He joined O'Donnell and Espartero in 1854 against a revolutionary cabinet, and shortly afterwards turned against O'Donnell to assist the Democrats and Progressists under Prim, Rivero, Castelar, and Sagasta in the unsuccessful movements of 1866, and was obliged to go abroad.
In 1856 he was elected deputy, and soon attracted notice among the most advanced Progressists and Democrats.
He seconded the Progressist and revolutionary campaign of Prim and the Progressists against the throne of Queen Isabella, conspiring and going into exile with them.
He displayed such radical and reforming inclinations that he laid the foundations of his popularity among the lower and middle classes, which lasted more than a quarter of a century, during which time the Progressists, Democrats and advanced Liberals ever looked to him as a leader and adviser.
The advanced Progressists coalesced with the partisans of the ex-regent Christina to promote pronunciamientos in Barcelona and many cities.