Actually, "Zorro--Tempered Steel" has plenty of historical
accuracy in terms of the colonists' restricted trade, the unrest in all
the Spanish New World colonies, and the timing of the rebellion coming
to a peak in Mexico City in June 1821. The part about King Ferdinand's
sister leading a rebellion is my own stretching of a couple of historical
In January 1809, Molina, a Spanish commissioner to Buenos Aires, reported that the viceroy of Argentina had been in correspondence with the Prince Regent of Brazil (the crown prince of Portugal) and his wife, the Spanish princess and sister of Ferdinand VII, Carlota Joaquina. This strong lady had already launched a campaign to have herself recognized in Buenos Aires as the regent for her brother Ferdinand, since she was the only Bourbon not captive in France. Napoleon had control of Spain at this time, remember, and Ferdinand, his brother Carlos, and two other sisters were in French-held territory or directly under the thumb of the emperor.
Any movement to recognize Carlota Joaquina's authority would have resulted in Argentina being transferred to the sovereignty of Portugal, as those in Buenos Aires understood perfectly well. The attempt came to nothing, but as of January 1809 Molina still feared that Brazil might make some move to take over Montevideo or that Carlota Joaquina herself might come in person to claim the sovereignty of Argentina.
Ferdinand VII was married four times, but only succeeded in producing one heir, a daughter Isabel, three years before his own death in 1833. His brother Carlos cast the country into civil war by refusing to recognize a female (and toddler) heiress to the throne of Spain.
It was the combination of these two incidents that gave me the idea for this story about the king restricting women's property rights.