When the topic of the European Enlightenment comes up many people refer to England or France while the Iberian Peninsula is often left out or not seen as an area that had seen that much of the enlightenment. Granted, the Enlightenment did come quicker and may have had a more influential impact in other areas of Europe, but that does not mean that Spain and Portugal should be dismissed from the conversation. The Enlightenment in Spain came with the new Bourbon dynasty, and in Charles II. In Portugal, the highlight of the Enlightenment came with the rise of Marquis of Pombal. However, the Enlightenment that reached the Iberian Peninsula was relatively restricted in comparison to other European countries, and had been, in my cases, controlled directly from the government. .
Before the Bourbon dynasty took the thrown in Spain, the Hadsburg dynasty was on the decline with the of the last Hadsburg kings, Charles II. Charles II was disabled from birth and was a symbol of the dying Hadsburgs along with the need for a new line to take the thrown. This new Bourbon dynasty was of French origin and was greeted with mixed feelings. The first of these Bourbon kings was Phillip V. Some saw him as a refreshing face that would bring life back into Spain, while others, specifically in Catalonia, did not like their new king. Phillip V was seen as a fresh face on the thrown of Spain, though his son Charles III was the despot of the enlightenment. Charles was in favor fo the modernization of Spain. He chose to stand with the growing middle class and support free trade. Charles III used these economic reforms to further expand free trade and open up local development. The economic changes brought some good, but did not make any sort of significant change. Despite Charles' attempt to reform the economy, the impact of the Enlightenment was essentially negative. Charles III also advocated for the expulsion of the Jesuits.