March 19th, of this year marks the 200th anniversary of Spanish Constitution. The Spanish nickname the day La Pepa, because it was adopted on Saint Joseph’s Day. I am at a loss for words to describe what exactly happened on this day, so I refer you to the words of Wikipedia, who can tell you better:
“The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was promulgated 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, the national legislative assembly of Spain, while in refuge from the Peninsular War. This constitution, one of the most liberal of its time, was effectively Spain’s first, given that the Bayonne Statute issued in 1808 under Joseph Bonaparte never went into effect. The 1812 Constitution established the principles of universal male suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy and freedom of the press, and supported land reform and free enterprise.”
“Six weeks after Ferdinand VII’s return to Spain on 24 March 1814, he abolished the constitution, but it was reinstated during the Trienio Liberal of 1820–1823, and again briefly in 1836 and 1837 while the Progressives prepared the Constitution of 1837. From 1812 to 1814, the Constitution was never really fully in effect: much of Spain was ruled by the French, while the rest was in the hands of interim governments focused on resistance to the Bonapartes rather than on the immediate establishment of a constitutional regime, and the overseas possessions experienced the chaos of a power vacuum.”
The above image is that of an original edition of the Spanish Constitution. The other image is an original Oil painting by José María Casado del Alisal, from 1863 and it is titled, “Cortes of Cadiz Oath in 1810”. I hope this explains a little about today’s day of celebration in Spain for readers who don’t know what it’s all about. The Google Doodle featured at the top of this article is in commemoration of the event.