King of Spain, ninth son of Carlos IV and María Luisa de Parma, daughter of the Dukes of Parma. He was born on October 14, 1784, in San Lorenzo de el Escorial, and died on September 29, 1833, in Madrid.
The Prince's children was sick. Four years after he suffered a serious disease which was diagnosed him as "vice of blood", and whose healing is ascribed, no less, to the mediation of San Isidro. Accessing Carlos IV to the throne of Spain, he was named Prince of Asturias. They were the years in which it was under the tutelage of suckler and ayos which bit did give an instruction in accordance with their future functions. Of all his preceptors, highlighted the Canon Juan Escóiquiz, put by the own Godoy, who was who really dominated the political situation of the country in his role as followers of the King. Escoiquiz, always eager to impersonate the valid, was his pupil who inspired hatred towards Godoy and also their own parents, making him wary of all over the world and mightily influencing his later personality. Thus, the life of the young Prince was marked, always, by the atmosphere of a court filled with intrigue and gossip that was called into question the real dignity (with the blessing of the King himself), and a series of fundamental problems that placed the Crown on a very complicated situation in Europe: the Declaration of war of Spain to France following the execution, in the year 1793, King Luis XVI; the subsequent Alliance between Spain and France against England and that Spain just drew as a reward more problems, etc. Prince Fernando dragged many frustrations and psychological taras, who was his humiliating role passive and puppet in court given by the valid Godoy. Progressive politics of Godoy in favour of France triggered the emergence of two currents of thought in the Court and throughout the country: on the one hand, the supporters decidedly reforms come from France revolutionary, Godoy, the Royal family and the enlightened or francized head; and on the other hand, the nobility and part of the bourgeoisie, also supported by a large sector of the common people who did not see with good eyes France blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Spaniards. This latent opposition, increasingly more powerful as Godoy was losing power, put their hopes in the figure of the Prince of Asturias, which began to be called El Deseado.
In the year 1802, Fernando married María Antonia de Nápoles, cultured and Princess, but that had no predicament in a court increasingly more involved in environments of intrigue and corruption, comparable only with the last years of the reign of Carlos II the Bewitched. Although the young Prince showed a lack of personality and a bewildering passivity revealing at that time, the enemies of Godoy were grouped around Fernando. Encircled by enemies real or imaginary, and in an atmosphere of persecution mania, both the young Prince and his wife were captives of the Queen Mother and the valid Godoy, when King Carlos IV was limited to be directed and assent to everything that they sent you. A palpable sign of the atmosphere that reigned in the Royal family was the sudden death of the wife of Fernando, in 1806, and the rear and apparent suicide of the apothecary of Palace, circumstance that raised all kinds of rumors and slanders, with veiled accusations of murder that pendió about the Royal family.
In the year 1807, Godoy opposition had matured enough. Fernando was surrounded by a group of confidants and friends who, after a climb to the throne known them with the name of La clique, Escoiquiz as main sparring and alma mater of the group, and attended, among others, of the Duke of San Carlos, the Duke of Infantado, the Marquis de Ayerbe and the count of Montijo. The Clique prepared the first attempt or act to overthrow the valid and legitimate monarch himself and put on the throne to Fernando. The conspiracy was discovered thanks to an anonymous statement sent to the King, who was in El Escorial, at the end of October 1807. Informed Godoy of the Act, proceedings against the Prince, who ended up confessing their guilt and the name of the main defendants in the coup was immediately formed. At the hands of Godoy arrived compromising documents that proved the plot and the direct participation of the Prince of Asturias in the Act. The event ended with a hug between Godoy and Fernando, which apologised to his father. The party fernandista used this public humiliation to exacerbate the mood of the people against the Royal family, and especially the odious valid. Godoy, for its part, already had signed with Napoleon the future distribution of Portugal, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau in October 27, 1807.
As a continuation of the events in El Escorial, March 19, 1808, the stay of the Court in Aranjuez, occurred during the second attempt, and this time successfully, to topple Godoy. Led by the count of Montijo, was assaulted the House of Godoy, who had to resign from his post and exiled. Faced the reality of the fact, King Carlos IV had no choice but to resign "voluntarily" to the Spanish throne in favor of his son. It was a fact of unusual character and unprecedented, at least from the time of Henri IV, who ritually a son to his father. This event touched, not only Spaniards themselves, but also to the own Fernando VII, always full of fears and uncertainties, and not knowing what to expect. Fernando VII was received, of March 24, 1808, with authentic enthusiasm by the people of Madrid, which was finally free from the Dominion of Godoy.
This first period lasted only two months and came to an end with the captivity of the Royal family by Napoleon. Occupied the first cabinet formed by Fernando VII members of his clique, which adopted a policy to satisfy all levels of power and gain the popularity of the people. Due to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, signed the previous year, it had authorized the passage of French troops by Spain to invade Portugal. The truth is that real sides, Fernando VII and Carlos IV, had tried to attract for their respective causes Napoleon, authentic owner in Europe. When Fernando VII made his entrance in Madrid as the new King of Spain, the general Murat had already installed many troops in Aranda de Duero. The events of Aranjuez did this to leave quickly to Madrid, with 20,000 infants and a numerous body of cavalry. Once in the capital, and believing that if it acted deftly it could get to be appointed King of Spain by Napoleon, Murat persuaded the dethroned King and the own Fernando VII so that they lead to Bayonne in order to meet Napoleon. The Royal family agreed with the conviction to gain support for their cause. Through a skillful diplomatic move, Napoleon got Fernando to resign in favor of his father, Carlos IV, and then that this would do the same thing for Napoleon, who in turn gave the Crown to his brother José I. In this way, the emperor took off in between father and son and disposed of rights of the Spanish Crown to his family. Fernando, his brother Carlos and her uncle, the infante don Antonio, were reduced by Napoleon at Valençay Castle. Carlos IV and María Luisa marched to Italy, where would end his days, while Godoy was finally in France. These abdications, caused form as shameful by Napoleon and the Royal family, took place on 5 and 6 may 1808. Days earlier, specifically on 2 may, there was the uprising against the French in Madrid: the Spanish war of independence was started.
At the end of the month of may, all Spain had risen in war against the French occupation of the territory. The French reaction to the movement was carried out by the general Murat, which violently repressed the rebellion of the Madrid people. The only thing that was achieved with that action was turn the general will fight for the legitimate and captive King in Bayonne. Moreover, the Spanish authorities, the Board of Governors and the Council of Castile, Fernando VII before his departure to Bayonne, left is inhibited completely from the topic, while the bulk of the army, which backed only way out to Murat, the same thing that would make the Court of the Inquisition and of course appeals francized, although within the thickness of these there were two very distinct trends: those who supported heart moderate and revolutionary ideals that brought the French Revolution; and those who, out of fear or desire to thrive, supported the French.
The people's revolution ran partner to political revolution, represented by the provincial boards, which had representation in the so-called Central Board, ultimate expression of monarchical power in Spain.
At first, the action of the Napoleonic troops did not get the results intended and desired by the French high command. They failed several attempts to deal with Zaragoza and Valencia; the first of them defended with genuine heroism by their citizens and thanks to characters as general Palafox and the popular heroine Agustina de Aragón. The biggest failure of the French army occurred in the campaign of Andalusia, where general Dupont was crushed at the battle of Bailén, in July 1808, by a makeshift army, under the command of general Castaños. The literal disappearance of the army of Andalusia isolated French troops in Portugal, sent by Junot, who had no choice but to capitulate. These first serious setbacks did see Napoleon that the war launched in Spain was not merely a military skirmish. This he realized the mistake of initial calculation. From the moment in which Napoleon, forcing a more far-reaching action, sent Spain to the Grande Armée, flower and cream of the French army, with 250,000 men, Spanish troops were defeated one after the other by the great French roll. With this French military action began the overwhelming dominance of the French forces on the Peninsula. Until the spring of 1812, the French maintained the initiative, with continuous military actions that allowed them to become the major communication routes and major cities, which forced the Central Board to take refuge in Cádiz, where courts convened.
Since the outbreak of the war, Spanish power was completely decentralized. Local boards were the real organizers of the resistance; only therein lay the real power and ignored the guidelines that were attempting to impose the Central Board. These local boards dashing in her womb to virtually all the social strata of the country who wanted to fight against French rule. Precisely, this disparity of criteria and objectives was given with the announcement of the Cortes of Cadiz, in the year 1810, which came only a small number of members of the Central Board, while local authorities were acting without worry of what dictated the future members of Cadiz.
Coinciding with the presence of the Grande Armée and the own Napoleon on the Peninsula to personally direct the operations, it became widespread in the Spanish resistance that peculiar way of understanding the war known as guerrilla warfare. Basically it was a tactic more adopted by the necessity that by pure conviction, to manifest inferiority of the Spanish troops. Thanks to the multiple games of guerrillas who were organized and the strong military support from England, the French army began to show signs of weakness and weariness. From the year 1812, English, and Spanish armies under the command of general Wellington, began to add victories. The French army was immersed in the campaign of Russia, fact that took advantage of Wellington mounted a major offensive to win the decisive battle of Salamanca on July 22, 1812. This victory radically changed the situation, causing the fall of King José I, forced to flee to Valencia. The final offensive came with victory in Vitoria, on June 21, 1813, by which the French army was definitely expelled from Spain. The Treaty of Valençay, signed on 11 December 1813, left Spain free of any foreign presence, and restored on the throne to Fernando VII. In September of that same year, began its sessions in Cadiz the ordinary courts, covered by the Constitution built and approved by the Liberals.
The King returned, to the throne and with foreign troops outside the national territory political activity among the Spaniards turned to intensify. Very soon, the reverse flow to the innovations made by courts became increasingly more powerful, giving rise to a fierce resistance. In April, 1814, a large group's members conservative and realistic signed and went to the King, who still were in France, the manifesto of the Persians, which denounced political irregularities committed during the exile of the King. Fernando VII was found upon his return in the choice of sanction the Constitution out of Cadiz, or opt for the suggestions of realistic deputies who supported the return of Royal absolutism. The cheers of delirium and enthusiasm that the people gave to his return, the accession of the most important military commanders, absolutist and reactionary positions of the members who supported him, and finally, the determination of the King, made that this is decided, on May 4, 1814, to sign a Royal Decree by which clearly nullified the 1812 Constitution and proclaiming the return of Royal absolutism. The Decree rejecting any form of constitutional text, although he admitted to govern with courts convened by himself. That way, the Royal Government liquidated at a stroke the work cemented by the Cortes of Cadiz, restoring, in all its vigor, the old absolutist and despotic, stage where the domain of the King, the Church and the landowner oligarchy was insured.
The second period of the reign of Fernando VII was expected a change in the regime, after the glorious events of the war of independence and the heroic resistance shown by the people before the French domination. However, in the first months of reign what happened is that turned to the same ideological budgets of the past. Fernando VII, not only wiped out the work of the Cortes of Cadiz, but also slow and insufficient work of reforms undertaken by the jovellanistas since the last years of the reign of Carlos IV.
When he actually agreed to the throne, Fernando VII was thirty years old. Formed in the intrigues of the Court and the exile, this King of countenance sad, bad, mediocre size and with an evident lack of poise and personality, he retained all his life extreme zeal of his authority, which took him to entrench is the secret of his coterie, hated both by own absolutists, who at first supported the King, as by Liberals and fernandino anti-Government rebels. His political changes were continuous, with them showed some flexibility as also hypocrisy and disdain for the people who loved him so much and who had fought for him; all in an effort to maintain a free of any rule of Government or intermediate powers despotism. He restored old-style management: Royal Council, Council of the Indies, Council of Castile, hearings, etc. He also regained the privileges of the nobility, such as entailed the estates and territorial domains, with the exception of jurisdictional rights, which remained in the possession of the King. The call promised to cut forgot completely. At the same time, the Church regained all its old prerogatives: is annulled the Decree of confiscation in Cadiz, the Holy Office returned to resurface with renewed impetus. The power of the Church and the power of the State rallied and confused by reviving the formula by the grace of God King Fernando VII. Fernando VII was a despotism much more virulent than its predecessors, which were concerned with removing later measures favorable to the people. All the powers went to the person of the monarch, who ignored all manifestation of opposition and popular representation. In short, Fernando VII was the true incarnation of centralising and unifying power, respected little or nothing freedoms and local privileges, but the personal privileges. The Liberal, or failing all that who protested their decisions, were persecuted viciously. The consequence of all this was that the traditionalist opposition had to take refuge in the intrigues of the Court, while the Liberals were organized into illegality and in exile, in the heat of the secret societies.
The most serious of this despotic regime was their inability to solve the pressing problems that passed through Spain after great bleeding which meant the war of independence. This confrontation that brought together all the people caused two significant events in the country: on the one hand, immense poverty economic and material that would drag the country during the century; and secondly, the definitive loss of prestige at European level, circumstances that it found to be in the negotiations of the year 1815 maintained by European powers after the fall of Napoleon, and where no account was taken to Spain. The recovery of an important Spain and power on the map of Europe, built in throughout the reign of Carlos III, came down blow under the reign of this disastrous King. Spain did not already have a military force strong and needed to be for hear European decision forums. The impressive fleet that once constructed Carlos III to protect colonial trade and rein in England had disappeared. The army was minimal, poorly paid and weakened, with an excess of middle management. The financial resources of the country were insufficient. External debt reached extraordinary levels, with the impossibility of making it front and the subsequent bankruptcy of the Crown Treasury. Added to all these problems the revolt of the American colonies that threatened, and ultimately attained it, depriving the State of its main source of income. The village, put the icing before so lousy panorama every day more doomed to misery and exploitation by a ruling class that is supported by the State itself.
As already noted above, the opponents to the regime imposed by Fernando VII were grouped in exile and in the various secret societies, nearly all of them cutting carbonarista and Masonic. France, but above all England, would be the two countries chosen by the Liberal Spanish exiles to reorganize its opposition to the absolutist King. English Governments, although some Democrats, unless it respected the rights and essential freedoms. England not resisted the reception of these exiles, since maintaining a natural distrust of the Spain built by Fernando VII. Gibraltar, a British colony, became the main base of the propaganda and conspiracies of Liberal, whose repetition and multiplicity throughout the reign of Fernando VII not would have been able to remain without help from outside, i.e. the own England. In the short period of the absolutist Presidency, Spain met a series of conspiracy and pronouncements, all of them with characteristics, more or less, common: they had a liberal substrate, were born in important cities, its leaders were high ranking military or characters of great prestige, were released through a bando or proclamation where objectives are exposed, and, finally, all less than irrigation in the year 1820, failed due to its little coordination. The first of these serious conspiracy was the starring general Porlier in La Coruna, the year 1815. The second, with wider ramifications, occurred in the city of Barcelona, from the hand of Lacy. Subsequently, occurred multiple intrigues of little importance but that they put in serious jeopardy the fernandino regime and showed the discontent of society by the regressive politics of the King.
It was not a coincidence that the pronouncement of irrigationdevelop first among the troops gathered at Cadiz to fight against the movements of emancipation that shook the Spanish colonies in America. The American war, with its aftermath of atrocities, extended and cost increasingly more expensive to the Treasury of the Crown. The hardest hit in this continuous economic disaster were the vast majority of the farming population and the incipient Spanish bourgeoisie. Therefore, when irrigation rose to its officers in arms against the King, was quickly supported by the rest of the major cities, which thus collaborated in the triumph of the pronouncement. The movement went from Cadiz to Galicia, where a Provincial Superior Board, by the way of the formed during the last war of independence, was promptly constituted and which was immediately imitated by other cities that adhered to the coup. Fernando VII, before the turn that took the situation, not was obliged to swear to the Constitution adopted in the year 1812.
The so-called Liberal triennium began under the sign of a great manifest ambiguity which would subsequently fail the attempt to establish a true parliamentary monarchy to the English. The 1812 Constitution did not have mechanisms intended to limit the power of the King. Fernando VII, always jealous when it comes to impose his power and discretion, took the opportunity and formed a moderate Cabinet, in front of which put Martínez de laRosa. This political trend collided with the most exalted members dominating the courts. This led to ongoing clashes between both trends and further thinned the political climate. There has never been a dialogue between the King and the courts. The most radical hotheads were grouped in the patriotic societies, with such evocative names as Los Comuneros, the secret sons of Padilla, etc, from where he tried to mobilize public opposition, through manifestos, newspapers or requests written in gazettes of all kinds, against the moderate and reactionary policy of the Cabinet. Meanwhile, the courts did not resurrect on paper measures agreed in the Cortes of Cadiz of 1812, and who not content to any group, and even less to the vast majority of the peasant mass, incited more and more with the goings of the political class. The apparent contradictions between the King and the courts resulted in a burst of the liberal system.
From the year 1822, Fernando VII changed completely from attitude, showing up in total disagreement with the system. This circumstance was due to the strong support that found in certain groups of absolutists in Navarra and Catalonia. However, the uprising did not take consistency so far in that was strongly supported by the European powers. A Government Board, chaired by general Eguía, who was acting on behalf of the sovereign who was kidnapped and temporarily deprived of their rights and their power was installed in the town of Bayonne. In the Congress, in the year 1822, in Verona by the representatives of the great powers, the general Eguía asked the French intervention in Spain to restore the powers of the King. Despite the hostility of the English Government against such a measure, was finally accepted the Spanish petition. In the spring of 1823, an army of 110,000 men, under the command of the Duke of Angoulêmeentered Spain with a mission to restore the sovereign in all of its prerogatives of King. The Spanish generals avoided at all times combat, so the issue of the so-called one hundred thousand sons of San Luis was practically a military walk.
Once spare on his absolutist throne, Fernando VII and his apostolic party forbade, by Decree of the 1 October 1823, the entire work of the Trienio Liberal. After the publication of an edict of prohibition in the same instant that the French troops entered Madrid, was a true Hunt of Liberals. The Administration was deeply refined. The suspects were brought before military commissions, permanent and persecuted by the boards of faith, last follower of the Inquisition. Repression became so violent, the same powers that supported the intervention were alarmed. But despite foreign pressure, persecutions lasted, with all his strength, until the year 1826. Absolutist and Apostolic reaction drowned all effort of political and social modernization, deeply dividing the ruling classes and preparing the conflicts that suffer the country during the rest of the century.
This is, without a doubt, the most criticized stage of the reign of Fernando VII. The French presence, the crackdown, with the implementation of irrigation in 1823, the massive emigration of the Liberals, and the continuous further purifications, gave rise to a regime of terror that has earned that last decade Ominosa called by historiography.
Actually, the new regime was qualitatively different from the absolutist presidential term, although there was a new twist to the absolutism. The new system had as its main characteristic that carried out a despotism of ministerial Court, with a moderate Government willing to compromise with the reality of the country and to undertake certain reforms; But yes, were born from above, from the Regal power reforms. During this period, signs of discontent occurred, not only within the ranks of the Liberals, it was logical to assume, but also own realists, in particular of the Apostolic party demanded a more absolutist and reactionary policy that already the moderate Government of the King himself wearing out. This party was set up in lathe to the brother of the King, Carlos María Isidro, from whose ranks would be the core of the future Carlist opposition.
The institutionalization of the regime, with the creation of a new Council of State, the project of the Ministry of the Interior for police and the carabineros, and the vague intention of political consultations, caused the Division final of the supporters of the King on two sides. The Apostolic party radical published in 1826, the manifesto of the Federation of realistic cigars, which reported the defeatest attitude of Fernando VII, and that acclaimed to don Carlos as his sole successor. In 1827 he produced in Catalunya Dels Malcontents (of the aggrieved) war, considered to be the first insurgent manifestation of Carlism in the making. On the liberal side, abounded equally constant conspiracies against the fernandino regime. In March 1830, occurred by the Liberals the so-called conspiracy of émigrés, directed by Mina from the city of Bayonne, and whose objective was the establish contacts with moderate members of the courts. In that same year, from Gibraltar, José María Torrijos began mobilizing related elements to overthrow the absolutist Government of Fernando VII. After several failed attempts, Torrijos departed from the English in November 1831 colony, commanding fifty men, with the intention of accessions as you progress through Spanish territory. It landed in Fuengirola, but was slowed by the realistic forces and forced to surrender. All the insurgents were shot on December 11, 1831, thus ended the last liberal coup attempt.
The events of the revolution of 1830 in France, that the absolutist King Carlos X was overthrown in favor of a new King, Felipe of Orleans, Constitutional Court, worried greatly in Spain, amid fears of a possible spread of the revolutionary germ. Fernando VII, worried about a possible and expected reaction antiabsolutista, started a shy political opening, including in his Cabinet to moderate elements and clear reformist trend. All these tensions and political games ended up exploding in the last three years of the reign of Fernando VII.
After having married three times, Fernando VII had no heirs, which became heir to the Crown to the infante don Carlos. In the year 1829, was the third wife of the King, María Amalia de Sajonia. In that same year, Fernando VII decided to marry his niece, María Cristina de Borbón, with the clear purpose of obtaining an heir to the throne. Of course, this new marriage attended the total opposition of the infante don Carlos and his supporters. On April 3, 1830, was posted in the Gaceta de Madrid the pragmatic sanction, which was deleted in Spain the Salic law, which was introduced in Spain by Felipe V and which could not rule women in Spain. This pragmatic sanction had been approved in the courts during the reign of Carlos IV, but due to the outbreak of the French Revolution and the subsequent events, could not endorse. Fernando VII rescued her and ratified. Thus ensuring a direct heir to the Spanish throne, where his new wife was pregnant. The Queen finally gave birth, on October 10, 1830, a daughter named Isabel and that would be the later Queen of Spain. Little more than one year later, on January 30, 1832, was born the second daughter of the marriage, María Fernanda, with what the succession to the throne was ensured. This circumstance deepened and more divided the political class of the country. What was being resolved was an ideological issue: Parties of the absolutism of the old regime, against the reformists surrounding the monarch, even Liberals, who saw the possibility of the direct succession of Fernando to open the way towards constitutional reforms.
Starting in 1832, the King fell gravely ill. Fearing a Carlist uprising, and due also to the pragmatic sanction was not very popular, Queen María Cristina was in the position of choosing between two options: or the abolition of the pragmatic sanction to calm tempers, or well more than likely civil war, every time that the infante don Carlos agreed not to negotiate with the Regent. Finally, it was decided by the repeal of the law, which was signed by the dying King. However, the repeal did not have official effect by a coup d'etat in the Palace of La Granja, which toppled the Ministry and made disappear the document signed by the King. On December 31 of that same year, the King, now spare, made an official statement that annulling any document signed by him in his period of convalescence, arguing for this abuse of power. The new Cabinet, presided over by Cea Bermúdez, cracked down on politically the Carlist forces through the change of captains General and granting a general amnesty that allowed the return of the vast majority of exiled Liberals, which were willing to defend the female succession to the Spanish throne. Until King returned to relapse, this assured the succession of his daughter Isabel by the recognition of the courts as Princess of Asturias. Don Carlos and his die-hard supporters were forced to leave the country. The monarch settled in Portugal. On October 1, 1833, don Carlos launched the manifesto of Abrantes, from that same Portuguese town, which was titled and recognized as King of Spain, with the name of Carlos V. On September 29, 1833 died Fernando VII, victim of a stroke.
On the horizon were two unknowns to be resolved: the attitude of the Carlists, once the legitimate King was dead; and if it was possible to keep longer congealed political structures of the ancien régime. On the first question, the result was materialized in the tremendous Carlist Wars that lasted throughout the reign of Isabel II and part of the Alfonso XII, and which Bled, at all levels, to the nation. With regard to the second issue, the death of Fernando VII closed across a stage in the history of Spain in which the crisis of the old regime would give way to liberalism in a context of serious political, economic and social problems, which resulted in the creation of a new equilibrium in politics and in Spanish society.
During the reign of Fernando VII came real rupture of political and economic balance of Spain with the definitive loss of the American colonies, source of prestige and wealth. The Spanish territories dominated by Creole bourgeoisie forward power and wealth took advantage of the seizure and difficult moments that spanned the Spain of Fernando VII to organize an emancipation movement sufficiently complex and broad to make it triumph. Between 1814 and 1824 there were successive independence uprisings, led by capable as Simón Bolívar, Sucre, San Martíngenerals In December 1824, the defeat of the Spanish general La Serna in the battle of Ayacucho meant the end of hostilities and consequently the definitive conclusion of the Spanish power over their former colonies. They were only to Spanish the islands of Cuba and the Philippines, both lost at the end of the century, as a continuation of an irreversible process of disintegration. The Spanish Government did not recognize such a reality until the year 1829, she stubbornly resisted the disaster, not only military and prestige, but above all economic.
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