ALFONSO XIII

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Lack of regard for constitutional government

In 1923 Alfonso XIII supported the military dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera as he felt that constitutional government had fallen into disrepute. When this came to an end in 1930, politicians therefore saw no reason to have a constitutional monarchy. In desperation, Alfonso turned to another General, Damaso Berenguer, but it proved impossible to keep the demands for change in check as the 1931 municipal elections demonstrated. In the main towns there were huge gains for socialists and liberal middle class republicans, with the monarchists only winning in rural areas where the power of the caciques remained intact. The results of the election demonstrated the strength of the socialist challenge and the elite came to the decision that they were prepared to sacrifice the king to contain the desires for change. Alfonso was therefore advised by the elite to depart gracefully or be removed by force. 

Out of touch with Spain's social and economic problems

Just how out of touch he was with modern Spain was demonstrated in 1923 when he declared that he was the first truly Catholic king in centuries who was prepared to shed his own blood for the church. Unfortunately for Alfonso the Church was losing its hold over many Spaniards. Since the 1880's successive popes had worked to reconcile Catholicism with a changing and

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