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In 1815, the Napoleonic Wars came to an end and the victorious powers attempted to bring a lasting peace to Europe in the Congress of Vienna. However, it soon became clear that after the upheaval of the French Revolution and Bonaparte's empire, a return to the "Ancien Regime" was impossible. In 1820, liberal revolutions broke out in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and the Greeks rose against their Turkish overlords the following year. In Italy, Austrian bayonets saved the local autocrats, but in Greece the uprising continued until independence was achieved. In Iberia, the events of 1820 led to the War of the Two Brothers in Portugal and the First Carlist War in Spain, which ended in the victory of the liberals. British volunteers fought in the conflicts in Greece, Portugal, and Spain. This book tells their story and puts it in the general context of the European political situation and more specifically, British foreign policy. These wars were part of the gigantic duel between Britain and Austria. The British mercenaries often unwittingly acted as the covert arm of their government.
Moises Enrique Rodriguez was educated in the United Kingdom at the University of Hertfordshire and University of Birmingham. He is also the author of Freedom's Mercenaries, a two volume account of the British volunteers who fought for the Patriots in the Wars of Independence of Latin America (1810-1830).