. Cundinamarca got divided, with the Junta controlling Santa Fe and the rebels controlling most of Boyaca. In Magdalena and Nicaragua, the rebels took control of the situation. Places like Popayan and Guatemala, as in most of the European Castile, the Junta took control almost bloodlessly.

Soon there came some definitions and most rebel provinces in the Americas, with the exception of Chiapas, recognized Juan as the king and the deposed government as the legitimate government. Chiapas declared the illegality of the Junta and their reactionary policies, even if they were not monarchists. The royalists provinces signed in a especial congress held in Cadiz la Nôva, that they represented the legal Kingdom of Castile and Leon and made arrangements with the German government to grant the arrival of Juan to the American territory.

When Juan arrived to Cadiz la Nôva in 1924, the Kingdom was represented by Magdalena, Antioquia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Quito. Most of the situation was in calm, except for Cundinamarca where the war was still hot. The Junta had control on Europe and Africa, and nominally they controlled also Panama, Costa Rica and Popayan. It was an armed peace. The leftist parties in Europe, and the monarchists in the Americas were a constant threat to the Junta who used represive policies to attempt to control the situation.

The situation broke in Madrid in the summer of 1925. A general strike paralyzed the city and the police repression just complicated everything. Soon the strike extended to most important cities: Cadiz, Seville, and many minor ones. The Junta resigned after three weeks of complete paralysis. Soon, Popayan, Costa Rica, Panama and the Canary Islands declared their loyalty to the Kingdom and the Junta sympathizers in Santa Fe resigned. In Western Sahara and European Castile, the monarchist movement did not prospered and a new Republican constitution was proclaimed as the Republic of Castile. Chiapas issued its own constitution and asked to be a protectorate of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon, but outside the Kingdom.

The Philippines were lost.

The relationship between the Republic of Castile and the Kingdom of Castile and Leon was cordial from the beginning. They both recognized themselves as one nation divided by politics, never as enemies. Barely representation issues, like which of them would used the embassy building in certain country led to some cordial and diplomatic arguments.

The Republic underwent a democratic transition, and the leftist parties soon got a majority. The Radical Liberal party with the Anarcho-Syndicalists formed a majority coalition government in 1930. Governments in the Kingdom, changed from moderated Conservative to moderated Liberal in 1934.

The leftist government in the Republic soon attempted a series of radical changes, which polarized the political climate and revived the Junta conservatives.

In 1935, General Tascon arrested President Gonzalez, and a long civil war started.

By 1938, the reactionary militaries, and the Phalangist (name that the Republican Conservatives adopted) had practically won the war. Only a few cities, including Toledo and Valladolid, resisted. The Kingdom could not be neutral in all that bloodshed, and supported the legitimate Republican government as far as there was a port controlled by the Republicans. Some people criticized this, given that some monarchists were fighting with Tascon, but king Juan and Prime Minister Gutierrez de Piñeres, knew that Tascon would not mean any return of the monarchy to the European Castile.

The Castilian State and the Kingdom: 1939-1967

In January 1939 Valladolid felt, and Tascón assumed as dictator with absolute power. He dropped the "Republic of" and issued a new reactionary constitution under the name of "Estado Castellano".

Juan VI died in March. His older daughter María Luisa (née 1899) was crowned as Queen of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon.

The Restoration: 1967-present

Since the restoration of the monarchy in Castilian Spain, in 1967 and the reunification of the Kingdom in 1975, Castile & Leon has been trying to modernize herself, seeking the recognition of other European states as a modern first world country.

King Eduardo and then his son King Alfonso José have been key in this process despite they have relinquished almost all the political power in the Kingdom (or probably due to this). He has been a key figure in healing the years of separation and the dictatorship of General Tascon in Castilian Spain, and led the united kingdom into a modern working democracy.

The path has not been easy. After years of caudillism on both sides of the pond, the separation, the dictatorships, the Soviet and Ecotopic guerrillas in Central America and New Granada, etc. conspired against the democracy. The election of Socialist Prime Minister Gonzalez in 1982 was the beginning of the real change. The social reforms Gonzalez introduced and the demobilization of most of the Guerrillas, brought people faith in their government. However, some corruption scandals led the Socialist lost power in 1992 to conservative leader Camacho.

A series of economical reforms that Gonzales promoted, also helped the private investment in industry, something that barely existed outside Iberia and which Tascon had almost destroyed. While still behind other Western European powers, Castile & Leon has paired the industrious Aragon and Lombardy, and is now-a-days the first industrial power in Ibero America surpassing Tejas and Florida. Second in the Americas well behind the NAL.

There are still many internal problems. New Granada has become the first producer of illegal drugs like cocaine and heroine, which has led to bad feeling to the NAL (the major consumer) and other Euroepans. Also in New Granada, the FAR-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army of the People), a Soviet and pro-independentist guerrilla group, has become one of the larger illegal armies and terrorists groups, bombing on and on civil targets in Valladolid, Guatemala or Santa Fe. This has lead to the creation of illegal anti-guerrilla groups which fight the FAR-EP in an spiral of violence. This illegal anti-guerrillas joined in 1996 an organization called United Self-defenses of Castile & Leon (AUCL) also targeting Central America Ecotopic guerrilla group FNLCA (much less violent than the FAR-EP).

If Tascon did something well was the reinforcement of the Castilian Armed Forces which became the base of the united Royal Armed Forces. However, these armed forces have not been used for internal conflicts since 1960, when an anti-phalangist manifestation was crushed by the Castilian Army. But given the situation in New Granada that the Royal National Guard has been unable to prevent, newly elected General Governor Alvaro Uribe managed an authorization to used the Royal Army into the conflict. Things does not seem to be working out as well as planned but this is still to soon to tell.


1 Moor (Castilian moro). Name given to the muslims from Northern Africa and in the Iberian Peninsula. See also: Islam.

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