Castilla i Len


The last years of the old kingdom: 1899-1922

After the war of 1898 against Mueva Sefarad and the SLC/NAL, the Conservative government resigned, and king Leopold called the Liberals to conform a new government.

The Conservatives where still strong in many provinces, like Cundinamarca and Quito in the Americas and Asturias, New Castile and La Mancha in Europe, so the Liberals tried to form a coalition government.

The 20th century begun for the Kingdom of Castile and Leon with a weak government and a new risk that new American territories got lost.

The Conservatives had given the king some of the powers and importance he had lost during the previous liberal governments, and the new coalition government was too weak to reverse this.  Leopold had become again a strong king whose voice meant something to the subjects.

In 1901 Leopold traveled to New Seville, as the American territories were still called, even if there was no actual political entity with that name.  This was the second time a European king came to their territories in the Americas.  Leopold arrived to Cadiz la Nva in June and expended one and a half year visiting all the provincial capitals.  The presence of the king was important to consolidate the integration of the Castilian-American territories.

In the way back to Europe, Leopold also visited Venezla, Florida and Mueva Sefarad, the later with the hope to cure the injuries of the recent war.

Leopold came back to Madrid in August 1903, during a cabinet crisis.  The liberals resigned from the government and an new conservative government had been established.

In 1887 the Castilians had finally decided the construction of an inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua, but different problems arose then, mainly political ones.  The threat of Floridan and Tejan filibustering in the Caribbean coast of Central America also delayed the construction and led to the proposal of an alternative route through Panama.  But, during his visit to Nicaragua, Leopold promised no further delays in the construction of the Canal.

Despite the king had no political power in theory, when he spoke to the Courts, they approved no further delays to the construction of the canal.  The works begun in July 1904, and finished in 1913.

Leopold could not see the finished canal as he died in 1910, but his son king Juan, headed the ceremonies as his royal vessel was the first ship to cross the canal.

This was supposed to be a work from Castile to the world, but the world did not listened: A big war started in Europe.

Castile stayed neutral.  Aragon joined the allies, and king Juan was related to the German king and, since Leopold was elected, there have been a close cooperation between Germany and Castile.  Castile was not interested in another Iberian war, nor to fight against the German friends.  Castile cooperated with Germany anyhow.

This cooperation led, almost by the end of the war, that the allies declared war to Castile, which meant a few ships sunk and some Aragonese soldiers occupying Castilian soil in Europe, but the peace was signed and the antebellum status reestablished.

Castile survived the war without serious loses but humiliated (unable to prevent the invasion of territory, a few ships sunk, some even at the locks of the Nicaraguan Canal).  This lead to some political unrest.  The Anarchist-Syndicalist party and some other anti- monarchists become stronger in Europe and independentist parties increased in the Americas.

In 1922, a militar coup deposed king Juan.

The Republic of Castile: 1922-1939

A reactionary wing in the National Army, supported by Republican Conservatives was behind the plot.  There was no majority coalition in the Courts, and the government was formed by a plurality of radical Liberals, moderated Conservatives, Anarchist-Syndicalists, Ecotopians and Christian Democrats.  Several bills have been passed with a plurality of themes while important reforms had not prospered.  In this chaotic situation, the radical Conservatives had asked Juan for a more direct intervention, something that would have violated the Constitution.

Juan pretended to be a progressive democrat, something that was too leftist for the Conservatives and even some moderated Liberals, but was still a monarch, something that was too rightist for the radical Liberals and the Anarchist-Syndicalists.  And he was the king of a parliamentary democracy, something that was the same as nothing for most people, which either mean someone to weak to be a monarch for the Conservatives, and a costly institution for the more liberals.

Republicanism was winning adepts, even in the Conservative party.  This Republican branch of the Conservative party had the most voted lists in several provinces both in Europe, in Africa and in the Americas, and was, overall, the most voted branch in Europe.  Ditto for the Republican Liberals, and, of course, the Anarcho-Syndicalists where anti-monarchists.  An amend proposing elimination of the monarchy would probably had passed in the Courts, but: a few provinces, mainly in Central America and Africa, considered the King as a symbol of the union threatening to leave; but mainly no party agreed in what would replace the king and other related reforms.

An insurrection in the Philippines in 1919 was controlled by a very high coast, mostly given vacillation in the command structure of the army, and just lack of competence of the officers.  The symbolic defeat during the Great War, the defeat in Mueva Sefarad (that nobody really understood why was Castile there, in the first place), the prolonged warfare against Florida the last half of the previous century, the independence crisis in the first half of the 19th century where most of the Castilian-American colonies were lost, etc.  There has been the impression that during the last century the military might of Castile and Leon, once important to defeat the Moors, to conquer the Americas, to protect Europe from the Turks and referee on other European affairs: that might was over.  Many military people blamed a weak monarchy over it.

Those who deposed Juan, wanted a more powerful Castile, based on the traditional values that asked that each Castilian is a Poet, a Priest and a Soldier.  Die hard Catholics, they resented most liberal reforms, so after they deposed the king they disbanded the courts and arrested the government.  King Juan was deported to Germany (where his family came from) and they accommodated trials against the members of the government.  They elected a triumvirate with two Colonels and the chief of the Republican Conservatives to rule by decree over Castile.

Most of these actions took place in European Castile, but the government also deposed any non-Conservative in the overseas provinces.  This lead to some uprisings.  In Western Sahara, Costa Rica and Panama, the uprisings were crushed by the military, while in the Philippines a general insurrection finally led in few years to the end of the Spanish control on those islands.  Cundinamarca got divided, with the Junta controlling Santa Fe and the rebels controlling most of Boyaca.  In Magdalena and Nicaragua, the rebels took control of the situation.  Places like Popayan and Guatemala, as in most of the European Castile, the Junta took control almost bloodlessly.

Soon there came some definitions and most rebel provinces in the Americas, with the exception of Chiapas, recognized Juan as the king and the deposed government as the legitimate government.  Chiapas declared the illegality of the Junta and their reactionary policies, even if they were not monarchists.  The royalists provinces signed in a especial congress held in Cadiz la Nva, that they represented the legal Kingdom of Castile and Leon and made arrangements with the German government to grant the arrival of Juan to the American territory.

When Juan arrived to Cadiz la Nva in 1924, the Kingdom was represented by Magdalena, Antioquia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Quito.  Most of the situation was in calm, except for Cundinamarca where the war was still hot.  The Junta had control on Europe and Africa, and nominally they controlled also Panama, Costa Rica and Popayan.  It was an armed peace.  The leftist parties in Europe, and the monarchists in the Americas were a constant threat to the Junta who used represive policies to attempt to control the situation.

The situation broke in Madrid in the summer of 1925.  A general strike paralyzed the city and the police repression just complicated everything.  Soon the strike extended to most important cities: Cadiz, Seville, and many minor ones.  The Junta resigned after three weeks of complete paralysis.  Soon, Popayan, Costa Rica, Panama and the Canary Islands declared their loyalty to the Kingdom and the Junta sympathizers in Santa Fe resigned.   In Western Sahara and European Castile, the monarchist movement did not prospered and a new Republican constitution was proclaimed as the Republic of Castile.  Chiapas issued its own constitution and asked to be a protectorate of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon, but outside the Kingdom.

The Philippines were lost.

The relationship between the Republic of Castile and the Kingdom of Castile and Leon was cordial from the beginning.  They both recognized themselves as one nation divided by politics, never as enemies.  Barely representation issues, like which of them would used the embassy building in certain country led to some cordial and diplomatic arguments.

The Republic underwent a democratic transition, and the leftist parties soon got a majority.  The Radical Liberal party with the Anarcho-Syndicalists formed a majority coalition government in 1930.  Governments in the Kingdom, changed from moderated Conservative to moderated Liberal in 1934.

The leftist government in the Republic soon attempted a series of radical changes, which polarized the political climate and revived the Junta conservatives.

In 1935, General Tascon arrested President Gonzalez, and a long civil war started.

By 1938, the reactionary militaries, and the Phalangist (name that the Republican Conservatives adopted) had practically won the war.  Only a few cities, including Toledo and Valladolid, resisted.  The Kingdom could not be neutral in all that bloodshed, and supported the legitimate Republican government as far as there was a port controlled by the Republicans.  Some people criticized this, given that some monarchists were fighting with Tascon, but king Juan and Prime Minister Gutierrez de Pieres, knew that Tascon would not mean any return of the monarchy to the European Castile.

The Castilian State: 1939-1967

In January 1939 Valladolid felt, and Tascon assumed as dictator with absolute power.  He dropped the "Republic of" and issued a new reactionary constitution under the name of "Estado Castellano".

Juan died in March.  His older daughter Mara Luisa (1899) was crowned as Queen of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon.

The Restoration: 1967-present

Since the restoration of the monarchy in Spanish Castile in 1967 and the reunification of the Kingdom in 1975, Castile & Leon has been trying to modernize herself, seeking the recognition of other European states as a modern first world country.

King Eduardo and then his son King Alfonso Jos have been key in this process despite they have relinquished almost all the political power in the Kingdom (or probably due to this).  He has been a key figure in healing the years of separation and the dictatorship of General Tascon in Spanish Castile, and led the united kingdom into a modern working democracy.

The path has not been easy.  After years of caudillism on both sides of the pond, the separation, the dictatorships, the Soviet and Ecotopic guerrillas in Central America and New Granada, etc. conspired against the democracy. The election of Socialist Prime Minister Gonzalez in 1982 was the beginning of the real change.  The social reforms Gonzalez introduced and the demobilization of most of the Guerrillas, brought people faith in their government.  However, some corruption scandals led the Socialist lost power in 1992 to conservative leader Camacho.

A series of economical reforms that Gonzales promoted, also helped the private investment in industry, something that barely existed outside Iberia and which Tascon had almost destroyed.  While still behind other Western European powers, Castile & Leon has paired the industrious Aragon and Lombardy, and is now-a-days the first industrial power in Ibero America surpassing Tejas and Florida.  Second in the Americas well behind the NAL.

There are still many internal problems.  New Granada has become the first producer of illegal drugs like cocaine and heroine, which has led to bad feeling to the NAL (the major consumer) and other Euroepans.  Also in New Granada, the FAR-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army of the People), a Soviet and pro-independentist guerrilla group, has become one of the larger illegal armies and terrorists groups, bombing on and on civil targets in Valladolid, Guatemala or Santa Fe.  This has lead to the creation of illegal anti-guerrilla groups which fight the FAR-EP in an spiral of violence.  This illegal anti-guerrillas joined in 1996 an organization called United Self-defenses of Castile & Leon (AUCL) also targeting Central America Ecotopic guerrilla group FNLCA (much less violent than the FARNA-EP).

If Tascon did something well was the reinforcement of the Castilian Armed Forces which became the base of the united Royal Armed Forces.  However, these armed forces have not been used for internal conflicts since 1960, when an anti-phalangist manifestation was crushed by the Castilian Army.  But given the situation in New Granada that the Royal National Guard has been unable to prevent, newly elected General Governor Alvaro Uribe managed an authorization to used the Royal Army into the conflict.  Things does not seem to be working out as well as planned but this is still to soon to tell.

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