Martos y Balbi, Cristino

Cristino Martos y Balbi

b. 30 Sep 1830, Granada
d. 17 Jan 1893, Madrid

Title: Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional (President of the National Assembly) [1]
Term: 12 Feb 1873 - 19 Mar 1873
Chronology: 12 Feb 1873, elected, session of the National Assembly, salón de sesiones del Congreso de los Diputados, Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid [2]
24 Feb 1873, provisionally entrusted with exercising the executive authority until appointment of a new government, resolution of the National Assembly, session of the Assembly, salón de sesiones del Congreso de los Diputados, Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid [3][4]
24 Feb 1873, using the authority conferred on him, appointed interim government, which took over the executive authority [3][4]
19 Mar 1873, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [5]
Biography:
Studied law in Granada, Toledo, and Madrid; was engaged in student protests against the government of Bravo Murillo (1851); worked for democratic newspapers and joined the revolutionary movement in 1854; served as a lawyer of the Supreme Arbitration Tribunal; took part in a conspiracy against monarchial government (1866); was sentenced to capital punishment, but later death sentence was commuted to exile; elected a member of the Junta Provisional Revolucionaria de Madrid (3 Oct 1868 - 5 Oct 1868); deputy of the Cortes Constituyentes (Constituent Cortes, 1869-1871) for Toledo; served as minister of state (1 Nov 1869 - 9 Jan 1870, 4 Jan 1871 - 24 Jul 1871, 13 Jun 1872 - 11 Feb 1873); voted for election of King Amadeo I (16 Nov 1870); personal rivalry with Nicolás María Rivero led to a split within the Partido Democrático (Democratic Party); elected to the Cortes as a deputy for Madrid (1871-1873); served as President of the National Assembly (12 Feb 1873 - 19 Mar 1873); attempted to influence political balance of the First Republic by inspiring two coups (24 Feb 1873, 23 Apr 1873) in Madrid; minister of justice (4 Jan 1874 - 13 May 1874); not active in politics during the first years of the Restoration; elected to the Cortes as a deputy for Valencia (1879-1890) and Toledo (1891-1892); President of the Cortes (10 May 1886 - 24 Dec 1886, 17 Jan 1887 - 3 Nov 1887, 2 Dec 1887 - 6 Nov 1888, 30 Nov 1888 - 3 Jun 1889).
Biographical sources: Enciclopedia de Historia de España. Vol. IV. Diccionario biográfico. (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1991).
Elections:

Candidate Vote (12 Feb 1873)
Cristino Martos Balbi 222
Blas Nicolás María Rivero 20
José María Rivero 1
Manuel Fernández Durán y Pando, marqués de Perales y de Tolosa 1
blank 16
total votes cast 260
absolute majority 131
Source of electoral results: Diario de las sesiones de Cortes: Congreso de los Diputados: legislatura de 1872 á 1873, esta legislatura dio principio el domingo 15 de setiembre de 1872 y terminó el martes 11 de febrero de 1873 (Madrid: Imprenta de J.A. García, 1873). Vol. 4. Número 108. P. 3228; Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 13 de Febrero de 1873. Núm. 44. P. 517.

[1] In application to the document issued in this capacity: "Como Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, y en uso de las facultades de que esta me ha revestido ... "
[2] Diario de las sesiones de Cortes: Congreso de los Diputados: legislatura de 1872 á 1873, esta legislatura dio principio el domingo 15 de setiembre de 1872 y terminó el martes 11 de febrero de 1873 (Madrid: Imprenta de J.A. García, 1873). Vol. 4. Número 108. P. 3228; Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 13 de Febrero de 1873. Núm. 44. P. 517.
[3] Gaceta de Madrid, martes 25 de Febrero de 1873. Núm. 56. PP. 651, 661.
[4] The whole episode with Martos acting as provisional Head of State apparently did not take more than a few minutes. The session of the National Assembly opened at 16:15 24 Feb 1873 with deliberation of law on abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico. It was interrupted by the speech of Estanislao Figueras, who offered resignation of the government, facing grave difficulties with increasing political agitation, Carlist insurrection and separatism in Catalonia. The resignation was accepted and after a break the Assembly continued its deliberations at 18:15 24 Feb 1873 in a secret session with national guards securing the order within the Palace of Cortes. Acting on a motion drafted by Figueras and others, the Assembly invested its president, Martos, with executive power to secure the transition from one government to another. Authorized by the Assembly, Martos almost immediately ("Pasados unos momentos...") appointed interim government with Figueras as president and all former ministers except for war minister, retaining their portfolios. The Assembly passed a vote of confidence and proceeded with election of a permanent government. The session was closed at 22:00 24 Feb 1873.
[5] The last session presided by Martos was on 8 Mar 1873; his successor, Nicolás Salmerón, was elected on 19 Mar 1873 (see Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 20 de Marzo de 1873. Núm. 79. P. 933).
Last updated on: 19 Jul 2009 10:45:41