Spain : Matiners' War, 1846-1849

A.) The Cause of the Rebellion

Continued dissatisfaction with the Madrid administration, especially in Catalonia. The expectation, that the rebellion would gain as much support as the Carlists could muster in the First Carlist War.

B.) The Rebellion

Catalonian rebels, among their leaders Rafael Tristany, began a guerilla war in the name of Count Montemolin (Carlos Luis, the son of Don Carlos) in the fall of 1846. In early 1848, Carlos Luis appointed General Ramon Cabrera as commander of the Carlist forces; he raised a force of 10,000, far beyond expectation. The Battle of Pasteral (Jan. 1849) was inconclusive, but Cabrera was injured; having lost confidence in the rising, Cabrera left Spain in April 1849. The rebellion ended in May 1849.
Many sources list the Matiners' War as the Second Carlist War.

C.) Legacy

The administration of Queen Isabel was widely criticized, especially in the lands of the Basques, Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia. The Rebellion of 1846-1849 failed, partly because the rebels were impatient, failed to organize the rebellion outside of Catalonia. Yet the Carlist claim for the Spanish throne was not dropped, and further attempts to take it were to follow.
The rebellion is anachronistic, because in a time when Europe saw liberals rebel against reactionary regimes (the 1848 revolutions), in Spain the government side was labelled liberal, while the rebels supported a dynasty with conservative ideas. Liberalism, because it emphasized centralization, was resented in the regions which were eager to preserve their regional autonomy; this explains the geography of Carlist Spain.

Chronology of Carlist Conflicts post 1840, by Steven Thomas
Article Don Carlos, from EB 1911
El Carlisme, from Buxaweb, in Catalan, has chronology, biography
Biography of Ramon Cabrera i Grinyo, from Patria Catalana, in Catalan; from Base Documental d'Historia Contemporania de Catalunya, in Spanish
Fin de Carlos V y sucesion de Montemolin, from Vasconia - Historia Real, in Spanish
DOCUMENTS Flags of the Carlist Wars, from FOTW
REFERENCE Peter Pierson, The History of Spain, Greenwood, 1999, 248 pp.; KMLA Lib.Sign. 946 P624t

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 19th 2004

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