Hohenzollerns' War

La Gloriosa Revolución (The Legacy of the Glorious)
EnteringMadrid.jpgSerrano's troops enter Madrid some time after the Battle of Alcolea.

September 18th 1868


October 5th 1868




Dethroning of Isabel II
Exile of the Spanish Royal Family
Proclamation of the Spanish Provisional Government

Major battles:

Battle of Alcolea


Spanish Liberal Movement

Kingdom of Spain


Juan Prim y Prats
Francisco Serrano y Domínguez
Juan Bautista Topete
Práxedes Mariano Mateo-Sagasta y Escolar

Isabel II
Luis González Bravo
Manuel Pavía y Lacy, Marquis of Novaliches


15,000 soldiers

10,000 soldiers

Casualties and Losses

500 soldiers

1,000 soldiers

This article covers a war or battle

This article contains information about a war or a battle. You are free to discuss this or provide suggestions at this page's talkpage.

La Gloriosa Revolución (The Glorious Revolution) is a revolution started by the Spanish liberal movement as an answer to the increasingly conservative and dictatorial monarchy of Isabel II.


In 1833, the death of Fernando VII had brought three-year-old Isabel II to the throne. However, her uncle Carlos had also claimed the throne for himself: this started the First Carlist War, which was won by the side that supported Isabel II, which thought that, with Isabel in power, they would finally be able to change Spain and turn it into an actual constitutional monarchy.

However, as time passed, it became clear that Isabel, who had been forcibly married to homosexual Francisco de Asís, had no interest in politics, being influenced by many people and allowing many coups and countercoups to happen, which meant that political life came to be dominated by military men, which, during most of the decades of 1850 and 1860, meant the Moderate Party and Ramón María Narváez, which further isolated Isabel II from the realities of life and of the Spanish liberal movement that had supported her when she was a child.


Preparations for the Revolution started in 1866. That year, the Progressive Party and the Democrat Party, led respectively by exiled General Juan Prim and politicians Cristino Martos and Francisco Pi y Margall, signed the Pact of Ostende, compromising to work together to end Isabel's monarchy.

On 1867, the Liberal Union, a centre-right party which was also opposed to the Moderate Party's monopoly of politics in Spain, lost its leader Leopoldo O'Donnell, giving the leadership to General Francisco Serrano, who supported the opposition to Isabel's rule, bringing with him great support of many people within Spain.

Narváez's death on April 1868 helped in putting the opposition's plans into fruition, as Isabel's choice to replace Narváez, Luis González Bravo, slowly turned Spain into a personal dictatorship.

It would not be, however, until September of that year that the opposition was ready to start.

The Revolution

On September 18th 1868, Admiral Juan Bautista Topete, the man in charge of the Spanish fleet anchored in Cadiz, declared his opposition to Isabel's monarchy and started a revolution against it and González Bravo's government.

On the next day, September 19th, Generals Juan Prim and Francisco Serrano, arrived to Cádiz and took control of two armies that advanced, Prim's along the Mediterranean coast and Serrano's towards Madrid. Isabel's supporters tried to rally the population, but Manuel Pavía y Lacy-led army was defeated by Serrano's near the town of Alcolea, in Córdoba, sealing the fate of the Isabeline government, which fled Madrid, allowing Serrano to take control of the city.


After their victory, and their establishing Spain as a Constitutional Monarchy, the Provisional Government, led by Juan Prim and Francisco Serrano, started to search for a new king to replace the Borbones, which they found in the person of Prussian prince Leopold zu Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who would be chosen new King of Spain. This was one of the causes of the Hohenzollerns' War that would pit Spain and Prussia against France.

Isabel II had to leave Spain in order to prevent the war from reaching her, although she did not renounce to her rights to the Spanish Crown: she only did this in the months leading to the Hohenzollerns' War, so that her son Alfonso had the rights to it, allowing him to claim the Spanish Crown after the French invasion of Spain, although it was a futile attempt.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.