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Proclamation to the Spanish people, 25 May, 1808

(Article by NAPOLEON I )

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Bayonne, 25 May 1808

Spaniards, after agonising long, your nation was perishing. I saw your suffering; I am bringing the cure. Your grandeur, your power have a share in my own grandeur and power.

Your princes have ceded to me their rights to the Spanish crown. Whilst I have no desire to reign over your provinces, I do however wish to gain the eternal respect and the recognition of your descendants.
Your monarchy is old: my mission is to rejuvenate it. I shall improve all your institutions, and I shall bring you the benefits, if you support me, of a reform without disagreement, disturbances or disorder.
Spaniards, I have called a general assembly of the deputations from the provinces and towns. By this I wish to hear for myself your desires and needs.
I shall then set aside all my prerogatives, and I shall place your glorious crown upon another's head, guaranteeing you a constitution which reconciles the holy and beneficial authority of the sovereign with the liberties and privileges of the people.
Spaniards, remember what sort of men your forefathers were; see what you have become. It is not your fault but rather that of the bad administration which ruled you. Be full of hope and confidence in the present circumstances; for I want your youngest grandchildren to remember me saying: He is the man who brought order to our fatherland!
Given in our imperial and royal palace in Bayonne, 25 May, 1808

(Extract from the Moniteur dated 18 June, 1808)


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