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The Legacy of the Glorious (El Legado de La Gloriosa in Spanish) is a timeline written by Milarqui in which Prussian prince Leopold zu Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, after consultations by the Spanish government, becomes King of Spain. This leads to a declaration of war by the French Government on Prussia and Spain.
Previous to La Gloriosa Revolución, or Revolución de Septiembre, Spain was ruled by Queen Isabel II, the last descendant of the long line of kings and queens that had ruled Spain since the times of the Catholic Monarchs, having been named Queen of Spain at the age of 3 and become Queen when she was 13. However, her reign, which many hoped would help usher an era of democracy, was however a convulse era, controlled by the military and the conservative political forces, which was why the Spanish liberal sectors sought to change things. Several uprisings failed due to lack of planning or support, but they slowly gained allies, and would soon start.
In September 1868, Spanish Admiral Juan Bautista Topete rose up in arms against Isabel II and the current nearly-dictatorial government led by Luis González Bravo. Very soon, Juan Prim and Francisco Serrano, the heads of the revolution, arrived to Spain from their exiles in London and the Canary Islands to take control of the revolution. The only battle between rebel and loyal forces happened in September 28th in the town of Alcolea (Córdoba), which ended with victory for the rebels. Upon hearing of this happening, Queen Isabel II and her family exiled themselves to Paris, giving victory to the rebels.
The Provisional Government
The rebels soon formed a provisional government, with the aim of turning Spain into a democracy. In spite of the opposition of a Republican minority, the Provisional Government decided that Spain would remain a Constitutional Monarchy.However, soon problems started to besiege Spain, among them the Cuban Revolutionary War or the impossibility to find a proper king for Spain. Despite this, the Provisional Government managed to get Spain on the track towards democratization and such, thanks to the Constitution being approved. Things would greatly change soon, though.
The Search For A KingThe efforts of Spanish diplomat Eusebio Salazar y Mazarredo allowed the Government to find out about a great candidate for the throne, Prussian prince Leopold zu Hohenzollern Sigmaringen. However, there was a problem with him, or rather, the French had a problem with him: When Leopold was voted in as the King of Spain by the Spanish Congress, the French threatened war if Leopold did not renounce to the Crown of Spain. However, Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Prussia, managed to manipulate the political scene in order to provoke France into declaring war on Prussia and Spain, which they did in July 20th 1870.
The Hohenzollerns' War
For more information, see The Hohenzollerns' War (The Legacy of the Glorious)
War officially started on August 8th, when French troops invaded Prussia and took the city of Saarbrücken, while more troops invaded Spain. However, very soon the trend reverted in the Prussian front, although northern Spain was invaded, allowing exiled prince Alfonso (Isabel II's son) to proclaim himself King Alfonso XII of Spain. However, the Prussian victories in the east forced the French to move troops to that front, allowing Spanish troops to liberate the invaded regions and even counter-invading southern France, taking the city of Perpignan. The battle of Sedan of September 7th saw the death of Napoleon III, Emperor of France, after charging against German troops. French attempts to gain the chance of gaining a better hand for the eventual peace conversations were for naught, as German troops reached Paris, forcing France to accept the Spanish-German Alliance's demands.
In the end, the French were forced to not only accept Leopold as King of Spain, but also King Wilhelm I of Prussia as Emperor of Germany, as well as the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, Rousillon and the Oranesado.
The Start of the Leopoldine Era
The crowning of Leopoldo I brought great stability and euphoria to Spain, but the men who had led the revolution against Isabel II knew that this could change at any moment, so they decided to join forces in a political party, the Unión Nacional, to help in the stabilization of Spanish democracy and the Hohenzollern monarchy, whicy they also did through the signing of the Pacto de los Heros, with which they expected to determine the outline of what had to happen in the following years.
1872 was a peaceful year in Spain, but one could not say the same of the rest of the nation: in the Philippines, a mutiny of 200 soldiers was brutally put down, and several of the ringleaders, including three priests, were executed for their role in it. This was but a prelude of what would happen the following year.
1873, Annus Horribilis
1873 became one of the worst years of the young Leopoldine monarchy: Republican revolts happened nearly weekly in Catalonia and Andalusia, the progress made against the Cuban rebels during the previous years was lost and a Carlist revolt started, initiated by those that still supported Carlos María de Borbón y Austria-Este after a split that had happened before the Hohenzollerns' War. In October, the Virginius Affair hit Spain, and nearly sparked war between Spain on one side, and the United States and the United Kingdom on the other, but fortunately for the government the problem remained just diplomatic.
1874, Back To Normalcy
The events of 1873 made it clear to the Spanish government that the only way to prevent an escalation of the Cuban conflict was to end it as soon as possible. However, they now counted with a powerful weapon, the Tercios Especiales, a special forces unit that had been trained to fight in any kind of battlefield, using guerrilla tactics. First, the Tercios were deployed against the Irredent Carlists in the north, ending their threat before February was through. Then, the Tercios were sent to Cuba, where they helped the army to bring down the Cuban rebels, who officially surrendered on July 7th.
In the meantime, the National Union Party separated in the two parties that would control Spain's political life for many years, the Liberal-Conservative Party and the Democrat-Radical Party, the latter of which won the next elections and approved a plan to transform Spain into a nation where regions would earn certain devolved powers from the central government, although it would still take some time until that happened.
The Years Of Peace
The end of the Cuban Revolutionary War brought great prosperity to Spain. The Compromise of Baraguá that led to its end was widely welcomed by the Spanish population, which hated the fact that so many people had died there. The idea of Foralism (that is, the idea of devolving powers to regions) started to spread, with Cuba and Puerto Rico gaining the status of Foral Regions in 1875.
The government would also look at the Philippine Archipelago with worry, as they saw in there the potential start of a politico-military quagmire similar to the one that had shaken Cuba, so Sagasta, then Presidente del Gobierno, sent Carlos María de la Torre to Manila to initiate reforms destined to bringing democracy to the islands and curb the almost medieval power the Church and the oligarchy held.
This almost led to a diplomatic nightmare when Pope Pius IX (still bitter over the loss of Rome, which he never recognized officially) decried the "persecution" of the Catholic clergy in the Philippines and threatened to excommunicate the government and the King of Spain. Only cooler heads managed to prevent a scathing letter from being sent back to the Pope, accusing him of hypocrisy.
Spanish collaboration with Germany also became more common: for example, troops of the Tercios trained German soldiers that were invited to become the first Gebirgsjäger, German special troops. Also, they worked together in the international scene, which was seen in the end of the occupation of France and in the Berlin Memorandum, sent to the Ottoman Empire to accept an armistice with the Balkan insurgents.
During this period, the African Division (OTL Scramble for Africa) started to gain steam, and Spain was one of the nations trying to take control of as much land there as possible. A good part of Guinea and of West Africa fell into Spanish hands (more than it did in OTL), although not much could be done, since it was difficult due to the terrain.
Meanwhile, South America was hit by the terrible Second Pacific War, which pit the nations of Perú and Bolivia against Chile. Spain managed to gain Perú as an ally, and supported them in the war by selling them two ironclad ships and weapons.
The 1877 elections also went to the Democrat-Radical Party, which continued to work towards further industrialization and resurgence of the Kingdom of Spain, although this term would not end as well as the previous one. However, 1877 would also be marked by the birth of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), which would be the introduction of socialism in the nation. The same people that created the PSOE would also be behind the creation of the first Spanish trade union, the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT).
The three years of Democrat-Radical rule were also the ones most shaken by strikes so far. Spurred by the UGT and other smaller trade unions that had appeared in the last three years, several strikes shook the nation, with the most prominent one being the March 1880 strike in the main RESA factory. The Sagasta government tried to gain back the support of the people and end the strikes by approving several laws, amongst them one that reduced the work week to 50 hours. However, this was not enough and Cánovas del Castillo, leading the Liberal-Conservatives, became the new Presidente del Gobierno in the May 1880 elections.
The Second Colonization
The decade of 1880-90 was one of great changes, brought on by the period known as the Second Colonization, in which the European nations concentrated on acquiring either land or vassals in Africa and Asia, which were mostly untouched by the nations who had before tried to expand their empires in the Americas or Oceania.
The first act was the pacification of Egypt: the Egyptians, led by Colonel Ahmend Urabi, rebelled against Khedive Tewfik Pasha, angry at his permissive policies towards the European banks that controlled Egypt economically, and the elite formed by Europeans, Albanians and Turco-Circassians that controlled the nation politically. After several months of revolts, which put in danger British control of the Suez Canal, the British House of Commons voted to send the Army so as to stop the revolts. The invasion was a success, although the fact that, suddenly, the United Kingdom was controlling all of Egypt without ways to return Egypt to its independent status on shotr term.
The next steps were given by the French. Being on the throes of an economic expansion that had begun after the war payments to Spain and Germany had finished, the French were intent on recovering their status as leading continental European nation, and thus sent their armies to Africa (conquering many local kingdoms) and Asia, where the Sino-French War took place, giving the French a hard-earned victory that was felt by many in France as their first step towards their goal.
Spain would also work to expand their control over African lands, particularly in Guinea, which would have been completely enclosed by French territories if it were not for the effort of explorers and soldiers, who ensured local tribes accepted that Spain was their sovereign.
The situation could have blown into war as "free" territory started to become scarce, so Bismarck, trying to do something to work out something to calm the people, that were demanding that Germany became a colonial power, invited all nations with interests in Africa to meet in Berlin. The Berlin Conference, as it was called, was the start of the African Division (see The African Division (The Legacy of the Glorious)), that divided Africa in regions of influence.
Portuguese Civil War and Unification
One of the provisos of the African Division gave Portugal territory that joined their two main colonies in Africa, Angola and Moçambique. The United Kingdom, however, wanted that territory to be able to build the Cape-to-Cairo Railway through British territory, and threatened Portugal with war if that territory was not sold with them.
The consequences from this sparked the Portuguese Civil War between Royalists and Republicans, ending with the victory of the former. However, some time after the end of the war the King was assassinated and left Portugal without a male candidate for King: the nearest relative was Queen Antonia of Spain.