The 19th Century saw a rash of civil wars in Spain and Portugal. Essentially these pitted progressive constitutionalists against authoritarian absolutists in the guise of a dispute on royal succession. Although now little known outside Spain or Portugal, in their time these wars were international in flavour. The other European nations looked on with considerable interest, and forces from Portugal, Spain, Britain, and France were involved.
Much of the war took place in the Basque provinces in the north of Spain, and I thought it worth describing it a bit. One of the British soldiers who fought there was rather taken by the local scenery:
An outline the major events of the Second Carlist War (Matiners’ War). Primarily I have used Holt (1967).
“Matiner” means early riser. The Matiners’ War was started by a group of Carlists who rose in rebellion before the majority were ready. Note: Spanish sources refer the the Matiner’s War as the Second Carlist War and to the 1872-76 affair as the Third Carlist War. Other, English, sources refer to the 1872-76 war as … Read more
When Ferdinand VII of Spain died in 1833, his fourth wife Cristina became Queen regent on behalf of their infant daughter Isabel II. This splintered the country into two factions known as the Cristinos (or Isabelinos) and the Carlists. The Cristinos were the supporters of the Queen Regent and her government. The Carlists were the supporters of Don Carlos, pretender to the throne and brother of the deceased Ferdinand VII. The First Carlist War lasted over 7 years and the fighting spanned most of the country at one time or another, although the main conflict centred around the Carlist homelands of the Basque Country and Aragon.
In my timeline for the First Carlist War I outline the events and suggest wargaming scenarios.
Queen Isabel II was overthrown by a conspiracy of liberal Generals, and left Spain in some disgrace. The generals replaced her with a Amadeo, the Duke of Aosta (and second son of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy), Then when the Spanish elections of 1872 resulted in a swing away from the Carlists, the Carlist pretender, Carlos VII, decided that only force of arms can win him the throne.