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Defining NationsImmigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America$
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Tamar Herzog

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300092530

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300092530.001.0001

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The Crisis of an Empire

The Crisis of an Empire

(p.141) 7 The Crisis of an Empire
Defining Nations

Tamar Herzog

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the French invasion of the Iberian peninsula in 1808. The Spanish king was forced to abdicate in favor of Napoleon, who instituted his brother Joseph as the new monarch of Spain. Many Spaniards refused to recognize Joseph as their king and maintained allegiance to Fernando, the captive monarch. Adopting early modern contractualist theories to nineteenth-century conditions, they claimed that in Fernando's absence sovereignty returned to the “people” and was now to be exercised by local assemblies or juntas established throughout Spain and Spanish America. After a short period of anarchy, during which each junta acted on its own, claimed sovereignty, and refused to cooperate with the other juntas, in late 1808 the juntas were joined in a single institution, the Junta Central.

Keywords:   captive monarch, French invasion, Iberian peninsula, Napoleon, Joseph, Fernando

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