xxxxxWhen Ferdinand VII returned as king of Spain in 1814, he agreed to accept the democratic form of government which had been established two years earlier. However, once in power he abrogated the new constitution and restored a reactionary regime. In a revolution in 1820 parliamentary government was restored, but not for long. Via the Holy Alliance the French sent in a large army, and Ferdinand regained his throne. With his death in 1833, however, troubles broke out again. He was succeeded by his daughter, Isabella, just three years old, but his brother, Don Carlos, claimed the throne for himself and began the First Carlist War. An arch reactionary, he gained support from the mountain provinces of the north, who wanted their own independence, but his guerrilla forces proved no match for the “Cristinos”, the supporters of the regent, Maria Cristina (Isabella’s mother). She commanded a regular army, and was aided by Britain, France and Portugal, countries opposed to reactionary regimes. The Carlists accepted defeat in 1839, and a further war, waged from 1846 to 1849 also proved unsuccessful. By that time Isabella was on the throne, and the country was in a state of constant political unrest. She survived an attempt to overthrow her in 1866 but, as we shall see, she was driven into exile in 1868 (Vb). She abdicated in favour of her son, Alfonso, but he did not succeed to the throne until the Third Carlist War (1872-
SPAIN AND THE FIRST CARLIST WAR 1833 -
Ferdinand VII: by the Spanish painter Luis Lopez Piquer (1802-
xxxxxIt was during a dispute between Charles IV and his son Ferdinand in 1808 that Napoleon intervened and put his own brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne. As we have seen, this resulted in the Peninsular War and British military intervention in 1808 (G3c). The defeat and final expulsion of the French from the peninsula took some six years to achieve, but during this time the Spanish people -
xxxxxWith the death of Ferdinand in 1833 trouble flared up once again. Having no male heir, he had designated his three-
xxxxxThe savage conflict that followed -
xxxxxIsabella II (1830-
The War of the Two
Brothers in Portugal,
and Carl von Clausewitz
xxxxxSimilar troubles were encountered in Portugal at this time, culminating in the so-
xxxxxIt was in this year, 1833, that the book Vom Krieg (On War) was published, the work of the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz (1780-
xxxxxClausewitz was born in Burg, near Magdeburg, and joined the Prussian army as a cadet in 1792, aged 12. He fought against the French Revolutionary army in the Rhine campaign of the early 1790s, and, having gained a commission, studied military science at the Berlin Military Academy from 1801 to 1804. During the Napoleonic Wars he was wounded and taken prisoner at Prenziau during the Jena campaign of 1806, but was exchanged as a prisoner two years later and returned to Berlin. He was then much involved in army reform, but in 1812 resigned his commission to serve in the Russian army during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and retreat from Moscow. He re-
xxxxxVom Kriege, in its broadest terms, was a study of the relationship between war, politics and general society. If war had to be waged then, in the majority of cases, it had to be a total conflict in which maximum force was concentrated on decisive points in order to bring about a quick and decisive destruction of the enemy. In such circumstances, attack should be directed not only against an enemy’s military forces, but also upon the resources which enabled it to wage a war, and the strength of an enemy’s will to fight, measured not only by the resolve of its leaders but also by that of the people themselves. At the same time, however, Clausewitz argued that war in any of its forms should be seen as a political instrument, and should only be embarked upon as part of a political strategy. Military action, he argued, was “simply a continuation of political intercourse” and its use should be conducted and restricted along “political lines”. Furthermore, there were instances when, for good political reasons, total war was not appropriate. Military action might well be limited to the occupation of a city or a piece of territory in order to force a favourable and peaceful settlement. And it followed that if war were a political act, then its ultimate direction should be in the hands of a country’s political leaders, with the military using their skills to fulfil the aims of the nation.
xxxxxWritten in an readable style, and with a minimum of technical jargon, Vom Krieg proved of interest to the general public, and had a profound influence on military thinking at the strategic level. It was studied widely outside of Germany, and proved of particular interest to Lenin, the future communist leader of Russia. In Germany, Clausewitz’s writings clearly made an impression on the Prussian General Helmuth von Moltke, the man who was to employ total war to win victories over the Danes, Austrians and French. However, neither he nor later German generals were prepared to accept political control of military strategy.
xxxxxIncidentally, Clausewitz was influenced and befriended by Gerhard von Scharnhorst (1755-
xxxxxPortugal experienced a similar period of political unrest at this same time, culminating in the so-
xxxxxPedro, who was prepared to fight for a parliamentary system provided it remained under the authority of the Crown, at once sailed to Europe to raise an army against his brother. It landed near Porto in July 1832, but was besieged in that city for more than a year. In June 1833, however, a second force, supported by British troops, landed in the Algarve and captured Lisbon the following month, bringing an end to the War of the Two Brothers. Miguel went into exile in June 1834, Pedro died a few months later, and Maria de Gloria became queen as Maria II. Whilst in favour of some measure of liberalisation, she supported her father’s particular form of constitution and, despite continued political unrest, it was this pattern which generally remained in force in Portugal until the country became a republic in 1910.
xxxxxIt was in this year, 1833, that Vom Krieg (On War) was published posthumously, the work of the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz (1780-