Capital: Madrid
Population: 10 million
Government: Monarchy

Spain at the time of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars was a shadow of its former power and glory.

Corruption, cronyism and almost non-existent leadership from King Charles IV had brought this once-great empire to its financial knees and left its military in a very poor state.

Charles IV was dominated by his wife, Maria Louisa, and she in turn was advised by her lover Manuel Godoy in matters of state.

Originally, Spain allied itself against France's revolution but in 1795 entered a peace with its northern and powerful neighbour. By 1796, it was actively allied to her and Spanish fleets backed French ships against Britain's Royal Navy.

In 1807, Spain allowed French troops to move through its territory to deal with Portugal, which had been openly defying Napoleon Bonaparte's Continental trade blockade of Britain.

French troops not only reached Portugal, but also managed to unofficially occupy important military positions in Spain.

Bonaparte then took advantage of quarrelling within the Royal Family to not only have Charles IV abdicate, but also secured the renouncement of the throne by his son and heir Ferdinand.

When it was announced that the French emperor's brother, Joseph, would become King of Spain there was a revolt that resulted in Bonaparte being forced to keep an extraordinary number of troops in the country to try to maintain peace.

The Peninsular War against a British army led by the Duke of Wellington and the accompanying constant guerrilla warfare against French troops were two of the major factors in the eventual defeat of Bonaparte.


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