In the reign of Isabel II (1833 - 1868) as
well Madrid as the rest of Spain lived periods of politic instability, beginning
with Civil War promoted by the carlists upon Fernando VII death.
Plots, conspiracies, pronouncements and
barricades lifted up on the city streets increased considerably.
Favourite activity of most of nobility,
armed forces, middle class and part of the simple people was
"the conspiracy". Coffee shops, literary
gatherings, newspapers, and some other reunion places feeded all kind of rumours
It is not a question of describing the
political situation of this reign. Only point out that highest instability
raised during the youth of the queen, and as example just say that between 1836
y 1847, twenty-five Ministry Departments followed, meaning a media of a new
government each five months plus some days.
Among the pronouncements the
"Vicalvarada" of 1854 is outstanding.
O'Donell and Dulce generals rose up against the government and their troops
fought at Vicalvaro, a village near Madrid. The triumph of the rebels allowed
the forming of a new government with general Espartero, who had been regent with
a progressive liberal fame. This attempt lasted for two years.
During the days after the triumph there were
in Madrid street brawls and assaults to palaces and houses of ministers and
nobles. It is worth pointing out, among others, the assult to the Fomentation
Minister house, placed at Calle del Prado on the corner of Calle León. As
well, José de Salamanca palace on Calle de Cedaceros was assaulted and
burned down. Same happened to Revenue Minister house.
Barricades appeared on streets near Puerta
del Sol. But the bigger popular rage concentrated on the police chief, who was
taken off his house, made him walk receiving the insults and attacks from the
crowd, and finally shot at Plaza de la Cebada.
Isabel II, who reign Spain from 1833 to 1868,
when she exiled to France
after the "Gloriosa" revolution triumph.
At 1865, a royal decision gave rise to
popular demonstrations, which caused the famous "Saint
Daniel night". This happened 10th of April. The reason was the
proposal of Isabel II of giving the state the seventy-five per cent of the sale
of royal patrimony goods, keeping the royal family the twenty-five per cent
The queen's generosity was not properly
understood as on strict terms, she was selling goods that were not hers.
As well government as municipal government
manifested themselves in favour of it, as they could solve the economical
difficulties they were going through with this money. Only some politicians were
in opposition and one voice raised highly against the proposal, that of Emilio
Castelar, at "La Democracia" newspaper.
And he spoke with vehemence and using words
such as: "
from the politic point of
view, it's a fraud; from the juridical point of view, an usurpation; from the
legal point of view, it's a contempt to the law; from the popular point of view,
a menace to the people's interest".
As his author was Spanish History proffesor
at central university, government pressed the university rector to open a file
on him. As rector did not accept, he was also fired. This promoted the student
protests, which ended with 12 deaths and some 200 wounded, due to the firing of
a company from the Veteran Guard.
The goods sale affected part of El Retiro,
the one closer to Paseo del Prado, which gave raise some years later to the
built of Los Jerónimos neighbourhood.
A new pronouncement in September 1868,
headed by Serrano, Prim and Topete generals while the queen was on her summer
holidays, paved the way to a revolutionary period.
Alfonso XII (1857 - 1885), was proclaimed king
general Martínez Campos.
He is great-grandfather of Spanish King,
Juan Carlos I.
Triumph of the raised troops promoted the
liberation of the politic prisoners imprisoned at San Francisco barracks, as
well as the student protests which still had fresh the memory of San Daniel
night and who run trough the city pulling out all royal shields they found on
Although with a three years delay, students
had won the queen, who was sent into exile.
On the last quarter of the century they
start building up the boulevards, being first the one at Calle de Carranza.
Amadeo de Saboya has just been proclaimed king and, on 1st June 1871, on the
streets of the city the first tramways pulled by horses began to circulate. One
year before, general Prim was killed at Calle del Turco and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
died at the capital.
At the end of the century, the Villa get to
know very important public building works: the new Viaduct over Calle de
Segovia, Apollo Theatre, Atocha basilica and the new bullring at Fuente del
The new drive walk at El Retiro is opened to
the public, iron market at Plaza de la Cebada is inaugurated, as well as
Pawnshop new house, Anthropologic Museum, Comedy Theatre, Castellana's
racetrack, direct railway to Portugal, Delicias railway station and the Fallen
They set the first stone of La Almudena
cathedral; Crystal palace at El Retiro is inaugurated, the Isabel the Catholic
monument, the Ateneo, San Ildefonso college, Aguirre schools, the new Bank of
Spain building, and legendary San Vicente Gate is demolished, being gladly
rebuilt on 1995 over its old foundations.
On the politic order, last third of the
century has seen off firstly with the 1st Republic proclamation and then with
the monarchy restoration. Alfonso XII dies, his son Alfonso XIII is born, and Doña
María Cristina is regent of Spain.
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