Ferrol - Urban History
View of the Cartagena Arsenals (1872)

The monarchy of Isabel II came to an end with the 'Democratic Sexenio' (1868-74), a period of political unrest. Universal suffrage for men was demanded, and protests broke out against the fiscal system and military recruitment. The headquarters of the three naval departments gained political importance, as they accumulated troops, arms, and warships. In 1868 the uprising of the squadron in Cadiz led progressive General Prim to power, and to the downfall of Queen Isabel II. In 1872 the failed republican uprising at the Dockyards in Ferrol announced the proclamation of the short-lived First Republic, some months later. The insurrection of the 'Cantón de Cartagena' in 1874, supported by workers and with a federalist programme, would be the excuse used by the military to stage a coup against the First Republic and bring about the restoration of the monarchy.

Cadernos Ferrol Análisis, La Armada española y la Casa de Borbón (2003), © Club de Prensa de Ferrol