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Revolutionary Spain by Karl Marx 1854

Footnotes from MECW


295 This sentence was presumably written entirely by the Tribune editors who mention in it the article by their London correspondent Pulszky of August 25, 1854 published in the New-York Daily Tribune, No. 4178, September 8, 1854 in the column “The State of Europe”.


296 An allusion to the 1848 February revolution.


297 From 1581 to 1640 Portugal was ruled by the Spanish kings who appointed viceroys to administer it. The arbitrary rule of vice-queen Margaret of Savoy and her favourite Miguel de Vasconcellos led to an uprising in 1640 as a result of which Spanish rule was overthrown and the Braganza dynasty came to power (see Note 289).


298 The war of the Holy League-an insurrection of the Castilian towns (comuneros) in 1520-22 against the absolute power of Charles I.


299 Ayuntamientos — organs of local government in Spain which played, a great political role in the period of the Reconquest, or struggle for Spain’s liberation from the Arab yoke (eighth-fifteenth centuries). After the suppression of the comunero uprising in the sixteenth century which is described in this article, the Ayuntamientos were in the main liquidated. Re-establishment of the Ayuntamientos was one of the democratic demands made during the bourgeois revolutions at the beginning of the nineteenth century.


300 States-General — a body representing the estates in medieval France. It consisted of representatives of the clergy, nobles and burghers. It met in May 1789, after a 175-year interval, at the time of the maturing bourgeois revolution, and on June 17 was transformed by a decision of the deputies of the third estate into the National Assembly, which proclaimed itself the Constituent Assembly on July 9 and became the supreme organ of revolutionary France.


301 The reference is to the Castile Cortes which met in Valladolid in January-February 1518 with the purpose of taking the oath of allegiance to King Charles I and to receive his oath to observe the fueros.

There is a slip on Marx’s part here; the Cortes met before Charles I of Spain was made Holy Roman Emperor (1519) and before he went to Germany for coronation (1520).


302 The Holy Brotherhood or the Santa Hermandad, was a union of Spanish towns formed at the end of the fifteenth century with the approbation of the King, who sought to make use of the bourgeoisie in the struggle between absolutism and the big feudal lords. From the mid-sixteenth century the armed forces of the Santa Hemandad performed police functions.


303 Auto-da-fé (in Spanish and Portuguese, literally an act of faith) — the solemn announcement of sentences by the High Court of Inquisition in Spain, Portugal and their colonies, the name was also given to the burning of the victims at the stake. The last auto-da-fé took place in Valencia in 1826.


304 The term “civil society” (bürgerliche Gesellschaft) is used by Marx and Engels in two different senses: 1) to denote the economic system of class society irrespective of the historical stage of development, the sum total of material relations which determine the political institutions and ideological forms and 2) to denote the material relations of bourgeois society (or society as a whole) under capitalism.


305 The Constitution worked out by Napoleon I for Spain was adopted at the conference of the Spanish nobles in the French town of Bayonne (the Bayonne Cortes) in July 1808. It vested the King. (loseph Bonaparte) with almost unrestricted power. He appointed nobles to the Senate which was to be established and about half of the deputies to the Cortes. The Constitution introduced public legal proceedings, abolished torture and did away with inland customs. The Catholic religion became the only state religion.


306 There is one more sentence in the New-York Daily Tribune here (“Let us hope that the additions now being made to their annals by the Spanish people may prove neither unworthy nor fruitless of good to themselves and to the world”) which was inserted by the newspaper editors judging from Marx’s letter to Engels of October 10, 1854.


307 Mémoires et correspodennce politique et militaire du roi joseph, T. I-X, Paris, 1853-54. The text of a secret treaty allegedly concluded between Alexander I and Napoleon I in Tilsit is given in the comments to the fourth volume of the memoirs (pp. 246-48), purportedly according to the Madrid Gaceta of August 25, 1812. The author of the comments was the publisher of the memoirs A. du Casse, aide-de-camp of Joseph Bonaparte. This text was reproduced by Marx in the summary of the memoirs he made in August 1854 during his work on the series of articles “Revolutionary Spain”.

There is no mention of such points either in the Tilsit treaty signed by Russia and France on July 7 (June 25), 1807 or in the secret convention supplementing the treaty.


308 An allusion to Spain’s participation in the first coalition against republican France (1793-97). After temporary success in 1793 the Spanish troops were utterly defeated, and Spain was compelled to conclude a separate peace with France in Basle in July 1795.


309 A popular insurrection in Bilbao against the French invaders took place in August 1808. It was brutally suppressed by General Merlin whose troops stormed the town.


310 The negotiations between Napoleon I and Alexander I took place in Erfurt from September 27 to October 14, 1808. Festivities which accompanied the event were attended by the kings of Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg and by a number of other German princes.


311 Marx has in mind a representative assembly similar to the National Convention formed during the French revolution as a result of the popular uprising of August 10, 1792.


312 The Jesuits were expelled from Spain in 1767; this was done at the suggestion of Floridablanca, then prosecutor of the Royal Council of Spain.


313 Reference to the reign of the Castilian kings in the fourteenth-fifteenth centuries: Enrique II (1369-79), Juan I (1379-90), Enrique III (1390-1406) and Juan II (1406-54).


314 Marx has in mind a regulation in Las Siete Partidas — Spanish code of laws — drawn up in the kingdom of Castile and León in the thirteenth century but actually introduced only after 1348. The Partidas functioned parallel with the fueros and gradually became predominant in the legal proceedings only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


315 Le Comité du salut public (The Committee of Public Safety) established by the Convention on April 6, 1793 during the Jacobin dictatorship (June 2, 1793-July 27, 1794) was the leading revolutionary government body in France. It lasted till October 26, 1795.


316 At Covadonga (in the Asturian mountains) the Spanish troops defeated the Arabs in 718. This victory promoted the establishment of a small independent state in the mountainous regions of Asturia which became a bulwark of struggle against the Arab invaders (the beginning of the Reconquest).

Another centre of resistance to the Arab invaders arose somewhat later in Sobrarbe, a small territory in Northern Aragon.


317 The summary of the Cadiz Constitution which Marx made in August 1854 from the book: The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy. Proclaimed in Cadix, 19 March 1812, London, 1813 is extant. Below Marx quotes articles of the Constitution from this edition.


318 See Note 299.


319 Mita — here the compulsory assignment of Indians, by drawing lots, to work il, the gold and silver mines, at manufactories and construction sites in Spanish colonies in America.

Repartimiento — here the right of a white person to employ as many aliens on his land as he is able to feed.


320 The Constitution of 1791, approved by the Constituent Assembly, established a constitutional monarchy in France, giving the king full executive powers and the right of veto. This Constitution was annulled as a result of the popular uprising of August 10, 1792, which brought about the fall of the monarchy. After the Girondist government (the Girondists were the party of the big bourgeoisie) had been overthrown by the uprising of May 31-June 2, 1793 and the revolutionary dictatorship of the Jacobins established, the National Convention adopted a new democratic Constitution of the French Republic.


321 Fueros here means the charters which, in medieval Spain, established the rights, privileges and duties of townspeople and members of village communities in matters of local government, jurisdiction, taxation, military service, etc.


322 This refers to one of the main principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (Déclaration des droits de 1'homme et du citoyen), a preamble to the Constitution adopted by the French Convention in 1793 during the revolutionary dictatorship of the Jacobins. The last article, the 35th, of the Declaration reads: “When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is the imprescriptible right and irremissible duty of the people as a whole and of each of its sections.”


323 Serviks — the name given to a reactionary clerico-absolutist group during the first bourgeois revolution in Spain (1808-14); later the serviles formed the Court camarilla of Ferdinand VII, and during the last years of his life pinned their hopes on his brother Don Carlos.

Liberales, who expressed the interests of the bourgeoisie and liberal nobility, put forward as their programme the 1812 Constitution.

Americanos — the name given to small group in the Cortes representing the Spaniards living in the Spanish colonies in Latin America. They played no significant role.


324 The Council of Trent was a general council held by the Catholic Church in Tridentum (Trient) and Bologna from 1545 to 1563. It condemned Protestantism and adopted a number of decisions concerning the Catholic Church; in particular, it proclaimed the Pope’s authority over the councils and strengthened the power of bishops. The main result of the Council of Trent was the persecution of heretics and free-thinkers, and intensification of Church censorship. From 1559 the Index librorum prohibitorum was published regularly and in 1571 the Congregation of the Index (an office in Vatican dealing with censorship) was set up; it remained till 1917.


325 Lazzaroni — the name of declassed, lumpenproletarian elements in Italy; they were repeatedly used by the reactionary monarchist circles in their struggle against the liberal and democratic movement.


326 Marx is presumably quoting from W. Walton, The Revolutions of Spain, from 1808 to the end of 1836, London, 1837 (Vol. I, p. 221), a summary of which he made during his work on the series of articles “Revolutionary Spain”. During that time Marx ;Also read San Miguel’s De la guerra civil en España, Madrid, 1836 and Memoria Sucinda sobre 10. Acaecido en la columna Movil de las Tropas Nacionales al Mando del comandante General de la Primera,División Don Rafael del Riejo, desde su Saiida de La Ciudad de San Fernando el 20 de Enero de 1820, hasta su total Disolucion en Bienvenida el 11 de Maizo del mismo año. Madrid, 1820; he made excerpts from the former in August, and from the latter in October 1854.


327 The decree of March 6, 1820 and the decrees mentioned by Marx below were published in Miraflores, Essais historiques et critiques pour servir a 1'histoire d'Espagne, de 1820 h 1823, t. I, Paris, 1836, pp. 257, 261-62. It is probable that Marx’s main source in describing these events were: Henry Davis, The War of Ormuzd and Ahriman in the Nineteenth Century, Baltimore, 1852; La España.. Bajo el Poder Arbitario de La congregacion Apostólica a Apuntes Documentados para la Histo.ria de este Pais desde 1820 a 1832. Second edition, Paris, 1833 and M. de Chateaubriand, Congrès de Vérone. Guene d'Espagne. Negociations. Colonies espagnoles, Brussels, 1838, t. 1, excerpts from which he made in October 1854.


328 After the return of Ferdinand VII, from May 1814 onwards reaction set in in Spain, destroying all the gains of the bourgeois revolution of 1808-14; the revolutionary leaders were imprisoned, some of them executed.


329 Marx polemises against the following works: Last Days of Spain. By an Eye-Witness, London, 1823; The Holy Alliance versus Spain, etc. By a Constitutionalist, London, 1823; Walton, The Revolutions of Spain, from 1808 to the end of 1836, and D. Urquhart, Progress of Russia. In the excerpts from these books he made in October 1854, Marx stressed the facts concerning Tatishchev’s activity in Madrid.


330 On July 20 (8), 1812 the Russian Government and the representatives of the Cadiz Cortes concluded in Velikiye Luki a treaty establishing friendly relations between Russia and Spain in the war against Napoleonic France, and also reviving and developing trade between the two states. By signing this treaty Russia recognised the Cadiz Cortes and the Constitution drawn up by them. Marx cites this fact from Manuel de Marliani’s Historia politica de la España Moderna, Barcelona, 1849, and also from The Holy Alliance versus Spain; or, Notes and Declarations of the Allied Powers published in the Edinburgh Review (v. XXXVIII for 1823, pp. 243-44), excerpts from which are in Marx’s notebook of excerpts for November 1854.


Footnotes from MECW Volume 15

592 In the summer of 1854 when the fourth bourgeois revolution in Spain (1854-56) broke out, Marx began studying in earnest the history of the nineteenth-century bourgeois revolutions in that country with the aim of ascertaining the specific character of the new revolution, which, he believed, if it succeeded, could give an impact to revolutionary events in other European countries. As can be judged by the notebook in which Marx put down the dates of dispatching the articles to New York and sometimes briefly disclosed their contents, in August-November 1854 he wrote for the New-York Daily Tribune nine articles with the general title:‘Revolutionary Spain’. In September-December that year the newspaper published the first six articles dealing with the first (1808-14) and the beginning of the second (1820-23) revolutions and containing a short survey of Spain’s preceding history. However, the editors arbitrarily divided the articles, printing them in eight numbers, and thus the printed series of articles “Revolutionary Spain” consisted of eight articles. The remaining three articles were not found in the newspaper columns and were regarded as unpublished. Only a small fragment from their draft manuscript has survived dealing with the causes that led to the defeat of the second revolution. It is probably part of the eighth article (Marx’s numeration) and may be considered relevant to the entry in the Notebook made on November 21, 1854.

In 1983, when Volume 14, Section 1, of MEGA was being prepared for publication, research workers of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany discovered the seventh (ninth in the newspaper) article of the series. It was published in the morning edition of the New-York Daily Tribune for March 23, 1855. This issue is missing in the file of the newspaper available at the library of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the CC CPSU. The content of the article corresponds to the entry in the Notebook made on November 14, 1854: “Tuesday, November 14. Spain 1820-July 1822.” The article substantially adds to the analysis of the laws governing bourgeois revolutions in general, given by Marx on the example of the nineteenth-century Spanish bourgeois revolutions, and also to the description of certain features of the revolution and counter-revolution in Spain itself determined by its specific historical development.


593 A reference to the Constitution adopted by the Spanish Cortes in Cadiz on March 19, 1812. Marx analysed it in one of the articles of this series.

For his study of the Constitution, Marx used its text in The Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy. Proclaimed in Cadiz, 19 March 1812, London, 1813.


594 The French Constitution adopted by the Legislative Assembly in 1791 established constitutional monarchy in the country. The king was granted full executive powers and the right of veto. This Constitution was annulled as a result of the popular uprising of August 10, 1792.


595 An allusion to the description of the absolute monarchy in Spain given by Marx in the first article of this series, namely: “The absolute monarchy in Spain, bearing but a superficial resemblance to the absolute monarchies of Europe in general, is rather to be ranged in a class with the Asiatic forms of government”.


596 Marx is referring to the second bourgeois revolution in Spain (1820-23).


537 Marx analysed these events in the article “Espartero”.


598 Ayuntamientos were organs of local government in Spain, which played a great political role during the Reconquest, or struggle for Spain’s liberation from the Arab yoke (eighth — fifteenth centuries), and which were liquidated later. The re-establishment of ayuntamientos was one of the democratic demands of the early nineteenth-century bourgeois revolutions.


599 An allusion to the fact that on the eve of the first bourgeois revolution (1808-14) the power in Spain was actually concentrated in the hands of Manuel Godoy (nicknamed “the sausage-maker”), the favourite of the royal couple, Carlos IV and Maria Luisa.


600 Ferdinand VII abdicated in May 1808 and lived in Talleyrand’s palace in France from 1808 to March 3, 1814.


601 The reference is to the negotiations between Ferdinand VII and the French Government concerning the terms of Ferdinand’s return to Spain terminated in the agreement of December 11, 1813. On December 15, Joseph Bonaparte abdicated from the Spanish throne in Ferdinand’s favour. The Spanish Regency, whom Ferdinand had sent his instructions immediately after December 11, did not fulfil the terms of the agreement.


602 Pavilion Alarsan — a building in the Tuileries Palace; during the Restoration it was the residence of the Count of Artois.


603 This refers to the decree issued by Ferdinand VII on September 30, 1823.


604 in the course of the national liberation war of the Spanish people against Napoleon I the fortress of Badajoz was many a time the site of fierce battles.


605 The Cadiz Cortes-the constituent assembly in Spain convened on September 24, 1810 and dissolved on September 20, 1813, during the first Spanish revolution (1808-14). Tile Cortes promulgated a number of laws, and the adoption of the Constitution was of special importance (see notes 142 and 593).


606 The Moderados (see Note 136) were also called anilleros during the second revolution (1820-23).

The Exaltados represented the Left wing in the revolution of 1820-23 and were supported by the democratic section among the officers, urban middle and petty bourgeoisie, artisans and workers. Marx called the Moderados the Liberals of 1812, and the Exaltados the Liberals of 1820.


607 During the 1820-23 revolution many democratic clubs and secret societies were set up in Spain. The most radical among the secret societies was the Confederation of Spanish Comuneros which numbered 70,000 members. Comuneros favoured resolute struggle against counter-revolution. After the defeat of the revolution the Comuneros were severely persecuted and abandoned their activity.


608 The army of the Isla (of the Island)-an expeditionary corps concentrated in 1819 near Cadiz and on the Isle of Leon to be dispatched to Latin America where ‘ the national liberation struggle was waged against the Spanish domination (see Note 615). A plan for an armed revolt against Ferdinand VII’s despotism was being hatched in the expeditionary army formed of unreliable elements. The Riego battalion, which mutinied on January 1, 1820, and thus started the second revolution ill Spain, was also part of this corps..


609 Marx is referring here to the detachments formed by the Catholic-absolutist group of Apostolics who called themselves the “army of faith” and staged a revolt against the revolutionary government in 1822 in Catalonia, Navarra and Biscay. In 1823 these detachments joined the French interventionists.


610 The decree nominating General Carsrajal to the post of Captain-General of New Castile was signed by Ferdinand VII oil November 16, 1820. Marx drew this information from a book by- W. Walton, The Revolutions of Spain, 2 volumes, London, 1837.


611 On October 5-6, 1789, during the French Revolution, the Paris revolutionary masses marched to Versailles and frustrated the counter-revolutionary plot of the Court. The King and the Constituent Assembly were forced to return to Paris.


612 The Ministry that came to power in 1820 included active participants in the 1808-14 revolution-Evaristo Pérez de Castro, Mantiel Garcia Herreros, Augustin de Argilelles and others, who were victims of repressions after its defeat.


613 In July 1820 bourgeois revolutionaries (Carbonari) started a revolt in the Kingdom of Naples (the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies) and obtained a democratic constitution on the pattern of the Spanish Constitution of 1812. The Congress of the Holy Alliance which opened in Troppau in October 1820 and closed in Laibach in May 1821 took a decision to send Austrian troops to Italy.


614 The servile party (serviles) — a nickname given to the reactionary clericoabsolutist group which arose during the first bourgeois revolution in Spain (1808-14); later its members formed the Court camarilla of Ferdinand VII.


615 Marx is referring to the liberation war waged by the Spanish colonies in America (1810-26). General Morillo, who commanded the Spanish army there in 1815-20, was most brutal in suppressing the insurgents.


616 A reference to the Francisco Martinez de la Rosa Ministry appointed in late February 1822.


617 A reference to the suppression of the revolt in Naples by the Austrian troops (see Note 613).


618 Las Cabezas (Lag Cabezas de San Juan) — a small town north-east of Cadiz, where Riego quartered his battalion at the end of December 1819 and whence he started his revolutionary march.


619 The doctrinaire school included French bourgeois politicians of the Restoration (1815-30), constitutional monarchists who wanted to form in France a bourgeois-aristocratic bloc like that in England. Most prominent among them were the historian François Guizot and the philosopher Pierre Paul Royer-Collard.


620 Marx is referring to the constitution, the so-called Charter, which was imposed by Louis XVIII in 1814, after Napoleon I’s defeat, and established constitutional monarchy in France.


621 General Elio, who was sentenced to imprisonment in 1820 for having organised a counter-revolutionary coup in 1814, was kept in the citadel of Valencia.