Monday, March 10, 2008

Spain under the Restoration
The Restoration was the name given to the period that began in December 29, 1874 after the First Spanish Republic ended with the restoration of Alfonso XII to the throne after a coup d'etat by Martinez Campos, and ended on April 14, 1931 with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.
After almost a whole century of political instability and many civil wars, the aim of the Restoration was to create a new political system, which ensured stability by the practice of turnismo. This was the deliberate rotation of the Liberal and Conservative parties in the government, so no sector of the bourgeoisie felt isolated, and excluded all other parties from the system. This was achieved by electoral fraud.

Reign of Alfonso XIII and crisis of the system (1898 - 1923)
The military discontent, the fear of anarchist terrorism or a proletarian revolution, and the rise of nationalisms ended up causing great agitation amongst the civilians and the military. On September 13, 1923, Miguel Primo de Rivera, Captain General of Catalonia at that time, orchestrated a coup d'état, after emitting a manifesto blaming the problems of Spain on the parliamentary system. Alfonso XIII backed the General, and named him Prime Minister. He proceeded to suspend the Constitution, and assume absolute powers as a dictator, abolishing all other parties. He created the Unión Patriótica Española which was meant to be the sole legal party. During this time, he greatly increased government spending in business and public services, which caused his government to go bankrupt. He lost the support of the military, and faced serious health problems. Opposition to his regime was so great that Alfonso XIII stopped supporting him and forced him to resign in January 1930.

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