King Amadeo of Spain






November 16, 1870 to February 11, 1873

 Brief History

The Generals were determined to keep the leadership of the revolution in their own hands by channeling it into a constitutional monarchy. They were, however, faced with a problem of finding an appropriate constitutional monarch. Because of the political interests of other European Nations, which seemed to them to authorise their active interference, the selection of an occupant for the vacant throne was no easy matter.

During the interregnum, Francisco Serrano undertook the Regency, and the Cortes drew up a brand new Constitution by which an hereditary King was to rule in conjunction with a Senate and a Popular Chamber.

There were four prominent candidates for the throne: a Bourbon, a German, a Portuguese, and an Italian. As no Bourbon candidate was found acceptable, the offer of the crown was made to Leopold of Hohenzollern. This offer was opposed by France and set off the Franco-German war in 1870. Amadeus, Duke of Aosta, and second son of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, with the support of Prim and Serrano, was elected King by the Cortes on November 16, 1870. On December 30 of that same year, the same day on which Prim died from an assassin's attack, Amadeus arrived in Spain.

Amadeo, as he was called in Spanish, attempted to rule as a Constitutional Monarch. Opposed both by Republicans and by the Carlists, he could form no stable government. Bereft of Prim's help and feebly served by a series of short-lived ministries, Amadeo faced continuous turmoil.

Support for Alfonso increased, along with Republican agitation, and the second Carlist War broke out, (1872 - 1876). On February 11, 1873, Amadeo abdicated gracefully, and returned to Italy.


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