" or "turned-French
", "Francisized") was the term used to denote Spanish
partisans of Enlightenment
, or the French Revolution
, who were supporters of the French occupation of Iberia
and of the First French Empire
In Spain, the term afrancesado
surfaced during the reign of Charles III
, and had a neutral meaning, being used to designate those who followed French fashions and customs. Subsequently, it became popular as pejorative
reference to those members of the Spanish nobility
who swore allegiance to King Joseph I Bonaparte
, and extended to cover a predominantly middle-class intellectual
, merchant, and manufacturing
environment who saw the French as agents of change in the rigid structure of Spanish society, and who reacted against the perceived corruption and incompetence of Charles IV
and the House of Bourbon
in general (including Joseph's competitor Ferdinand VII
Appointed King by his brother Napoleon Bonaparte
, Joseph found himself at war with the majority of his subjects. He relied on the afrancesados
to enforce a project that would gradually replace tradition and absolutism
with a system Leandro Fernández de Moratín
defined as based on razón, la justicia y el poder
, justice, and power"). Progressive
but not entirely liberal, this political creation was soon rejected by both conservatives
and liberals (many liberals joined the guerilla
against the occupation). The afrancesados
were also weary of French designs: more favorable to the Revolution than of the Empire, they aimed to withdraw Spain from the Napoleonic Wars
, and tried in vain to prevent Napoleon's separate administration of Spanish provinces (Catalonia
, and Biscay
) after 1809.
Later, they also attempted to negotiate with the anti-French Cortes reunited in Cádiz to maintain as much possible of Joseph's Bayonne laws of 1808 into Ferdinand's 1812 Constitution. Nonetheless, the Cortes voted to confiscate all assets of Joseph's court and of the afrancesados.
After Wellington's 1813 campaign and the battle of Vitoria, all of Joseph's court and his collaborators (nobles, soldiers, jurists, writers, journalists, and Roman Catholic clergy alike) took refuge to France with Jean-Baptiste Jourdan's armies. The total estimate of this exile is fluctuating between 4,000 and 12,000 persons at its peak.
Ferdinand broke the terms of his agreement with Napoleon after his return detention at the Château of Valençay (May 4, 1814), and began a campaign of persecution, defining as afrancesados most of those who had not risen in combat against the French: colaboracionistas (servants of French interests), receivers of honors and distinctions handed by king Joseph, co-operating bureaucrats (those who had not resigned their positions during the occupation), or even those who were sought by the French as collaborators but had denied offers.
The immense number of liberally-minded émigrés alarmed the authorities of the Bourbon Restoration in France, and they began steps to convince the Spanish government to pardon them. This came during the 1820-1823 Spanish Civil War, as an amnesty decreed by liberal Premier Evaristo Pérez de Castro; those that did return had to flee soon after the Quintuple Alliance intervention. On April 21, 1832, France ordered them to solve their highly problematic stateless condition by either settling in the country or leaving its territory.
Notable Spanish afrancesados
- Main article: Revolution of Porto
The term afrancesado
is connected with liberal politicians who organized the Revolution of Porto
, begun on August 25
. Demanding the rule of law
as opposed to William Carr Beresford
's arbitrary regime of British
occupation, calling for the return of King John VI
- who had preferred to remain in Rio de Janeiro
), where he had fled during the French invasion.
French influence, already present during the War of the Oranges, had familiarized the afrancesado elite with principles such as the separation of powers and parliamentarianism, which they demanded to have enforced in Portugal.
- Miguel Artola, Los afrancesados, Madrid, 1989
- Juan Arzadun, Fernando VII y su tiempo, Madrid, 1942
- Juan López Tabar, Los Famosos Traidores. Los afrancesados durante la crisis del Antiguo Régimen (1808-1833), Madrid, 2002