The ABCs of CarlismCarlism was a dynastic struggle for the throne in Madrid, which emerged within the Bourbon dynasty, when King Ferdinand VII on March 29, 1830, dissolved the Salic Law, permitting his only child to become Queen Isabel II, rather than having the monarchy pass only through the male line. Throughout three Carlist Wars (the last in 1893), numerous coup plots, and wedding schemes—almost all of which took on international political overtones—the Carlist male line plotted from Paris and Venice futile efforts to capture the throne in Madrid. The fourth Carlist War was called off in 1936, when the pretender Alfonso Carlos I decided to throw his lot in with the German Nazi- and Italian Fascist-backed Gen. Francisco Franco.
The motto of Carlism was "Dios, Patria, Fueros, Rey" ("God, Country, Community Control, and King").
Carlists advocated the "confessionality" of the Spanish Empire, fighting both by military and political means to establish a theocracy that permitted no other religion than their medievalist ("universal fascist") form of Roman Catholicism within the Spanish state. "Throne and Altar" were to rule the state, and the Parliament would be organized with representatives of guilds and classes, rather than political parties.
The Carlist concept of "Fueros" attracted many U.S. conservatives, who misinterpreted it as an epitome of "states' rights." Under this system, when Carlists ruled certain regions of Spain during one of their wars, they gave maximum "community control" to ethnic provinces. Ultimately, one branch of Carlism dropped "King" from the motto and sought to establish "Integrist" parties. "HRH Archduke" Dr. Otto von Habsburg, who promoted Carlism, embodied this doctrine of a "Europe of the Regions" in his Pan-Europa movement with "universal fascist" Count Coudenhove-Kalergi.
Dr. Warren Hasty Carroll affirmed that the last pretender, Carlos Hugo, had "betrayed the movement," by becoming a Communist.—Scott Thompson