Biography of Cea (o Zea) Bermúdez, Francisco

Merchant, diplomat and Spanish statesman, born in Malaga on 28 October 1779 and died in Paris on July 6, 1850. During the war of independence and the reign of Fernando VII he/she was already some missions of diplomatic character, but when it really began to have a specific weight in Spanish politics was behind the Trienio Liberal. In 1823, Fernando VII gave him the command of the Secretary of State's Office, since it retained little time, since the most radical sectors of the absolutism were against her until that the Apostolic impeached it in 1825.

His figure not acquire its full significance until the end of the reign of Fernando VII, when the succession problem arose when Cea would be responsible for tempering the sectors of Spanish absolutism that were opposed to the enactment of the pragmatic sanction which nullified the Salic law established by Felipe V. The more orthodox absolutism did not see well that Fernando VII will go by the succession of his daughter Isabel, instead of by the infante don Carlos. CEA hastened to carry out a series of measures to attract the greatest number of props within the absolutism and even within liberalism. Thus, he/she formed a new Cabinet on October 1, 1832, was going to try to open up minimally to the Liberal postulates.

One of the first gestures of the new Government was the reorganization of military commanders, as well as the reduction and even disappearance of realistic volunteer companies, i.e., any hint of carlism in the army was purged. Locally, in February 1833 Cea Bermúdez decided that it was necessary a renewal of the municipalities, so that through a specialized electoral process, tried that it could become its agencies of Government the burgeoning bourgeoisie, and also enacted an amnesty for Liberals of the period, enabling the return to Spain of some ten thousand exiles. In the cultural field were allowed to universities, which had been closed for two years to return to open their classrooms.

When finally died Fernando VII the desired, in September 1833, the Regent María Cristina held Cea at the head of the Government. The purpose of this was to keep the Spanish State in the immobility of the enlightened despotism. CEA was devoted completely to its functions, arriving to work fourteen hours a day, which meant that it was practically isolated from the reality of the nation and of the popular wish of a truly representative Government. The only possible reforms that Cea considered were administrative; to those who asked a political reform took them by blinded by ambition and political without force in the capital. One of its priorities was to maintain good relations with the courts of Prussia, Austria and Russia, something which demanded political reform; In addition, he/she thought that reform in the Executive would lead the country to carlism. Never faltered their support to the absolutism instituted in Portugal, while the ambassadors of France and England recommended him most effective gestures toward the Liberals.

His manifesto, released on October 4, 1833 (which forced to ratify the own María Cristina) collecting points of your political agenda: the basis of its work was the return to the enlightened despotism, while maintaining the absolutism in order that carlism adhere to their cause; Apart provided an administrative reform based on the ideology of the old enlightened to achieve even minimal, some liberal support. However, the truth is that the solution proposed by Cea was a real disaster.

The manifesto of Santarém, where the infante don Carlos King of Spain, ruled made the first Carlist Civil War was a fact. Thus, Cea was without the support of the hard-line absolutism and also without the Liberals. The political adversaries of Cea put every effort to put an end to a cystic political system. Again in the history of Spain the generals would have a starring role, since both Llauder and Quesada, Captain General of Catalonia and Castilla la Vieja respectively, were beside the conspirators, whose pressure on the Court made that, in January, 1834, the Regent decided the dismissal of Cea. His advisers convinced the Queen Mother that program carried out by this could never achieve to attract Liberals to the Elizabethan cause. The substitute of Cea in charge of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers was the moderate liberal Martínez de la Rosa, known in political circles as "Rosita la Pastelera" for their negotiating arts. The actual statute that turned the Spanish political system into a so-called constitutional monarchy would be released in April of that same year. With these measures the Liberals would support as far as possible to the Regent and the future Queen Isabella II.


EGGERS, E.R. Cea Bermúdez and his time. (Madrid: 1958).

VILLARROYA, JOAQUÍN TOMÁS. The political system of the actual statute (1834-1836). (Madrid: 1968).