Alfonso XII of Spain - Political Background, Early Life and Paternity

Political Background, Early Life and Paternity

Alfonso was the son of Queen Isabella II of Spain, and allegedly, of her husband and King Consort, Francis, Duke of Cádiz. Alfonso's biological paternity is uncertain: there is speculation that his biological father may have been Enrique Puigmoltó y Mayans (a captain of the guard) . These rumours were used as political propaganda against Alfonso by the Carlists.

Alfonso was the eldest son of Prince Francisco de Asis de Borbón-Dos Sicilias and Queen Isabel II, whose reign was marked by a constant political crisis which had several causes. The first one was the fact that queen Isabel II was a woman, and her father, king Ferdinand VII, had modified the Succession Law in order for her to be queen, excluding his brother Carlos. This created the second cause of instability, which was the Carlist Wars. The supporters of Prince Carlos as king of Spain rose to have him enthroned. In addition, within the context of the post-Napoleonic restorations and revolutions which engulfed the West both in Europe and the Americas, both the Carlistas as well as the Isabelino conservatives were opposed to the new Napoleonic constitutional system. Much like in Britain, who subtracted itself from the liberal constitutional process, Spanish conservatives wanted to continue with the Traditional Spanish Organic Laws such as the Fuero Juzgo, the Novísima Recopilación and the Partidas of Alfonso X. This led to the third cause of instability of worth, the "Independence of the American Kingdoms," recognized between 1823 and 1850.

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