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This article gives an overview of liberalism and radicalism in Spain. It is limited to liberal and radical parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having been represented in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it is not necessary that parties labeled themselves as a liberal or radical party.

Background


In the nineteenth century, liberalism was a major political force in Spain, but as in many other continental European countries care must be taken over the use of labels as this term were used with different meanings (this is discussed in the article on Radicalism (historical).

As in much of Europe, the nineteenth century history of Spain would largely revolve around the conflicts between the three major liberal currents - radicalism; progressive classical liberalism, or conservative classical liberalism. While all three rejected the Catholic, traditionalist and absolutist Old Regime, each had a different perspective on the urgency and degree to which state and society needed reforming to modernise the values and institutions.

  • The term 'liberal' itself was usually used to signify classical liberalism. It had a progressive-liberal wing as represented by the Fusionist Liberal Party (more inclined towards gradual reform, and making compromises with the radical current); and a conservativ-liberal wing as represented by the Liberal Conservative Party (more inclined towards traditionalism, and compromising with the absolute-monarchist faction). Its various currents were broadly united by a set of shared beliefs: In political affairs, parliamentarianism, though of a socially-conservative kind (e.g., suffrage limited to property-owners); In economic affairs, free-market capitalism; In social affairs, conservatism (e.g.: rejecting full universal suffrage; or a strictly laic separation of church and state) In constitutional affairs, flexible towards the type of constitutional regime (monarchy or republic).

History


  • 1808-12: Until 1839 the Spanish liberals were not organised in a well-established party, but formed their own factions. During the War of Independence and the Constitution of Cádiz the term Liberals (Liberales, 1812-1820) was used to describe the diverse range of currents influenced by the Enlightenment and French Revolution and united in rejecting the absolutism of the Bourbon monarchy.
  • 1820-39: Between 1820 to 1839 the Liberals split into two factions. The 'Radicals' (Exaltados), known as Veinteanistas (Supporters of 1820) were inspired by French Jacobinism and Radicalism and wished to draft a new more progressive constitution based on universal suffrage; the 'Moderates' (Moderados), closer to classical liberalism, were known as Doceanistas (Supporters of 1812) as they wished simply to restore the more limited constitution of 1812.
  • 1839-1879: Finally in 1839 most of the Radicals and Moderates organised themselves into a loose parliamentary group known as the Progressives (Progresistas, 1839-1880), led by people like Baldomero Espartero, Salustiano Olózoga, Juan Prim, Práxedes Sagasta and Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, Duke de la Torre. Out of this current various factions splintered off to form successor parties: the in 1843, the ⇒Democratic Party in 1854 the ⇒Liberal Union; in 1869 the Democratic Radical Party; in 1879 the ⇒ Democratic Progressive Party.
  • 1880: The majority of Liberal currents united in the Fusionist (i.e. merged) Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Fusionista), led by Sagasta, though some more Radical factions remain outside the party
  • 1882: A left-wing faction of the party established the ⇒ Dynastic Left, most of its members returned between 1884 and 1886 to the Liberal Fusionist Party
  • 1890: The ⇒ Possibilist Democratic Party joined the party
  • 1907: A left-wing faction of the party seceded as the ⇒ Monarchist Democratic Party
  • 1918: A faction seceded as the ⇒ Liberal Left
  • 1923: The party disappeared due to the Miguel Primo de Rivera coup
  • 1843: The left-wing of the ⇒ Progressives established the Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata) as a rally of left wing liberals and moderate socialists
  • 1868: The republican wing formed the ⇒ Federal Republican Party
  • 1871: The party disappeared and remnants of the party continue as a monarchist party
  • 1854: Moderate ⇒ progressives established the Liberal Union (Unión Liberal), led by Leopoldo O'Donnell
  • 1868: The party merged with the conservative Moderates into the Liberal Conservative Party
  • 1868: The republican wing of the ⇒ Democratic Party established the Federal Democratic Republican Party (Partido Republicano Democrático Federal), also known as the Republican Democratic Party
  • 1878: A faction joined the ⇒ Reformist Republican Party
  • 1879: A faction seceded as the ⇒ Possibilist Democratic Party
  • 1891: The party absorbs a faction of the ⇒ Democratic Radical Party
  • 1923: The party disappeared due to the Primo de Rivera coup
  • 1869: A left-wing faction of the Progressives seceded as the Democratic Radical Party (Partido Radical Demócrata), led by Ruiz Zorilla
  • 1876: The party is reorganised into the Reformist Republican Party, led by Nicolás Salmerón
  • 1878: A faction of the ⇒ Federal Republican Party joined the party
  • 1879: A faction joined the ⇒ Democratic Progressive Party
  • 1890: The party is renamed Centralist Party (Partido Centralista)
  • 1891: The party is absorbed by the ⇒ Federal Republican Party
  • 1879: A left wing faction of the ⇒ Progressives with dissidents of the Reformist Republican Party formed the Democratic Progressive Party (Partido Progresista Democrático)
  • 1882: The party merges into the ⇒ Dynastic Left
  • 1906: A faction of the ⇒ Federal Republican Union seceded as the Republican Union (Unión Republicana), led by Nicolás Salmerón
  • 1908: A faction seceded as the ⇒ Radical Republican Party
  • 1923: The party disappeared due to the Primo de Rivera coup
  • 1907: A left-wing faction of the ⇒ Liberal Fusionist Party seceded as the Monarchist Democratic Party (Partido Democrático Monnárquico) of José Canalejas
  • 1923: The party disappeared due to the Primo de Rivera coup
  • 1908: A faction of the ⇒ Republican Union established the Radical Republican Party (Partido Republicano Radical), led by Alejandro Lerroux
  • 1929: A left-wing faction established the ⇒ Radical Socialist Republican Party
  • 1933: Due to the development into a conservative party, the liberal wing seceded as the ⇒ Radical Democratic Party. The original party disappeared in 1939
  • 1918: A faction of the ⇒ Fusionist Liberal Party seceded to form the Liberal Left (Izquierda Liberal)
  • 1923: The party disappeared due to the Primo de Rivera coup
  • 1926: Manuel Azaña established the Republican Action (Acción Republicana), as a cross-party thinktank which initially worked closely alongside the Radical Republican party.
  • 1931: Republican Action was converted into a political party.
  • 1934: The party merged with a politically-similar Galician regional party and the left-wing faction of the ⇒ Radical Socialist Republican Party into the Republican Left (Izquierda Republicana)
  • 1939: The party is banned, though there were later attempts to revive the party after 1976
  • 1929: A left-wing faction of the ⇒ Radical Republican Party established the Radical Socialist Republican Party (Partido Republicano Radical Socialista)
  • 1934: The party is dissolved, members joined the ⇒ Republican Left or the ⇒ Republican Union
  • 1933: Due to the development of the ⇒ Radical Republican Party, the liberal wing seceded as the Democratic Radical Party (Partido Radical Demócrata)
  • 1934: The party merged with a faction of the ⇒ Radical Socialist Republican Party into the Republican Union (Unión Republicana)
  • 1939: The party is banned

Liberal leaders


Liberal thinkers


In the Contributions to liberal theory the following Spanish thinkers are included:

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