History of Spain
The Spaniards were resolutely rising in organized bands, and the English army was approaching, when the news arrived that Austria had form ed a new coalition with England. Bonaparte withdrew to the Rhine, while the Spaniards hailed their ancient enemies as deliverers, and the English defeated King Joseph in the battle of Talavera. The victory of Wellington over Marmont at Salamanca, in 1812, and that over King Joseph at Vittoria, in 1813, brought the English to the Pyrenees; and Spain was irreclaimably lost to the Empire of the French.
Emerging from his prison at Valencay, Ferdinand VII returned to take possession of his ancestral throne; but the princes of restored dynasties are the most infatuated of beings, and the new King of Spain did not escape the general doom. Instead of granting liberal institutions, he, at the instigation of the priests, reestablished the hateful Inquisition, and practiced his tyrannies so ruthlessly, that, in 1820, the endurance of his subjects was at an end. Riego, rising in arms, proclaimed the Constitution which the Cortes had adopted in 1812; and, though he was unsuccessful, the great er part of the nation rose. The army joined the insurgents, and, though Ferdinand announced his intention of convening the Cortes and granting reforms, his offers were despised. The populace thronged and clamored around his palace; and the wretched King was fain to proclaim the Constitution.
At that time, the Congress of Verona convoked to consider the affairs of Greece, found the Spanish revolution a much more exciting topic; a French army on the frontier was ready to aid Ferdinand, but the Duke of Wellington, as representative of England, objected to intervention. Nevertheless, in 1823, the troops, under the Duke of Angouleme, crossed the Pyrenees, and entered Madrid. Ferdinand, who had previously been deposed by the Cortes, on being restored by French arms annulled every act of the Constitutional Government, and Riego was hanged on a very high gibbet, without being permitted to address the people.
In 1833, Ferdinand, from indulging to excess in eating, died of apoplexy, having previously nominated his Queen as Regent during the minority of her daughter, Isabella II, then three years of age. The new reign began with civil strife, for Don Carlos, uncle of the youthful sovereign, aspired to the crown, and on his return from exile the Carlist war for years desolated the unfortunate country.