Azaña, Manuel

Manuel Azaña y Díaz

b. 10 Jan 1880, Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid, Spain
d. 3 Nov 1940, Montauban, France

Title: Presidente del Consejo de Ministros (President of the Council of Ministers)
Term: 16 Dec 1931 - 12 Jun 1933
Chronology: 16 Dec 1931, confirmed in office, decree of President of the Republic [1]
12 Jun 1933, discharged following request for resignation, decree of President of the Republic [2]
Term: 12 Jun 1933 - 12 Sep 1933
Chronology: 12 Jun 1933, appointed, decree of President of the Republic [2]
12 Sep 1933, discharged following request for resignation, decree of President of the Republic [3]
Term: 19 Feb 1936 - 10 May 1936
Chronology: 19 Feb 1936, appointed, decree of President of the Republic [4]
10 May 1936, discharged following request for resignation, decree of President of the Republic [5]
Other offices: Presidente del Gobierno de la República Española (President of the Government of the Spanish Republic) [14 Oct 1931 - 16 Dec 1931]; Presidente de la República (President of the Republic) [11 May 1936 - 3 Mar 1939] see details
Biography:
Descendant of a rich family of Alcalá de Henares; received secondary education in the Colegio Complutense and Instituto Cardenal Cisneros; attended the Augustinian Colegio de María Cristina in the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial; received lawyer's licence from the University of Zaragoza (1897); earned a doctorate at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid (1900); was employed by the Main Directorate of the Registries as notary (1910); won a scholarship to study in Paris (1911); joined the Partido Reformista (Reformist Party) in 1914; collaborated in publishing newspapers, including El Sol and El Imparcial; founded the La Pluma magazine (1920); joined the editorial board of the weekly España (1924); worked as secretary of the Ateneo (1913-1920), a Madrid literary club, becoming its president in 1930; wrote a number of plays and novels, winning the national prize for literature for La Vida de Don Juan Valera (1926); failed to win election to the Cortes in 1918 and 1923; criticized the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera; organized the Republican Action (Acción Republicana, 1926), which became a part of the Alianza Republicana in 1930; one of the signatories of the Pacto de San Sebastián, a program of republican revolution (17 Aug 1930); member of the Comité político (14 Apr 1931), which stood behind the seizure of power after the flight of King Alfonso XIII; served as minister of war (14 Apr 1931 - 12 Sep 1933) in the provisional government of Niceto Alcalá-Zamora; was elected to the Cortes Constituyentes (Constituent Cortes) as a deputy for Valencia (1931-1933); following the resignation of Alcalá-Zamora, assumed the office of President of the Government (14 Oct 1931 - 16 Dec 1931); upon the promulgation of the Constitution of the Spanish Republic (9 Dec 1931), was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (16 Dec 1931 - 12 Sep 1933); pursued deliberately anticlerical policies and carried out agrarian reform; was forced out of power after losing support of the socialists over severe suppression of an anarchist revolt at Casas Viejas (1933); elected deputy of the Cortes for Vizcaya (1933-1935) and Madrid (1936); united his party with the radical socialists and the Galician autonomists, creating Izquierda Republicana (Republican Left) in 1934; was arrested on suspicion of encouraging local uprisings in Catalonia and Asturias, but he was acquitted at his trial (1935); formed the Frente Popular (Popular Front), a broad left-wing coalition that included liberals, socialists, anarchists, and communists (1935); was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (19 Feb 1936 - 10 May 1936) after the victory of the Popular Front at parliamentary election; elected President of the Republic (11 May 1936 - 3 Mar 1939) shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939); attempted to widen the support of the republican government by appointing the Socialist Francisco Largo Caballero as head of government (1936-1937); with the Communist Juan Negrín López as President of the Council of Ministers (17 May 1937 - 6 Mar 1939), he lost control of policy, remaining largely as a figurehead; as the Civil War was about to end, fled to France (5 Feb 1939), where he resigned the office (27 Feb 1939).
Biographical sources: "Manuel Azaña, entre el mito y la leyenda", by Ángeles Egido León (Valladolid: Junta de castilla y León, 1998).

[1] Gaceta de Madrid. Jueves 17 Diciembre 1931. Núm. 351. P. 1762.
[2] Gaceta de Madrid. Martes 13 Junio 1933. Núm. 164. P. 1931.
[3] Gaceta de Madrid. Miércoles 13 Setiembre 1933. Núm. 256. P. 1674.
[4] Gaceta de Madrid. Diario Oficial de la República. Jueves 20 Febrero 1936. Núm. 51. P. 1467.
[5] Gaceta de Madrid. Diario Oficial de la República. Lunes 11 Mayo 1936. Núm. 132. P. 1379.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 04:12:27