The Peninsular War was fought between 1808 and 1814. It involved the Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. This war saw the emergance of modern day Guerilla Warfare but was also the turning point, in some views, as to when Napoleon was defeated in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.
Napoleon Bonaparte wished to conquer the country of Portugal. At the time he was peaceful friends with the Spanish who allowed him to march his troops through into Portugal and onto Lisbon. Sadly for him, along the way the weather took a turn for the worst and he had to force march his elite troops to Lisbon. When he arrived with less that a division of men, he saw his quarry, the Royal Family of Portugal and most of the prosperous traders and merchants being evacuated by the Royal Navy. He then turned his eyes on Spain. After the death of King Carlo IV, Ferdinand VI had taken over. Ferdinand was much loved by his people and so the Spaniards were outraged when Ferdinand was summoned to Bayonne and forced to capitulate to French rule. Ferdinand was kept hostage and Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, was placed on the throne. Joseph was King of Spain on and off from 1808 until 1814 where, at the Battle of Vittoria he was evicted by the British and Spanish armies. He did, however, have to rely on military rule for a lot of the time and also on the Anfransiscos, Spaniards in favour of French revolution. This deeply upset Joseph, who was a peaceful man at heart and who had been unkeen to leave his stronghold in Italy in the first place.