1909 Martial Law in Spain

The decision to send Spanish troops to Morocco precipitated widespread chaos in Spain. Inequalities of military service caused the protests. The disruptions led to general strikes and rioting. The government imposed martial law and arrested the opponents of the regime. Francusici Ferrer, a well-known anti-cleric, was executed, resulting in sweeping criticism throughout Europe. Spanish Prime Minister Maura was forced to resign, and the King invited the Liberal Party to form a government.

The Spanish Defense Ministry decided to activate the Third Mixed Brigade of Cazadores to fight in Spanish Morocco. The brigade had believed that they would no longer be called up to active duty, and the members and their families were furious that they were called up. In late July, they began boarding ships to take them to Morocco. Onlookers, which included their families, were angry and jeered as they boarded the vessel, while the military was playing patriotic music.

On July 26, 1909, a general strike was called in Barcelona by a coalition that included anarchists and socialists. Violence broke out immediately as trains were halted, trams overturned, and convents and other church properties were burned. The opposition considered the church as one of their enemies, believing that the church supported the status quo.

Martial law was declared, and the army brought in troops from other parts of Spain, believing that recruits from the Barcelona area would not fire on the demonstrators. The army was able to put down the revolt, after sustaining eight dead and 124 wounded, while killing between 104-160 civilians. One thousand seven hundred people were arrested. Five of those arrested were sentenced to death, including Francesc Ferrer, one of the founders of the protest movement. The week became knownas the "Tragic Week".
There was widespread condemnation of the government action in Europe. As a result, King Alfonso XX III dismissed Premier Antonio Maura.