Antiqua Print Gallery First Spanish Republic
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First Spanish Republic

The First Spanish Republic started with the abdication as King of Spain on February 10, 1873, of Amadeo I, following the Hidalgo Affair, when he had been required by the radical government to sign a decree against the artillery officers. The next day, February 11, the republic was declared by a parliamentary majority made up of radicals, republicans and democrats. It lasted twenty-three months, between February 11, 1873, and December 29, 1874, and had five presidents: Estanislao Figueras, Pi i Margall, Nicolás Salmerón, Emilio Castelar and Francisco Serrano. The Republican leaders planned the establishment of a federal republic, but did not declare it immediately, and instead planned a Constituent Cortes to write a federal constitution. The radicals preferred a unitary republic, and once the republic had been declared the two parties turned against each other; initially the radicals were largely driven from power, joining those who had already been driven out by the revolution of 1868 or by the Carlist War. Subversion in the army, a series of local cantonalist risings, instability in Barcelona, failed anti-federalist coups, calls for revolution by the International Workingmen's Association, the lack of any broad political legitimacy, and personal in-fighting among the republican leadership all weakened the republic. The Republic effectively ended on January 3, 1874, when the Captain General of Madrid, Manuel Pavía, pronounced against the federalist government and called on all parties except Federalists and Carlists to form a national government. The monarchists and Republicans refused, leaving the unitary Radicals and Constitutionalists as the only group willing to govern; again a narrow political base. General Francisco Serrano formed a new government and was appointed President of the Republic although it was a mere formality since the Cortes had been dissolved. Carlist forces managed to expand the territory under their control to the greatest extent in early 1874, though a series of defeats by the republic's northern army in the second half of the year might have led to the end of the war had it not been for bad weather. However the other monarchists had taken the name of Alfonsists as supporters of Alfonso, the son of the former Queen Isabel, and were organised by Cánovas del Castillo. This period of the Republic lasted until Brigadier Martínez Campos pronounced for Alfonso in Sagunto on 29 December 1874, and the rest of the army refused to act against him. The government collapsed, leading to the end of the republic and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy with the proclamation of Alfonso XII as king. (Wikipedia)