Junta (Peninsular War)
In the Napoleonic era
Napoleonic Era
The Napoleonic Era is a period in the history of France and Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly, the second being the Legislative Assembly, and the third being the Directory...

, junta was the name chosen by several local administrations formed in Spain during the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 as a patriotic alternative to the official administration toppled by the French invaders. The juntas were usually formed by adding prominent members of society, such as prelate
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.-Related...

s, to the already-existing ayuntamientos
Cabildo (council)
For a discussion of the contemporary Spanish and Latin American cabildo, see Ayuntamiento.A cabildo or ayuntamiento was a former Spanish, colonial administrative council that governed a municipality. Cabildos were sometimes appointed, sometimes elected, but were considered to be representative of...

(municipal councils).

The juntas of the capitals of the traditional peninsular kingdoms of Spain styled themselves "Supreme Juntas," to differentiate themselves from, and claim authority over, provincial juntas. Juntas were also formed in Spanish America during this period in reaction to the developments in Spain.

Junta Suprema Central, 1808-1810

Realizing that unity was needed to coordinate efforts against the French and to deal with British aid, several supreme juntas—Murcia
-History:It is widely believed that Murcia's name is derived from the Latin words of Myrtea or Murtea, meaning land of Myrtle , although it may also be a derivation of the word Murtia, which would mean Murtius Village...

, Valencia
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 and Castile and León
Castile and León
Castile and León is an autonomous community in north-western Spain. It was so constituted in 1983 and it comprises the historical regions of León and Old Castile...

—called for the formation of a central one. After a series of negotiations between the juntas and the discredited Council of Castile
Council of Castile
The Council of Castile , known earlier as the Royal Council , was a ruling body and key part of the domestic government of the Crown of Castile, second only to the monarch himself. It was established under Queen Isabella I in 1480 as the chief body dealing with administrative and judicial matters...

, which initially had supported Joseph I
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

, a "Supreme Central and Governmental Junta of Spain and the Indies" met in Aranjuez
Aranjuez is a town lying 48 km south of Madrid, in the southern part of the Community of Madrid. It is located at the confluence of the Tagus and Jarama rivers, 48 km from Toledo. As of 2009, it has a population of 54,055.-History:...

 on 25 September 1808, with the Conde de Floridablanca
José Moñino y Redondo, conde de Floridablanca
José Moñino y Redondo, Count of Floridablanca , Spanish statesman. He was the reformist chief minister of King Charles III of Spain, and also served briefly under Charles IV. He was arguably Spain's most effective statesman in the eighteenth century...

 as its president. Serving as surrogate for the absent king and royal government, it succeeded in calling for representatives from local provinces and the overseas possessions to meet in an "Extraordinary and General Cortes of the Spanish Nation
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

," so called because it would be both the single legislative body for the whole empire and the body which would write a constitution for it. By the beginning of 1810, the forces under the Supreme Central Junta's command had suffered serious military reverses—the Battle of Ocaña
Battle of Ocana
The Battle of Ocana or Battle of Ocaña was fought on 19 November 1809 between French forces under Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult and King Joseph Bonaparte and the Spanish army under Juan Carlos de Aréizaga, which suffered its greatest single defeat in the Peninsular War...

, the Battle of Alba de Tormes
Battle of Alba de Tormes
In the Battle of Alba de Tormes, fought on November 26, 1809, a French army commanded by Major General Jean Marchand routed Lieutenant-General Duke del Parque's retreating Spanish army during the Peninsular War.-Strategic situation:...

—in which the French not only inflicted large losses on the Spanish, but also took control of southern Spain and forced the government to retreat to Cádiz, the last redoubt available to it on Spanish soil. (See the Siege of Cádiz
Siege of Cádiz
The Siege of Cádiz was a siege of the large Spanish naval base of Cádiz by a French army from February 5, 1810 to August 24, 1812 during the Peninsular War. Following the occupation of Madrid on March 23, 1808, Cádiz became the Spanish seat of power, and was targeted by 60,000 French troops under...

In light of this, the Central Junta dissolved itself on 29 January 1810 and set up a five-person Regency Council of Spain and the Indies, charged with convening the Cortes. Therefore the system of juntas was replaced by a regency and the Cádiz Cortes
Cádiz Cortes
The Cádiz Cortes were sessions of the national legislative body which met in the safe haven of Cádiz during the French occupation of Spain during the Napoleonic Wars...

, which established a permanent government under the Constitution of 1812
Spanish Constitution of 1812
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...


Spanish America

The term was also used in Spanish America to describe the first autonomist governments established in 1809, 1810 and 1811 in reaction to the developments in Spain. By the time the delegates were to be chosen for the Cádiz Cortes, some of the American provinces had successfully established their own juntas, which did not recognize the authority of either the supreme central one or the regency. Therefore, they did not send representatives to Cádiz, but rather the juntas continued to govern on their own or called for congresses to set up permanent governments. This development resulted in the Spanish American wars of independence.

See also

  • List of Government Juntas of Chile
  • Primera Junta (Buenos Aires)
    Primera Junta
    The Primera Junta or First Assembly is the most common name given to the first independent government of Argentina. It was created on 25 May 1810, as a result of the events of the May Revolution. The Junta initially had representatives from only Buenos Aires...

  • Junta Grande of Río de la Plata
    Junta Grande
    Junta Grande is the most common name for the executive government of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata , that followed the incorporation of provincial representatives into the Primera Junta .- Origin :...

  • Patria Boba (Colombia)
    Patria Boba
    The period between 1810 and 1816 in the New Kingdom of Granada was marked by such intense conflicts over the nature of the new government or governments that it became known as la Patria Boba . Constant fighting between federalists and centralists gave rise to a prolonged period of instability...

  • First Republic of Venezuela
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.