Carlist Wars

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Carlist Wars


dynastic wars from 1833 to 1840 and from 1872 to 1876 between two branches of the Spanish Bourbons.

The First Carlist War began on Oct. 4, 1833, in the city of Talavera after the death of King Ferdinand II, when the gentry that favored absolutism (Carlists) stirred up a rebellion. Led by the son of Carlos IV, Don Carlos the Elder (who took the name Carlos V), they rose up against Maria Cristina, the regent in the early years of the reign of Isabella II. In the ensuing struggle for power, the Carlists used the peasantry of the Basque Provinces, Navarre, Valencia, Aragón, and Catalonia, where the influence of the local aristocracy and the Catholic clergy was strong. Relying on the desire of the people of these regions for autonomy, Don Carlos promised to restore their ancient freedoms. Maria Cristina found support among the bourgeoisie and liberal gentry, who compelled her to agree to a number of liberal bourgeois reforms from 1834 to 1843. The Carlists basically held to a policy of guerrilla warfare. The Carlist detachments in Catalonia and the Basque Provinces headed by T. Zumalacárregui and R. Cabrera y Griño were especially active. In 1837 a Carlist army of 14, 000 men led by Don Carlos tried to take Madrid. After this attempt failed, the Carlist movement rapidly waned. In 1839, Don Carlos was forced to cross the French frontier, and in 1840, Cabrera’s army ceased its resistance.

The Carlists unleashed a new war in 1872, hoping to place on the throne the grandson of Carlos V, Don Carlos the Younger (who took the name Carlos VII). With the help of the Vatican and of reactionary circles in several European states, the Carlists succeeded initially in seizing a significant part of Catalonia and Valencia. However, the Carlists suffered a number of shattering defeats and were compelled to lay down their arms in 1876.


Maiskii, I. M. Ispaniia (1808–1917). Moscow, 1957.
Lafuente, M. Historia general de España, vol. 24. Barcelona, 1930.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dubbed "The Pretender" by those who rejected his claim, Carlos V in 1833 launched the first of four Carlist Wars, a split between members of the Royal Family that was mirrored in Spanish society.
In addition to Spain losing its territories, the country also had to deal with the effects of the Carlist Wars, a series of civil clashes between liberal-republicans and traditional-royalists.
Muro shows how radical Basque nationalists utilise the collective memory of past wars such as the 19th century Carlist Wars and the Spanish Civil War to justify their use of violence in the post Franco period.
To war as a historic constant and also to some of the concrete examples in which Valle-Inclan was interested as a writer and somewhat as a chronicler: the First World War, the Carlist Wars in 19th-century Spain, and the great European and Latin American revolutions at the beginning of the 20th century.
The 19th century Carlist Wars as well as the 20th century Civil War and the diverse impact of these wars on different parts of the Basque Country serve to give a brief historical overview.
Other than being the source of the political term "liberal," the 19th century Carlist wars between Spain and Britain over the issue of female succession to the throne are little-remembered outside of Spain (where they are linked to ongoing issues of Basque autonomy).
Monturiol was, like so many Spaniards, caught up in the Carlist wars which racked Spain.
He lived through the crisis of war-the Carlist wars that brought the bombing of Bilbao in 1873 and 1874, the disaster of 1898, the First World War, and the outbreak of the tragic Civil War in 1936, the year of his death; the crisis of political exile from 1924 to 1930, when his sharp criticism of the dictator Primo de Rivera landed him first on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, then Paris, and finally the border town of Hendaye; and the crisis of public humiliation when he was discharged as rector of the University of Salamanca in 1914 for political reasons, and again, in 1936, when for his challenge to the political regime he was expelled from the lifetime rectorship that two years before had been awarded him after his triumphant return from exile.
He founded numerous societies; wrote pastoral letters on North Africa, the Oxford Movement, the Carlist Wars in Spain and the Irish famine; and was always ready to leave his palace and walk the back streets of the poorest neighbourhoods, often giving the Last Rites to some wretched soul.
The third series covers the Carlist wars; the fourth, 1846 to 1868; and the fifth, comprising only six volumes, the period from 1869 to the Bourbon restoration in 1874.
(52) On the background of the civil war Edgar Holt, The Carlist Wars in Spain.