The year 1819 was part of a turbulent time in Spanish history.. Just five years earlier, the country had thrown off its occupation by the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte but the Bourbon Dynasty's restored King Ferdinand VII had caused outrage by abrogating the liberal constitution in a bid to restore absolute monarchy (enough outrage, in fact, to lead to a military uprising at the start of 1820), and Spain's colonies in the Americas were fighting, with increasing success, for independence.

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