[1820] - Military insurrection at Cadiz precipitates revolution in Spain, leading to restoration of 1812 constitution in March

The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was a founding document of classical liberalism which sought to protect civil liberty against the threat of monarchical absolutism. It sought to reduce the power of the Crown, the Catholic Church and the Spanish nobility, whilst emphasizing that sovereignty resides in the nation. When Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne in March 1814 he at first promised to uphold the new constitution, but he subsequently abolished it on 4 May. Supported by the Spanish nobility and the Catholic Church, he arrested leading liberal leaders and established an absolutist form of government, asserting the Bourbon doctrine that sovereignty resided in his own person. There were several unsuccessful attempts to restore the 1812 constitution, until a mutiny of army officers broke out in Andalusia on 1 January 1820. The mutiny gained the support of the northern cities and Spanish provinces, prompting Ferdinand to restore the constitution on 7 March. Following the Congress of Verona in 1822, French forces under the Bourbon monarchy intervened to assist Ferdinand in his battle with Spanish liberalism. Ferdinand subsequently defeated his opponents at the Battle of Trocadero in August 1823. Although the 1812 constitution was briefly reinstated in 1836, Spain has since drafted seven further constitutions.

Useful Links and Further Reading