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Literature / The Legacy of the Glorious

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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.
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  • 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: In our timeline, a telegram indicated the official documents of Leopold's candidacy would arrive to Madrid on July 26 instead of the actual July 6, so the President of Congress sent the deputies on vacation. The nail is that the telegram is sent correctly, so the vote happens as expected.
  • 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. French Sephardic Jews, as the situation at home has become particularly bad due to the Dreyfus' Affair, take the offer and run with it.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Franco-Prussian War still happens. It was pretty much unavoidable, though.
    • The Berlin Conference still takes place in 1885, and the map of Colonial Africa devised then is almost identical to that of the RL conference.
  • Irony: One of France's war goals in the Hohenzollerns' War is to restore the Spanish Bourbon monarchy. Their defeat, instead, causes a set of problems that lead to the restoration of the French Bourbon monarchy.
    • 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 spark that initiates the war is the explosion of a boiler in one of the American ships, which leads its paranoid captain to order an attack.
  • 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. Rioters siding with the nobles manage to take over several arsenals, but not being trained for modern weapons' use limits their efficiency.
  • Privately Owned Society: Averted. During the Berlin Conference, British and Americans (remembering the East India Company) work to convince Belgium as a country to claim Congo, rather than putting it in the hands of King Leopold II's International Congo Association.
  • 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: Filipinas: La Gloriosa y Más Allá by ramones1986. Centered mostly in the Philippines, diverges from the canon timeline relatively soon.
  • 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.


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