History - The Bourbons


The Bourbon French rulers dominated Spain from 1700 until the early 1900s.

Andalucia suffered the ravages of the War of Succession 1701-1713, when the Bourbons were fighting with Archduke Charles of Austria (allied with the British) over the Spanish throne. In the course of this war, Gibraltar was lost to the British.

In the early 18th century, the commercial landscape of Andalucia was reshaped, as trade moved from inland Seville to coastal Cadiz when the Guadalquivir river silted up.

Later in the 18th century, Pablo Olavide, Carlos III's chief advisor, established new settlements to repopulate the Sierra Morena in Jaen. This plan, which donated land and livestock to foreign colonists from Northern Europe to start their new life, was not entirely successful.

At The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the British fleet, under Admiral Lord Nelson, defeated the Spanish allied with the French led by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. This battle touched off the War of Independence, or Peninsular War (1808-1813), as Spain's defeat resulted in the Spanish King being forced to abdicate; Napoleon immediately seized power.


Philip V 1700 - 1724 and 1724 - 1746 

Philip V (Spanish: Felipe V,  19 December 1683 – 9 July 1746) was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favour of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he reassumed the throne upon his son's death, to his own death 9 July 1746. Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a grandson of King Louis XIV. His father, Louis, the Grand Dauphin, had the strongest genealogical claim to the throne of Spain when it became vacant in 1700. However, since neither the Grand Dauphin nor Philip's older brother, Louis, Duke of Burgundy, could be displaced from their place in the succession to the French throne, King Charles II of Spain named Philip as his heir in his will. It was well known that the union of France and Spain under one monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe, such that other European powers would take steps to prevent it. Indeed, Philip's accession in Spain provoked the 14-year War of the Spanish Succession, which continued until the Treaty of Utrecht forbade any future possibility of unifying the French and Spanish thrones. Philip was the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain. The sum of his two reigns, 45 years and 21 days, is the longest in modern Spanish history. |  Wikipedia CC-BY-SA


Louis I  1724 - 1724;

Louis I (Luis Felipe; 25 August 1707 – 31 August 1724) was King of Spain from 15 January 1724 until his death in August the same year. His reign is one of the shortest in history, lasting for just over seven months.   | Wikipedia CC-BY-SA

Ferdinand VI  1746 - 1759;

Ferdinand VI (Spanish: Fernando VI; 23 September 1713 – 10 August 1759), called the Learned, was King of Spain from 9 July 1746 until his death in 1759, the third ruler of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty. He was the fourth son of the previous monarch Philip V and his first wife Maria Luisa of Savoy. | Wikipedia CC-BY-SA

Charles III  1759 - 1788;

Charles III (Spanish: Carlos; 20 January 1716 – 14 December 1788) was King of Spain and the Spanish Indies (1759–1788), after ruling Naples as Charles VII and Sicily as Charles V (1734–1759), he abdicated to his son Ferdinand. He was the fifth son of Philip V of Spain, and the eldest son of Philip's second wife, Elisabeth Farnese. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he succeeded to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, upon the death of his half-brother King Ferdinand VI of Spain, who left no heirs. In 1738 he married Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony, daughter of Polish king Augustus III and an educated, cultured woman who gave birth to 13 children, eight of whom reached adulthood. Charles and Maria Amalia resided in Naples for 19 years. As King of Spain Charles III made far-reaching reforms such as promoting science and university research, facilitating trade and commerce, and modernising agriculture. He also tried to reduce the influence of the Church and avoided costly wars. He did not achieve complete control over the State's finances, and was sometimes obliged to borrow to meet expenses.  | Wikipedia CC-BY-SA

Charles IV  1788 - 1808

Charles IV (Spanish: Carlos; 11 November 1748 – 20 January 1819) was King of Spain from 14 December 1788, until his abdication on 19 March 1808. Charles IV intended to maintain the policies of his father, and retained his prime minister, the Count of Floridablanca, in office. Charles never took more than a passive part in his own government. The affairs of government were left to his wife, Maria Luisa, and his prime minister, while he occupied himself with hunting. In 1792, political and personal enemies ousted Floridablanca from office, replacing him with Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda who was himself replaced by Manuel de Godoy, a favourite of the Queen and widely believed to be her lover, who enjoyed the lasting favor of the King.  Godoy continued Abarca de Bolea's policy of neutrality towards France, but after Spain protested the execution of Louis XVI of France, in 1793, France declared war on Spain. In 1796 France forced Godoy to enter into an alliance, and declare war on the Kingdom of Great Britain. Spain became one of the maritime empires to have been allied with Republican France in the French Revolutionary War. Spain supported the Continental Blockade until the British naval victory at Trafalgar, when Spain became allied with Britain. However, after Napoleon's victory over Prussia in 1807, Godoy again steered Spain back onto the French side. Economic troubles and the King's ineptitude, caused the monarchy to decline in prestige among the population. Crown Prince Ferdinand attempted to overthrow the King in an aborted coup in 1807.  Riots, and a popular revolt in 1808 forced the king to abdicate on 19 March, in favor of his son. Ferdinand took the throne as Ferdinand VII, but was mistrusted by Napoleon, who had 100,000 soldiers stationed in Spain by that time. The ousted King, having appealed to Napoleon for help in regaining his throne, was summoned before Napoleon in Bayonne, along with his son, in April 1808. Napoleon forced both Charles and his son to abdicate, declared the Bourbon dynasty of Spain deposed, and installed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, as King Joseph I of Spain. | Wikipedia CC-BY-SA