Alfonso XIII of Spain – the Possibilities and the Constraints of a Neutral Ruler Cover Image

XIII. Alfonz – egy semleges uralkodó lehetőségei és korlátai
Alfonso XIII of Spain – the Possibilities and the Constraints of a Neutral Ruler

Author(s): Mária Pallagi
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The paper is part of a longer research project which focuses on Spain’s neutrality in the First World War as seen in Viennese diplomacy. Sources discovered in archives in Vienna show that the king, Alfonso XIII played a significant role in forming the history of Spain between 1914 and 1918. On the basis of these sources we could reconstruct in a brief biography the wartime politics of king Alfonso. To better understand his role in World War I, we briefly outline his rule between 1902 and 1914 as well, paying special attention to the quest for and changes in orientation of Spanish foreign policy at the time. It is definitely due to him that Spain remained neutral all the way during the war. His aims were to keep the country out of the conflict, to do everything possible to avoid losses for the economy, and to help those who were affected by the war. To provide a complete wartime political portrait of Alfonso XIII, we also analyze his efforts to establish peace. With a little exaggeration we can say that during the First World War Spain shone in its old glory. Salvador de Madariaga goes so far as to compare the country’s role in world politics during these years to its influence in the 16th and 17th centuries. The relations of Spain and Viennese diplomacy, however, make it clear that both Spain and Austria–Hungary were on the periphery of European politics during the First World War, none of them could seriously influence the war. But Alfonso XIII was at least successful in saving his throne while the rule of the Habsburgs came to an end.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 74-99
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Hungarian