Principles of Flight

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21 JULY 1876 LAW

The text we have this time is a letter in which several articles from a legal law are kept. It deals with the matter of eliminating the Basque Fueros. It was written by the Spanish Courts and the king in force Alphonse XII in 1876, after the end of the 3rd Carlist War.

In the 1st Carlist War, Basque people supported Carlists in order to maintain the Fueros. As Carlists were defeated, some reforms were made in those Fueros. After the The Glorious Revolution, in 1868, Isabella II (the Queen) was spelled from the throne and instead, Amadeo of Savoy. In that moment, a conflict started because some liberals appeared in favour of Carlism, not to lose the fueros. So again, as in the 1st Carlist War, the conflict was between liberals and Carlists. This was the 3rd Carlist War. Amadeo of Savoy did not manage to finish the was, as his reign was difficult. Soon, as the Liberals proclaim the First Spanish Republic, Amadeo of Savoy decided to abdicate. The Republic could not finish with the was neither. That is why, the government intervened with the restoration and succeed. Carlist were again defeated. The system of the moment in which this law was written was called The Restoration. This was due to the fact that the Bourbons dynasty return with the region of Alphonse XII (son of the spelled queen Isabella II). The principles of this system were mainly three. On the one hand, the king who accepted the Constitution. On the other hand it was the 1876 Constitution (moderate) that included the elimination of the Fueros. And the last one, maybe the most essential one, was the presence of two dynastic parties that took the government in turns: the Moderates Party (the conservative one) directed by Canovas del Castillo and the Liberal Party (the progressive one), whose leader was Sagasta. All those facts managed to give stability to the country and created a general law for all the citizens.

The most affected territories by this new law were the Basque ones, named as provinces when the Fueros were abolished. Due to the uniformity of the law, all the citizens had to take part in the defense of the country, so it can be said that the military service was compulsory. The number of Basque people contributing to the army, was depending of the population of each province. Turning to the economic aspect, it is known that until that moment Basque people had been exempt of paying taxes because they were hidalgos (not forced to pay taxes). But with the changes of the constitution, they were had to pay taxes.

In conclusion, the elimination of Fueros was a kind of punishment for Basques for been involved again in a war in favour of Carlism. The law that include that punishment managed to give an end to the last Carlist War. In order to soften the impact of that, the government gave the Basque on exchange the Economic Concert: a law that allowed them a certain autonomy. With that law they assured them that their taxes were going to be invested on their own institutions.

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