Liberty Or Death!
, Jun 30, 2008
- 480 pages
This book, based mainly on Spanish sources, deals with the actions of the Liberals, especially those in the Kingdom of Valencia, during the Peninsular War and then in their fight against Fernando VII to make him accept the Constitution of 1812. Napoleon's defeat did not put an end to Spain's struggle for liberty and the situation for most Spaniards was worse after the war than before it began.
Asensio Nebot, a Franciscan friar who was obviously not suited to a religious life, left his monastery in 1809 and raised an army of 4,000 men, 500 cavalry and a rifle brigade to fight against the Napoleonic troops and had many victories. He was not a politician but was influenced by the Bertran de Lis brothers and their Liberal ideas. After the war, when Fernando rejected the Constitution of 1812, the Liberals began to conspire against him in secret societies. Nebot acted as an agent for the brothers. He encouraged tenant farmers to revolt against their landlords and plotted to kill the Military Governor of Valencia and the King. He took part in Riego's revolution that forced Fernando to accept the Constitution of 1812 and brought three years of Liberal rule to Spain. However, the Liberals disagreed among themselves and with the Royalists. Nebot was a founder member of the most militant of the secret societies and was involved, with the brothers, in the street fighting in Madrid against the Royal Guards. Fernando asked for help and French troops invaded Spain at his request to restore an Absolute Monarchy. Nebot fought against the French again. The Liberals were defeated and many of them, including Nebot, went to London as exiles. There they continued to conspire against Fernando. Nebot alsowent to Ireland on a mission on behalf of Lord William Bentinck.