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The Carlism (also Carlism ) is a monarchist political movement in Spain , whose followers the legitimacy of the succession of the Spanish Queen . Isabella II contest (1833-1868) and for the right to the throne of her uncle Carlos María Isidro of Bourbon or below him, pretender to the throne of his dynastic sideline that died out with Alfonso Carlos von Bourbon in the male branch in 1936. However, this did not lead to the end of the Carlist movement. Since 1952, a majority of the Carlists have favored the aspirants to the throne from the branch of the House of Bourbon-Parma, which goes back to Francisco Javier von Bourbon-Parma .

Apart from these superficial dynastic goals, for a long time the Carlist formed one of the main parties in the internal Spanish culture war , which stretched from the Napoleonic occupation to the Spanish civil war of 1936 and was fought in ever new civil wars , of which the so-called Carlist Wars were a part. In this cultural war, the Carlist stood with their reactionary - absolutist , decidedly Catholic worldview, based on the traditional particularistic special rights of the individual Spanish empires and regions, against the centralistic liberal ideas of those forces on which the Isabelline monarchy was based. The personal, cultural and ideological connections between the Carlist movement and other conservative political currents in Spain such as Catholic Integralism , Franquism and particular nationalism are complex and not free of contradictions.

Creation of the Carlist movement

The conflict between liberals and absolutists

In 1808 Spain capitulated to Napoleon I , but was able to drive him and his rule out in a cruel guerrilla war with British support. This resistance to the French occupation did not come from the king; rather, in the absence of functioning central political institutions, the people themselves had set juntas and councils to organize the defense against the Bonapartist occupation. When the Cortes Generales met in Cádiz in 1810 to pass a constitution, neither had they been convened by the king. These experiences made a lasting impression on large parts of the Spanish people.

Ferdinand VII.

Ferdinand VII ascended the Spanish throne and tried despite all events that had occurred in the meantime to continue to rule in an absolutist way past the Cortes . A liberal constitution was enforced by the army in 1820 as a result of a pronunciamiento , with the Inquisition being abolished and the Cortes convened again. The liberal majority in the Cortes initially enforced a press and association law as well as the abolition of the monasteries (except for fourteen) and the submission of the clergy to state taxation. When the radical liberals , the “ Exaltados ” (who, according to Salvador de Madariaga, “lost the wise art of waiting”) gained a majority in the Cortes in 1822, they gave up their restraint and passed a number of other reform laws that However, it could not be implemented in practice because the king hindered their implementation as far as possible and the mood among the people did not approve of this radical approach.

But just three years after the constitution (the “ Liberal Triennium ” or, as the absolutists called it, the “three so-called years”), this constitution was revived by a French invasion of the “Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis”, which Ferdinand himself had called cashed. Louis XVIII Of France , however, did not want to restore absolutism with his intervention , but had made Ferdinand VII promise to grant his people a charter , i.e. a moderate constitution . When Ferdinand did not comply, Louis insisted, in order to save face, that at least the Inquisition should not be re-established, and ordered Ferdinand to dismiss his church minister, Víctor Damián Saez (1776–1839).

In the further struggle for a constitution, the main adversaries were the liberal, strongly Masonic army, which favored the ideas of the French Revolution, and the conservative church . The positions of both parties were incompatible.

The conservative party was convinced of the traditional image of the king, who held his office by God's grace and to work as God's shield and sword on earth. Because the monarch was sovereign , God was sovereign: for the absolutists - and especially for the Spanish - monarchism and religion were inextricably linked. Therefore, a contractual agreement, which undertook to regulate the relationship of the monarch to his people, was, in their opinion, both an insult to majesty and a blasphemy . The king swore an oath at his coronation, and he, or rather his representative, in the case of the Basque Country under the oak of Guernica , swore to respect the old prerogatives of the non-Castilian regions. Accordingly, the absolutists saw no advantage in preferring a constitution which was the work of man and which could be changed with the stroke of a pen to the unalterable oath sworn before God. The Spanish monarchical ideal was based less on the Bourbon absolutism of the French model in the manner of a government of the nostre bon plaisir , but -  according to Salvador de Madariaga - far more according to the mode of government of the Habsburgs , which consisted of political ideas and institutions such as the Spanish in particular To see king embodied in persons in such a way that all veneration, all possible religious attributes, did not belong to the person but to the office. Reverence was owed to the office of the king, insofar as and as long as he dutifully fulfilled it and was thus to be regarded as a Christian king.

Apart from this religious component, a constitution of the kind envisaged by the liberal forces meant the establishment of a central state based on the French model, which the absolutists rejected. Spain has always been more like a confederation than a state. Common institutions of all parts of the country were essentially only the King of Castile and the Catholic Church, while the regions had maintained their own institutions and their traditional special rights.

The liberals, on the other hand, found the intellectual climate in Spain, which opposed free thought and free speech, to be oppressive and poor. They saw with regret that their country had been isolated from Europe for a long time and that they felt that it was inferior to other nations in its intellectual development. For this reason, they stood up for the ideals of the French Revolution and wanted it to be helped to break through in their country as well. Organized in Masonic lodges since the 18th century , when the Cortes of Cádiz met in 1810, the absolute majority of the members of this assembly represented a liberal policy. The Liberal Triennium was primarily the work of Spanish Freemasonry. During these three years the lodges spread to such an extent that they became the leading force of the middle class . From then on, the Liberal lodges represented “the international of the revolutionary middle class in their struggle against feudal and religious institutions”. In the military, the Liberals exerted a particularly strong influence, and many pronuniciamientos in the following decades were on the activities of members of the military lodges traced back. According to the ideas of the liberals, Spain, as other European countries had already done, should regulate its relationship with the king in the manner of a social contract and clearly define the powers of the monarch, the Cortes and other constitutional organs for the benefit of all. A reform of the Spanish state that was overdue according to liberal views included the order and tightening of the country's confusing constitutional structure.

The Pragmatic Sanction and the Succession of Isabella II

Youth picture Carlos' (V.)

The signs that heralded a serious conflict between absolutists and liberals increased during Ferdinand's lifetime. During his further absolutist rule, a radical group, the so-called Apostólicos , formed among the followers of absolutism under the leadership of Victor Saez , who demanded the reintroduction of the Inquisition. The Apostólicos were ardent followers of Don Carlos, Ferdinand's brother. Infante Carlos María Isidro had distinguished himself through particular piety and strict anti-liberalism. This group can be seen as a forerunner of Carlism. In the years between the repeal of the constitution and the later rapprochement between Ferdinand and the Liberals around 1830, this circle around Carlos held considerable power. In this way, the Apostólicos were able to obtain the dismissal of several ministers, albeit not the reintroduction of the Inquisition, since the French occupation forces in the country, which remained in Spain until 1828, made the implementation of such a measure inadvisable for the time being.

The liberals, too, became more and more radical and became anti-clerical with a particular aversion to religious clergy. They had little understanding for religious issues and did not want to raise any. Rather, they saw religion and the clergy as a serious and, to the extent that they became more radical, an obstacle to be removed to the establishment of a modern and free Spain.

The breaking point of the future conflict between the two parts of Spanish society was already apparent in 1830. Don Carlos, Ferdinand's brother, whose health continued to deteriorate as a result of his dissolute lifestyle and who suffered severely from gout, claimed the successor to the king, to whom no son had been given in his four marriages. The Apostólicos presumptuously gave themselves victory and saw in Carlos all too openly the future king. Carlos was proclaimed king in the course of an uprising that struck Catalonia in 1827 and was initiated by another radical absolutist group, the Agreugats ("offended"). Ferdinand, however, acted decisively against this movement, and Carlos had to dismiss it in order not to risk the charge of high treason .

Ferdinand had designated his only daughter Isabella II as heir to the throne in 1830 as part of a pragmatic sanction (Pragmática Sanción), abolishing the Salian succession and returning to the old Spanish succession. This happened when Ferdinand subsequently approved a motion brought in by the Cortes in 1789 to establish the old regulation of the succession - which the then King Carlos IV had not promulgated as a law and which has been inactive since then - more than 40 years later.

Isabella II as an adult

The Salian Succession, introduced in Spain by King Philip V in 1713, provided for the succession of women to the throne only if there were no male heirs to the throne. Philip V , the first Spanish bourbon , had introduced this rule of succession to the throne on May 13, 1713, under pressure from the other European powers after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, instead of the rule that went back to the Kingdom of Castile. This was to prevent the two Bourbon crowns of Spain and France from being united in one hand.

In order to be able to implement this pragmatic sanction in his own country, which prepared Isabella's succession to the throne while turning away from Sali's law, Ferdinand made concessions to the liberals, for example by changing the government and appointing a moderate-absolutist cabinet. The liberals, who looked forward to the succession of Carlos to the throne, were gladly prepared under these circumstances to recognize Isabella as Princess of Asturias . Carlos saw the danger, and after an attack by his supporters on the king's life was unsuccessful, Ferdinand, who was seriously ill in 1832, was forced to revoke the pragmatic sanction, which he withdrew immediately after his recovery.

Ferdinand was right when he drew the following comparison in 1832: “Spain is a beer bottle and I am the stopper. If I jump out, all of the content will pour in God knows which direction ”. Immediately after Ferdinand's death in 1833, the incessant conflict between liberals and absolutists, which had for many years bordered on civil war , sparked over the question of Ferdinand's successor. Don Carlos saw Isabella's succession to the throne as the robbery of his claims to the throne, for which he was expelled to Portugal by Ferdinand. He was supported by the Church and regional autonomists of the North and Northeast. When the Cortes paid homage to the three-year-old Isabella and the Queen Mother María Cristina took over the reign, the call by the Bishop of León and the Jesuits to take up arms led to the gathering of absolutists under the banner of Don Carlos, who made himself the rightful king declared, and thus to the emergence of the Carlist movement and immediately to an open state of war in Spain.

The Carlist Wars

All three Carlist wars began as guerrilla wars , and regular army units never found themselves on the Carlist side from the start. In all cases, even in the Carlist strongholds, the rural areas, which were characterized by independent smallholders, and, with a few exceptions, largely liberal-minded cities stood opposite one another. Only the Third Carlist War was an uprising initiated by planning; the others began as uprisings. Soon more or less coherent and fighting Carlist and government-loyal territories with a front line and armies emerged. The territorial base of the Carlist (especially Navarre , the Rioja , the Basque Country , Catalonia and the northern part of the province of Valencia ) soon developed their own state structures - with the exception of the second Carlist War, in which this was not the case.

The First Carlist War (1833-1840)

The First Carlist War, a first Spanish civil war and, together with the other Carlist Wars, the last major European conflict with the aim of enthroning a pretender , broke out on October 5, 1833, just six days after Ferdinand's death, with an uprising in the three Basque provinces . From here it spread over Navarre, the Rioja, Aragon , Catalonia, Valencia and even parts of Extremadura and Andalusia . The Carlists were able to temporarily establish their own rule in northern Spain (apart from the fortresses in the area). The fighting dragged on for a full seven years until 1840.

Targets of the First Carlist War

The First Carlist War has many facets and was fought for many reasons on both sides. This war was a war for the defense of religion and the clergy, a war for power in Spain and the future constitution of the country and a war of civil secession for those Spanish peripheral areas that were on the Carlist side - but above all it was about about a culture war between state and church.

The Spanish liberals and the military, known as "Cristinos" or "Isabelinos", worked towards a separation of church and state and a decisive push towards a centralized structure of the state. They fought for Castile's claim to rule over the entire Iberian Peninsula - and thus also against the special rights of the peripheral areas. The regent María Cristina of Sicily and her daughter Isabella had no choice but to rely entirely on these heterogeneous groups, which one could call the constitutional monarchists , if they wanted to survive politically. The price of support from the Liberals, the drafting and promulgation of a constitution for Spain, was fixed from the outset, although this did not correspond to María Cristina's conviction. The Queen Mother, who herself was absolutist, was only prevented by Carlos' attack in the north from immediately driving the liberals out of the center of power. With the absolutists in their own way, the liberals triumphed. In 1834 the regent Maria Cristina issued a royal license: Spain had thus practically become a constitutional monarchy. In 1836, the uprising of an army regiment that moved to the royal palace forced María Cristina to finally recognize the constitution of 1812.

Carlos (V.)

A constitutional monarchy was primarily intended to prevent independent Spanish peripheral areas, such as the Basque Country in particular, which had been able to preserve their old rights largely undiminished and now had to fear not only for their autonomy, but also for their existence as historically grown territorial units. It was only through Carlos that these regions, with their traditional special status within Spain, believed they could preserve their rights (the fueros ).

These fueros existed in the Basque Country, where they had always been the most far-reaching, in their own parliament (in Guernica ), their own coinage, and in their own administrative, customs and tax sovereignty and in exemption from Spanish military service. The king's troops were not allowed to pass through their land without Basque permission.

The areas that sided with Carlos were therefore Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia, the rural areas of the Basque Country - and even parts of Old Castile . According to Carlist, even the constitutional state brought about by the Bourbons was too centralistic and therefore had to be overcome. So Catalonia, which hardly had its own foros , demanded its old rights back. These had been taken from it by the first Bourbon king after the War of the Spanish Succession because it had placed itself under the protection of France.

A constitution, however, threatened as a result of the centralistic and uniformistic efforts of the liberals to irrevocably transform Spain into a central state. And in fact, in the Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre 1833 , the liberals decided,   following the French model, to divide Spain into provinces, which meant that the old member states of the Spanish state should disappear from the map.

The question of the future constitution, however, inevitably led to a culture war between the state and the church. The old system could not be separated from the church and not even thought about without it, since apart from the office of king the church had been the only nationwide institution in the past. It was the glue between the half-dozen otherwise independent states that made up Spain, all of which had their own administrations, cortes, and laws under the rule of the Habsburgs . Nothing fundamental had changed here, even among the Bourbons, although when they came to power they had largely taken the füros from the member states with the exception of the Basque Country . This state constitution stood and fell with the position and power of the church. Hence it can be said that the Carlist took up arms for the self-assertion of the Church within the Spanish state.

Course of the First Carlist War

Tomás de Zumalacárregui

At the head of the Carlist troops, the so-called Requetés , stood Tomás de Zumalacárregui from Ormaiztegi in Guipúzcoa , who had sided with the opponents of the liberal triennium as early as 1820. He formed a regular army from the initially poorly trained and armed Carlist fighters. For this he was initially largely dependent on material captured by the government troops, as the government blocked the Spanish ports and thus the supply routes of the Carlist. At the beginning of the First Carlist War, the Carlist achieved considerable success despite this disadvantage, and for most of the time the government troops - which were mostly composed of unmotivated and scarce draftsmen under the leadership of an often inept officers' staff - found themselves on the defensive. Zumalacárregui soon controlled all of Navarre and the whole Basque Country with the exception of the fortresses. In doing so, however, he attracted the suspicion of the pretender, who was concerned about the enormous reputation that Zumalacárregui enjoyed among the soldiers.

The atrocities inflicted by the inexorably opposed parties to each other and to uninvolved civilians were of such cruelty that other European powers had to persuade Cristinos and Carlists to adhere to certain standards of warfare under the “Lord Elliot Agreement”. Carlos had already decreed at the beginning of the hostilities that any Spaniard who did not rise under his 'Carlos' command, regardless of whatever reason he might cite, be killed. This later corresponded to the “ Decree of Durango ”, according to which all foreign combatants caught on the opposing side were to be shot without further ado. Since the Carlists could not fall back on the state infrastructure, but had to supply themselves from the country, over time violence by Carlist irregulars, who had fallen into gangs, was directed against the Spanish population, and many military actions were carried out mainly for the purpose of making money to press the population.

The Cristinos, on the other hand, took the outbreak of cholera during the war as an opportunity to spread that the “monks” had poisoned the wells. When the mob enthusiastically embraced the enemy and stormed the monasteries , over a hundred Catholic religious were killed. Two years after the outbreak of war, in July 1835, the regent had the Society of Jesus banned and in October of the same year, at the instigation of the banker and later Prime Minister Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, through her ley desamortizado, closed a number of conventions . What was supposed to be an act of appeasing the anti-church urban masses, on the contrary, turned into a hitherto unprecedented monastery tower. Hundreds of monasteries were burned down and numerous religious and clergymen lost their lives. The outbreaks of violence against the clergy contributed a lot to the bitterness between the Spanish parties and became a leitmotif of the Spanish struggle of the liberals against the conservatives, which was often to be re- enacted from the Semana Trágica to the Spanish Civil War.

In 1835 the Cristinos cause seemed lost. Zumalacárregui controlled almost all of Spain north of the Ebro , and his army numbered 30,000 men, whose combat strength and morale were far better than those of the government forces. The Carlist General Gomez advanced into Andalusia. Zumalacárregui now planned to pull together his forces and march directly on Madrid - a plan which, if implemented, would have had a good chance of giving the pretender control of the capital. Carlos (V.), however, wanted to gain control of a seaport in order to solve the supply issue, and so Zumalacárregui was ordered to besiege Bilbao . Zumalacárregui got a wound on his calf on June 14, 1835, when he was hit by a stray bullet. He asked for his English personal physician, who would probably have been able to cure this wound without difficulty, but Carlos sent him his own doctors, under whose treatment Zumalacárregui died on June 24, 1835. Rumors were therefore spread among the Carlist that Zumalacárregui had been poisoned.

The First Carlist War also shows parallels to the Spanish Civil War of 1936, as international brigades appeared on both sides . Both parties to the Miguelistenkrieg , also fought between liberals and absolutists in the years before the outbreak of the First Carlist War in Portugal , intervened in order to support their own cause on the Spanish side. On the Carlist side, Portuguese units even formed their own company. Furthermore, the Holy Alliance sympathized with the Carlist movement. Some English volunteers also joined the Carlist, and some English Tories delivered weapons and appeared on visits to Carlos' camp, although they stopped helping after the Decree of Durango was promulgated. On the side of the Spanish government, however, British auxiliaries with almost 10,000 men and the French Foreign Legion under Colonel Bernelle intervened in the fighting. However, the Foreign Legion recorded so many deserters that the Carlists were able to form their own troops, the so-called Argelinos , from them . The French Foreign Legion achieved the victories of Terapegui in 1836 and Huesca in 1837 for the Cristinos. After the end of the First Carlist War, the Foreign Legion had lost half of its team.

In 1837 the Carlist finally appeared before Madrid under the leadership of Carlos (V). However, the hoped-for uprising did not take place in the city and the capital could not be taken. This year (on October 14th) the Christian general Baldomero Espartero won the decisive battle of Huerta del Rey, after which he gradually began to bring the northern provinces back under government control. At the same time, disagreement began to spread in the Carlist camp. The Carlist General Maroto, who only joined the Carlist years after the outbreak of the First Carlist War, came into conflict with the Apostólicos because of his moderate stance - which ended with the execution of the apostolic generals ordered by him.

Convenio de Vergara

The First Carlist War ended when both sides showed signs of fatigue. The commanders of the opposing sides - namely on the side of the Carlist General Rafael Maroto, who feared the vengeance of the Apostólico, and on the side of the Cristinos General Baldomero Espartero  - were known and friends from their previous activities in South America . The two generals agreed on August 31, 1839, in a friendly conversation, the so-called abrazo de Vergara (Fraternization of Vergara), over the heads of the regent and the pretender, on a cessation of the fighting, whereupon a number of the Carlist regiments laid down their arms . Although the abrazo and its secret armistice agreements were viewed as treason by numerous other Carlists, Don Carlos went into exile at Bourges Castle in France on September 15, 1839 under pressure from Maroto. There he lived for years in half captivity until he renounced his claim to the throne in 1845. The fighting gradually died down, and when General Cabrera's last resistance was stifled by his expulsion to France on July 15, 1840, the Liberals had prevailed.

The Basques was her after the First Carlist an important part fueros taken. However, they retained tax and customs sovereignty and were still excluded from military service.

The victory of the liberal side, however, was - apart from the fact that the conflict between absolutists and liberals was not finally decided and by no means resolved - not entirely, since the rebellious provinces continued to be guaranteed the old privileges and the mutinous Carlist officers were converted into the ranks the Spanish army while maintaining their rank and full salary. For more than a full century this solution laid the groundwork for the glaring officer surplus in the Spanish army - and thus for its praetorianism and the “[incessant] series of coups d'état (pronunciamientos) […] carried out by one general after another, once in favor of the liberals, in the next moment in favor of the conservatives ”, from which Spain was plagued up to the Spanish civil war.

In the end, General Espartero emerged from the First Carlist War as a laughing third and victor. In 1841 he also temporarily drove the Queen Mother into exile (after overcoming the danger she immediately turned towards the reactionary forces) and until 1843 (and again from 1854) became the “strong man” of Spain.

The War of the Matiners (Second Carlist War from 1847 to 1849)

Daguerreotype by Ramón Cabrera

The Carlist came closest to their ambitions in 1845 when marriage plans between the pretender Carlos (VI) and Isabella almost led to success. The plans came to nothing, however, because Ludwig Philipp of France wanted to help one of his sons to the Spanish throne. He was able to prevail insofar as the marriage of the son in question was instead concluded with Isabella's sister Luise and Isabella had to marry her weak cousin Franz d'Assisi Maria Ferdinand on October 10, 1846 , who was assumed to be physically not in the Was able to produce an heir. In any case, the Carlist felt that they had been left out, and from 1847 to 1849 another Spanish civil war followed with the Second Carlist War.

The count of the Carlist Wars is inconsistent. Occasionally, the Matiners' War is not counted as a Carlist War of its own, and the War of 1872 is referred to as the Second Carlist War.

The War of the Matiners (in Catalan guerra dels matiners , for example: "War of the early risers") takes its name from a group of Carlist who fought in Catalonia in the expectation that the Carlist strongholds would join them, as in the First Carlist War they were actually not ready to do so. The conflict therefore took place mainly in Catalonia. At the head of the troops was General Ramón Cabrera y Griño , who was respected among the Carlist because he did not lay down his arms during the first Carlist War even after the abrazo de Vergara and was therefore expelled to France by the Cristinos and his troops in 1840 . Cabrera was carried off the battlefield wounded in the Battle of Pastoral in 1849 and fled to France in April of that year, while government troops put an end to the uprising the following May.

A limited uprising of the Carlist also took place in 1855 when the pretender Carlos VI called to arms, but could only cause local unrest.

The invasion of Tortosa

Carlos (VI.)

In April 1860, when the bulk of the Spanish army was tied up in the Spanish-Moroccan War , Carlos (VI) tried to seize the supposed opportunity and landed together with his youngest brother Ferdinand and the commander of the Balearic Islands named Ortega in Sant Carles de la Ràpita near Tortosa . However, his plans were soon thwarted, as hardly any supporters showed up and his soldiers refused to follow his orders. While his companion Ortega was shot after Carlos' arrest, the only way to save his life in favor of Isabella was to formally renounce his rights to the throne.

This circumstance and the consequence of his abdication - the pretender role fell to his liberal brother Juan (III) Carlos, who was critical of the Carlist ideals - led to a threatening crisis in Carlism, especially since Carlos (VI) revoked his resignation after leaving Spain because it was obtained under duress. Thus the Carlist movement had two pretenders until Carlos' (VI.) Death. This crisis was only survived thanks to the efforts of the stepmother of both pretenders, the Princess of Beria; it only ended when Juan was forced to abdicate in 1868 in favor of Carlos VII.

The Third Carlist War (1872–1876)

Carlos (VII.) In uniform, from Vanity Fair , 1876

In September 1868, Isabella was ousted from  the throne by a coup d'état from Cádiz by the liberal General Juan Prim and Admiral Topete - the so-called Revolución gloriosa - because she had allegedly listened too much to her Carlist confessor. The question of their successor indirectly led to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen had been offered the Spanish throne, against which France protested. A diplomatic confrontation between France and Prussia escalated and France eventually declared war on Prussia.

So finally the Prince of was Aosta ( Amadeus I ) was proclaimed King of Spain, of the Masonic and as Spain's conservative atheists decried House of Savoy (in Spanish: Saboya ) belonged. Amadeus, however, "found it far too difficult to rule Spain" and after a short time abdicated. This was followed by the proclamation of the First Spanish Republic (February 11, 1873).

The Carlist, whose self-confidence after the fall of Isabella and thanks to the support of Pope Pius IX. had raised a lot, had about 90 members of the Cortes as a regular political party in 1871, making them by far the strongest conservative force. Elections were held in 1872; they ended with the Carlists suffering considerable loss of voice. The pretender Carlos (VII.) Came to the conviction that he could only ascend the throne by force of arms, and on April 15th he addressed a manifesto to his followers. So he unleashed the Third Carlist War, which lasted until 1876.

On April 14, 1872, Carlos called for a general uprising. The Carlist rose in Navarre and the Basque Country, and the pretender came from France. In addition, several cities in the south took advantage of the confusion and declared themselves independent. On May 4, 1872 - just two days after the arrival of the Pretender in Spain - it came in Navarra to the first major battle, as government forces under the leadership of General Domingo Moriones in Oroquieta a much greater number of Carlists beat, with Carlos but over Roncesvalles the Successful escape to France. The Basque Carlist temporarily laid down their arms. But now Catalonia arose, from where the rebellion again spread to Navarre and the Basque Country. A Carlist army, with a team of 50,000 men, was set up by 1873.

Carlos (VII; center) in 1873 in the midst of his troops

When King Amadeus renounced the throne on February 11, 1873, the First Spanish Republic was proclaimed, which continued the fight against the Carlist. Only now, on June 15, did Carlos venture back onto Spanish soil, coming from Bayonne , to swear by the Basque Fueros in Gernika on August 2 and to choose the city of Estella as the seat of his headquarters. He appointed Juan Nepomuceno de Orbe y Mariaca, Marqués de Valdespina, chief of his general staff .

The Carlists fought victoriously on many fronts, especially in Navarre and Catalonia, but again with great cruelty, including the fusiling of their prisoners of war . Although they were able to attract many volunteers, including those with war experience, there was a lack of equipment and knowledge of the art of siege cities. The Carlist failed again in front of the fortress of Bilbao, which was liberated by the republican troops after six months of siege. With this republic's success, the tide began to turn and Republican troops were able to usurp the initiative. Pamplona , too , remained closed to the Carlist in 1875 despite the siege. In addition, there were a number of autonomous military commanders among the ranks of the Carlist who did not obey the instructions of the main power.

As early as 1875, however, the republic, under which the anarchy in Spain - the Third Carlist War was only one of several uprisings taking place at the same time in Spain - had steadily increased, came to an end after the occupation and dissolution of the Cortes. After the experiences with princes imported from abroad and the republic, they wanted to try again with a local prince. Since the progressive generals could understandably not get enthusiastic about Carlos (VII.), Isabella's eldest son, Alfonso XII , was enthroned . Under the reign of Alfonso, the army, under commanders Jovellar and Martinez Campos, restored the unity of the state in February 1876 through their victories against the Carlist in Trevino (July 7, 1875) and Montejurra (February 17, 1876). After the lost battle of Montejurra and the capture of his headquarters in Estella two days later, the defeated Carlos (VII), who avoided a decisive battle and instead released his followers from their oath, fled to France again via Roncesvalles. The third Carlist War ended with the surrender of the Carlist regiments on February 25, 1876.

Montejurra, where the Carlist had to give up their last hope, became a kind of place of pilgrimage for the Carlist movement, where traditionally their meetings still take place today. To do this, they move from Estella , the former residence of the Navarre kings, to the Irache monastery and on the Montejurra.

After the end of the Third Carlist War, the fueros were finally taken from the Basque Country . He was left with only a few tax advantages according to the provisions of the concierto económico ("economic concert ") agreed with Madrid , which granted the Basques the collection of regional taxes and the payment of a lump sum to the Spanish treasury.

Balance of the Carlist Wars

War tax stamp 1875

The Carlist Wars, in which the central power (albeit sometimes only barely) was able to retain the upper hand without being able to finally master the Carlist movement, throw a spotlight on the Spanish special path. While in the 19th century, and especially around 1848 (when the Matiners' war was raging), progressive revolutionaries rose up against their conservative heads of state in many European countries, in Spain, on the other hand, a liberal head of state was faced with an uprising by conservatives. For example, if the revolutionaries in Austria fought for a constitution in 1848, those in Spain fought against one.

Although the Carlist movement was defeated in all military conflicts, with its powerful opposition (and with its never abandoned option of military action alone) it was in some respects able to prevent the complete prevalence of liberal ideas. Even though the liberal center of Spain expropriated the religious orders in 1836 and the church in 1841, it was done against the admission that the state was responsible for the maintenance of the church and the clergy and made them subject to its special protection. In the Concordat of 1851 the situation relaxed further when the church finally renounced the expropriated property and the crown retained the patronage right of the appointment of bishops, but on the other hand the Catholic denomination was recognized as the "religion of the Spanish nation" and the state for religious instruction in the Schools had to worry about. If the Carlist were defeated in the course of the negotiations on the constitution of 1869 insofar as they could not prevent an article of religious freedom contained therein, after the Third Carlist War in the constitution of 1876, Catholicism was declared the state religion again, as in 1812, and the church successively put in their old rights. In a changing society - as everywhere in Europe - this also meant that the Catholic Church was perceived in the eyes of the labor movement as an ally of the ruling classes and thus as a class enemy.

Hence the Third Carlist War had already been a less powerful insurrection than the First Carlist War. The expropriations during the First Carlist War and the regulations of the Concordat meant that the church either lost its own economic base or had to receive it from the state. So - unlike before, when she had helped to make Spain one of the most egalitarian states in Europe, in which visitors were horrified at how even poor swallowers met aristocrats on the street without any respect - for the first time consideration of the upper class, to get on well with her, whereas in past centuries it had been the other way around. In the eyes of the lower classes, however, the Church had turned away from them and had become greedy.

This new view prevailed less in the Basque Country, which was a landscape of independent small and large farmers, than in the day labor economy of the south, which did not differ significantly from a serf system. Because the long-term consequences of the church expropriation of 1835 were far-reaching in other respects. The church property was offered at such tempting prices that the upper middle class forgot their loyalty to the church and secured the extensive property. From then on, the wealthy classes were on the liberal side, as they now had to fear a return of the church to its old rights and, above all, its old property. So a new class arose, which established its latifundia especially in Andalusia and, especially in the Alfonsine era in the years after 1874, through its patronage system, the caciquismo , exerted political and social pressure on the impoverished day laborers working in their fields they became receptive to the radical ideas of anarcho-syndicalism .

So none of the Carlist Wars was able to finally resolve the conflict that tore Spanish society in two - on the contrary, the parties involved did everything they could to exacerbate it. The conflict became less intense, but - not least as a result of the weakening ties to the Catholic Church - continued on a broader level, incorporating more recent political ideas such as socialism , anarchism and fascism in the form of pronunciamientos and surveys such as the Semana trágica of 1909. Spain remained one of the most politically unstable countries in Europe until the end of the Spanish Civil War. Nowhere has the conflict between the traditional and the new political ideas been so relentlessly and ruthlessly fought out with such hatred and cruelty as here. The term “two Spain” (las dos Españas) for this divorce into two irreconcilable camps was coined during this time. The Spanish lyric poet Antonio Machado summarized this in the following verses:

“Españolito que vienes
al mundo, te guarde Dios.
Una de las dos Españas
ha de helarte el corazón. "

“Little Spaniard,
you were born: God should protect you.
One of the two Spain will one day make your
heart freeze. "

The Spanish Civil War was ultimately just a final, towards which the political development in Spain had almost inevitably been heading for a very long time and in which the last attempt was made to settle the old scores and finally bring about a decision in one of the two directions.

The Carlist from 1875 to 1975

The Carlist in the time of the Alfonsine kingdom

Alfonso XII from Spain

In the troubled decades that followed the enthronement of King Alfonso XII. in 1874 and the adoption of the constitution of 1875, the Carlist continued to exist, but in contrast to the first decades of their existence, they were mainly engaged in peaceful activities, now mainly devoting themselves to the fields of intellectual debate and propaganda.

Up until now, Carlism had been able to maintain itself mainly as a kind of romantic tradition kept alive by women and priests within certain families in northern Spain. Now the Marquis of Cerralba transformed the Carlist movement, which until then had largely consisted of loosely organized volunteers, into a modern party, which bore the name Comunión Tradicionalista (CT), in German "Traditionalist Faith Community". The CT became the reservoir of the Carlist movement. After 1888 - when the "Manifesto of Burgos" was published as the programmatic basis of Carlism - the Marquis also redesigned the club life and social commitment of the Carlists. In 1936 there were hundreds of Carlist meetinghouses all over Spain, the so-called "círculos" - local groups, "at the head of which ... mostly an exquisite, polite aristocrat with a pistol in his pocket". There was also a women's organization, the “Margaritas”, and a youth department, the “Pelayos”. The Carlist movement developed an extensive press system during this time. Its central organ was the newspaper La Esperanza (The Hope) , founded in 1841 .

Not least as a result of their disagreement, as evidenced by numerous divisions in the movement, the Carlist movement after the Third Carlist War remained of no particular parliamentary importance (1891: 4 seats in the Cortes, 1896: 10 seats; 1901: 7 seats; 1907: 4 seats ).

During the First World War, the pretender Don Jaime was under house arrest in his host country, Austria, with no possibility of contacting the Comunión Tradicionalista , the political arm of the Carlist movement . When communication was possible again after the end of the war, there was an immediate break: Don Jaime was pro-French (precisely for this reason he had been arrested in Austria), but the political leadership of the Carlist was strictly pro-German in view of the liberal forces in France and Great Britain during the war been. This led to a conflict in which the movement agreed on a neutral line, while the pro-German supporters of the movement (the so-called Mellists , after their leader Juan Vazquez de Mella) - who were inclined to reform the Carlist program - were excluded from the party were.

After the Third Carlist War, the core area of ​​the Carlist was increasingly limited to Navarre. In the Basque Country and Catalonia, the economic boom brought about entrepreneurship, which strived for a western, market economy lifestyle and the associated economic and political freedoms. However, the Carlist played a role during the 1909 Catalan uprising called Setmana Tràgica when they intervened in street fighting in Barcelona .

In Catalonia there was also the fact that the traditional clientele of the Carlist, the workers and peasants, felt increasingly less confessional. For the most part they also adopted the liberals' aversion to the clergy and church institutions and turned to socialism and anarcho-syndicalism.

The inhabitants of the rural Basque Country, with the exception of the province of Álava , which remained Carlist for longer than the two coastal provinces, on the other hand, mostly joined the national Basque movement founded by Sabino Arana Goiri . To put it simply, it wished to retain the Carlist idea, which applied to the whole of Spain, of preserving the authority of the king and the Church, but to confine it to the Basque Country alone.

Only in the conservative Navarre, which is sometimes also referred to as the “Spanish Vendée ”, did a free peasantry continue to dominate, who were strictly Catholic, mistrusted the liberals in Madrid in all matters and largely rejected the modern world because of their religious convictions. Significantly, this province later also rejected the Statute of Autonomy of the Second Republic that had been offered to it, which was adopted by a large majority in the Basque Country and Catalonia. For Navarre, the autonomy granted by a republic and the fueros to which they had been entitled from ancient times were not the same. It should be noted that even today the following lines can be extracted from the Navarres regional anthem:

"Por Navarra ...
que tiene por blasón
la vieja Ley tradicional."

"For Navarre ...
that in its coat of arms carries
the old traditional law."

The attitude of the Carlist to the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera , which lasted from 1923 to 1930, was inconsistent. During his dictatorship, the Comunión Tradicionalista, like most parties, was largely passive.

The Carlist and the Second Republic (1931–1936)

After King Alfonso XIII in 1931 . had been expelled, the royalist Legitimist Party and the Comunión Tradicionalista , which had hardly any different positions on constitutional issues, found each other and concluded a pact they called TIRE (Tradicionalistas y Renovación Española) . The overthrown king and the Carlist pretender Don Jaime met in Paris and allegedly reconciled here - that Alfons recognized the pretender as the head of the Spanish Bourbon family, but it may be a rumor. Don Jaime, who had protested sharply against the proclamation of the republic, died a few months later. His uncle Don Alfonso Carlos, in the eyes of the Carlist now the rightful pretender, had the pact canceled again. This led to a split in the Carlist. The more significant part turned away from the Legitimists and, like before, cultivated their community in Navarres local circles. Here they trained troops from 1933 onwards, as did most political camps, including the Falangists , anarchists, and the communist and socialist youth organizations in anticipation of a major confrontation at the same time.

Historical flag of the Comunión Tradicionalista

The training of the Carlist troops, which were called "Requetés" as they were, was entrusted to Colonel José Enrique Varela, who was highly decorated during his missions in Morocco, and was financed by Benito Mussolini with 1.5 million pesetas. Mussolini also had some Carlist officers trained in Italy, while weapons were obtained from Germany.

The Second Republic (1931–1936) came far to meet the needs of the peripheral provinces by granting extensive autonomies. Nonetheless, the Carlists were extremely resentful of the chaos and outbreaks of political violence on all sides in Madrid, as well as the, in their opinion, one-sidedly anti-church and ideologically dictated measures, which the Second Republic took in large numbers from 1931 to 1936 because of its secular self-image. But even apart from these actions (such as the introduction of civil marriage and divorce, the abolition of religious schools and the renewed ban the Society of Jesus) saw the Carlists true to their traditional constitutional ideas the Republic itself, the need to do with the Himno de Riego , the Had adopted the battle song of the constitutional rebels of 1820 as their national anthem , in any case as illegitimate and for that reason alone were not prepared to come to terms with it.

In addition, in the run-up to the Spanish Civil War, there were numerous violent attacks against the clergy and arson attacks against Spanish churches, mostly by the anarchist side, which the political leadership of the republic often only acknowledged with a shrug. For example, a monarchist slap in the face of a Republican taxi driver that took place in Madrid on May 10, 1931, rocked into a wave of arson attacks on churches and monasteries that spread through Spain. Thereupon the Minister of War Manuel Azaña was heard saying that it would be better for all churches to burn than for a republican's hair to be twisted. These and other incidents polarized Spanish society further and contributed to inciting resistance from non-Carlist loyal Spaniards, which brought the Carlist great popularity between 1931 and 1936. The Mellists also found their way back to the Carlist.

As early as 1932, several high-ranking leaders of the Comunión Tradicionalista supported the pronunciamiento of General José Sanjurjo Sacanell , directed against the “anti-church dictatorship Azañas ” , and the Carlist saw the outbreak of the Spanish civil war - for overriding reasons, but also with regard to the leader's revolutionary rhetoric the PSOE , Largo Caballero  - not only no reason to raise a hand in defense of the republic, but on the contrary, participated actively in the planning of the pronunciamiento of July 1936 together with secret societies within the army and other right-wing groups. In preparation for the coup, the regent of the Carlist movement, Prince Javier de Borbón-Parma, together with the chairman of the Comunión Tradicionalista , Manuel Fal Conde , had in St.-Jean-de-Luz, a French city just behind the Spanish one , in the spring of 1936 Grenz, founded the Supreme Military Council of the Carlist.

The Carlist in the Spanish Civil War

The Carlists sided with Franco after General Sanjurjo reached an agreement between General Emilio Mola Vidal and the leader of the Comunión Tradicionalista , Manuel Fal Conde , on the basis of a compromise paper on July 17, 1936 , on the participation of the Carlists in the pronunciamiento had been established. Fal Conde had initially insisted on his demands that the uprising must take place under the monarchist flag and that, if successful, all parties should be dissolved.

On the side of national Spain, the Carlist fought to "restore the old (world) with machine gun and missal" with about 50 banderas (companies) against the popular front, many of them with the detente bala (stop-the-bullet) over their hearts for the Carlist typical amulet with a picture of the "Heart of Jesus". With 40,000 volunteers, no less than a tenth of the Navarre population served as brigada de Navarra under the Carlist flags. The list of casualties of the Carlist included seriously injured fifteen-year-olds. Gerald Brenan takes the view that the Carlist - unlike the Falange, in his opinion - were the only really motivated fighters on Franco's side who could be inspired for a cruzada .

Soon, however, they got into a dispute with the military leadership of the Spanish national coalition, with Manuel Fal Conde being exiled to Portugal after an argument with Francisco Franco . The Carlists were angry about this treatment of their leader and established contacts with some leaders of the fascist Falange who also disagreed with Franco. With the Falange, despite the considerable differences between the two movements, a common basis was found with regard to the rejection of liberalism, democracy and the "nineteenth century". In Portugal, for example, a proposal was made to Fal Conde to unite the Carlist and Falangist movements. Negotiations were conducted, but the Carlist came to the opinion that the Falange was essentially only out to swallow the Carlist-traditionalist movement, which is why they ultimately rejected a merger.

At this point, however, Franco had already made friends with the idea of ​​merging the Comunión Tradicionalista with the Falange. This happened as a result of the efforts of Franco's political advisor, Ramón Serrano Súñer , to put the state of the Spanish national coalition under Franco on a theoretical or even ideological basis. In his view, none of the parties to the Spanish national coalition could offer such a basis on its own, neither the Falange nor the Carlist - perhaps both together. In addition, the goals of the individual organizations could not have been more different: If the Carlist ultimately wanted to return to a Spanish state of the 16th century, the Falange, who envisaged a “national syndicalism” in the sense of a fascist- corporate system, held nothing of all of this.

Franco decided to finally give national Spain a single direction, its own. In 1937 the Comunión Tradicionalista was forcibly merged with the fascist Falange Española de las JONS to form the " Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS ", the later state party of Franquism . The party uniform of the "FET y de las JONS" was the Falangist blue shirt together with the Carlist red beret . Franco became the head of this organization, although he was neither a Falangist nor a Carlist, with which he brought both organizations under his control and thus immensely strengthened his position in the Spanish national camp. To further dilute the internal opposition, Franco also ordered that all career and reserve officers automatically become members of this organization. The "FET y de las JONS" soon followed the non-binding name Movimiento Nacional , from 1970 this was also the official name of the state party. Traditionally, the post of justice minister in the Francoist system belonged to a loyal Carlist.

The incumbent regent, Don Javier, protested against this forced union, about which he was not even consulted, and was also expelled to Portugal. Although participation in power soon after the victory in the civil war helped over a lot, a disagreement both on the part of the Comunión Tradicionalista and on the part of the Falange against this amalgamation persisted for decades: because the party uniform of the "FET y de las JONS" remained made up of the Falange's blue shirt and the Carlists' red beret, the Falangists wore the cap in their pockets at every opportunity, and many Carlists preferred to wear civilian clothes rather than a blue shirt on official occasions appear. The traditionalist-anti-liberal-Catholic elements of the Franco ideology were close to the Carlist ideas and the common struggle against the anti-clerical “red” republic united them, but the fascist ideology of the Falange, which was based on centralization instead of autonomy for regions like the Basque Country or Catalonia was actually the opposite of that of Carlism.

The Carlist in the time of Franquism

After the death of Alfonso Carlos, Alfonso XIII was. Head of the family, the former King of Spain who went into exile in Rome, which theoretically could have resolved the split between the Spanish Bourbons into two feuding lines. However, many Carlists believed that Alfonso XIII. and his son Juan , Count of Barcelona , had disqualified themselves as leaders of the movement on the grounds of “legitimacy through action”.

Alfonso Carlos, the last pretender of the Carlist branch of the Bourbons, had appointed Prince Francisco Javier de Borbón-Parma as regent shortly before his death , as he was the closest related Bourbon who upheld the Carlist ideals. Francisco Javier - a brother of Zita , the last Austrian empress - returned to Belgium during the Second World War , in whose army he had served during the First World War . There he was demobilized, whereupon he joined the French resistance. Captured by the National Socialists, he was interned in Natzweiler and Dachau , where American troops liberated him in 1945. After the decision to re-establish the monarchy after Franco's death in 1947, Francisco Javier publicly announced his claim to the Spanish throne as Javier (I) in 1952, thus establishing the second Carlist dynasty of the Borbón-Parma.

This rank was contested with him and his son Carlos-Hugo de Borbón-Parma by Juan, Count of Barcelona and father of the later Spanish King Juan Carlos I , because Francisco Javier had married improperly and also - like Carlos-Hugo - not had Spanish citizenship . Franco himself did not comment on the claims of Francisco Javier and Carlos Hugo, because this suited his efforts to create disunity among the Spanish monarchists. Franco was particularly concerned that the Spanish monarchists did not unite behind the Count of Barcelona, ​​who had expressly spoken out in favor of the creation of a parliamentary democracy , while Franco expected a future king to fully identify with the Movimiento Nacional .

Although the fact that they did not have Spanish citizenship was by no means undisputed (the never-dissolved Treaty of Aranjuez of 1801 guaranteed all the princes of Borbón Spanish citizenship), Francisco Javier and Carlos-Hugo applied for naturalization . Franco did his best to postpone a decision on this application (in the case of Carlos-Hugo, naturalization was therefore not granted until January 5, 1979). Apart from that, he never missed an opportunity to pit the various heir to the throne against one another. When, for example, Juan Carlos went to Athens to marry in 1962 , Franco invited Carlos-Hugo, who now lived in Madrid, to a meeting and then let the Count of Barcelona know that he now had another candidate in mind. However, during these years Carlos-Hugo began to move away from Franco and attacked Juan Carlos as his alleged puppet. He described Juan, the Count of Barcelona, ​​as a liberal, centralist and favorite of capitalism and the establishment . Carlos-Hugo's supporters felt compelled to throw rotten vegetables at Juan Carlos at public appearances.

In 1964 Carlos Hugo married Princess Irene von Orange-Nassau . On her honeymoon, Irene was photographed in a bikini , a piece of clothing that was considered obscene in Spain at the time. Franco used the public outrage to belittle Carlos-Hugo by having the invitation to an audience with "Princess Irene of the Netherlands and her husband" surtitled. As a result, Carlos-Hugo broke with both Franco and his traditionalist father and began to pursue a left-wing political course. In the 1966 referendum on constitutional reform (Ley Orgánica del Estado) , Francisco Javier called on his supporters to vote “yes”. Carlos-Hugo then exposed his father by publicly denying him "legitimacy through deeds". This sealed the break within the Carlist movement. Francisco Javier did another thing and expressed his support for Basque and Catalan separatism. Franco, who took this as a drop that broke the barrel, then had all the princes of Borbón-Parma from Spain expelled. After the break with Franco in 1967, Carlos-Hugo, and with him his followers, pursued ideas of a particularist socialism.

The question was open whether the Franco regime would continue to tolerate the Carlist meetings on the Montejurra, especially since the massive opposition of the Carlist to the regime did not decrease. Princess Irene, the only member of the Bourbon-Parma family still allowed to enter, continued to represent her husband's cause publicly before her supporters. On the occasion of the Montejurra meeting in May 1973, she said in front of around 10,000 Carlists: “Spain urgently needs a revolution that will sweep away an unjust regime, replace a totalitarian political system, destroy unacceptable economic structures and create a new economic , Social and political structure replaced. "

Ultimately, the hopes of the Carlist were dashed again when Franco among the pretenders in question definitely for the grandson of Alfonso XIII. decided to later become King Juan Carlos (1975-2014).

The Carlists after 1975

On April 8, 1975, before Franco's death, Francisco Javier abdicated in favor of Carlos-Hugo. Already in 1971 he had established a far left-wing Carlist group, which from 1971 carried the name Partido Carlista (PC) and, after a political reorientation at the Carlist People's Congress of 1972, embarked on a federalist-autonomist-socialist course, which was adopted by the Second Vatican Council was influenced and took up elements of liberation theology . Central elements were company self-determination and a state federalism with autonomous regions. In contrast to before, however, this should be expressly implemented within the framework of a pluralistic social system. At the time of Franco's death in 1975, the Partido Carlista, legalized in 1977, was a far left-wing organization that helped found the Izquierda Unida (United Left), among other things .

All of this led to an irreparable split in the Carlist movement, which has been conservative Catholic since its origins. The leaders of the Carlist movement called on Carlos Hugo to adhere to their traditionalist line. When Carlos-Hugo did not respond, they declared that he had lost his right to leadership. Carlos-Hugo, however, protested against having waived any right. The movement was now officially divided into the Partido Carlista Carlos-Hugos and various traditionalist groups - led by his brother Sixto - which united under Sixto in 1986 to form the far right-wing Comunión Tradicionalista Carlista (CTC).

Immediately after Franco's death, the two Carlist groups were so hostile to each other that traditionalist Carlist affiliated with Sixto, allegedly supported by anti-communist Italian military circles, were associated with a bomb attack on a PC meeting in May 1976: the attack on the left-wing Carlist pilgrimage In Montejurra (Navarra), to which around 20 left-wing parties and organizations were invited, two supporters of the Partido Carlista were murdered and numerous others injured. Right-wing French forces within the Guardia Civil and the secret service operation “Operación Reconquista”, which was supported by then Interior Minister Manuel Fraga and Prime Minister Carlos Arias Navarro , were verifiably behind the murders .

The following year, Sixto Enrique de Borbón-Parma explicitly claimed the leadership of the Carlist movement and declared that he was the legitimate pretender. Both pretenders cited their father, who died on May 7, 1977. The background is unclear. In a manifesto of March 4, 1977, Francisco Javier (allegedly at Sixto's urging) condemned Carlos-Hugo's increasingly left-leaning policies, while in a paper written three days later he maintained that Carlos-Hugo was the heir, also with regard to his claim to the throne. In the meantime, Carlos-Hugo had taken his father out of the hospital and taken him in. The mother of both pretenders stood by Sixto and went so far as to exclude Carlos-Hugo from her own funeral in 1984.

The Carlist remained a popular movement until the 1960s. However, as early as the first free elections in 1977 it became clear that the Carlist had slipped politically into insignificance in the course of only a decade due to their self-paralysis through disagreement. The PC remained a splinter organization, which in 1977 had around 8,500 members, and even gained only 4.79% of the votes and a single seat in the Navarres regional parliament in 1979, was no longer represented there from 1983 and is now a splinter party well below 1 % of the votes - in 2003 it was 0.34% of the votes, in 2007 the PC's share of votes was halved again to 0.16%.

According to some, this decline of the Carlist movement is not least due to the fact that during the reign of King Juan Carlos I the overwhelming majority of Spaniards granted him legitimacy to a far greater extent than any pretender. Juan Carlos had acquired this legitimacy at the latest through his commitment to the transition of Spain, the introduction of parliamentary democracy, and their defense against the attempted coup of 1981, as well as through his participation in the introduction of the federal constitution, while the pretenders were mainly through political views and the never-ending family quarrels were talked about.

In 1980 Carlos-Hugo withdrew from politics and resigned from the Partido Carlista , but without giving up his claims to the throne. In 1981 they divorced Princess Irene, with whom Carlos-Hugo had four children.

In 2000 there was a certain revival of the PC, which was able to enter ten local councils in the local elections in Navarre in 2003. In 2005, at the federal congress in Tolosa , the PC again acknowledged regional self-determination and spoke out against a European constitution .

Political and social goals of Carlism


It is not easy to properly categorize Carlism, since the Carlists were never monolithic, underwent continuous developments during their long history and absorbed influences from other political directions, just as other political directions adopted Carlist ideas - such as the social commitment that the Carlists had for example in the founding of Christian trade unions. Originally emerged from a battle of retreat by the Spanish Ancien Régimes , Carlism repeatedly redefined itself through the ages so as not to lose touch with the times: in order to enforce its ideas, Carlism first fought wars and then became a parliamentary political party and eventually to become a kind of interest group under Franquism.

In any case, in the first half of the twentieth century the Carlists were predominantly regarded as a party of the lower nobility, but were by no means limited to this group with their numerically substantial following among the peasants and workers. They were strictly Catholic and deeply conservative - parts of them so much that in the course of the Third Carlist War they attacked train stations as newfangled abominations. Their program of 1897, which was shaped by the reformist Mellists, distanced itself from an absolutist state, but still demanded regional self-determination with the unity of Spain under the sign of Catholicism, a monarchical form of government, reintroduction of the aristocracy into its traditional functions and social commitment in the sense of the Catholic Social teaching in accordance with the relevant papal encyclicals .

Carlism saw itself as the determining force of so-called Conservadurismo (Spanish conservatism) and the longer it tended, the more it tended towards authoritarian governance and corporatism . Thus, in the early 1930s, the CT came up with a program which provided for a “class neo-traditionalist monarchism”, which, however, “avoided extreme statism and endeavored to clearly differentiate Carlism from fascist radicalism and fascist dictatorship”. The Carlists were deeply anti-communist and at least around the Spanish Civil War - like other right wing movements - firmly convinced that a "Jewish-Marxist-Masonic conspiracy" wanted to turn Spain into a satellite of the Soviet Union.

As monarchists, the Carlist rejected the idea of popular sovereignty , but advocated not a dictatorial, but rather a royal rule that was encompassed by belief, custom and law. Rather, they explicitly turned against despotism: Sobre el Rey está el Ley , "above the king stands the law", which primarily meant the unalterable natural law and the unwritten principles of good and just government. The Carlist expressed their political ideas in their own version of the Marcha Real :

"Viva España,
gloria de tradiciones,
con la sola ley
que puede prosperar.

Viva España,
que es madre de Naciones,
con Dios, Patria, Rey
con que supo imperar.

Guerra al perjuro
traidor y masón,
que con su aliento impuro
dogs la nación. "

“Long live Spain,
the glory of the traditional,
with the only law that
promises prosperity.

Long live Spain,
which is the mother of nations,
with God, fatherland and king
through whom it knew how to rule.

War against the perjurers,
traitors and Freemasons
whose unclean breath taints
the nation. "

The historian Hugh Thomas illustrates the conception of politics associated with the Carlist worldview in practice as follows: When the chairman of the Carlist faction in the Cortes, the Count of Rodezno, was asked in 1931 who would become Prime Minister in the event of the king's return, he is said to have given the following indicative answer: "You or one of the gentlemen here, it is only a question of secretary positions ... but I [myself] would stay with the king and we would talk about the hunt." According to Hugh Thomas, "belonged to the The core of the Carlist social conception ... [d] that politics is made on the hunt ”.

The influence of this movement, which had a lasting impact on Spanish history for more than a century, on today's Spain was diverse. The Basque nationalism has carlistische roots. Carlists also founded the “Sindicatos libres”, the first Christian trade unions in Spain.

Relationship between Church and State

The Carlist understanding of state and society was essentially based on their ideal ideas of a relationship between state and church, as had prevailed in Spain before the Enlightenment. The Church has always not only legitimized the rule of kings with its divine right, but has also been the strongest integrating and stabilizing force in a state as heterogeneous as Spain since the times of the Catholic Monarchs, and in this capacity it was of crucial importance as a pillar of the existing order. The Church was omnipresent, both politically and culturally. The height of Spanish power in Europe and the world fell during this time of the symbiosis of throne and altar. In the course of the transfiguration of this time after the fall of Spain around the War of the Spanish Succession, a connection was established between the old state constitution and the past glory, which Carlism took up and made its own, which is why it has been described as a kind of Jesuitism for lay people .

The most powerful all-Spanish institution in ancient Spain, the Inquisition , was a state institution and an essential pillar of the power of the Church. Even though the Inquisition had not imposed the death penalty in the last forty years of its existence , its political power was enormous until the reign of Ferdinand VII, who abolished it under pressure from France, and extended into the royal court . Furthermore, the absolutists trusted the Inquisition alone to cope with Freemasonry and ban liberalism from Spain, and it is not surprising that one of the main demands of the Carlist up into the 20th century was the re-establishment of the Inquisition, of which they were called spoke of the most venerable tribunal brought to earth by angels from heaven .

In essence, four elements made up the socio-political ideas to which the Carlist wanted or rather wanted to go back: religious unity of the people, a state and social system based on religious beliefs, cooperation between church and state and freedom of the church. Significantly, the Carlist always combined political and religious elements at their meetings. A political speech was usually preceded by reading a mass.

The Carlist ideas of the state were borrowed from the Middle Ages . A separation of church and state was not intended there. In addition, religion could not be a private matter, because the Catholic denomination and Christian values ​​were the foundation of society according to the Carlist conception. In order to be able to work in this sense, with reference to the Spanish Middle Ages, the complete denominational unity of the Spanish people was seen as necessary, which the institution of the Inquisition was supposed to guarantee. Therefore, Carlism strictly rejected religious freedom . The fact that in the course of the debate on the draft constitution of 1869 the Carlist lost in the Cortes in the dispute over the granting of religious freedom is therefore seen as one of the reasons for taking up arms again a few years later.

The Carlist saw the political development of Europe in the 19th century as the French Revolution turned into a European revolution , which in their opinion was constantly at work in all European countries, including Spain, in the interests of their political opponents, the liberals. Liberalism was seen as the source of all the evils of modernity. In this sense, the pretender Carlos (VII) expressed himself as follows: “The Spanish revolution is only one of the battalions of the great cosmopolitan revolution. The essential characteristic of the latter is the complete negation of God's rule over the world; their goal is the complete destruction of the foundations which Christianity produced and on which human society is founded. ”The Carlist Wars and the Spanish Civil War were not only politically motivated, but were also religious crusades. The Carlist openly referred to the Spanish Civil War as cruzada (crusade).

Symbols of Carlism

Modern symbol of the Carlist movement

The symbol of the Carlist is a red Burgundian St. Andrew's Cross (cruz de Borgoña) on a white background. The Burgundian St. Andrew's Cross is a more or less stylized representation of two crossed, only roughly cut branches. It is reminiscent of the martyrdom of the Apostle St. Andrew. Since the 15th century - when Philip the Handsome , a Duke of Burgundy , used it as a personal symbol - the Spanish war flag and the flag of New Spain were placed on a white, but occasionally blue or other colored field . Originally it was a Burgundian emblem - the patron saint of the Dukes of Burgundy was St. Andrew . The Burgundian St. Andrew's Cross was in use as a war flag until 1843, when the red-yellow-red naval war flag introduced in 1785 (which in its basic features corresponds to the current flag of Spain) was also used for war on land and as a state flag. From 1843 on, the Carlist movement stood under an old Spanish flag in the field, which is reminiscent of the phenomenon of the black-white-red and black-red-gold flags in Germany. Even in the former Hispanic-American provinces, the old Burgundian St. Andrew's Cross can still be found, for example as the flag of the Bolivian Department of Chuquisaca ; it inspired, among other things, the flag of the Chilean city of Valdivia .

The Carlist costume consists of red berets from which a golden cord hangs ( called txapelgorri in Basque ).

Their hymn is the " Marcha de Oriamendi ", named after a battle of the First Carlist War in 1837.

The motto of the Carlist movement is Dios, Patria, Fueros, Rey ("God, fatherland, old privileges, king". Compare the motto of the Christian-conservative Basque party EAJ / PNV : Jainkoa eta Lege Zaharrak - "God and the old law" ). The motto of the Partido Carlista, however, is Libertad, Socialismo, Autogestión, Federalismo (“Freedom, Socialism, Self-Administration, Federalism”).

The Carlist pretenders

First Carlist dynasty

Juan (III.)
  • Carlos (VI.) Luis de Borbon y Braganza . Son of the previous pretender (born January 31, 1818 in Madrid, † January 13, 1861 in Trieste). Also known as the Count of Montemolín. Pretender from 1845 to 1860. Abdication as a result of his capture by Isabella's troops in Tortosa.
  • Juan (III.) Carlos de Borbon y Braganza . Brother of the previous pretender (born May 15, 1822 in Aranjuez, † November 21, 1887 in Brighton ). Also known as the Count of Montizon. Pretender from 1860 to 1868. Because of its tendency to liberalism to the abdication forced as his due, according to the Carlists no "legitimacy by deeds" (not only by descent). In 1883 he became head of the royal family of the Capets and was able to claim the French throne.
  • Carlos (VII.) María de los Dolores de Borbón y Austria-Este . Son of the previous pretender (born March 30, 1848 in Laibach ; † July 18, 1909 in Varese ). Also known as the Duke of Madrid. Pretender from October 3, 1868 to 1909, anointed as King of Spain in 1873 in the Santuario de Loyola . Leader of the movement during the Third Carlist War. Grandfather of the later pretender Archduke Karl Pius of Habsburg-Lorraine-Tuscany.
  • Jaime (III.) De Borbón y Borbón . Son of the previous pretender (born June 27, 1870 in Vevey , † October 9, 1931 in Paris). Also known as the Duke of Madrid. Pretender from 1909 to 1931.
  • Alfonso Carlos (I.) de Borbón y Austria-Este . Uncle of the previous pretender, Brother Carlos' (VII.) (Born September 12, 1849 in London ; † September 29, 1936 in Vienna due to a traffic accident). Also known as the Duke of San Jaime. Pretender from 1931 to 1936. Last male heir to the throne of the Carlist line.

With Alfonso Carlos, the first Carlist dynasty died out. A grandson of Carlos' (VII.) Appeared between 1943 and 1953 as "Carlos (VIII.)". The Habsburg Archduke Karl Pius of Habsburg-Lorraine-Tuscany (Carlos de Habsburgo-Lorena y Borbón), a descendant of Emperor Leopold II on his father's side and grandson of Carlos (VII.) On his mother's side, claimed to be the legitimate heir to the throne of the First Carlist Dynasty according to the " lex salica "as pretender the leadership of the movement, supported by a group of so-called" carlo-octavistas ".

Second Carlist dynasty

From 1936 to 1952 there was no official pretender of the Carlist movement. Francisco Javier de Borbón-Parma served as regent during this period.

The Borbón-Parma are a branch of the family, from the parent company in the 18th century under Philip V has separated. The last common ancestor of the lineage, the first Carlist dynasty and the Borbón-Parma was Philip I, Duke of Parma, whose daughter María Luisa, wife of Carlos IV, was the mother of both Ferdinand VII and the pretender Carlos (V). Apart from that, the wife Carlos (VII.) Was a Borbón-Parma and thus the mother of Jaimes (III.).

On May 30, 1952, Francisco Javier himself laid claim to the throne and thus founded the second Carlist dynasty:

  • Javier (I.) de Borbón-Parma y Braganza , full name Francisco Javier, * May 25, 1889, † May 7, 1977, pretender from 1952 to 1975 (abdication). Has held the title of Count of Molina since 1964.

As a counter-pretender of the traditionalist direction of the Carlist movement is set up

More pretenders

The legitimacy of the Second Carlist Dynasty was not without controversy, especially in its first years. Although the great majority of the Carlists recognized Javier (I) first as regent and then as king, a number of Carlists did not accept him as a legitimate pretender and therefore turned to people from the main line of the Spanish Bourbons as well as a descendant of Carlos (VII) . There were also Carlists who recognized neither the Second Carlist Dynasty nor any of the subsequent pretenders.

  • In 1958 a numerically strong group of Carlisters recognized Juan de Borbón y Battenberg , Count of Barcelona, ​​father of the later Spanish King Juan Carlos , as head.
  • In 1960 a numerically strong faction proclaimed the eldest son of Alfonso XIII on the Montejurra. Jaime (IV.) As pretender, who had actually ceded the rights to the Spanish throne to his younger brother Juan, the Count of Barcelona, ​​because of his deaf and dumbness. Accordingly, his son Alfons Jaime de Borbón and currently his grandson Louis Alphonse de Bourbon should be regarded as Carlist pretenders, but they never made such a claim.
  • Carlos (VIII.) , A grandson of Carlos (VII.), Claimed leadership of the Carlist movement from 1943 to 1953; see above on the First Carlist Dynasty. The pretender of the Carlo-Octavistas is currently his great-grandson Dominic von Habsburg as Domingo (I.), but his suitability as a pretender is denied due to previous unequal marriages.

Trieste - seat and burial place of the Carlist pretenders

The Carlist pretenders held their “court” in Trieste until 1874 . Carlos (V) chose this city in 1847 because the Duchess of Berry, sister of Carlos' (V) wife, owned a building at 9 Via Lazzaretto Vecchio, the first floor of which she herself inhabited. She left the second floor of the building to Carlos (V.). In 1874, the Princess of Beira, Carlos' (V.) second wife, died, which led to Trieste being abandoned as the seat of the pretenders.

Cathedral of San Giusto in Trieste

The burial place of the Carlist pretenders is the Cathedral of San Giusto in Trieste, which is why it is also called the “Carlist Escorial ”. The pretenders Carlos (V.), (VI.) And (VII.) And Juan (III.) Are buried here, as well

  • Carlos' two wives (V.) - María Francisca de Asís y de Borbón (1800–1816) and María Teresa de Braganza y de Borbón, Princess of Beira (1793–1874), who had been married to Carlos since 1838,
  • the wife of Carlos (VI.) - María Carolina de Borbón-Dos Sicílias (1820–1861),
  • the Infante Fernando de Borbón y de Braganza (1824–1861), son of Carlos (V.),
  • Francisco José Carlos de Habsburgo y de Borbón (1905–1975), grandson of Carlos (VII.).

In plot no. 111 of the cemetery of Santa Anna in Trieste there are also 24 members of the Carlist court suite. This parcel was bought by the Princess of Beira in 1868; the following words can be found on the tombstone: Seguito dell'Augusta Signora Maria Teresa di Borbone, Contessa de Molina .

The other pretenders were buried in other places:

  • Jaime (III.), His mother and wife Carlos' (VII.), Margherita di Borbone-Parma, as well as Blanca de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, the daughter of Carlos' (VII.) And mother Carlos' (VIII.), In Viareggio (Italy),
  • Alfonso Carlos and his wife, María de las Nieves de Braganza , in Puchheim Castle (Austria).
  • Carlos (VIII) found his final resting place in the Monestir de Santa Maria de Poblet (Spain).
  • Juan de Borbón y Battenberg, who did not see himself as the leader of the Carlist movement, was buried in the Escorial, as was his brother Jaime.
  • Javier (I.) is buried in the French abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes .
  • Carlos-Hugo (I.) is buried in the family vault in the Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma.

See also

Commons : Carlism  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Iconography: The First Carlist War  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files



  • Edward Bell Stephens: The Basque provinces, their political state, scenery, and inhabitants, with adventures amongst the Carlists and Christinos. , London 1837 (digitized) .
  • Martin Blinkhorn: Carlism and crisis in Spain 1931-1939. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1975, ISBN 978-0-521-08634-9 .

The following books deal with the Spanish history of the 19th and 20th centuries and treat the Carlist Wars and / or Carlism in this context with varying degrees of detail:

  • Antony Beevor : The Spanish Civil War. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-570-00924-6 .
  • Gerald Brenan : The Spanish Labyrinth. An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1943.
    • German edition: The history of Spain. About the social and political background of the Spanish Civil War. Karin Kramer, Berlin 1978, ISBN 3-87956-034-X .
  • Walther L. Bernecker , Horst Pietschmann: History of Spain. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-17-016188-1 .
  • Walther L. Bernecker: Social history of Spain in the 19th and 20th centuries (= Edition Suhrkamp. Volume 1540). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-518-11540-5 .
  • Walther L. Bernecker, Hans-Jürgen Fuchs, Bert Hoffmann a. a .: Spain Lexicon. CH Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-34724-X .
  • Salvador de Madariaga : Spain. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-421-01925-8 .
  • Franz Metzger (Ed.): History with a kick . 7/92: Descent of a world power. Spain 1700-1900
  • Hugh Thomas : The Spanish Civil War. Gutenberg Book Guild. Ullstein, Berlin 1964 (standard work on the Spanish Civil War).

Magazine articles


Web links

Links to the history of Carlism:

Carlism today:

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain , p. 54.
  2. Salvador de Madariaga ( Spain , p. 51) gives a vivid example of this state of mind using a small episode from Calderón's play Life is a Dream : “When Sigismund tries to punish Clotaldo, the servant of the king who had held him prisoner, someone throws him to those present that everything was done by order of the king. Sigismund replies: 'En lo que no es justa ley / no ha de obedecer al Rey'. ("Said the king against the law / deed he to submit, badly", see in the Gutenberg project: Übers. Gries ) "
  3. ^ Brenan: History of Spain , p. 53.
  4. ^ Brenan: History of Spain , p. 239.
  5. cit. after Marion Höflinger, in: Geschichte mit Pfiff 7/92, p. 19.
  6. One example is the pesetas spent by the pretenders during the First and Third Carlist Wars, cf. {{Web archive | text = archive link | url = http: // | wayback = 20070915174135 | archiv-bot = 2018-03-25 11:34:58 InternetArchiveBot}} (link on 15. February 2010 no longer available)
  7. Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 in the Spanish-language Wikisource
  8. Gerald Brenan points out that these were the same English conservatives who fought against the emancipation of Catholics at home in England.
  9. ^ Convenio de Vergara in the Spanish-language Wikisource
  10. a b Thomas: The Spanish Civil War , p. 31.
  11. Eberhard Horst: 15 times Spain . Piper, Munich / Zurich 1973, p. 314 f.
  13. ^ Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War , p. 63.
  14. ^ Beevor: The Spanish Civil War , p. 90.
  15. cit. according to Himno de Navarra in the Spanish language Wikipedia
  16. a b Beevor: The Spanish Civil War , p. 65.
  17. ^ Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War , p. 47 f.
  18. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War , p. 48.
  19. ^ Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War , p. 63.
  20. Red hats . In: Der Spiegel . No. 1 , 1969 ( online ).
  21. Eberhard Horst, 15 times Spain, Piper, Munich, Zurich 1973, p. 315.
  23. Floren Aoiz: El jarrón roto . ISBN 84-8136-329-4 : Diego Carcedo: Sáenz de Santamaría: el general que cambio de bando . ISBN 84-8460-309-1 .
  25. ^ Stanley Payne: History of Fascism. The rise and fall of a European movement . Tosa-Verlag in Verlag Carl Ueberreuter, Vienna 2006; P. 315.
  26. a b c Beevor: The Spanish Civil War , p. 64.
  27. ^ Francisco D. de Otazú: Himno Nacional. Marcha con o sin letra. In: Arbil. ISSN  1697-1388 , No. 79.
  28. ^ Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War, p. 63.
  29. ^ Carlos (VII.): Manifesto to the Spaniards ; La Tour de Peilz, Switzerland, December 8, 1870, cf.
  30. ^ Carlist succession to the throne . In: Der Spiegel . No. 20 , 1964 ( online ).
  31. ( Memento from May 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  32. ^ Pieter Klein Beernink: Koning bij doop prins Carlos in Parma . In: De Telegraaf , September 25, 2016, accessed on May 25, 2019 (Dutch).
This version was added to the list of excellent articles on April 13, 2005 .