A pronunciamiento is a form of military rebellion or coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

peculiar to Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the Spanish American republics
Hispanic America
Hispanic America or Spanish America is the region comprising the American countries inhabited by Spanish-speaking populations.These countries have significant commonalities with each other and with Spain, whose colonies they formerly were...

, particularly in the 19th century. The Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 equivalent is pronunciamento.

In a classic coup d'état, a rebel faction which controls some element of the armed forces seizes control of the state by sudden movement, organized and executed in stealth.

In a pronunciamiento, a group of military officers publicly declare their opposition to the current government (that is, the present chief executive and cabinet, who may be legally elected civilians, or the result of a previous coup).

The rebels then wait for the rest of the armed forces to declare for or against the government. Generally, a pronunciamento is preceded by a period of preparation, when the would-be rebels "sound out" as many other officers as possible to determine if their views are widely shared.
There is no fighting at this point; if the rebellion has no support, the organizers lose. They may have to flee the country, or retire from the armed forces, or may be arrested. If the bulk of the armed forces declare in favor of the pronunciamiento, the government resigns. It is similar to a vote of no-confidence, except that issued by the armed forces, not by the legislature.

One example of a pronunciamiento was the successful rebellion of September 1868 against Queen Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II of Spain
Isabella II was the only female monarch of Spain in modern times. She came to the throne as an infant, but her succession was disputed by the Carlists, who refused to recognise a female sovereign, leading to the Carlist Wars. After a troubled reign, she was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of...

, by Generals Prim and Serrano
Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, Duke de la Torre
Don Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, 1st Duke of la Torre Grandee of Spain, Count of San Antonio was a Spanish marshal and statesman...


Another was the 1932 rebellion agasint the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 by José Sanjurjo
José Sanjurjo
General José Sanjurjo y Sacanell, 1st Marquis of the Rif was a General in the Spanish Army who was one of the chief conspirators in the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

 (known as the sanjurjada), which failed.

In Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, where such declarations were often quite detailed, formal, and issued as written texts, they were given the name of plans
Plans in Mexican History
In Mexican history, a plan was a declaration of principles announced in conjunction with a rebellion, usually armed, against the central government of the country . Mexican plans were often more formal than the pronunciamientos that were their equivalent elsewhere in Spanish America and Spain...


It is interesting to note that the Spanish Civil War which commenced in 1936 was not started by way of a pronunciamiento, but was rather in the style of a coup d'etat. Hugh Thomas writes in his authoritative text on the Spanish Civil War that, "Mola's plans were made clear in a circular in April. The planned rising was to be no pronunciamiento of the old style. Two branches of the plot, one civil, one military, were to be set up in all the provinces of Spain."
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