Talk:Spanish Constitution of 1812

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Page move[edit]

This article has been renamed as the result of a move request.

Currently it's impossible without reading the article to tell what it governed. Thanx 68.39.174.150 12:06, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Origin of nickname[edit]

I think the explanation for its nickname "La Pepa" is incorrect. The Constitution was nicknamed Pepa, because it was born on St. Joseph's day, March 19th. Pepa is just a feminine familiar form of Joseph. The date given as March 12th, I don't know what it means. The Constitution itself was made by people who did not recognize Joseph as King and it was meant to be the constitution of Ferdinand VII himself, who is named in its preamble. He later failed to live up the expectations, to put it mildly. --193.111.122.62 10:26, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Sounds more likely to me. Do you have a citation for this? Meanwhile, until we have citation, I'm just taking out the probably wrong, also uncited explanation. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:13, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
I cut "after Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Emperor Napoleon I of France. Napoleon had installed his brother as King of Spain 18081813; the Spaniards nicknamed him Pepe Botella, roughly "Joe Bottle", for his reputed heavy drinking." -- Jmabel | Talk 23:15, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
I do not have a source handy, but I have linked to the Spanish wikipedia entry. BTW, it is true that Joseph Bonaparte was known as Pepe Botella or el Rey de Copas (copas being one of the suits in the Spanish card deck). It seems, however, that he was not a drinker and that, in fact, he was a good king, especially when compared to the legitimate kings of Spain at the time. --193.111.122.62 11:03, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I do have a source. It's in spanish, though: http://www.constitucion.es/otras_constituciones/espana/index.html

It's the official web site of the spanish constitution. You can see the first link explanation there, which explains that the Constitution was promulgated on March the 19th, St. Joseph day on the catholic calendar. Therefore, the people nicknamed the Constitution as "La Pepa", which is indeed a nickname for Josephine (feminine for "Pepe", nickname for Joseph).

On those days, tradition dictated that children should be named after the saint whose day they were born (maybe in addition to any other names the child should bear).

Please, add that reference for me, since I don't trust my english fluency. Thanks

--80.38.95.13 13:27, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Wellington's forces[edit]

This edit changes it from "Allies" to "British". Was it just the British? Or one of the many coalitions (I suspect Sixth Coalition)? Or what? - Jmabel | Talk 05:39, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

"Cortes Generales"[edit]

Is "Cortes Generales" in the article correct for this time? Or is it an anachronism, and should it simply be "Cortes"? - Jmabel | Talk 04:54, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

The term used by the Junta Suprema Central, the Regency and Cadiz Cortes of 1810-1812 themselves was "Cortes Generales y Extraordinarias," because it was both a reinstitution of the Cortes Generales and it was charged with writing a constitution. The various Cortes that meet after Constitution was put in place (and elected according to its regulations) were referred to as "Cortes Generales."TriniMuñoz (talk) 22:25, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Regency and continuity[edit]

I'm putting this here for the moment for lack seeing of a smooth way to work it in.

The regency council at the time of the drafting of the constitution was distinct from the one appointed by Ferdinand VII before he went to Bayonne to meet Napoleon (and was effectively taken captive). - citable from Charles J. Esdaile, Spain in the Liberal Age, Blackwell, 2000. ISBN 0631149880. p. 14, 25.

-- Jmabel | Talk 00:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Ferdinand's rule[edit]

The phrase "Ferdinand's harsh rule" in the article seems a bit strong. From what I've read, it wasn't so much "harsh" as arbitrary and erratic. Cabinets were short-lived, finances were dire, and he was a rather uninspired leader. - Jmabel | Talk 02:25, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Changing name of section[edit]

Currently as "The problem of the Americas", it reflects neither the "problem" nor its scope, which includes territories in Asia and Africa --RafaelMinuesa (talk) 01:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

The original title refers to the fact that only the Americas represented a problem. The residents of the Philippines did not challenge the constitutional process, therefore there was no "Philippine" problem. The African territories in this period are small. Large territories of the Americas not only questioned the legitimacy of the constitutional process but they established their own governments to rule in the absence of Fernando VII. This is a problem! Do note that many of the representatives you list from the signed Constitution itself were suplentes, that is, people elected from among a very small group of Americans, mostly merchants, in the presser-cooker environment that existed in Cadiz in 1810. They were hardly representative, and were not seen so by the Americans (the New Granadan and Venezuelan representatives receive communications from the juntas back home that the juntas did not recognize them and I see no evidence that the ones of the Río de la Plata recognized them either), nor were they seen by the organizers of the Cortes a permanent solution. Rather their role should have been temporary, but in the absence of elections in the Americas, their job became permanent. The debate over the creation of Spanish citizenship has to be seen in this context.TriniMuñoz (talk) 06:30, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Art 22[edit]

Art 22 refers to how African natives can become Spanish citizens.

"Art. 22. A los españoles que por cualquier línea son habidos y reputados por originarios del Africa, les queda abierta la puerta de la virtud y del merecimiento para ser ciudadanos: en su consecuencia las Cortes concederán carta de ciudadano a los que hicieren servicios calificados a la Patria, o a los que se distingan por su talento, aplicación y conducta, con la condición de que sean hijos de legítimo matrimonio de padres ingenuos; de que estén casados con mujer ingenua, y avecindados en los dominios de las Españas, y de que ejerzan alguna profesión, oficio o industria útil con un capital propio."

The Article is assuming that they were not born in Spanish jurisdiction, because Spain did not have colonies in Africa, except for tiny Guinea Ecuatorial and the scarcely populated Sahara, whose population was automatically recognized as Spanish all the way up to their independence/transfer. Natives of Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla were already considered as Spanish. --RafaelMinuesa (talk) 02:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

A quick reading of the article might lead to this conclusion, but no, Article 22 does not refer to African émigrés. The article is specifically referring to Black or "Mulatto" people in the Spanish territories whether born there or not. "Through whatever line [of descent] are or are reputed to be of African origin" refers to people who's families have been in Spanish territories for generations. I wrote the original text regarding this consulting the literature that exists out there, such as Rodríguez O. and Rieu-Millan's books.TriniMuñoz (talk) 06:15, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Universal Male Suffrage[edit]

We should make sure that we are not being ethnocentric when interpreting the documents of another culture and language. Title II, Chapter IV addresses matters concerning "los Ciudadanos españoles"; however, in Spanish, the masculine form is the general. When the word "hombre" is used it means "mankind," although I understand where this may not be clear. If they were to be referring to males, they would use the word "varón." Here's the definition from the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spain: http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=hombre. Note that definition one, the most commonly used, is the one that makes no gender distinction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.147.236.195 (talk) 13:16, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Of course, we shouldn't be ethnocentric when interpreting the documents of other cultures, but neither should we idealize them either. Rather, we should look at what actually occurred historically. That's why the discussion about male suffrage was included (by myself actually in May 2011). The discussion above on how grammatical gender works in Spanish in general and in the particular case of hombre is correct. (Although the word does not appear in the articles in question.) But it should be noticed that you chose to focus only on the first definition given by the DREA. All the others are very much gender-specific, and it is precisely this reality that has allowed words like hombre and ciudadano to be interpreted in various ways, unfortunately often to the detriment of women. A similar thing occurs with the English word man, which is universal ("all Men are created equal…"), and not ("3/4th persons…," the need for the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, etc.), all when convenient . But if one needs an example of how a supposedly-gender neutral masculine noun is used and abused in Spanish, one can look at the case of the 1917 Mexican Constitution. In the debates surrounding its drafting, it was clear that an attempt would be made to make all Mexicans equal before the law, but because the final version came out using only the masculine ciudadano, male politicians quickly took the chance to limit the vote to men.
Nevertheless, none of this might not apply to the 1812 case, so again, I emphasize the need to look at the specific historical experience. Here historians have uncovered precisely what I am describing here. Just looking at one that I grabbed off my shelf, Rodríguez O. found that grammatical gender question was actually asked by contemporaries and it was answered by the government that Constitutional citizenship, indeed, only applied to men/varones: "Questions were also raised about the political status of women, bastards, illiterates, and clerics. Since women had possessed the right to vote in traditional elections when they were family heads, vecinos, some wondered if they could also vote in the new popular elections. The higher authorities replied that under the Constitution of 1812, men voted as individuals and not as heads of families. Women heads of family, therefore, were not entitled to vote." (The Independence of Spanish America, 98.) TriniMuñoz (talk) 20:34, 17 March 2012 (UTC)