Carlism: a key phenomenon in the contemporary history of Spain

"Carlismo is not simply a dynastic struggle, there is, but it is not its base, but rather a conflict in the construction of contemporary Spain that confronts two visions of the world"

Carlism is an anti-liberal and anti-revolutionary movement in Spain that has faced liberalism since 1808. It received its name from 1830 when a pretender to the throne emerged, Don Carlos, the brother of Fernando VII, who became the symbol of the movement. Carlism is not simply a dynastic struggle, there is, but it is not its base, but rather a conflict in the construction of contemporary Spain that confronts two visions of the world: liberal and Carlist. *FIDE In one of his sessions, he analyzes his history and his influence.

Carlism was the protagonist of two important civil wars in the 30th century, one in the 70s and the other in the XNUMXs. These conflicts played out between 1833 and 1876, with several intervening conflicts. Although it was defeated in 1876, Carlism did not disappear and had to be relocated among the multiple political options of the time, such as Republicans, Conservatives, and Catalan nationalists.

When the Second Republic was established in Spain, the Carlists joined the rebellious military. Throughout the XNUMXth century, Carlism faced communism and the influence of the Russian Revolution. It was a deeply legitimist movement, based on religion, country and monarchy, God, Country and King. In addition, he responded to Basque and Catalan nationalism by defending the fueros.

Carlism had a prominent presence in regions such as the Basque Country, Navarra, Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia. Although the different social groups that joined Carlism did not necessarily share the same social project, they did have in common their solid opposition to liberalism. Throughout its history, Carlism experienced times of great vitality, such as during the Carlist wars, and moments of great weakness, such as during the restoration and the interwar period.

Carlism was the nucleus of various antirevolutionary coalitions in the history of Spain. His influence and popularity varied depending on political circumstances and the expectations of followers. Although Carlism suffered a great defeat in 1876 and the Bourbon restoration offered stability and respect to the Catholic Church, it reappeared during the Second Republic, although it did not reach the same fullness as in 1833.

When the Second Republic was established, Carlism no longer had enough strength to rise up on its own, so many Carlists joined the national side due to circumstances. Despite its participation in the victory of the rebels in 1939, Carlismo obtained few benefits, except in Navarra. It could be said that he was the winner least benefited by the victory of the national side. After the civil war, some Carlists declared themselves anti-Franco and internal divisions arose in the movement, especially during the late Franco period. The confrontation with Francoism and the violent events in Montejurra in May 1976 were almost the end of Carlism.

*FIDE held the virtual sessionCarlism, a key phenomenon in the contemporary history of Spain”, framed within the History Forum, on May 17. Jordi Canal, PhD in History and professor-researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris acted as speaker and Juan E.Gelabert González, Professor of Modern History at the University of Cantabria, acted as moderator.


· Carlism: two centuries of counterrevolution in Spain (2000)

· Carlism and the Carlist wars: facts, men, ideas (2011).

If the article has been interesting to you,

We invite you to share it on Social Networks


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Fill out the form and someone from our team will contact you shortly.