Cánovas del Castillo, Antonio

Antonio Cánovas del Castillo Sánchez y Estébanez

b. 8 Feb 1828, Málaga
d. 8 Aug 1897, Santa Águeda, Guipuscoa

Title: Presidente del Ministerio-Regencia (President of the Ministry-Regency)
Term: 31 Dec 1874 - 13 Feb 1875
Chronology: 31 Dec 1874, assumed the office of President of the Ministry-Regency upon presenting royal instructions of 22 Aug 1873 to an informal meeting of political leaders called to form a provisional government, building of the Ministry of War, Madrid [1][2]
14 Jan 1875, transferred the authority exercised by the Ministry-Regency to the King of Spain, who arrived in Madrid 14 Jan 1875 [3][4]
13 Feb 1875, term of the Ministry-Regency terminated by a royal decree of 13 Feb 1875 [5]
Names/titles: Presidente del Consejo de Ministros (President of the Council of Ministers) [9 Jan 1875 - 12 Sep 1875, 2 Dec 1875 - 7 Mar 1879, 9 Dec 1879 - 8 Feb 1881, 18 Jan 1884 - 25 Nov 1885]; Presidente interino del Consejo de Ministros (Interim President of the Council of Ministers) [25 Nov 1885 - 27 Nov 1885] see details
Biography:
Born in the family of a school teacher; studied in Málaga; moved to Madrid after the death of his father (1845), where he lived under the protection of his mother's cousin, the writer Serafín Estébanez Calderón, and of the banker José Salamanca; worked in the bureau of railroad construction; studied in the University of Madrid, receiving a degree in law (1851); showed early interest in politics and Spanish history; was the author of many historical writings, including Historia de la decadencia de España desde el advenimiento al trono de Felipe III hasta Carlos II and Estudios del reinado de Felipe V; contributed to writing the Manifiesto de Manzanares (7 Jul 1854), a political program of the revolt led by General O'Donnell; elected to the Cortes as a deputy for Málaga (1854-1856, 1858-1866, 1867-1868); was sent on a diplomatic mission to Rome as agente de preces to the Holy See (1855-1857); governor of the Province of Cádiz (1857-1858); served as director general of the Administration of the Internal Affairs Ministry (1 Jul 1858 - 5 Sep 1860); elected to the Real Academia de la Historia (1860); subsecretary of the interior (22 Aug 1860 - 9 Jan 1863); served as minister of the interior (1 Mar 1864 - 16 Sep 1864), minister of overseas affairs (21 Jun 1865 - 10 Jul 1866), interim finance minister (28 May 1866 - 10 Jul 1866); after an abortive liberals' revolt (1866), returned to historical studies; was elevated to the Real Academia Española (1867); elected to the Cortes Constituyentes (Constituent Cortes, 1869-1871) as a deputy for Murcia; a supporter of the Borbón dynasty, he was a leading figure of conservative minority in the Constituent Cortes dominated by the republican radicals; opposed universal suffrage and freedom of religion; cast a blank bulletin at the election of Spanish king (16 Nov 1870); deputy of the Cortes for Murcia (1871-1872); was entrusted (22 Aug 1873) by the exiled Queen Isabel II on behalf of her son, future Alfonso XII, to promote the cause of restoration of the Borbón monarchy; following the proclamation of Alfonso XII as king (29 Dec 1874) by the military, formed a government as President of the Ministry-Regency (31 Dec 1874 - 13 Feb 1875); appointed President of the Council of Ministers, serving a number of terms during the reign of Alfonso XII (14 Jan 1875 - 12 Sep 1875, 2 Dec 1875 - 7 Mar 1879, 9 Dec 1879 - 8 Feb 1881, 18 Jan 1884 - 25 Nov 1885, interim 25 Nov 1885 - 27 Nov 1885); formed the Partido Conservador (Conservative Party), which under the Constitution of 1876 shared the power with the Partido Liberal (Liberal Party) headed by Práxedes Mariano Mateo-Sagasta y Escolar; succeeded in putting an end to the Third Carlist War (1872-1876); deputy of the Cortes, representing Madrid (1876-1878, 1879-1880, 1881-1885) and Murcia (1886-1890, 1891-1895, 1896-1897); during the regency of Queen María Cristina (17 May 1886 - 17 May 1902), again held the office of President of the Council of Ministers (5 Jul 1890 - 11 Dec 1892, 23 Mar 1895 - 8 Aug 1897); was assassinated by an Italian anarchist, at the spa Santa Águeda, Guipuscoa (8 Aug 1897). Biography source: [6]


[1] Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 31 de Diciembre de 1874. Núm. 365. P. 843.
[2] The meeting of the Alfonsinas, supporters of the restoration of Alfonso XII, in the Ministry of War began in the night of 30 Dec 1874. Cánovas del Castillo presented a letter signed by Isabel II and Alfonso in Paris exile on 22 Aug 1873, which empowered him as a principal defender of the Borbon monarchy to take all necessary measure to secure the Restoration ("Por estas razones, tanto Mi Augusto Hijo como Yo, después de meditar serenamente sobre el estado de la Nación y de nuestra propia casa, y habiendo consultado a personas de cuya lealtad y desinterés no podemos dudar, hemos creído conveniente conferirte plenos poderes para dirigir en Mi nombre y en él de Mi amadísimo Hijo nuestea justa causa, procurando su triunfo por cuantos medios y recursos puedas; los cuales desde ahora damos por valederos como si nosotros mismos personalmente los empleásemos."). The negotiations lasted until the morning of 31 Dec 1874 and finished with forming a Ministerio-Regencia presided by Cánovas and comprised of those engaged in the restoration process between 29 Dec 1874 and 31 Dec 1874. See "De la Revolución a la Restauración", by Salvador Bermúdez de Castro y O'Lawlor, marqués de Lema (Madrid: Editorial Voluntad, 1927). Vol. II. PP. 769-772.
[3] Gaceta de Madrid, viernes 15 de Enero de 1875. Núm. 15. P. 130.
[4] The extraordinary powers of Ministerio-Regencia for initial period of the reign of Alfonso XII were confirmed by a royal decree of 11 Jan 1875 (Gaceta de Madrid, jueves 14 de Enero de 1875. Núm. 14. PP. 115-116). When signing a decree on behalf of the Ministerio-Regencia, Cánovas del Castillo used the style Presidente del Ministerio-Regencia; all royal decrees countersigned by Cánovas del Castillo in the period ending 13 Feb 1875 bore the style Presidente del Consejo de Ministros.
[5] Gaceta de Madrid, lunes 15 de Febrero de 1875. Núm. 46. P. 403.
[6] "Diccionario sucinto de Ministros de Hacienda", ed. by Alberto Rulla Babater (Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, Ministerio de Hacienda, 1991).
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 04:12:10