Isabella II

(10 October 1830 – 9 April 1904)


Isabella II: The Past Queen in Spain

Isabella II, born Isabella Maria Luisa Antonia Fernandez de Borbon y Borbon, was the queen of Spain from 1833 to 1868. Her reign was characterized by political turmoil, social change, and the struggle for power between different factions in Spain.

Early Life and Accession to the Throne

Isabella II was born on October 10, 1830, in Madrid, Spain. She ascended to the throne at the age of three following the death of her father, King Ferdinand VII. However, due to her young age, a regency was established to govern on her behalf. Isabella’s reign began during a period of political instability and conflict. Various factions, including the Carlists and the liberals, vied for power and influence, leading to frequent uprisings and power struggles throughout her reign.

Political Turmoil and Liberal Reforms

As Isabella II grew older, she faced numerous challenges to her authority. Political unrest, corruption, and social inequality were prevalent during her reign. However, Isabella II’s government also saw the implementation of several liberal reforms. Isabella II’s reign marked a period of transition for Spain, with efforts made to modernize the country and promote liberal values. Reforms were enacted in areas such as education, industry, and the legal system, aiming to bring Spain closer to other European nations.

Revolution and Exile

Despite the implementation of liberal reforms, Isabella II’s reign was marred by political instability and popular discontent. In 1868, a revolution known as the Glorious Revolution took place, leading to the overthrow of Isabella II and her exile from Spain. The revolution was driven by a combination of factors, including widespread corruption, economic crises, and opposition to Isabella II’s autocratic rule. She was forced to abdicate in favor of her son, Alfonso XII, and went into exile in France.


Isabella II’s reign left a lasting impact on Spain’s history. Her rule was marked by both progress and challenges, reflecting the complex nature of Spanish society during the 19th century. Despite the political turmoil and her eventual exile, Isabella II’s reign witnessed important reforms and advancements that set the stage for future developments in Spain. Her reign also highlighted the ongoing struggle for political stability and the tensions between traditional and liberal forces within Spanish society.