Literature / The Legacy of the Glorious

The Legacy of the Glorious is an Alternate History written by Milarqui which poses the effects a small event in a second-rate power can have in the international sphere.

In September 1868, parts of the Spanish Army and Navy, angry with Queen Isabel II's treatment of them and the people, and eager to bring democracy to Spain (in effect, transforming them into a Westminster-style democracy), decided to rise up in rebellion against her, an event known, in Real Life and here, as the Glorious Revolution (not to be confused with the English Glorious Revolution of 1688). Isabel was toppled, and soon the plotters found themselves with the problem of rebuilding a nation and, over all, ensuring its stability. The decision (not unanimous) was to invite a foreign prince to become the new King of Spain.

In Real Life, Amadeo di Savoia, second son of Italian king Vittorio Emanuele II, became the chosen king in 1870. He would end up leaving in 1873, fed up with the inability of the Spaniards to self-govern themselves. After a brief Spanish Republic, the Borbons returned in the person of Alfonso XII, Isabel's eldest son.

But the original first choice had been another: Leopold zu Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a relative of the Prussian ruling house, the Hohenzollern. In Real Life, he was considered for the throne, but a combination of bad luck and a slip up by a Spanish politician meant the French learned about him, and managed to force him to reject the offer. This would also spark the chain of events that would lead to the Franco-Prussian War.

In The Legacy of the Glorious, however, the French never learn about this, and the Spanish government elects Leopold as the new King of Spain. Hilarity Ensues after that.

A Spanish translation is currently available in Amazon, and the author will try to sell an improved English version soon.

Tropes found in this story include:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: after Napoleon III's death at Sedan, his 14-year-old son is crowned as Napoleon IV.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov becomes nicknamed "Stalin".
  • Alternate History: well, duh.
  • Alternate History Wank: at times, it feels like Spain gets its way in a few too many events.
  • Back from the Brink: in 1868, Spain was a poor country, beset by a great debt, many social problems and a rebellion in one of its greatest colonies. Come 1900, Spain has become the leading power in submarine design and construction, is prospering, their main colonies are treated like the mainland (and they have political and economical autonomy) and has grown much in size after the unification with Portugal.
  • Balkanize Me: France loses Corsica to a pro-Bonaparte rebellion.
  • Berserk Button: most everyone from post-Civil War Portugal can have this button pressed quite hard if met with a British.
  • Big Book of War: the Spanish Tercios Especiales hold a book written by their founder as their bible.
  • Civil War: the Portuguese Civil War, which begins with the death of the recently crowned King Carlos I at the hands of Republican soldiers, and ends with a Monarchist victory. Which ends up being for naught when their new king gets killed a few months after the end of the war.
    • Also the Moroccan Civil War between the local nobility and the Spanish-trained and armed Moroccan Royal Army, over Spain's growing influence in Morocco. Victory won by the Army.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: many appear when it comes down to attempting to explain who killed King Afonso VIII of Portugal (officially, a member of the Portuguese Republican Party), particularly after this turns out to benefit Spain.
  • Cool Boat: not much said about this, save for many references to Spain becoming a leading nation in submarine development and construction (Truth in Television, as there were several submarine designers in Real Life in Spain).
    • The end-of-the-century update on Spain expands on the makeup of the Navy, but no descriptions of the ships appeared.
  • Cool Gun: the Mauser Model 1871. It is nicknamed Escoba (Broom) by the Spanish soldiers that are issued the gun. Because it sweeps the enemy from the battlefield.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: one of the conspirators' first actions in the Moroccan Civil War is to provoke people into killing the Spanish Ambassador to Morocco, and several Spanish businessmen. The Ambassador ends up stoned (and not the fun kind), and the others are said to have been killed "in equally horrible ways".
  • Did Not Think This Through: the reaction of some English politicians when their forcing the Portuguese to cede a large piece of territory ends up losing them their oldest ally - and, down the river, their unification wit Spain.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Spanish Tercios Especiales.
  • The Empire/The Federation: Spain tries to be in the middle point of the two, after learning how to deal with nationalists in Cuba.
  • Fix Fic: there are a few times in which this seems to be part of the purpose of the story (almost inevitable, in a sense, as the actual XIX Century was horrible for Spain - the country ended up as The Woobie of Western Europe; it'd be extremely difficult to do any Alternate History for this period that would have Spain suffer even more than IRL).
  • For Want of a Nail: the first nail is that the telegram that warned Congress about the arrival of the official documents is sent correctly (it originally warned that the arrival would be 20 days after it truly was). The second nail is that a certain politician does not reveal the secret when asked about it by the French Ambassador.
  • The Good King: Leopold I, although he doesn't rule much (Spain is a constitutional monarchy, after all), definitely counts as this.
    • Napoleon IV of Corsica is showing to be one, too, as he's willing to let his personal animosity for Spain and Germany slide, since his kingdom needs to be allied with both countries to fend off France.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: during the King Leopold's War (see above), the pro-government Carlists field several Requetés (militia units) to engage in guerrilla warfare against the invading French armies. These become the inspiration for the creation of the Tercios Especiales, basically an Army branch specialized in these tactics. Later, they become very useful in dealing with the Carlists remnants and the Cuban rebels.
  • Home Sweet Home: more or less the reaction of nearly all Sephardic Jews when Spain openly welcomes them back in 1898. The ones in France, particularly, take the offer and run with it.
  • Irony: one of France's war goals in the Hohenzollerns' War is to restore the Bourbon monarchy in Spain. Instead, the consequences of the defeat in that war end up causing the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France.
    • During the Moroccan Civil War, both sides claim to be fighting in the name of the Sultan (kidnapped by the traditionalist faction).
  • Literal Metaphor: the part where the Spanish-American War begins is titled "The Boiler Explodes", referencing that the situation has reached the point of no return. The first event of the war is the explosion of a boiler in one of the American ships, which leads the Americans to attack their Spanish counterparts.
  • Offered the Crown: Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern is offered (and accepts) the Spanish crown.
    • Napoleon IV, Napoleon III's son who was crowned after his father's death in Sedan, is offered the Corsican crown after they rebel against the restored French Bourbon monarchy.
  • Possession Equals Mastery: averted in the Moroccan Civil War, and called by name: while rioters manage to take over some arsenals, they lack the training required to use modern weapons correctly.
  • Privately Owned Society: averted. The Congo Free State debacle does not take place, as the British and the Americans, among others, manage to have it assigned to Belgium (instead of King Leopold II of Belgium and the International Congo Association) in the African Division (the in-story name for the Scramble for Africa).
  • Rightful King Returns: the Bourbons return to France, after the Third French Republic is toppled.
  • Space-Filling Empire: averted. Most territorial changes when compared with real life are of small size: about the biggest things that happen are the unification of Spain and Portugal and the Dominican Republic voting to rejoin Spain.
  • Spin-Off: for a timeline as short-lived as this, there is, surprisingly, already a well developed Spin-Off called Filipinas: La Gloriosa y Más Allá by ramones1986, which is mostly centered in the Philippines, although it does not follow the same plans Milarqui has developed for the archipelago.
  • Spiritual Successor: a previous story called A Prussian on the Spanish Throne by Tocomocho became the inspiration of this story.
    • There was an earlier version co-written by Linense and Milarqui before the former left the project.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Franz Josef I of Austria is suddenly killed in May 22nd 1904 in front of the Imperial Church (Karlskirche).
  • This Is Unforgivable!: for the Portuguese, the Treaty of London, where the United Kingdom forces them to hand over territory assigned to them in the African Division, and which the British need if they want to build their Cape-to-Cairo Railway. They end up breaking their alliance with the British Empire (the oldest in the world) over that, and, after the Civil War, hatred of all things English (save for football) runs high in Portugal.
  • Unexpected Successor: Antónia, wife of King Leopold, becomes heir to the Portuguese crown in the aftermath of the Portuguese Civil War. Spain and Portugal unite after a referendum and King Leopold becomes king of the new country.
  • Vestigial Empire: Spain at the beginning. While they don't make enormous gains, they do gain a better standing.