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The so-called Restoration of 1874-1875 did not exactly restore the situation of any former regime. Only from a sociological point of view did it restore, and even strengthen, the rule of the “Moderado” power block, formed in the 1840s as an amalgam of the old nobility, new landowners enriched by the disentailment of the church's lands, urban developers, Catalan textile industrialists, politicians and military upstarts. Alfonso XII's reign was a continuation of his mother's in this sense alone. Politically, the troubles which had characterized not only the rule of Isabel II but the whole of the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century, reaching a climax during the 1868-1874 revolutionary period, came to an end. What ensued was what Pérez Galdós called “los años bobos” (the foolish years), years without events. These resulted not only from the strongly authoritarian, almost dictatorial, hand of Antonio Canovas del Castillo, but also from the loss of prestige of the revolutionaries and to the exhaustion of the people, which after so many political upheavals welcomed the stability of the Restoration.
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