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The Spanish Bourbons

The line of Bourbon-Spain, or Borbón, began with the accession (1700) of Philip V, a grandson of Louis XIV, to the Spanish throne. He was succeeded by Ferdinand VI, Charles III, Charles IV, and Ferdinand VII. Ferdinand VII set aside the Salic law of succession, introduced into Spain by Philip V, in favor of his daughter, Isabella II. Her succession was contested by supporters (see Carlists) and descendants of Don Carlos, second son of Charles IV.

Relative order was reestablished after Isabella's son was proclaimed (1874) king as Alfonso XII. His son, Alfonso XIII, was deposed in 1931 and died in exile in 1941. His marriage (1906) with Victoria of Battenberg introduced hemophilia into his family. His first and fourth sons both died. His second son, Jaime, renounced his right of succession, which fell to Alfonso's third son, Don Juan, who was free from the disease. His son Juan Carlos, who married Princess Sophia of Greece, was chosen by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco as his successor. Juan Carlos became king of Spain in 1975 and established a constitutional monarchy and a liberal democracy.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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