Power Vacuum

Napoleon´s desire to conquer England after the loss suffered by the French-Spanish army at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, will make the French Emperor to look for a way to attack the British Islands from the Peninsula. Due to the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1807, the French troops have permission to stop over on Spanish territory heading Portugal, although the Gallics wont leave.

Despite the unwise policy, the States Secretary, Manuel Godoy, La Paz´s Prince (Badajoz, 1767Paris, France, 1851) was aware of the French intentions to invade and moves the Royal Family to Seville, stopping first in Aranjuez and with a possible final stop in America as with the Portugueses Royal Family. The supporters of Ferdinand VII (El Escorial, Madrid, 1784-La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1833) see an opportunity to do an attempt coup d´état against Manuel Godoy that will quickly result in the abdication of King Charles IV (Naples, Italia, 1748-1819) over his son Ferdinand VII on March 19, 1808 (Mutiny of Aranjuez).

Napoleon does not accept Ferdinand VII as king, as Charles IV declares invalid his abdication after the mutiny. Napoleon becomes the arbitrator of the Dynastys dispute between father and son and brings them to the French city of Bayonne. There Napoleon gets them to resign over his own interest and finally hands over the Spanish throne to his brother Joseph Bonaparte, who will rule as Joseph I (Corte, France, 1768-Florence, Italy, 1844). Before occupying the throne, Napoleon, calls to council in Bayonne to create a constitution and delivers a project where only some adaptations are made referring to the feelings and aspirations of the Spaniards. That way, this document will have a legal appearance approved by courts of the kingdom. This document is known as the Bayonne Statute and it was approved on July 6, 1808.

The misruling, the lack of reliable information and the capitals occupation by the army of the French Marshal Joachim Murat (Labastide-Fortuniére, France, 1767- Pizzo, Italia, 1815) make the Spaniards to take up arms on May 2, 1808 facing up the French troops that were stepping over the peoples outcry. As a result, the monarch leaves and is captured later in France. At the end, the creation of the Juntas (Boards) take place with the goal to eliminate the French power that the national authorities were unable to face, resulting on an institutional crisis that returns the power to the people. Between these Juntas (Boards), the Junta Suprema de España e Indias from Seville stands out for its role in the overseas territories.