At the beginning of the nineteenth century Spain was awak ened from her torpor by the assault of the French armies under Napoleon (in and there ensued the tremendous struggle known in Spanish history as the War of Independence (guerra de la Independencia). When the Spanish people, though deserted by many of those to whom they looked for leadership, had wom out the French by their stubborn resistance, a new disaster fell to their lot. Their American colonies, extending from California to the straits of Magellan, fell away from the mother country one by one, until only a few islands were left. And through it all the peninsula was rent by civil discord. Spain sank to the lowest level of inefiiciency and corruption, and was forced to drink the bitter dregs of humiliation and despair. But from her travail there came a new birth. With the expulsion of Isabel II in 1868, Spain entered upon a new life. She has since then suf fered from civil and foreign wars and from internal dissensions, but she has grown in wealth and strength and intellectual culti vation, until there is once more in the heart of her people the hope of ultimate and complete redemption.