Alfonso XIII, also known as El Africano or the African, was King of Spain from 17 May 1886 to 14 April 1931, when the Spanish Second Republic was proclaimed. He was a monarch from birth as his father, Alfonso XII, had died the previous year. Alfonso's mother, Maria Christina of Austria, served as regent until he assumed full powers on his sixteenth birthday in 1902.
During Alfonso's reign of the Kingdom of Spain, the country experienced four major problems that contributed to the end of the liberal monarchy: the lack of real political representation of broad social groups; the poor situation of the popular classes, especially peasants; problems arising from the Rif War; and Catalan nationalism. The political and social turbulence that began with the Spanish–American War prevented the turnaround parties from establishing a true liberal democracy, which led to the establishment of the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera. With the political failure of the dictatorship, Alfonso impelled a return to the democratic normality with the intention of regenerating the regime.