On July 3, 1875, Carlos VII (1868-1909), the aspirant King, took the oath of allegiance to the foruak (the ancient Basque rights and privileges) in Gernika (Bizkaia) during the Second Carlist War (1872-1876). Under war powers, Carlos was proclaimed Lord of Bizkaia at the foot of the Tree of Gernika. Carlos had gained broad support in the Basque Country because of the sympathy for Catholicism and the widespread traditionalism and very strong resistance to Liberal rule there. In 1876, the war ended in victory for the Liberal forces after the Carlist troops surrendered and Carlos VII escaped to France. Once the war came to an end, Alfonso XII, the new King of Spain, entirely abolished the foral system, restructuring many aspects of Basque society. This is considered one of the most consequential periods in the contemporary history of the Basque Country.

Carlos VII (1868-1909) took the oath in Gernika

Carlos VII took the oath in Gernika, Bizkaia

CarlosVII (center) surrounded by carlist soldiers

Carlos VII (center) surrounded by Carlist soldiers

To learn more about the socio-political and legal problems that elicited persistent tensions in the Basque Country during the nineteenth century, browse the book by historian Joseba Agirreazkuenaga, The Making of Basque Question: Experiencing Self-Government, 1793-1877.


Every Friday we look into our Basque archives for interesting historic events that happened on the same day