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What was the situation before the Battle?

Spain was struggling in the depths of an economic recession. No help was forthcoming from King Carlos IV or his government, who heavily subjected to the control of the king’s wife, Queen María Luisa of Parma, and minister, Manuel Godoy. Napoleon saw an opportunity to make a strategic move, and invaded.

The French emperor dominated almost the entire European continent, with the exception of England, owing to its difficult access. It was therefore essential to close off the coast of Portugal and thus cut off commercial traffic. A través de un tratado con España, acuerdan invadirlo, permitiendo a las tropas francesas atravesar la península.Through a treaty with Spain, they agreed to invade, allowing French troops to cross the peninsula.

Fernando VII, son and successor of Carlos IV, played an essential role in the development of events, since in order to deal with Godoy, he sought help from Napoleon. This latter did not hesitate to take advantage of the situation once more, manoeuvring events to his advantage in order to bring about a situation that culminated in him seizing all rights over the Spanish crown, to ultimately appoint his brother José Bonaparte as the new King of Spain.