Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Ferdinand VII,1784–1833, king of Spain (1808–33), son of Charles IVCharles IV,
1748–1819, king of Spain (1788–1808), second son of Charles III, whom he succeeded in place of his imbecile older brother. Unlike his father, Charles IV was an ineffective ruler and in 1792 virtually surrendered the government to Godoy, his chief minister
..... Click the link for more information. and María LuisaMaría Luisa
, 1751–1819, queen of Spain, daughter of Duke Philip of Parma, consort of King Charles IV. Dissolute and domineering, she exerted, with her favorite Godoy, the real power in the government, thus contributing to the downfall of Spain at the hands of
..... Click the link for more information. . Excluded from a role in the government, he became the center of intrigues against the chief minister GodoyGodoy, Manuel de
, 1767–1851, Spanish statesman. An army officer, he won the favor of Queen María Luisa and rose rapidly at the court of Charles IV. The king made him chief minister in 1792, and except for a brief eclipse from power (1798–1801), Godoy ruled
..... Click the link for more information. and attempted to win the support of Napoleon I. In 1807 he was arrested by his father, who accused him of plotting his overthrow and the murder of his mother and Godoy. He was soon forgiven, but the prestige of the family was shaken, and this facilitated Napoleon's invasion of Spain (see Peninsular WarPeninsular War,
1808–14, fought by France against Great Britain, Portugal, Spanish regulars, and Spanish guerrillas in the Iberian Peninsula. Origin and Occupation
..... Click the link for more information. ). A palace revolution at Aranjuez (Mar., 1808) caused the dismissal of Godoy and the abdication of Charles in favor of Ferdinand, who was enthusiastically acclaimed by the people. Ferdinand was soon persuaded to cross the French border and meet Napoleon at Bayonne. There he was forced to renounce his throne in favor of Charles IV, who in turn resigned his rights to Napoleon. The emperor gave the Spanish throne to Joseph Bonaparte. During the Peninsular War (1808–14) Ferdinand was imprisoned in France. In his name the nationalist and liberal elements of Spain resisted the French invaders, and a liberal constitution was proclaimed (1812) by the Cortes at Cádiz. Throughout the Spanish Empire his name was the rallying cry of revolutionary elements. When Ferdinand was restored (1814) to his throne, however, he promptly abolished the liberal constitution and revealed himself a thorough reactionary. After several unsuccessful uprisings, the Spanish liberals (who had organized in secret societies, e.g., the CarbonariCarbonari
[Ital.,=charcoal burners], members of a secret society that flourished in Italy, Spain, and France early in the 19th cent. Possibly derived from Freemasonry, the society originated in the kingdom of Naples in the reign of Murat (1808–15) and drew its members from
..... Click the link for more information. ) staged a successful revolution in 1820 and forced the king to reinstate the constitution of 1812. The Holy Alliance became alarmed, and the Congress of TroppauTroppau, Congress of
, 1820, international conference convened at the behest of Czar Alexander I of Russia under the provisions of the Quadruple Alliance. The congress, which met at Troppau in Austrian Silesia, was attended by representatives of Russia, Austria, Prussia, Great
..... Click the link for more information. was summoned to deal with the Spanish situation. The powers reached no decision, but in 1822 at Verona (see Verona, Congress ofVerona, Congress of,
1822, at Verona, Italy, the last European conference held under the provisions of the Quadruple Alliance of 1814. The main problem discussed was the revolution in Spain against Ferdinand VII, and the congress decided that a French army, under mandate of the
..... Click the link for more information. ), France was delegated by the Holy Alliance to undertake military intervention in Spain and to restore Ferdinand to absolute power. Ferdinand, backed by French arms, revoked the constitution in 1823, and ruthless repression followed. Ferdinand's death caused no less trouble than his reign. His fourth wife, Maria ChristinaMaria Christina
, 1806–78, queen of Spain, daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies. The fourth wife of Ferdinand VII, she persuaded him to confirm (1833) the original revocation (1789) of the Salic law to allow their daughter Isabella to succeed him.
..... Click the link for more information. (1806–78), had persuaded him to set aside the Salic lawSalic law
, rule of succession in certain royal and noble families of Europe, forbidding females and those descended in the female line to succeed to the titles or offices in the family.
..... Click the link for more information. so that their only child, Isabella, might succeed to the throne, thus excluding Ferdinand's brother, Don CarlosCarlos
(Carlos María Isidro de Borbón), 1788–1855, second son of Charles IV of Spain. He was the first Carlist pretender. After his father's abdication (1808) he was, with the rest of his family, held a prisoner in France until 1814.
..... Click the link for more information. (1788–1855), from the succession. When Ferdinand died, the liberals supported Isabella IIIsabella II,
1830–1904, queen of Spain (1833–68), daughter of Ferdinand VII and of Maria Christina. Her uncle, Don Carlos, contested her succession under the Salic law, and thus the Carlist Wars began (see Carlists).
..... Click the link for more information. , while the reactionaries rallied around Don Carlos. The Carlist Wars ensued. During Ferdinand's reign, the Spanish colonies on the mainland of North and South America were lost through the very rebellions that had begun as risings in his favor and against Napoleon.
Born Oct. 13, 1784, in San Ildefonso; died Sept. 29, 1833, in Madrid. King of Spain in 1808 and from 1814 to 1833.
Ferdinand VII ascended to the throne on Mar. 19, 1808, after a popular revolution removed the favorite, M. Godoy, from power and forced Charles IV, Ferdinand VII’s father, to abdicate. In the spring of 1808, however, Spain was occupied by the French, and Napoleon I, taking advantage of the dissension within the royal family, succeeded in forcing Ferdinand VII to abdicate on May 10. Napoleon then placed his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the throne. An exile in France since 1808, Ferdinand VII returned to Spain in 1814 after the collapse of French rule in that country. Surrounding himself with a camarilla, he proceeded to undo the accomplishments of the Spanish Revolution of 1808–14. As a result, in 1820 a new revolution erupted, in the face of which Ferdinand VII was compelled to accept the radical Constitution of 1812 even while continuing to lead the counter-revolutionary camp. In 1823, after the revolution was suppressed by French interventionists, Ferdinand VII restored an absolutist regime in Spain.