Spanish Constitution of 1812
The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was established on 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, Spain's first national sovereign assembly, the Cortes Generales (""General Courts""), in refuge in Cádiz during the Peninsular War. It established the principles of universal male suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy and freedom of the press, and supported land reform and free enterprise. This constitution, one of the most liberal of its time, was effectively Spain's first (see Constitutions of Spain), given that the Bayonne Statute issued in 1808 under Joseph Bonaparte never entered into effect.The Constitution never entered fully into effect either: much of Spain was ruled by the French, while the rest of the country was in the hands of interim junta governments focused on resistance to the Bonapartes rather than on the immediate establishment of a constitutional regime. In the overseas territories many did not recognize the legitimacy of these interim metropolitan governments, leading to a power vacuum and the establishment of separate juntas on the American continent. On 24 March 1814, six weeks after returning to Spain, Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and had all monuments to it torn down. The Constitution Obelisk in Saint Augustine, Florida survived. The constitution was reinstated during the Trienio Liberal (1820–1823), and again briefly 1836—1837 while the Progressives prepared the Constitution of 1837.The Spaniards nicknamed the Constitution La Pepa, possibly because it was adopted on Saint Joseph's Day, 'Pepa' being a nickname for 'Josephine'.