Gaspar de Guzmán Olivares

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Olivares, Gaspar de Guzmán

 

Born Jan. 6, 1587, in Rome; died July 22, 1645, in Toro. Spanish statesman. Count.

A favorite of Philip IV, Olivares was made a duke in 1625 and served as prime minister from 1621 to 1643; he concentrated all power in his hands. At a time when Spain was in economic and political decline, he attempted to strengthen the country’s administrative machinery and to suppress separatist tendencies in the provinces. At his initiative, Spain renewed war with the Republic of the United Provinces in 1621 and took part in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). The intensification of economic and political oppression during Olivares’ administration led to a rebellion in Catalonia between 1640 and 1652 and a revolt in Portugal ending in Portugal’s independence from Spain in 1640. Olivares lost his position in 1643.