Mutiny of Aranjuez


The  Mutiny of Aranjuez was an uprising which occurred in Madrid between March 17, 1808, and lasted until March 18, 1808.

  • When was it:  From 03/17/1808 to 03/19/1808
  • Where was it:  Aranjuez, Spain

What is the Mutiny of Aranjuez?

At the beginning of the 19th century , in full Napoleonic effervescence throughout the European continent, an unprecedented episode in the history of Spain was experienced in which the common people participated in the front line in the dismissal of a Minister and in the fall of an absolutist monarch . Such an event is known as the Mutiny of Aranjuez.


What was the Mutiny of Aranjuez?

The Mutiny of Aranjuez consisted of a popular rebellion , which took place between March 17 and 19, 1808 . This revolt had the support of the Prince of Asturias Fernando VII and, among other causes, was triggered by the crisis facing the Spanish Kingdom as a result of the European wars . The uprising resulted in the abdication of Carlos IV in his son Fernando VII and the dismissal of Manuel Godoy as Valid of the Spanish Crown.



  • The bad decisions made by Manuel Godoy in the military sphere were the perfect breeding ground to promote the revolt of the people .
  • The performance of the people was decisive for the abdication of Carlos IV in his son Fernando VII .
  • It was the first sign of the successive outcome of the Old Regime in Spain .
  • Some members of the Court conspired in favor of Fernando VII, stimulating the uprising from the first moment.
  • The signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleu by Godoy represented the turning point for the people to rise up against their leaders .


The Spanish people had previously participated as a protagonist in the expulsion of a hated minister . This revolt took place in March 1766 and was known as the Mutiny of Esquilache . The main reason for the popular uprising was the expulsion of the Marqués de Esquilache due to economic and cultural reasons , among which the considerable increase in the price of bread and the restriction on the use of certain typical clothing for the time stand out.

Summary of the Aranjuez Mutiny

On March 15, 1808, the Spanish royal family – following the advice of Manuel Godoy – left Madrid for Seville , hoping to have an escape route to the Spanish colonies in America if flight was necessary . During his stop in Aranjuez , Manuel Godoy was informed about the seditious plans by the supporters of the Prince of Asturias . However, Carlos IV dismissed the importance of these events , believing himself full of “divine protection.”

By March 17, hostilities began, bringing with it the assault and looting of Manuel Godoy’s palace . By the morning of March 19 , Manuel Godoy was found hiding in a lair inside his palace . Avoiding a lynching that could cost him his death, Fernando VII intervened in the crowd to guarantee respect for Godoy’s lif , which culminated in his father’s abdication of him .

Prominent figures

The most prominent characters of the Aranjuez Mutiny were:Charles IV

  • Ferdinand VII
  • Manuel Godoy
  • Napoleon bonaparte


The main causes of the Aranjuez Mutiny were:

  • The military pacts agreed by Manuel Godoy with England and, later, with France , had ruined the Spanish economy , which left its mark on the most disadvantaged population .
  • The Treaty of Fontainebleu (1807) allowed the entry of French troops through the Iberian Peninsula in order to invade the Kingdom of Portugal . However, the deal was breached by Napoleon when he quartered thousands of troops in various places in the Spanish Kingdom , which gave it a de facto military dominance . This profoundly altered the spirits of the people .
  • The struggle for the Spanish crown between King Carlos IV and the Prince of Asturias Fernando led to the Prince’s supporters openly conspiring in his favor so that his father abdicated for him .

Consequences of the Aranjuez Mutiny

Among the different consequences we must highlight the following:

  • Highly pressured by a sector of the Court and his subjects of the town , Carlos IV abdicated in favor of his son Fernando . Similarly, Manuel Godoy was dismissed from his duties as Minister .
  • The rupture within the Court and the Royal Family between “Carlists” and “Fernandists” was used by the Emperor Napoleon I to force the abdication of Fernando VII to his brother José Bonaparte and, in this way, take over the Spanish Kingdom.
  • The popular uprising against the French invasion resulted in the emergence of the Spanish War of Independence .


This historical event represented a turning point for the Spanish population with respect to the bad government of King Carlos IV and his Minister Manuel Godoy . Its influence has been so notorious that, since the 80s, the Aranjuez Mutiny Party has been celebrated , which has given it a cultural and festive character for the residents of this Madrid town.

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