End of the Spanish State
The final collapse of the Spanish Republic during the 2010s had its roots following the Second World War. A new constitution was created by the victors, to replace the restored monarchy with a federal republic based on centuries old nationalities. Languages, such as that of the Basque, which were suppressed during the restored monarchy were brought back to the surface of day, often acting as one of, if not the, official language of the reconstituted states. Resurrection of medieval nationalities sparked division among the previous united Spanish people.
During the 1980s, the Basque were the first to leave the republic. The federal government in Madrid nearly sparked off a war in trying to prevent the Basque from departing. For their part, the Basque tried the diplomatic path first, presenting their case to the United Nations. They pleaded that this was part of their national self-determination, one of the points of the U.N. Charter, and the U.N. ruled in favor of the Basque. The Basque Republic was founded, and Madrid waited for the dominos to fall. They did not. In fact, the federal government ran smoother without the Basque obstructing legislation.
For nearly thirty years, Spain experienced a time of stability. This all changed in 2013, when the strongly Federalist president, Manuel Chavez, was assassinated while visiting Oporto. Reactionary elements within the Spanish military cracked down on the city. Across the state of Portugal, the people protested the unfair treatment and singling out of their own nationality because of the assassination, one that was later learned to be committed by a Catalonian. Active resistance to the occupation of Oporto resulted in further crackdowns inside Portugal.
In 2014, a Portuguese General, one Louis Ramalo, took control of the state assembly in Lisbon. Just how Portuguese Ramalo was is still debated, for his father was born in Seville, and he spent much of his youth in southern Spain. On August 14, 2014, Ramalo declared himself king of a restored Kingdom of Portugal. Portugal seceded from the Spanish Republic the following day. In a speech televised across Portugal, King Louis promised to restore Portugal’s former glory. The phrasing of his speech caught the attention of the Dutch Commonwealth, which member states of Brazil, Angola and Mozambique were centuries ago Portuguese colonies.
Portugal was not the only state to secede that year. Catalonia used the same national self-determination excuse as the Basque, and left the Republic on October 30, of that year. Madrid was quick to send in soldiers to Barcelona, bringing several of the Catalonian politicians into custody. Battle for the city and the surrounding countryside lasted well into 2015. At the start of the new year, the Leonese began to speak of their own self-determination. The New Years massacre in Tarragona of some three thousand Catalonian nationals caused the assembly in Leon to vote for dissolving their union with the Spanish Government on January 3.
With Leon in rebelling, soldiers in Catalonia were recalled closer to the capital to do battle with Leonese rebels. Leonese officers and soldiers within the army mutinied, taking control of a great store of military equipment. While Madrid was distracted closer to home, the Catalonian Army, numbering less than 100,000, made a move of its own. It invaded southwards into Valencia, committing its own atrocities in the meanwhile. These acts were nowhere near as violent as some carried out during the Balkan Wars (1948-89), but international communication and cable news networks brought them into houses around the world.
Fighting in Leon grew fierce enough that other nationalities began to fear they would be next. Even the Castillians, whose state was home to Madrid, were appalled by the heavy-handedness of Madrid. Tensions grew during March and April, until finally, on May 1, the national assembly voted to disband itself, after several attempts of the president to reign in the army had failed. The Spanish state abruptly ceased to exist.
This, obviously, did not stop the violence. War erupted between Castile and Leon, as Leonese soldiers crossed the border to take revenge on what they saw as lackeys to a now dead federal government. Castile retained control over the largest portion of the Spanish Air Force, and used it to bomb targets across Leon. Not just military targets of logistical ones, but general carpet bombing of cities. Leon’s air force attempted to match raid with raid, but was outfought by the Castillians.
Piracy erupted along the Atlantic Coast, as Portuguese sailors took once more to the sea. This time, they preyed upon the shipping lanes that entered northern Europe from the Mediterranean and African Coast. On July 19, two Portugese frigates made the monumental mistake of attacking a VOC convoy. VOC property was damaged, but no ships taken. The Company has a very strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to piracy, and the day after the attack the VOC Board voted to declare Lisbon a pirate den, opening the way for its private navy to attack the city.
The Staaten-General of the United Provinces was forced to intervene in Iberia just because of this. The VOC had destroyed many pirate dens, but most were in obscure places along the West African Coast, or some village the news networks never even notice. Lisbon was a well-known ans large European city. To raze it would bring much unwanted attention upon the Dutch Commonwealth. The Commonwealth agreed to move against Portugal, if only to keep the VOC from doing something they would all regret.
The Commonwealth expeditionary force arrived off the Portuguese coast, and landed north of Lisbon on September 11, 2015. There was little in the way of opposition, with most of the Portuguese Army attacking north into Galicia or defending the border with Leon. The following day, air strikes of Dutch carriers eliminated “King” Louis and his cabinet. The fall of Lisbon turned out to be little more than simply marching into the city. The elimination of its dictator through the country into disarray. At no point was an effective resistance organized, and early in 2016, the Dutch completed their occupation of Portugal. Shortly after, the Commonwealth placed a Protectorate over Galicia.
The Dutch Commonwealth was not the only non-Iberian state to intervene in the Iberianization of Spain. Shortly after the Dutch Protectorate, Italian Marines based in Majorca, landed near Barcelona. The Italian Federation placed its own protectorship over Catalonia. Not wanting to be left out of the picture, or lose a chance to extend its own influence, French soldiers crossed the border into Aragon. Fifty thousand were already staged on the border, to prevent a flood of Argonese refugees from stepping upon French soil. To give Iberians a place of refuge, they invaded Aragon and turned it into a protectorate, as well demilitarized it (or all non-French forces).
In southern Iberia, the Dutch moved in May of 2016, to occupy Gibraltar. To keep open the flow of oil from Armenia and Kurdistan, as well as to prevent piracy from plaguing a strategic trading nexus were the reasons cited for the occupation. For its part, Andalusia did not protest the occupation, or even oppose it. They had more problems with their neighbors to the north than the Dutch. Andalusia, despite its Moorish history, was not in anyway connected to its long forgotten Arab past. It was not the revival of Grenada, though its capital was in Malaga. Since Leon and Castile threw so much of their weight against each other, Andalusia managed to push its own frontiers as far north as the Guadaira River.
It was not until 2017, that the United Nations was able to motivate itself to act. With Security Council Resolution 2017-4, the U.N. voted to send in peace keepers to uphold the peace established by a resolution passed by the general assembly a few days before, calling for immediate cessation of violence. The bulk of the Peace Keepers were comprised of British, German, Swedish and Moroccan Army units, and ships of the Royal Navy were prepared to strike targets inside of both Castile and Leon if both countries did not stop the violence. They complied on March 2, 2017, bringing the brief but destructive war to an end.
The resolution also called for the Dutch Commonwealth to abandon its conquests, which King William VIII steadfast refused to do so. His decision was applauded back home, as was the final destruction of the United Provinces’ most ancient enemy, that of Spain. Despite the resolution, the Commonwealth, as well as France and Italy retained their protectorates and influence in the region.