Ferdinand VII was born on October 14th, 1784 in Madrid, Spain. He was the son of King Charles IV and Queen Maria Luisa of Parma. Ferdinand ascended to the throne in 1808 at the age of 24 after his father abdicated in favour of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Joseph Bonaparte.
During Ferdinand’s reign he had a turbulent relationship with France, as well as other European powers. In 1814 Napoleon was defeated and Ferdinand was restored to the Spanish throne on March 29th 1814. This marked a new era for Ferdinand and by June 1815 he had declared absolute monarchy putting an end to the liberal reforms that had been started during his father’s reign.
Ferdinand was a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church and this saw him introducing legislation such as the Inquisition Act of 1817 and the Concordat of 1851 which increased the power of the Church over Spanish citizens. In addition to increasing the power of the church, Ferdinand also sought to modernise Spain’s economy by introducing reforms such as trade liberalisation, agrarian reform and improvements to public works.
In 1833, Ferdinand abdicated in favour of his daughter Isabella II, who would become Queen at just three years old. During her reign, Ferdinand continued to act as an advisor and mentor until his death in 1834.
During his life, Ferdinand was known for being an autocratic ruler who had a strong attachment to the Catholic Church. His life was marked by significant changes in Spanish law and politics that have had lasting repercussions for the country, making him one of the most influential figures in Spanish history. He died on 29 September 1834 at the age of 49.
Ferdinand VII’s legacy is still felt today, both through his reforms and his stature as a leader. Through his various reforms he was able to modernise Spain’s economy, which allowed for growth and progress in subsequent generations. Additionally, Ferdinand’s reign represented an important phase in Spanish history as it marked the end of Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule over Spain and saw an increase in power for the Catholic Church. Ultimately, Ferdinand VII was a key figure in Spanish history and his legacy is still felt today.