1868, Philippines, Queen Isabella II of Spain. Scarce Gold 2 Pesos Coin. 3.37gm!
Mint Year: 1868
Denomination: 2 Pesos
Mint Place: Manila (privy mark: star)
Material: Gold (.875)
Obverse: Wreathed bust of Isabella II of Spain left.
Legend: ISABE 2a. POR LA G. DE DIOS Y LA CONST . 1868 .
Reverse: Crowned Spanish coat-of-arms, flanked by pillars of Hercules. Value (2-P.) split in fields.
Legend: * REINA DE LAS ESPANAS * / 2-P / FILIPINAS
The beginnings of colonization started to take form when Philip II of Spain ordered successive expeditions. Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565 and formed the first Spanish settlements in Cebu. In 1571 he established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies.
Spanish rule brought political unification to an archipelago of previously independent islands and communities which later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, printing and the Gregorian calendar. The Philippines was ruled as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1565 to 1821, but after Mexico gained independence from Spain, the islands were administered directly from Madrid, Spain. During that time numerous towns were founded, infrastructures built, new crops and livestock introduced, and trade flourished. The Manila Galleon which linked Manila to Acapulco once or twice a year beginning in the late 16th century, carried silk, spices, ivory and porcelain to the Americas and silver from Mexico on the return trip to the Philippines. The Spanish military fought off various native revolts, and several external threats, especially from the British, Chinese pirates, Dutch, and Portuguese. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the inhabitants to Christianity, and founded numerous schools, universities and hospitals. In 1863 a Spanish decree introduced public education, creating free public schooling in Spanish.
Isabella II (October 10, 1830 – April 10, 1904), Isabel II in Spanish, was Queen regnant of Spain (“Queen of the Spains” officially from August 13, 1836, Isabella II the “queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon,...”) She was Spain’s first and so far only queen regnant, although she is sometimes considered the third Queen Regnant of Spain, as previous monarchs of Leon and Castile were counted as kings and queens of Spain. Counting the monarchs of Aragon as well, she is the fourth queen regnant of Spain.
Isabella was born in Madrid in 1830, the eldest daughter of Ferdinand VII, king of Spain, and of his fourth wife and niece, Maria Cristina, who was a Neapolitan Bourbon and also a grand-niece of Marie Antoinette. Maria Cristina became queen-regent on September 29, 1833, when her daughter Isabella, at the age of three years, was proclaimed queen on the death of the king.
Isabella succeeded to the throne because Ferdinand VII induced the Cortes Generales to help him set aside the Salic law introduced by the Bourbons in the early 18th century, and to re-establish the older succession law of Spain. The first pretender, Ferdinand’s brother Carlos, fought seven years, during the minority of Isabella, to dispute her title. His supporters and descendants were known as Carlists and the fight over the succession was the subject of a number of Carlist Wars in the 19th century.
Isabella’s throne was only maintained through the support of the army. The Cortes and the Liberals and Progressives, who at the same time established constitutional and parliamentary government, dissolved the religious orders, confiscated their property (including that of Jesuits), and tried to restore order in finances. After the Carlist war the queen-regent, Maria Cristina, resigned to make way for Baldomero Espartero, Prince of Vergara, the most successful and most popular Isabelline general, who remained regent for only two years.
He was turned out in 1843 by a military and political pronunciamiento led by Generals O’Donnell and Narvaez, who formed a cabinet, presided over by Joaquin Maria Lopez, and this government induced the Cortes to declare Isabella of age at 13. Three years later, the Moderado party or Castilian Conservatives made their sixteen-year-old queen, marry her double-first cousin, Francisco de Asís de Borbón (1822–1902), the same day (October 10, 1846) that her younger sister, Infanta Luisa Fernanda, married Antoine d’Orléans, Duke of Montpensier.
These marriages suited France and Louis Philippe, King of the French, who nearly quarrelled in consequence with Britain. But the marriages were not happy; persistent rumor had it that few if any of the Spanish Queen Regnant’s children were conceived by her king-consort, a homosexual. For instance, the heir to the throne, who later became Alfonso XII, the Carlist patry asserted had been conceived by a captain of the guard, Enrique Puig y Moltó.